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OOXML Roadblock Now in Place; Please Contact Your National Standards Body Within Days

Posted in Africa, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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.

Here is what Roger "The Denier" Frost has had to say:

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.”

Bill Gates

Once again, hat’s off to South Africa, whose recent victories and miseries (Microsoft gave them grief) are listed below.

Recent posts:

Don’t Forget to Phone or E-mail Your Standards Body

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Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. master_chief said,

    May 24, 2008 at 10:49 am


    If you have too much time, you can email other country delegates along with your own to have more impact…LOL

    This is a International issue ! Come on guy….

  2. master_chief said,

    May 24, 2008 at 10:57 am


    The noooxml.org site has been DDOS like shit.

    Roy, pppleaseeee put alternative backup of the delegates email address on your website.

  3. master_chief said,

    May 24, 2008 at 11:15 am


    It seems to be back again…never mind

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 24, 2008 at 11:30 am


    I’m working on an international index or irregularity and observations at the moment. Should be done in about an hour…

    I’ll post when it’s done

  5. master_chief said,

    May 24, 2008 at 11:35 am


    Coool !!

  6. master_chief said,

    May 24, 2008 at 11:37 am


    I think OpenOffice will have better compatibility with OnHunXML than MS own MS Office.

    That will be really funny !

  7. master_chief said,

    May 24, 2008 at 12:02 pm



  8. master_chief said,

    May 24, 2008 at 12:03 pm




  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm


    This is bad news to Microsoft’s investors (revenue), but not necessarily to adoption of FOSS.

  10. master_chief said,

    May 24, 2008 at 12:59 pm


    How long before Steve ballmer gets the boot from MS…

    Take a guess…

    He is like a rock tied to already sinking MS

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 24, 2008 at 1:15 pm


    How long before Steve ballmer gets the boot from MS…

    There’s no-one to replace him* (says Mary Jo Foley) and without the bullying, what has Microsoft got? Honestly, by being nice Microsoft would cease to be relevant — over time.

    Watch Gates and Raikes very carefully. Both are working at the Microsoft Fundation [sic] these days, writing checks and often expecting something in return. I’ve watched this for years.

    * http://boycottnovell.com/2008/05/02/novell-openly-delusional/

    Watch the links at the latter part. Many people have suggested that Ballmer should leave or be sacked.

  12. stevetheFLY said,

    May 24, 2008 at 4:59 pm


    Dream on, freakos.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

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