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White-Collar Crime Pays Off, Shows Microsoft OOXML

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML is fraud

Summary: OOXML scandals in France revisited; Microsoft blasted in Denmark over OOXML lies, reveals the Danish press

AS a reminder of what Microsoft did for OOXML in France, see the following older posts:

Reports are arriving now from France (mostly in French [1, 2, 3]) which suggest that major scandals — notably AFNOR — have paid off. There are protests over it, but Glyn Moody says about them: “in vain, of course”

FR: Advocacy group protests government’s approving of OOXML


France on 11 November published its Référentiel Général d’Interopératibilité (General interoperability framework for public administrations and local governments, RGI). To allow public administrators to exchange documents without trouble, the RGI recommends they use an ISO-approved document format based on XML. “Two such office formats coexist today, ODF (Open Document Format) and OOXML (Office Open XML).”

This is outrageous, but then again, Microsoft is above the law. European governments want ODF, but with Microsoft cronies among them (the new European Croniession for example), it’s not up for the people to decide.

As IBM’s Rob Weir and others like Mary McRae (OASIS) state, ODF 1.2 is just around the corner.

To OASIS members, Public Announce Lists:

The OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC has recently approved the following specification as a Committee Draft and approved the package for public review:

Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) Version 1.2

As we noted last week, Microsoft was accused of lying in Denmark and the Danish press is all over it, leading also to this response/clarification from Weir:

There is more OOXML controversy in the news, this time in Denmark. I don’t claim to understand all the nuances of the accusations, since I don’t read Danish, and Google Translates makes it sound at times like a discussion about loaves of rye bread or something, but the gist of it, as I can surmise from this account, is whether Office 2010 will “support the complete ISO-approved version of OOXML”. Microsoft’s spokesperson says it will. Mogens Kühn Pedersen, chair of the Danish Standards Committee, says it will not.


The problem you run into here is that there are really two different OOXML standards: the new and improved OOXML Strict conformance class, the one that was “sold” to ISO NBs, the one that garnered the approval votes, and then the old ugly one, the “haunted” specification, the Transitional conformance class, supported only by Microsoft Office. Anyone considering adopting OOXML should have perfect clarity as to which one they are adopting, especially since these are two very different standards, both formally and logically. Just as it is problematic to speak about OOXML support in a product without stating which conformance classes and targets are supported, it is equally a defect of any adoption policy to be loose in what version of OOXML is being proposed for adoption.

IMHO, if you must state a requirement for OOXML (along with ODF), at least specify it clearly, and state a requirement for “strict conformance” (meaning no extensions) of the Strict conformance classes of ISO/IEC 29500:2008. To do otherwise is to essentially specify a requirement for the use of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office alone.

Also from IBM there is this new article:

Summary: Writing a Web service that produces data in text format is quite simple, but users often prefer getting something they can work in, like spreadsheets. Producing ODF spreadsheets isn’t particularly complicated, and this article introduces some ways of doing so working with PHP and Python.

Sun and Nokia folks now write about the recent events that covered OpenOffice.org and ODF.

In the week of November 2nd I travelled to a little village in Italy called Orvieto. The reason for going to this lovely town is two conferences in a row.
The first one is the OpenDocument plugfest. The second is the openOffice.org conference, both of which were new experiences for me.

The ODF plugfest is a meeting where different implementors of a standard come together and come up with user scenarios and test how well they port between the implementations.
So you’ll see a document created in KWord being opened in OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office and investigations started when the resuls are not as expected.

It is abundantly clear that many countries, companies and products are involved in ODF. The same cannot be said about the proprietary Microsoft OOXML, which made an abomination out of ISO.

“The Norwegian [OOXML] affair was a scandal and we are still pursuing it. We haven’t given up hope of changing the vote back to No, and we hope people who experienced similar travesties in other countries will do the same.”

Steve Pepper

Novell coffee

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