EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.25.08

Killing Open Standards Bodies to Tout ‘Interoperability’ Meme

Posted in Interoperability, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Standard at 11:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MicrISOft

The destruction of ISO’s credibility worked to Microsoft's advantage. Microsoft never cared much about standards, which it pretty much mocked as the following fragment of text demonstrates:

“We want to own these standards, so we should not participate in standards groups. Rather, we should call ‘to me’ to the industry and set a standard that works now and is for everyone’s benefit. We are large enough that this can work.”

–Microsoft Corporation, internal memo (source [compressed PDF])

The key goal is then to fake compliance using exclusive deals whose terms are favourable to Microsoft and preferably exclude competitors, e.g. using RAND and vaguely-cited software patents. Watch this preparative announcement about a conference whose focus is not standards but something altogether separate. Sponsored by familiar faces (Microsoft and Novell make an appearance) that stress “interoperability” at the expense of “standards”, which are not at all the same thing, this announcement/article also states:

The catch: Critics say OOXML is not truly standards-based and is not fully interoperable, and have accused Microsoft of bullying the ISO into approving the format as an international standard. With that background, it should be a lively session — especially if there are some fans of the rival open source Open Document Format in the audience. Kitterman may need a mouth guard and a good corner man!

Whoever is not a “critic”, as the author puts it, is either misinformed or in Microsoft’s pocket. It should be made very clear rather than described as a divisive scenario (unless it be a division between corrupt/denier and justice seeking). Even Tim Bray strongly denounced this because he saw it more closely.

Over at CNET, Matt Asay too has just ridiculed some of this new “interoperability” pitch. He stresses the important of participation by customers, by users.

With all the talk about interoperability rumbling around, I thought a quick sanity check would be in order. Vendors are fond of talking about interoperability, but myopia-challenged as we are, we tend to forget that most software is not developed by vendors. It’s developed by so-called “customers.”

Bravo to Microsoft for making much of its interoperability with Novell! Unfortunately, this hardly resolves even a rounding error’s worth of the industry’s need to interoperate with enterprise-developed software.

As a practical example from several days ago, consider this story about the way things should be done (openly, not by having Novell and Microsoft swap code with NDAs).

Being OOo available in source code, I started digging into it until I found the code responsible for index generation. Built a patch for myself and solved the index generation problem, at least at my end of the line.

[...]

So the discussion continued until I was suggested to post a comment to the relevant OASIS list to describe the proposed modification to ODF standard.

I did so, and after some discussion my proposed change was integrated in current ODF 1.2 specification draft.

[...]

What’s the moral? A truly public specification can be upgraded by the public at large, provided the suggestion is a sound one.

Rest assured that Microsoft is not only screwing with document formats nowadays. Apart from its quiet fight against PDF, which is already an ISO standard, Microsoft is already combating another well-established medium which is HTML (and XHTML). With Novell's help, Microsoft hopes to replace all that with its patents-encumbered (and potentially DRM-laden) XAML while at the same time, on the face of it, fragmenting and ruining HTML as we know it.

The ever-increasing intricacy of the World Wide Web is evidenced by the character and scope of the HTML 5 draft specification. Microsoft wants to hasten HTML 5’s arrival, but its proposed solution may not sit well with all parties.

In a recent interview, Internet Explorer platform architect Chris Wilson told SD Times that more progress could be made with teams working in parallel, and he recommended that portions of the HTML 5 specification be broken off and assigned to new workgroups.

This is far from the sole incident of this kind. Microsoft has already tried to ruin JavaScript because it competes with Silverlight. The Web standards snub has a long history and it deliberate.

“We’re disheartened because Microsoft helped W3C develop the very standards that they’ve failed to implement in their browser. We’re also dismayed to see Microsoft continue adding proprietary extensions to these standards when support for the essentials remains unfinished.”

George Olsen, Web Standards Project

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. DarkPhoenix said,

    April 27, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, it’s hard to say whether splitting up HTML5 would be good or bad. There are good reasons to do so; it is a rather large specification, and doing it in pieces allows for certain sections to be updated separate from the others. It works rather well for CSS3, which is coming along nicely (too bad it’s not well implemented outside of Selectors yet).

    However, my bet is that Microsoft wants HTML5 split up so they can selectively implement it, like they did with CSS…

What Else is New


  1. It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay 'Protection' Money)

    News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations -- not mere suspicions anymore -- that Microsoft would 'punish' companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense 'indebted' to Microsoft



  2. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  3. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



  4. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  5. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  6. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  7. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  8. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  9. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  10. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  11. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  12. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  13. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  14. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  15. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  16. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  17. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  18. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  19. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  20. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  21. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  22. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  23. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  24. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  25. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  26. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  27. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  28. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  29. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts