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09.20.09

How Microsoft/ISO Took More Control of ODF

Posted in IBM, ISO, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, SUN at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MicrISOftSummary: The SC34 Bellevue Plenary Report is leaked to reveal what ISO had in mind when hosting a meeting in Microsoft’s own turf

ON SATURDAY we wrote about how Microsoft had put ODF under more control outside OASIS. Trips to Seattle tend to have this effect. Someone has just leaked to us the official SC34 Bellevue Plenary Report (there is also Seattle in there), which ought to have been public information had ISO actually been as transparent as it should be. Maybe it is already available somewhere, but we failed to find it.

ISO’s take on software patents is different from that of OASIS, so the report is passed around with this observation:

OPEN ISSUE: What is the IP status of Defect Reports and other communications submitted to OASIS via the TC liaison member? OASIS generally operates a slightly different IP policy to JTC 1. (Rob Weir to report back)

Microsoft has XML patents that are land mines and weapons of FUD. We wrote about this in:

Here is another reason for concern:

NB experts will be encouraged to participate in the responsible SC 34 WG, and to bring their ideas for amendment/revision to the WG, so that these can be discussed with the OASIS ODF TC and any agreed technical work can then be initiated in the ODF TC and worked on jointly by ODF TC and SC 34 experts, including the NB experts.

But SC34 is already a Microsoft-stuffed panel [1, 2]. They should be kept away from ODF. This group is given too much control over ODF, e.g.:

4. That SC 34 request OASIS to forward to SC 34 all necessary contributions to enable a subdivision of the project to align with ODF v1.1.

There is also this:

Recommendation to SC 34 Plenary

1. That SC 34 establish a new Working Group as follows:

Title: OpenDocument Format
Scope and Terms of reference: All SC 34 projects and activities relating to the maintenance of ISO/IEC 26300 OpenDocument Format.

Collaboration with the OASIS ODF TC in the maintenance of and other work exclusively related to ISO/IEC 26300, in accordance with the joint maintenance principles and procedures agreed by OASIS and JTC 1 (documents N 1148 and N 1149). This includes all projects and activities related to ISO/IEC 26300 previously carried out by WG 1 and Ad Hoc Group 3.

The rest is in the 25-page document [PDF], which shows how the regrettable decision came about.

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