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

09.02.08

ISO Death Watch in the Press

Posted in Action, America, Europe, Interoperability, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 11:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is consensus?

Grave cross

Computer World: The Beginning of the End for the ISO?

I believe that this marks the beginning of the end of ISO’s reign as the primary standards-setting organisation, at least as far as computing is concerned (for other industries, details of the standards-setting process, or even of the standards that result, may not be quite so crucial as they for the current phase of IT.) This is a view that I and others have articulated before, but one that was not really accompanied by any signs that things would actually change.

The Consegi Declaration, by contrast, is a very real statement of intent by some of the most important players in the international computing community. Collectively, they have sufficient power to make a difference to how standards are set globally. Specifically, they could at a stroke help establish some alternative forum as a rival to the ISO by throwing their weight behind it.

Inquirer: ISO OOXML support criticised

As the INQUIRER previously noted, there are now two incompatible, international document standards on which the world can conduct its discourse, manage its business, and record its archives: ODF, which was designed by the people, for the people; and OOXML, which was created by Microsoft, the convicted monopolist.

Heise: Renewed protest against the ISO certification of Microsoft’s OOXML

In a statement of protest adopted by the Congresso Internacional Sociedade e Governo Eletronico (CONSEGI), the countries charge that the international committees bent their own rules. The emerging nations even argue that these proceedings call into question the future use of ISO standards in their administrations.

Groklaw: CONSEGI 2008 Declaration — Open Letter to ISO Reveals More OOXML Issues

There is an unexpected reaction from major government IT agencies in six countries condemning the ISO/IEC refusal to act on the four appeals against OOXML, which they say “reflects poorly” on ISO/IEC. They have signed and sent an open letter to ISO, which I’ll show you in full. The countries represented are South Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Cuba.

Tectonic: Southern nations frown on ISO

State IT organisation representatives from Brazil, South Africa, Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba and Paraguay have signed a declaration expressing their dissatisfaction with the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

The countries signed the declaration at the CONSEGI conference in Brazil over the weekend in response to news that the ISO/IEC had rejected the appeals from South Africa, Brazil and Venezuela and India to the ISO process to adopt Microsoft’s OOXML format as an international standard.

Reuters: Microsoft decision sparks dissent amid ISO members

“The bending of the rules to facilitate the fast-track processing… remains a significant concern to us,” they said, referring to a process many parties had complained was too fast and not transparent enough for such a complex format.

Consortium Info: The CONSEGI 2008 Declaration: Six Nations “Just Say No” to ISO/IEC

The latest blowback from the OOXML adoption process emerged last Friday in Brasilia, Brazil. This newest challenge to the continued relevance of ISO and IEC was thrown when major IT agencies of six nations – Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Paraguay, South Africa and Venezuela – signed a declaration that deploring the refusal of ISO and IEC to further review the appeals submitted by the National Bodies of four nations. Those nations were Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela, and the statement is titled the CONSEGI 2008 Declaration, after the conference at which it was delivered.

<No>OOXML: Four governments go ballistic over Open XML

South America and South Africa have been aligned for quite some time on many occasions of international legislation and often vigorously oppose government agendas of the “North”. What makes me as a European feel ashamed is that they take the freedom to speak in plain words while European and Northern American standard bodies fail to express the obvious. A reform of ISO would only be possible when all nations work jointly on that matter. Here it looks like the four nations actually consider to leave ISO and set up their own vendor-neutral standard organisation. I guess many standards consortia will try to gather the fortune and get these nations on board.

Standards and Freedom: Teenage Riot?

But who are we to interfere with the Masters of Scholastics of Geneva?

The most interesting part of that letter is not the protest itself: Those countries are outraged. Actually, the most interesting part of that letter is that it clearly shows that they have run out of options -and will- to appeal the ISO decisions. Which does not mean OOXML is a folded case; in contrary, the letter implicitly shows these countries will evaluate other kind of options. After all, the ISO has failed in its mission with OOXML. It has showed to the world that it could only accommodate the will of the mightiest and not reach consensus. Thus conclusions will be reached, and decisions made, and actions will be taken. And I don’t think it will comply with the ISO directions.

There were a couple more yesterday. In the mean time, since Bryden and ISO act like stubborn "teenagers" (to borrow from Patrick Durusau’s vocabulary [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]) who cannot admit a mistake, it’s time to move on and ask authorities to ignore ISO’s recommendations. ISO has proven to be too corruptible to be taken seriously.

Glyn Moody calls for Europeans to
provide input regarding Interoperability Framework v2. It must not consider OOXML as an option. In fact, several European nations, have rejected it already.

I’ve noted before that writing to MPs/MEPs seems to be remarkably effective in terms of generating a response. The naïve among us might even assume that democracy is almost functional in these cases. I’m not sure whether that applies to something as large and inscrutable as the European Commission, but it’s certainly worth a try, especially in the context of open source and open standards.

flickr:2400867976

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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

2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 2, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Gravatar

    Let’s not cede ISO to M$, shall we? MSFTers have a lot to gain by ruining the credibility of the world’s key standards organization: it weakens the credibility of standards, one of MSFT’s weakest points. (Besides security and design.)

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 2, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Gravatar

    Yes, I’ve made that point elsewhere. How do you suggest ISO’s reputation is restored without its apology, a reform, and another acknowledgment of the problem (this time from Bryden)?

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/03/30/ruining-iso-for-profit/
    (Does Microsoft Want to Kill ISO More Than Its Wants to Win an ISO?)

What Else is New


  1. Guest Post: Understanding Autism for More Complete Inclusion

    "...assuming that autistic people are all the same isn't only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings."



  2. Guest Post: Free Software Freedom is Not a Freedom of Choice

    The concept of "Freedom of Choice" and how the ruling class uses it to give a false impression of "Freedom"



  3. Guest Post: Free Software Developers and Pursuing 'Market Share'

    "The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the "free beer" side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the "free beer" part of free software."



  4. The Assertion That Microsoft Uses Communist Tactics Against GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    A study of Taistoism might help understand how Free/libre software is being undermined



  5. European Patent Office and US Patent and Trademark Office Cranks Discovered Buzzwords, Stopped Worrying, Started Granting Patents They Know to be Fake

    The world's patent repositories are being saturated with loads of junk patents or patents that have no legal bearing but can still be leveraged for extortion purposes; the EPO is resorting to lies and artificially-elevated buzzwords to justify granting such fake (yet ruinous) patents



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 19, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 19, 2019



  7. “The True Hypocrite is the One Who Ceases to Perceive His Deception, the One Who Lies With Sincerity,” Said André Paul Guillaume Gide (Nobel Prize in Literature)

    Lies flow like water in the realm of EPO and its publishers, whose sole role is dissemination of deliberate falsehoods, misnomers and misinformation



  8. The EPO Cannot Guard Fake European Patents From Scrutiny (in the Long Run)

    Legal certainty associated with newly-granted European Patents is already pretty low and as long as the EPO refuses to acknowledge that its courts (or boards) lack autonomy the EPO merely brushes a growing problem under the rug



  9. Links 19/10/2019: DeX Discontinued, DXVK 1.4.3 and Wine 4.18 Released

    Links for the day



  10. 'Corporate Linux' Will Not Protect Software Freedom

    The corporate model is inherently not compatible with software that users themselves fully control (or Software Freedom in general), so we must rely on another model of sovereignty over code and compiled code (binaries)



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 18, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 18, 2019



  12. 26,000 Posts

    We want to thank those who help spread the word; it gives us moral support and morale.



  13. The Myth of 'Analysts'

    People with exaggerated roles (exaggerated by corporate media and corporations that control them) distort public perceptions about their clients; they're in effect just elevated marketing or Public Relations (PR) operatives



  14. The FSF Has Two Acting Presidents Now

    Alexandre Oliva, who acted as a sort of deputy of Richard Stallman in recent weeks, sheds some much-needed light on the current situation



  15. Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement?

    "There's a great myth, as Jagadees reminds us, that advocacy doesn't produce software. That myth is corporate, and proper advocacy has at times produced the greatest software in the history of computing. If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever."



  16. Links 18/10/2019: More KDE Events and OpenBSD 6.6

    Links for the day



  17. We Don't Know Who Will Run the Free Software Foundation, But We Know Who Will Run the GNU Project

    Software Freedom is under a heavy and perhaps unprecedented attack; some people out there are paid by the attackers to celebrate this attack and defame people (cheering for corporate takeover under the blanket of “Open Source”), but the founder of the Free software movement remains alive, well, and very much active



  18. New EPO Meme: Who Wants to Make Billions From a 'Public' Monopoly?

    What was supposed to be a cash-balanced patent office became a money-making monster that fakes ‘crises’ to attack hard-working examiners



  19. EmacsConf Without Richard Stallman

    Now that emacs is being 'rebranded' this kind of meme seems apt



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 17, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 17, 2019



  21. Guest Article: In the Absence of Richard Stallman OEM Source Software ('Open Source') is Trying to Hijack Even Emacs

    "Now they have to create some fictional history. No need to worry."



  22. Guest Article: Techies Should Not Dictate the Free Software Movement

    "We should start a second phase of the Free software movement that's making good software and putting users at the center."



  23. Links 17/10/2019: Ubuntu Turns 15, New Codename Revealed, Ubuntu 19.10 is Out

    Links for the day



  24. Free as in Free Speech (Restrictions May Apply)

    When limits of speech are not safety-related rules but political correctness or conformism



  25. There Won't be Patent Justice Until Patent Trolling Becomes Completely and Totally Extinct

    SLAPP-like behaviour and extortion/blackmail tactics using patent monopolies are a stain on the patent system; it's time to adopt measures to stop these things once and for all, bearing in mind they're inherently antithetical to the goal/s of the patent system and therefore discourage public support for this whole system



  26. EPO Staff Union and Staff Representatives Ought to Demand EPO Stops Bullying Publishers and Censoring Their Sites

    An often neglected if not forgotten aspect of EPO tyranny is the war on information itself; EPO management continues to show hostility towards journalism and disdain for true information



  27. Bribes, Lies, Fundamental Violations of the Law and Cover-Up: This is Today's European Patent Office

    It has gotten extremely difficult to hold the conspirators accountable for turning Europe’s patent office into a ‘printing machine’ of the litigation industry and amassing vast amounts of money (to be passed to private, for-profit companies)



  28. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Lost Almost Half (3 Out of 8) Board Members in Only One Month

    As the old saying goes, a picture (or screenshot) is worth a thousand words



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 16, 2019



  30. Startpage and System1 Abuse Your Privacy Under the Guise of 'Privacy One Group'

    Startpage has sold out and may have also sold data it retained about its users to a privacy-hostile company whose entire business model is surveillance


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