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 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

What Else is New


  1. Management by Intimidation Has Caused Deaths at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An accurate diagnosis of the conditions created at the European Patent Office (EPO) by Benoît Battistelli and his cronies, who have essentially hijacked the Organisation -- not just the Office -- then attacked every 'enemy', either real or perceived



  2. The Difference Between Alain Pompidou and Benoît Battistelli as EPO President

    The different approaches adopted by Pompidou and Battistelli; one pursued amicable mediation and training, whereas the other resorted to vindicative witch-hunts, kangaroo courts, and a culture of terror which resulted in many suicides



  3. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part IV: Links Between CGD (Former Employer of António Campinos) and the INPI

    More information about connections between CGD and the Portuguese Intellectual Property Office (INPI)



  4. Links 21/10/2017: Purism Against ME, Pop!_OS Ready

    Links for the day



  5. US Patents Appeal Board Attacked by the Patent 'Industry', Defended by Federal Courts, and Dodged by Patent Trolls

    PTAB, the branch or the 'court' responsible for eliminating bad patents, is coming under attacks from those who rely on poor patent quality and receives praises from everyone else, as usual



  6. In the United States, the Patent 'Industry' is a Dying Breed and China Adopts This Destructive Force

    The decaying patent microcosm, or the pipeline of low-quality patents and frivolous lawsuits these entail, loses its grip on the US; China, much to the astonishment of people who actually create things, is attempting to attract that ruinous microcosm (which preys on real, producing companies)



  7. Microsoft and Nokia's Patent Trolls by Proxy: First Conversant, Now Provenance Asset Group Holdings LLC

    Microsoft's shell game with patents (passing Android-hostile patents to trolls) carries on and publishers funded by these trolls offer the details, albeit vaguely and with obvious spin



  8. Anonymous Professionals Speak of Benoît Battistelli's Destruction of the EPO, But Why Does the Media Turn a Blind Eye?

    Everyone in the circles of EPO staff and EPO stakeholders knows that dysfunction has become the norm; European media, however, remains suspiciously silent about what otherwise would be a major European scandal (bigger than FIFA or Dieselgate)



  9. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part III: More Details About Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Former Employer of Campinos

    The side of Campinos which he prefers to conceal, or rather his association with a rather notorious Portuguese bank



  10. UPC Looks Like More of a Distant Dream (or Nightmare) as Germany Adds Another Two Months' Delay

    The likelihood that the UPC will be altogether scuttled is growing as delays keep piling up and more complaints are being filed by public interest groups (as opposed to Team UPC, which hoped to shove the UPCA down everyone's throats behind closed doors)



  11. Patent Trolls Roundup: BlackBerry, Dominion Harbor, IPNav, IP Bridge

    A quick review of recent news regarding patent trolls or entities which resemble (and sometimes feed) these



  12. Battistelli's Destruction of the EPO is Bad for Everyone, Even Patent Attorneys

    The collapse of the European patent system, owing primarily to Battistelli's totalitarian style and deemphasis on patent quality, means that "the war is lost," as one professional puts it



  13. Links 19/10/2017: Mesa 17.2.3, New Ubuntu Release, Samsung Flirts With GNU/Linux Desktops

    Links for the day



  14. Some of the USPTO's Most Ridiculous Patents Are Scrutinised by “Above the Law” While Dennis Crouch Attempts to Tarnish Alice

    Controversies over patent scope and level of novelty required for a patent; as usual, public interest groups try to restrict patent scope, whereas those who make money out of abundance of patents attempt to remove every barrier



  15. Microsoft's Software Patents Aggression in Court (Corel Again)

    Microsoft's tendency to not only abuse the competition but also to destroy it with patent lawsuits as seen in Corel's case



  16. The Spanish Supreme Court Rejects the EPO's “Problem and Solution Approach” While Quality of European Patents Nosedives

    European Patents (EPs) aren't what they used to be and their credibility is being further eroded and even detected as such



  17. Europe is Being Robbed by Team Battistelli and the UPC/PPH Would Make Things Worse

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has put litigation at the forefront, having implicitly decided to no longer bother with proper patent examination and instead issue lots of patents for judges and lawyers to argue about (at great expense to the public)



  18. Team UPC Continues to Promote Illusion of UPC Progress Where There's None

    The core members of Team UPC in the UK spread obvious falsehoods in the media, probably in an effort to attract 'business' (consultation regarding something that does not exist)



  19. António Campinos: A True EPO Reformer or More of the Same?

    More unfortunate reminders that Campinos and Battistelli don't quite diverge on the big issues, they're just more than two decades apart in age (but the same nationality)



  20. Juve Has Confirmed That António Campinos is French

    The relationship between Campinos and Battistelli has a nationality aspect to it, not even taking into account the interpersonal connection which goes a long way back



  21. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part II: António Campinos at Banco Caixa Geral de Depósitos

    A look at the largely-hidden banking career of the next President of the EPO and the career of the person who competed with him for this position



  22. SUEPO to the Media, Regarding Campinos: “No Comment, It’s Too Dangerous”

    António Campinos, who is Benoît Battistelli's chosen successor at the EPO, as covered by German media earlier this month



  23. Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Willing to Work With Campinos But Foresees Difficulties

    New message from SUEPO regarding Battistelli's successor of choice (Campinos)



  24. Links 18/10/2017: GTK+ 3.92, Microsoft Bug Doors Leaked

    Links for the day



  25. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part I: Introduction

    Some new details about Mr. Campinos, who is Battistelli’s successor at the EPO



  26. Confessions of EPO Insiders Reveal That European Patents (EPs) Have Lost Their Legitimacy/Value Due to Battistelli's Policies

    A much-discussed topic at the EPO is now the ever-declining quality of granted patents, which make or break patent offices because quality justifies high costs (searches, applications, renewals and so on)



  27. Patent Firms From the United States Try Hard to Push the Unitary Patent (UPC), Which Would Foment Litigation Wars in Europe

    The UPC push seems to be coming from firms which not only fail to represent public interests but are not even European



  28. In the Age of Alice and PTAB There is No Reason to Pursue Software Patents in the United States (Not Anymore)

    The appeal board in the US (PTAB) combined with a key decision of the Supreme Court may mean that even at a very low cost software patents can be invalidated upon demand (petition) and, failing that, the courts will invalidate these



  29. IAM is Wrong, the Narrative Isn't Changing, Except in the Battistelli-Funded (at EPO's Expense) Financial Times

    The desperate attempts to change the narrative in the press culminate in nothing more than yet another misleading article from Rana Foroohar and some rants from Watchtroll



  30. The Federal Circuit Continues Squashing Software Patents

    Under the leadership of Sharon Prost the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues its war on software patents, making it very hard to remember the last time it tolerated any


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts