10.06.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

ISO Fallout, ODF Uprise

Posted in ECMA, Europe, Formats, IBM, ISO, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, SUN at 11:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

flickr:2400865918

When we last looked at the demise of ISO, as expressed by blogs and evidenced through the mainstream press, there was not sufficient feedback from ISO itself. None of this has truly changed and the near-silence is deafening.

The word about ISO is being spread very quickly at the moment, mainly thanks to diplomacy at Norway, which tolerated the corruption less than anybody else (or any other country for that matter). There is a good roundup of the situation over at ComputerWorld (Boycott Novell is referenced as well) and in InformationWeek’s Microsoft blog, which is understandably apologetic about it.

Last week, 13 of 23 members of Norway’s International Standards Organization (ISO) committee resigned. They were resigning in protest to Norway’s official decision to favor Microsoft’s OOXML document format as an ISO standard, despite a “no” vote by 21 of 23 committee members. (Microsoft and Statoil were the Norway committee’s only two “yes” votes.)

A week earlier, IBM voiced dissatisfaction with the OOXML approval process, and threatened to leave ISO if the organization didn’t protect its decisions from “undue influence.” Now there is some concern that Microsoft is trying to take over the Open Document Format (ODF) process in an attempt to control or destroy its document-format competitor.

As always, the bad news for ISO and for OOXML is coupled by further progress for ODF. OpenOffice.org 3 is set to be released next week (October 14th) and tomorrow Sun will release the fourth release candidate. In addition, SoftMaker supports ODF now.

Not only does it happily read or write Microsoft Office documents in all formats up to Office 2003/ XP (even password-protected Word files), but the suite also reads OpenOffice SXW and OpenDocument ODT files for maximum compatibility with other suites.

ODF awards will be coming soon. ODF is mostly in the hands of OASIS at the moment, so ISO’s (and ECMA’s) gutter-level reputation should have little or no influence — for now.

“This was horrible, egregious, process abuse and ISO should hang their heads in shame for allowing it to happen. Their reputation, in my eyes, is in tatters. My opinion of ECMA was already very negative; this hasn’t improved it, and if ISO doesn’t figure out away to detach this toxic leech, this kind of abuse is going to happen again and again.”

Tim Bray

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.

8 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    October 6, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Gravatar

    The Information Week Blog infuriated me. While they apologize for the obvious corruption, they sympathize with the latest outrage and commit several gross errors. The worst error is this:

    For better or worse, OOXML encapsulates, in an XML form, all the baggage of the Office file formats. Those have built up like a barnacle-encrusted hull over the past 25 years as Microsoft Office has evolved. ODF may be better in various ways, but it can only represent a subset of the features currently in Office.

    This is hogwash. If M$ themselves can not translate their “features” into ODF they won’t be able to translate them to OOXML either. He might as well say it’s impossible to print M$ documents as PDF.
    It is also irritating that he seems to think of M$’s horrid binary formats as any kind of standard, much less a “proven” one. If anything Office is a proven disaster. Every major version of their Office suite has forced countless hours of re-formatting. Often their formats are so machine specific that moving them to another printer or computer would result in damage. Cooperation has always been difficult except for the most feature free documents imaginable. This is the sorry state of affairs that drove otherwise normal people to task themselves with authoring free alternatives.
    There is no excuse or apology that can justify OOXML and the attack on ISO. The real goal is obviously the destruction of free alternatives and the continued dominance of M$ in the computing world through format lock-in.

  2. twitter said,

    October 6, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Please reformat the above to end blockquote at the correct end of the quote, ” features currently in Office.” My bad, sorry.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 6, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Gravatar

    This is hogwash. If M$ themselves can not translate their “features” into ODF they won’t be able to translate them to OOXML either.

    That’s right.

    Microsoft can’t support Open XML

    “Microsoft did everything it could to make its Open XML pseudo document standard an official ISO standard. Fight, cheat, whatever it took. Nothing was too low. And, at the end, Microsoft won. Too bad after all that, Microsoft can’t even get their ’standard’ to work in their own products.

    “No, I’m not making that up. As reported on May 21st in SD Times, Microsoft confessed that they can’t get Office 2007 to support the version of Open XML that ISO just approved. That’s right. Microsoft can’t even support its own standard.”

  4. Needs Sunlight said,

    October 6, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Gravatar

    The yammering MSFT boosters make about encapsulating all the baggage of the old MS Office file formats is both factually incorrect and a red herring.

    First, as has been gone over what must be literally thousands of times by now, the format fails to document legacy MS formats.

    Second, a fact which is conveniently ignored, is that the *only* information needed to read and work with the legacy formats is the specification itself. Release those and all that about the MS formats goes away.

    Look what problems even MSFTers have when dealing with the dozen or so of problem MS Office file formats. Look what grew from the WWW’s simple ability to render files independent of location and platform. It follows that getting rid of the first problem and gaining the second ability would lead to some benefits, to make an understatement of it.

    The web keeps going:
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080915-www-creator-berners-lee-launches-ambitious-web-foundation.html

    What’s holding back a universal office format, aside from a few idealogues?

    ODF is for the future:
    http://www.tectonic.co.za/?p=3247
    http://www.tectonic.co.za/?p=3233

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 6, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Gravatar

    First, as has been gone over what must be literally thousands of times by now, the format fails to document legacy MS formats.

    That’s why they disclosed this information separately. This obviates the need for a second format (OOXML).

  6. Needs Sunlight said,

    October 6, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: As of that posting
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/19/office-binary-formats-specifications-trap/

    it was unclear the licensing. Once upon a time, some of those specifications were available. Then they were withdrawn. Now they appear available again — unless there are nasty strings attached.

    So are they poison or not?

    MS has dropped support for old formats, so businesses are running OpenOffice along side MS Office. Interestingly, OpenOffice has MS Office beat on the old formats, even without the documentation, and hands-down beats MS Office on ODF support. Past and future.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 6, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Gravatar

    Some say they let the specs (binary) loose as part of that last push for the rubber stamp. Hiser and others predicated this would happen last year because it was one of those principal points of OOXML criticism. The move from Microsoft sort of shot down critics at (almost) the last minute.

    Regarding licences, see:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/28/patent-pill-is-in-openness-pledge/

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 6, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s funny now that I look at that last URL.

    Peter Galli was hired by Microsoft recently. Watch what headline he chose and the person he spoke to.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

    Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there's nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)



  2. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

    The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won't tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)



  3. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022



  5. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day



  6. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



  7. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day



  8. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  9. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  10. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  11. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  12. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  14. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  15. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  16. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  17. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  18. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  19. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  20. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  22. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  23. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day



  24. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  25. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  26. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  29. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  30. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”


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