05.26.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  2. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  3. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  5. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  6. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  7. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  8. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  9. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  11. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  13. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  15. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  16. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  17. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  19. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  20. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  21. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  22. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  24. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  25. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  26. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  27. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  28. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed



  29. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)



  30. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day


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