EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.24.08

ODF/OOXML Roundup: A Catastrophe in Detail, Better Days Ahead

Posted in Courtroom, Formats, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, ISO, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Protest against OOXML

ISO Sold Out to ECMA

Broken ISO

It’s too hard to forget what ISO and Microsoft have done and continue doing. From their high horse they continue to snub developing countries. Here is how Bob Sutor puts it.

I think that ISO and IEC are on the edge of a precipice which, if they fall off, will cause them to rapidly lose relevance to IT (ICT) developments in many parts of the world, especially emerging markets.

What they appear to be saying to India, Brazil, South Africa, and Venezuela is “Go away, our process works. We love our process. You are wrong. Live by our rules and be quiet.”

If the appeals process is cut off without detailed community examination of the charges against what happened in the OOXML experience, I think that the reputations of the ISO and IEC will continue to diminish. It does not seem to me that anyone at the senior levels of these organizations get this. Rather than giving these four nations the cold shoulder, and doing it with what appears to this reader as having arrogant undertones, it makes far more sense for ISO and IEC to allow the process to carry on.

Complaints will surely continue to come. In fact, the process was so obviously broken and abused that Rob Weir has just published this detailed item. It shows what a disaster it has been from beginning to end.

When a new 6,000 page DIS is submitted to JTC1 only one month after the publication of another standard (ODF) in the exact same space (XML document formats for office applications) and 19 NB’s submit contradiction statements, and the JTC1 Secretariat’s “best effort” is to hold no consolations with the NB’s claiming contradictions, to hold no meeting, to make no attempt to resolve the question, then I believe that any NB would has a legitimate grounds for appeal on the inaction of JTC1 with regards to contradictions. There is no evidence that a “best effort” was made here to resolve the contradictions. Doing nothing is clearly incompatible with the required “best effort”.

It starts gently and gets down to more gory details. Just imagine that the BSI was taken to court over the abuses [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].

A Call for Change

The FSF has just issued a post urging people to join the fight against Microsoft’s OOXML.

The fight against the adoption of OOXML as an ISO standard is continuing in many countries. In the UK the UK Unix & Open Systems User Group (UKUUG) unsuccessfully, sought a judicial review of the British Standards Institute’s decision to vote yes. UKUUG are now seeking to appeal against that rejection of a review and you can help them.

“Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process.”

Richard Stallman, June 2008

Security

As shown a couple of weeks ago, OOXML may be a security menace. Watch another potentially serious issue that Microsoft has introduced with its ‘moving goalposts’ approach.

I was coming in from Sunday School this past week into the main church service when I was summoned to the audio/visual booth. There was to be a presentation that morning and the PowerPoint file was not compatible with the A/V computer. Why? Because the file was created in Office 2007 & the computer ran Office 2003.

[...]

Now all the A/V people have to do is get the Microsoft update and there will be no other issues. But why should they have to go find it? Why wasn’t it automatically pushed to them. People with Office 2003 will (at some point or another) open Office 2007 files. They don’t want to find out that it doesn’t work. Most times, they won’t even know why it is not working or how to get it to work. All they want it to do is have it work.

So thanks, OpenOffice, for just working.

As this post hopefully demonstrates, not only has Microsoft broken compatibility with rival office suites; it also jeopardised users by breaking compatibility with security software whose filters are not ‘OOXML-fluent’ (and never will be).

A World of Freedom, Choice

Aside from Web-based substitutes to Microsoft Office, the following new article presents one among many options.

Another change has been the spread of the open-source software movement. Desktop competitors to Microsoft Office, such as OpenOffice.org, have begun to get some traction. These suites may not come with all the features of the Office apps, but they don’t come with its price tag, either. They also offer good functionality, good support for Office document formats (as well as truly open formats of their own), and you pay whatever you want to pay — or nothing at all.

As a result, users have become more open to considering alternatives to Microsoft’s ubiquitous suite.

Here is another short article about a lightweight alternative.

Abiword: One Lean, Mean, Word Processing Machine

OpenOffice.org gets a lot of attention these days as a practical, no-cost alternative to Microsoft Office. While OpenOffice.org does a fine job, however, there are times when a smaller, faster, feature-packed word processing program would be useful. There is another open-source application that fits the bill perfectly here — and it deserves far more attention than it gets.

The monolithic nature of Microsoft Office (one size fits all) and the monopolistic data formats typically mean that people’s computers must obey Microsoft’s hardware requirements, which they negotiate with companies like Intel to boost their profit. It’s never about the consumer or developer; the customers are OEMs, hardware manufacturers, the government, and the media industry.

Europe’s Commission intends to bring an end to this abuse. It seems genuinely willing to do the right thing and there’s room for citizens’ feedback until the end of September.

The draft document based on which the final EIF v2.0 will be elaborated is now available online on the IDABC website of the European Commission. External comments from all of those interested are welcome by 22 September 2008.

Even the Commission seems more open than ISO. Long live ISO.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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

5 Comments

  1. Fuck You Guys said,

    July 25, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Gravatar

    We are Suse Users. We Love Novell…. Fuck You all…..

  2. Fuck You Guys said,

    July 25, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Gravatar

    Fuck you all motherfuckers…

  3. Fuck You Guys said,

    July 25, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Gravatar

    Fuck your father….

  4. Fuck You Guys said,

    July 25, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Gravatar

    suck my big dick

  5. Gecko said,

    July 25, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Gravatar

    kis gecko’s ass

What Else is New


  1. Links 14/7/2020: Claws Mail 3.17.6 and RSS Guard 3.7.0 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Has Put the String “0xBIGBOOBS” Inside Linux (Kernel Driver for Microsoft's Windows-Only Proprietary Software, Formerly a GPL Violation); Reddit (Condé Nast) Bans You For Mentioning Such Things

    In this increasingly crazy atmosphere of mass sanctioning and permanent banning (removing everything or everyone that's perceived to be impolite) even "Linux" forums are banning people who point out Microsoft being a rogue corporation that's attacking GNU/Linux



  3. There's Apparently a New Boss (or Policy) at Red Hat/IBM

    The Fedora project doesn’t seem to care much about free speech, no matter one’s seniority in the project; as the person who relayed it to us has just put it, “they even eat their own.” (Longtime contributors) “He’s not a troll. He’s a contributor who rubbed some people the wrong way and now the banhammer is coming out. Fedora KDE was already collapsing and now it finally will.” (Note: Rex Dieter leads or led this project)



  4. There Cannot be Software Freedom Without Free Speech (Which is Nowadays Being Wrongly and Creatively Conflated With Racism)

    The time to speak out in favour of free speech is now; because the next phase typically involves removal (to be sold as "voluntary") of people whose political views are seen as professionally inadequate (recall what they did to Richard Stallman last September)



  5. [Humour/Meme] 'Offensive' Jokes

    Even humour itself is under attack now; people who cannot take/tolerate cartoons and banter are targeting the stand-up comedians, the cartoonists and so on



  6. The Media Does Not Like Talking About Linux (Which It Doesn't Understand Anyway). It Makes the News All About Linus.

    Just like back in May (or every other week) the news about Linux itself is being ignored and the subject is getting personified to make Linux seem rude and unruly



  7. Links 13/7/2020: Linux 5.8 RC5, Qt Creator Beta, Mexico Threatens GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  8. [Humour/Meme] Embrace, Extend, and Curl

    The Curl project, a high-profile prisoner of GitHub, is again being 'embraced' by Microsoft (which already controls the project through GitHub)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 12, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 12, 2020



  10. [Humour/Meme] Half a Decade Has Passed and EPO Management Was Never Held Accountable for Illegal Surveillance

    A lot of people may no longer remember it, but the EPO can break privacy laws — as it still routinely does — with no consequences whatsoever



  11. Cleaning the Code

    War must go on; but it'll be more diverse and inclusive



  12. Why We Care About (Mis)Use of Language in Technology

    Software development communities are being divided over issues that would likely not tackle actual racism in any meaningful and profound way (just a symbolic way)



  13. Links 12/7/2020: KF6 Progress Report, GNUnet 0.13.1, Nano Becomes Default Terminal Text Editor in Fedora

    Links for the day



  14. They Always Worked for Microsoft (Directly and Indirectly) and Were Financially Rewarded for That

    Nat and Miguel, now put in charge of new weapons against software freedom (e.g. GitHub and NPM), have long worked for Microsoft (Nat was also an intern there); Techrights was right all along about this pair



  15. Red Hat Betrayed the Free Software Community With Its Software Patents' Stockpiling Drive and Then a Sale to the Biggest Software Patents Lobbyist

    In 2020 Red Hat is little but a shadow of IBM, whose patent policy continues to threaten software freedom and whose lobbying for software patents (under the guise of "HEY HI") persists uninterrupted; this growing problem oughtn't be unspeakable



  16. Politically Correct Tech

    This new video entitled “Politically Correct Tech” covers a topic we’ve spoken a great deal about



  17. [Humour/Meme] High on Production, Stoned on Pseudoscience

    All-time high ‘production’ levels at the European Patent Office (EPO) do not mean what they want people to think and what they try hard to hide



  18. Missing From EPO Management: Actual Scientists

    Political figures and opportunists with connections occupy top positions at top European agencies; this assures self-destructive policies that diminish progress and cushion corruption



  19. All Software Should Come With a Cheat Mode

    Cheat modes are useful for developers because they enable debugging, and are sometimes called "Debug mode"



  20. Linus Torvalds Checks If It's Still Inclusive Enough to 'Bash' Bad Technology (of the Company Whose TPM Pusher Has Just Successfully Pushed to Remove Many Words)

    In the age of endless control of language (e.g. large corporations pushing for "inclusive" language whilst earning billions from bombing of 'inferior' countries) we see that it is still possible to condemn corporations on technical grounds (at least if you’re Linus Torvalds)



  21. Even Before Microsoft Paid ('Joined') the Linux Foundation Jim Zemlin Had a Preference for Microsofters

    Even years before the Linux Foundation was receiving money from Microsoft it had a tendency to hire Microsoft’s people for key positions (a lot of people no longer remember that, but it’s still in the public record; it was Jim Zemlin who approached if not chased Mr. Ramji to offer him the job and the colleagues saw no problem with that)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 11, 2020



  23. Links 12/7/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20 Preview and Elive 3.8.14 Beta

    Links for the day



  24. [Humour] The 'Orange One' Does Not Respect Judges Either

    More than two years after taking over the European Patent Office (EPO) António Campinos has done absolutely nothing to restore judicial independence of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO



  25. The Systemd Song

    Speak out about IBM's strategy before we're all using GNU/Linux distros 'barcoded' with systemd



  26. Monopoly (or Vendor Lock-in) is Not Modularity

    IBM cannot totally control the kernel, Linux; IBM's control over GNU/Linux may be worth even more than what it paid for Red Hat as that's the key to overpriced support contracts and the general direction of development (important trends such as file systems and various low-level stacks)



  27. The Internet Archive Doesn't Forget, Whereas the Internet and the Web Forget Very Fast

    World Wide Web history is grossly undervalued and preservation of such history (e.g. by the Wayback Machine) is taken for granted by far too many people; the robber barons of today benefit the most from erosion of collective memory as they get to rewrite the past to suit their present and future interests



  28. Environmentalism and Free Software Can be Viewed as Closely Connected and Help One Another

    Modest lifestyles are an overlapping pattern in the Free software community and green activists; there's room for alliances and collaboration, bettering society by reducing consumption and discouraging voyeurism



  29. Free (as in Freedom) Software + Social Control Media ≠ Free Speech

    Speaking through middlemen and private platforms is bad enough (that gives others unjust power over speech); to claim that because the underlying platform is free/libre software it therefore becomes a non-issue is also dishonest



  30. António Campinos: President or Quasi-Autocratic Corporate Puppet?

    The culture of oppression — and censorship of evidence of oppression — is what today’s EPO is all about; the EPO learned how to better avoid (or block) negative publicity without actually changing its ways; and due to unprecedented speech restrictions you won’t hear that from SUEPO


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