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. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  2. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  3. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  4. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  5. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  6. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  7. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  8. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  9. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  11. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  12. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  13. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  14. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  15. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  16. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  18. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  19. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  20. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  21. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  22. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  23. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  24. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  25. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now



  26. When Courts in the US Attack the Right to Reuse APIs

    Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court



  27. Links 10/11/2014: 2015 GNU/Linux Forecasts, Debian Shakeup

    Links for the day



  28. Links 7/11/2014: War Thunder on GNU/Linux, KaOS ISO 2014.11

    Links for the day



  29. Links 6/11/2014: Ubuntu Tablet Confirmed, Compiz 0.9.12 Released

    Links for the day



  30. EPO and UPC in Europe Now the Hope of Patent Maximalists, China Too is Assimilating

    A form of globalisation or unification among patent offices, courts and policies can serve to highlight the great role played by rich and powerful monopolists, including their rich lawyers who profit from protectionism


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