Now is the chance to give OOXML a knockout punch
This whole saga is not over yet. There are still things that we, the ‘little people’, can do to ensure justice is restored and then prevails. Having documented abuse of the process, we can seek truth and ensure that Microsoft is metaphorically getting caught with its pants down (or with an egg in the face).
While the decision has been stalled, the deadline for formal complaints remains pretty much the same. We emphasised before that it’s not over yet and further delayed can be expected, if not a full retraction.
According to ISO spokesman Roger Frost, “Because the period for receipt of appeals remains open until the end of May, ISO will communicate on the next steps in early June, when it knows whether any other national bodies are appealing.”
Benjamin strongly urges people to call their standards body now (or after the weekend) in order to increase pressure on them. They can endorse South Africa’s message, which isn’t hard (the heavy lifting has already been done). ODF has excellent momentum, so this isn’t to be done in vain. It is far, far from over.
The South African Standards Body SABS have lodged an appeal at ISO against the awful fast-track process of DIS29500, or Microsoft Office OpenXML. Please call your national Standards Body and ask them to support this complain. You have only 7 days because the deadline is 30 May, 2 months after the ISO vote.
Steve Pepper, being so disgused about the intervention of a Norwegian bureaucrat reverting the decision of the Norwegian Technical Committee, is pointing at the fact that this person is also member of the ISO Technical Management Board (TMB), who will decide on the future of this appeal. I hope we will have some transparency on who is deciding what inside ISO on this appeal. It is time for ISO to clean up its stables, they have not been cleaned for several years, and they are getting dirty and smelly.
As a reminder of the slur and injury in South Africa, see this new post from Brian.
Like most assumptions about open source from Microsoft, a big piece of the overall picture is conveniently left out.
The context of Matusow’s blog entry is a trip he recently took to South Africa where he had talks about interoperability and open source issues. As noted in a Tectonic article, Matusow’s visit fell around the same time the South African government was approving the OpenDocument Format (ODF) for government use. (Funny…)
Matusow then goes on to make another, more specific, assumption about South Africa. Their local developers don’t seem to have the skill set to do any real contributions to OSS anyway, so the benefit of local participation is lost on them anyway.
Ignoring the fact that this is the single most arrogant thing I think I have heard anyone say about a nation’s potential (I’ll let my colleagues take that part of the argument on), who is Matusow to say anything about who can code what for Linux and OSS? Is you said “nobody,” you’re absolutely right.
This is the ‘Cathedral attitude’, to borrow ESR’s analogy. It shows that Microsoft continues to desire to develop everything that runs on your PC, no matter where you live. The company gives you opaque and overpriced binary files. This isn’t just unacceptable; it’s dangerous.
“There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.”
Once again, hat’s off to South Africa, whose recent victories and miseries (Microsoft gave them grief) are listed below. █
- Microsoft Goes Visiting South Africa Shortly After Pro-ODF Policies (Updated)
- South Africa Gets an Offer Too Hard to Refuse, Taken Over by Microsoft Lobbyists
- On Marriage Patents, Software Patents and Thought Patents
- OpenDocument Format Victorious in South Africa
- Updates on Microsoft OOXML in the UK and South Africa
- Status Update on Microsoft’s Smear Campaign Against ODF (Corrected)
- It’s Confirmed: Microsoft Went Down to South Africa to Fight ODF
- Microsoft Lies and Insults South Africans to ‘Sell’ OOXML
- Another Formal Complaint About ISO/Microsoft: South Africa’s Turn