05.26.08

British Library Versus Preservation, Pro Vendor Lock-in (Microsoft OOXML)

Posted in America, ECMA, Europe, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML at 12:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ooxml_demo_4.jpg

We must assume, naturally, that readers have not yet come across previous coverages of the appalling situation at the British Library. Here are some posts of interest, which put things in context and perspective, as well provide some background:

Digital curation is one of the most important aspects of preservation of national assets and reduction/prevention of digital rot (or “information decay”, which Vint Cerf recently warned about). You can find a long videotaped lecture about the subject right here. For a live demonstration that is backed by news, consider the first part of this recent post. Add to this the following new article that bears the headline “Boyer: Records useless without access.” To quote the concluding portion:

We’ve already seen examples of electronic records essentially being useless to the average resident because they do not have some piece of specialized software the state used to create them. That’s a situation that needs to be fixed.

The report is lengthy, and some sections are too technical for most people (including me) to understand, but the underlying conclusion is that the Legislature needs to pass legislation that ensures openness. To do that, the study recommends lawmakers establish a state electronic records committee that will constantly evaluate, develop and implement policy.

ISO in moneyIn light of all this, consider again what the British Library foolishly does at the moment. Not only has it put its weight behind the colossal scandal commonly referred to as “OOXML”. It is prepared to give Microsoft control over everybody’s invaluable assets, never mind the company’s status as a “multiple-times convicted monopolist”, betrayer of partners (in this case the British Library is at risk), not to mention its not-so-certain future (no company lasts forever, not even with bankruptcy protection).

Here again is a classic from <NO> OOXML where you can see Microsoft lobbyist Jan van den Beld [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] shaking hands with Microsoft’s Jean Paoli. In the background you find Adam Farquhar [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], whose history with Microsoft could make one cringe (see more in the references at the top).

This is an image from the good old days. Microsoft’s Jean Paoli hands over the OOXML specification to Jan van den Beld, the general secretary of ECMA. And you find Adam Farquhar from the British Library, the bearded person on the right. The British Library was instrumental to legitimizing the whole ECMA and ISO OOXML standardisation process as an ‘independent’ participant in the committee work. ECMA did a brilliant job to mature the specification text to get it ISO fast-tracked. Or as the ISO BRM convenor and recent consultant for the British Library Alex Brown reflects:

Ecma made the road very rocky though, by initially producing a text that was so lousy with faults.

At the end of the day you have a company that wants your data and wants you dependent on its existence and survival. It uses the government to establish this lock-in without giving you, the taxpayer, an opportunity to say no. That’s partly why Microsoft is said to have entered the medical areas where Microsoft’s endurance can become a matter of people’s lives.

The short article above proceeds to discussing the fact that Microsoft tossed out its book-scanning project. That happened just a few days ago. Microsoft cited “poor demand” as the reason for discontinuation. In other words, preserving and enabling access to books was never Microsoft’s motive. If there’s no money in it, Microsoft is disinterested. Let the scanning partners be ditched and hopefully find some new direction. Good luck to the British Library, too.

Would you trust Microsoft with your medical data? Would you trust your national library putting its assets in Microsoft’s hands, thanks to the advice of a paid Microsoft lobbyist (Mr. “you are well paid, shut up”)? Bear in mind that the United States Library of Congress too has sold out to Microsoft. This happened quite recently (previously alluded to in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]), possibly in an even worse way.

OOXML: the biggest scam Microsoft was able to afford. And it’s only part of a larger proprietary stack.

The Nightmare

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/05/26/british-library-ooxml-connection/

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 11/4/2021: GnuPG 2.3.0, Linux 5.13 Additions

    Links for the day



  2. All EPO Articles Are Available Over Gemini Protocol

    For lighter and more privacy-preserving access to Techrights use the Gemini capsule instead of the Web site



  3. Judge and JURI

    The Committee on Legal Affairs, a.k.a JURI, meets the EPO tomorrow (in 24 hours); will abuses by António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli be brought up?



  4. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 13: The Failed Promise of a “Good Governance” Guru…

    Before becoming an absent-minded Vice-President of António Campinos Christoph Ernst was posing as the very opposite of what he would become



  5. Gemini Gateways for IPFS

    The World Wide Web is fine for a lot of things, but for controversial publications and publications that invoke the 'wrath' of corporations/states/plutocracy we must look beyond the traditional protocols, choosing decentralised means and self-hosted means of publication (instead or at the very least in conjunction)



  6. Challenging Times for EPO Management

    A discussion of the status quo at Europe's second-largest (but scarcely-understood) institution, subjected to a JURI hearing tomorrow afternoon



  7. “The Fighters of Freedom”

    Some anime fans have made this video about recent events



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 10, 2021



  9. [Meme] Bundestagate Series Spoiler

    The chain of command/s at the EPO typically leads to major tragedy



  10. Breaking News: Campinos to Appear Before the Legals Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on Monday 12 April

    "Some MEPs have been briefed about ongoing governance deficits at the EPO, in particular the lack of GDPR compliance and the sell-out of "digital sovereignty" to Microsoft, but it remains to be seen whether or not they will dare to bring these issues up during the hearing."



  11. Pro-FSF Petition (“An Open Letter in Support of Richard Matthew Stallman Being Reinstated by the Free Software Foundation”) Tops 6,200 Signatures

    Monopolies and their media, along with their NGOs, have spoken and incited based on falsehoods; people now respond so the hate letter has a real crisis



  12. Links 10/4/2021: osbuild 28, KDE Frameworks 5.81.0

    Links for the day



  13. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 12: A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?

    We examine the role of Christoph Ernst in EPO management, both in the Benoît Battistelli era and the António Campinos era (plenty to hide)



  14. USPTO for Monopolies, Keeping GNU/Linux in the Dark

    Growing evidence of gross discrimination against GNU/Linux (or Free software, even BSD/UNIX) users at the USPTO is too hard to ignore; some people out there challenge the Office over this travesty



  15. Accessibility and Availability First

    To make Techrights more widely accessible and more difficult to block/censor we've been making further changes, including self-hosting where possible



  16. Self-Hosting Videos With Free Formats and Animated Previews, Watermarks/Logos and Translucency

    We examine the power of video editing with ffmpeg, chained with command-line scripting and HTML5 features



  17. Links 10/4/2021: Linux on M1, Wine 6.6, ClamAV 0.103.2

    Links for the day



  18. Lunduke: On Mob Justice in the Tech Industry

    A new video from the former Microsofter who fears the phenomenon that’s adopted by companies like IBM



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 09, 2021



  20. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli's Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli

    Local copies with evidence of or something concrete about Benoît Battistelli’s connection to unsavoury — and by today’s standards outright fascistic — politics



  21. IBM Doubles Down on Masters Being an Acceptable Word in the Context of Technology

    3 days after this post which disproves IBM's stance or shows its double standards it once again says “Masters” in its official blog (won’t that offend and alienate some people as they insist?)



  22. Hate Letter Against Richard Matthew Stallman (RMS) Backfired So Spectacularly That Signers Asked to Revoke Their Own Signatures and the List Was Then Frozen Permanently (Updated)

    "An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation" tops 6,100 signatures (graph generated just moments ago)



  23. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 11: The BMJV's Tweedledee: Dr Christoph Ernst

    The right-hand man of António Campinos plays a role similar to that of Herr Lutz before him



  24. Links 9/4/2021: Tanglet 1.6.0 and HPVM 1.0

    Links for the day



  25. The Libel Against Richard Stallman Did Not Age Well

    Almost 2 years down the line libel about the founder of the FSF remains online, uncorrected (in sites funded by Microsoft and IBM)



  26. The Letter in Support of the FSF and Richard Stallman is Backed by the International Community, Not American Monopolies and Nationalistic Elements

    Free software is for everybody to use, internationally, it is not the asset of a bunch of current and old monopolists (connected to the US military) that also control the media; the nature of the signatures says that out loud



  27. Gemini Over IPFS (Decentralised Web, Accessed Over Gemini Protocol)

    The Gemini protocol (gemini://) can already be used to fetch (at the back end) and present objects from a P2P-like network; we're currently exploring practical use cases and possibilities



  28. News Sites That Talk About Patents Have Become Shameless Self-Promotion 'Plugs' by Law Firms (and Sometimes Outright 'Spam' for Litigation)

    The sources of news about patent affairs have dried up; sites that actually used to investigate and report facts have since then shut down or defected to the Public Relations/marketing industry



  29. Links 9/4/2021: Kubernetes 1.21 and FFmpeg 4.4 Released

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 08, 2021


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

Recent Posts