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. Microsoft Financially Backs Patent Trolls That Attack Its Competitors

    Corporate media continues to ignore the elephant in the room, which is Microsoft's deep involvement in arming patent trolls and using them against rivals, including GNU/Linux



  2. PTAB Engages in Patent Justice, But Lobbyists of Patent Trolls Try to Blame PTAB for All the Problems of the US and Then Promote Iancu

    In an effort to curtail quality control at the US patent office, voices of the litigation 'industry' promote the irrational theory that the demise of the US is all just the fault of patent reform



  3. Team UPC Has Been Reduced to Rubble and Misinformation

    A roundup of the latest falsehoods about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and those who are peddling such falsehoods for personal gain



  4. CRISPR Patent Debacle Demonstrated That Opposition Divisions Do Their Job, But Also Highlighted Serious Deficiency in Patent-Granting Process

    While it is reassuring that EPO staff managed to squash a very controversial patent, it remains to be explained why such patent applications/applicants were even notified of intention to grant (in spite of the EPC, common sense and so on)



  5. Links 23/1/2018: Castle Game Engine 6.4, Qt 5.9.4, SQLite 3.22.0

    Links for the day



  6. Confidence in European Patents (EPs) is Eroding and Stakeholders Are Already Suffering

    The rush to grant lots and lots of patents at the EPO is already taking its toll; quality is declining, decisions to grant are being overturned, and the already-overburdened appeal boards are unable to catch up



  7. Even More Uncertain a Future for the Independence of the EPO Boards of Appeal as Judge Corcoran Too Gets Sent to 'Exile'

    The attack on supposedly independent judges at the EPO escalates further; the judge whom the EPO was ordered to reinstate (by ILO) is being constantly pushed around, not just legally bullied



  8. The Response to Accusations of Censorship by Team UPC? Yet More Censorship to Shield UPC From Criticism

    The Empire of Lies upon which the Unified Patent Court (UPC) was conceived is being exposed for its lies; The Empire Strikes Back with yet more censorship



  9. Links 22/1/2018: Linux 4.15 Delayed Again, Libinput 1.9.901

    Links for the day



  10. Team UPC Calls Critics of the UPC Idiots, Deletes Their Comments, and Blocks Them

    A new low for Team UPC, which is unable to cope with reality and has begun literally mocking and deleting comments of people who speak out truths



  11. How the Opposition to CRISPR Patents at the EPO Sent Shockwaves Through the Industry

    Additional reports/coverage on the EPO (European Patent Office) revoking Broad Institute's CRISPR patent show that the issue at hand isn't just one sole patent but the whole class/family of patents



  12. Unified Patents Says That RPX, Which Might Soon be Owned by Patent Trolls, Paid Patent Trolls Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

    Unified Patents, which helps crush software patents, takes note of RPX’s financial statements, which reveal the great extent to which RPX actually helped trolls rather than stop them



  13. IAM Together With Its Partner, IIPCC, is Lobbying the USPTO to Crush PTAB and Restore Patent Chaos

    Having handled over 8,000 petitions (according to Professor Lemley's Lex Machina), PTAB champions patent quality at the USPTO, so front groups of the litigation 'industry' creep in and attempt to lobby the likely next Director of the USPTO (inciting him against PTAB, as usual)



  14. Software Patents Are Still Dropping Like Flies in 2018, Thanks to Alice v CLS Bank (SCOTUS, 2014) and Section 101 (USPTO)

    Section 101 (§ 101) is thriving in the sense that it belatedly throws thousands of patents -- and frivolous lawsuits that depend on them -- down the chute; the patent trolls and their allies in the patent microcosm are very furious and they blame PTAB for actually doing its job (enforcing Section 101 when petitioned to do so)



  15. Patent Troll Finjan Looks Like It's About to Collapse, But Patent Maximalists Exploit It for Software Patents Promotion

    Patent trolls are struggling in their use of software patents; few (if any) of their patents are upheld as valid and those that miraculously remain in tact become the subject of fascination if not obsession among trolls' advocates



  16. The Attacks on PTAB Are Slowing Down and Attempts to Shield Oneself From Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Are Failing

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reapplies patent eligibility tests/guidelines in order to squash likely invalid patents; The litigation 'industry' is not happy about it, but its opposition to PTAB is also losing steam



  17. Links 21/1/2018: Wine 3.0 Coverage, KaOS 2018.01, Red Hat Among 'Admired Companies'

    Links for the day



  18. Blockchain Patents Are a Catastrophe in the Making as Trolls and Aggressors Accumulate Them

    As patents pertaining to blockchains continue to be granted -- even in defiance of Alice/Section 101 -- it seems likely that patent wars will sooner or later erupt, involving some large banks, IBM, and patent trolls associated with the notorious Erich Spangenberg



  19. Qualcomm/Broadcom/NXP Combination Would Become a Disastrous Patent Thicket Which Benefits Nobody

    Worried by the prospect of mega-mergers and takeovers which would put far too much market power (and monopoly through patents) in one place, governments and corporations speak out



  20. Patent Litigation in East Asia: Huawei, Samsung, HTC, Nintendo and COLOPL

    A quick look at some high-profile cases in which large Asian firms are embroiled; it seems clear that litigation activities have shifted eastwards (where actual production is done)



  21. Patent Litigation in the US is Down Sharply and Patent Trolls' Demise Has Much to Do With It

    Docket Navigator and Lex Machina both show a significant decline in litigation -- a trend which is likely to carry on now that TC Heartland is in tact (not for just half a year but a whole year) and PTAB completes another record year



  22. Cheating the US Patent System is a Lot Harder After TC Heartland

    Some new examples of tricks (and sometimes cheats) attempted by patent claimants and their representatives; it does not go as well as they hoped



  23. RPX Might Soon be Owned by Patent Troll Erich Spangenberg

    RPX, whose top executives are leaving and business is gradually dying, might end up as another 'asset' of patent trolls



  24. Patent Quality (Not Numbers) as an Asset: Oppositions, Appeals and Rejections at the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli wants a rubber-stamping operation (like INPI) rather than a functional patent office, but oppositions at the Office prove to be fruitful and many erroneously-granted patents are -- by extrapolation -- already being revoked (affecting, in retrospect, Battistelli's so-called 'results')



  25. Links 19/1/2018: Linux Journalism Fund, Grsecurity is SLAPPing Again

    Links for the day



  26. The EPO Ignores This Week's Decision Which Demonstrates Patent Scope Gone Awry; Software Patents Brought Up Again

    The worrisome growth of European Patents (EPs) — a 40% jump in one year in spite of decline in the number of patent applications — is a symptom of the poor judgment, induced largely by bad policies that impede examiners’ activities for the sake of so-called ‘production’; this week's decision regarding CRISPR is another wake-up call and software patents too need to be abolished (as a whole), in lieu with the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  27. WesternGeco v ION Geophysical (at the US Supreme Court) Won't Affect Patent Scope

    As WesternGeco v ION Geophysical is the main if not sole ‘major’ patent case that the US Supreme Court will deal with, it seems safe to say that nothing substantial will change for patent scope in the United States this year



  28. Links 18/1/2018: MenuLibre 2.1.4, Git 2.16 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft, Masking/Hiding Itself Behind Patent Trolls, is Still Engaging in Patent Extortion

    A review of Microsoft's ugly tactics, which involve coercion and extortion (for businesses to move to Azure and/or for OEMs to preload Microsoft software) while Microsoft-connected patent trolls help hide the "enforcement" element in this whole racket



  30. Patent Prosecution Highway: Low-Quality Patents for High-Frequency Patent Aggressors

    The EPO's race to the bottom of patent quality, combined with a "need for speed", is a recipe for disaster (except for litigation firms, patent bullies, and patent trolls)


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