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

09.19.09

ODF: Microsoft Gets Its Way in Seattle, Washington

Posted in Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, SUN at 3:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mars attacks alien
“We come in peace”

Summary: OpenDocument Format (ODF) falls further into the hands of the already-corrupted ISO after a meeting that Microsoft was hosting

THE previous post showed that ODF is gaining (there is a Japanese translation in progress, which looks like this), but there is one company standing in the way, as always. Lacking desire to inter-operate with ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] (Office 2010 will still lack proper ODF support), Microsoft tries to bring this debate closer to home, as we last mentioned here. The plenary meeting of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 is taking place in Bellevue or Seattle, as planned all along. It’s almost as if Microsoft is to be the centre of ODF this time around and those in attendance include Microsoft folks like Alex Brown [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21], who is delighted to “create a new working group (WG 6) dedicated to servicing its responsibilities for #ODF maintenance.” Jomar Silva might become a member, but who else?

ISO standards for saleIt sure sounds like that dreaded attempt of ISO/Microsoft to take control of ODF, at the expense of OASIS. SC34 is already stuffed with Microsoft people [1, 2], most of whom have their interests disguised. It’s worth remembering that this is an SC34 meeting near Microsoft which is responsible for everything and it’s Microsoft employees who seem most pleased. Henrion from FFII is rightly angry, arguing that one should “Scrap ISO. They have a stupid system of physical meetings around the planet. I don´t have the money to travel to such meetings.”

This SC34 meeting at Microsoft sure seems to have served as a stepping stone in the hijack of ODF, which Groklaw warned about one year ago. Simon Phipps from Sun is seemingly unhappy. He asks Brown (Microsoft mole and OOXML convenor): “What responsibility does SC34 have for ODF beyond forwarding mail to OASIS?” Later he tells a Microsoft employee: “SC34′s role in ODF maintenance probably matches the Linux Foundation’s role in Windows maintenance following your kernel code drop”

Phipps is referring to this incident, which we last mentioned here. Rob Weir just posts this Q&A, leaving no clear indication of how he feels about this development, into which he could as well be pressured. “Rob Weir tells more than we probably want to know,” argues Glyn Moody.

Question: So who owns ODF maintenance?

Rob: The OASIS ODF TC owns the maintenance of the OASIS ODF standard, and WG6 will own this activity for the equivalent ISO/IEC text. However, neither committee has absolute freedom of action, both being governed by applicable procedural rules of their parent organizations, as well as various joint agreements between OASIS and JTC1.

Given the corruption at ISO [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], is this a safe bet? How did it come about and whose proposal was it?

NZOSS has also just reminded the world of XML and OOXML patents from Microsoft. This is a subject that we wrote about in:

Here is a new video from NZOSS (as Ogg Theora or Flash):


Direct link

Charles from the OpenOffice.org community had this to say:

I remember that a while ago, as I was attending a heated debate on the (in)famous standardization of OOXML. As we were arguing with Microsoft on some specification details, I happened to state all aloud that when it came to this level of security (the topic at hand was security), I had my concerns about the encryption algorithms used by the specification but that in a general sense, security relied much more on the application using the format and the underlying operating system’s level of security. I went on to say that for the specific portion of the draft we were studying, it was perhaps not necessary to waste time in fruitless discussion topics including the behavior of OOXML documents in a computer undergoing a nuclear attack and being stored on a computer facing a zero-day exploit at the same time.

The response from one of the Microsoft spokesperson (I’m coining the term spokesperson, because that’s what most of them were) was a mix of surprise and sarcasm: “Everything happens, today you agreed with us!”. And indeed, I agreed that we should continue to parse the 6000 pages-long draft.

[...]

First, one has to realize that what happened with Novell was a serious attack against free and open source software, but although it was serious, it never really had any major impact on the community itself. What I mean by this is not that it did not have any real and damageable impact on IT companies or OEMs that ended up signing phony IPR deals with Microsoft. I mean by this that when you step back, you end up realizing that even the divide it caused inside the community is not that big. There is no one “Novell Community” and one “FSF Community”. That simply never existed except perhaps in the mind of some Mono architects. Even the Ximian bunch is very much on its own; influential because of monthly salaries, and time to devout to their pet projects and an historical ties to Gnome. But aside this, the impact of the Novell agreement with Microsoft did not create the “grand schism” many feared or wished at that time.

[...]

That is, I believe, the essence of the Codeplex foundation that is described here. Forget the code for a moment, and you might come to the conclusion that either Microsoft wants to impose its views on patents and copyrights, or it genuinely wants to have a fruitful conversation with the free and open source software community. The former is only surprising as it shows a different approach, but if that’s what they’re looking to achieve I am afraid that unless this foundation comes out with the most radically innovative ideas in the field of IPR, it will fail, for the first reason I outlined much above: Nobody will follow them, except people and constituencies who have an economic incentive to do that. What is left, then, if not the latter hypothesis? Interesting times are ahead of us in this case.

Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation is still seen as undesirable by the Free software community. It’s a subject we covered in:

The next few posts will carry on along the same theme. Microsoft’s bear hugs are merely attempts to take control of its very own opposition, thus diffusing it.

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

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 25/10/2020: GNU Taler's IETF Milestone, RISC OS 5.28 and New Ubuntu Community Council

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 24, 2020



  3. Links 24/10/2020: GDB 10.1, Kodachi 7.4, Wine 5.20

    Links for the day



  4. Celebrating Code of Conduct Violations

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  5. The Militarised Elephant in the Room Still Commands a Lot of Free Software Development

    We take a difficult (albeit in-depth and perfectly factual) look at IBM's past and present; considering this is the company that controls Red Hat (which in turn controls many key projects in GNU/Linux) we need a better understanding of the real context, not PR fluff and marketing



  6. Juve Patent's Love of Patent Trolls and Their Misinformation

    The press 'gutter' known as Juve (basically propaganda disguised as 'news' since years ago) has gotten to the point where the publisher is just an extension of lawyers and liars



  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, October 23, 2020



  8. Look How Many Tux I Give!

    "Long live rms, long live (Hyperbola) GNU/BSD, and happy hacking."



  9. Embrace, Extend, and Extensions: Two New Reasons to Delete GitHub, Which Microsoft Ruined for Everyone (Except the Copyright Cartel and Other Censors)

    GitHub is being turned into a garbage dump with malicious masters (or monsters, or mobsters); many people are denied access for using the 'wrong' browser and developers/projects are being censored (not for doing anything wrong or illegal, either)



  10. [Meme] When EPO Staff Claims to be 'Ill' or 'Sick'... During a Pandemic's European Peak

    Gotta check and verify that those 'lazy' EPO examiners aren't just faking being ill (in order to not meet "production" targets)



  11. The EPO Has Relegated or Lowered Itself to Extremely Poor Standards

    Today's EPO continues to reaffirm the image of global weakness; having failed to improve the working conditions and quality of the work (its actions did the exact opposite), it's nowadays begging China to send over lots of workload irrespective of quality or merit and it is outsourcing the functions of the Office to the United States



  12. Links 23/10/2020: Turing Pi 2, GNU Parallel 20201022

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 22, 2020



  14. Links 23/10/2020: 'Groovy Gorilla' Everywhere in the News

    Links for the day



  15. For Better 'Tech Rights' in the United States (and the World at Large) the 'Orange Man' Needs to Go

    With less than a fortnight before election day we explain our stance from a purely tech-related rationale



  16. [Meme] Microsoft Never 'Brought' Skype to GNU/Linux (It Just Bought Skype) and It Never 'Brought' Edge to GNU/Linux Either (Google Did)

    Foolish media or gullible 'journalists' are giving Microsoft credit for other people's work; this isn't the first time either, but it helps perpetuate lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" (so who cares about facts anyway?)



  17. It's Going to be a Long, Long Winter

    Today we revert back to lock-down mode; we're reflecting and pondering what comes next



  18. TechRadar is an Irresponsible Clickbait and Misinformation Site Disguised as 'News'

    TechRadar is no tech and no radar, either. It's just an opportunistic click-harvesting machine, disguised as a source of "news"; today we deal with the latest example (among many).



  19. Links 22/10/2020: LibreOffice 6.4.7, Septor 2020.5, Ubuntu 20.10 Released, FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 21, 2020



  21. Living Humbly (With Older Technology or None) is More Compatible With Privacy- and Freedom-Respecting Technological Lifestyle

    Simplicity sometimes trumps so-called 'novelty', especially when it comes to human rights and users' freedom



  22. Reasons Why You (and Everybody Else) Should Join the Fight for Software Freedom

    Society is being closely watched and controlled (more so during/after the latest pandemic) and people must carefully consider the true importance of resisting proprietary technology (controlled remotely by state actors)



  23. Ways and Means to Reduce One's Dependency on Google's Various Monopolies and Near-Monopolies

    Getting rid of Google means a lot more than embracing DumbDumbGo (DDG) or some other sites that spy just like Google; we're taking stock of some options



  24. The European Commission is Still M.I.A. Regarding EPO Corruption (and the EPO's Management Plays Dirty, as Always)

    There's no change in the EU; the EUIPO and EPO enjoy complete and total immunity/impunity, with the Commission being manned by those who are deeply complicit



  25. 10 Reasons Why All This 'Edge for Linux' Coverage is a Total Farce

    The fake hype surrounding "Edge" is an inauthentic hype/buzz campaign made to coincide with anti-Google sentiments spread by Microsoft front/pressure groups



  26. Microsoft's IIS Has Collapsed Again This Past Month (and IIS Will Not and Cannot Survive This Way)

    Netcraft shows that Microsoft's decline further accelerates in the Web servers space; IIS is becoming financially unviable



  27. Links 21/10/2020: Alpine 3.12.1, Tor Browser 10.0.2

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] US Department of Justice Should Have Taken on Microsoft Again, Not Google

    When lobbying, connections and political sway determine the actions of the American government it's hardly surprising that Bill Gates gets the Trump administration to fight for him (to make him even richer)



  29. [Meme] Banning Words, Gaslighting Volunteers

    What happens when institutions are themselves in violation of a CoC (institutional violation) and massive corporations that fund such institutional violations are defending demonisation of the individual (squashing ‘uncomfortable’ voices, even volunteers’)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 20, 2020


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