02.09.10

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Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment Slams Microsoft OOXML

Posted in Europe, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Protest against OOXML

Summary: The authorities in Norway justify the country’s decision to reject Microsoft’s standards-hostile ploy

IT was almost 2 years ago that people of Norway were marching in the streets after Microsoft corruption. We wrote about the subject in:

According to this report from IDG, Norway’s final decision to stick with ODF was the correct one. It has received endorsement from the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment.

Microsoft’s XML-based office document format, OOXML, does not meet the requirements for governmental use, according to a new report published by the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (DIFI).

The agency wants to start a debate over the report as part of its work on standards in the Norwegian government.

For the Norwegian government, PDF is the recommended file format for publishing noneditable files, while Open Document Format (ODF), the native file format of productivity suites including the open-source OpenOffice.org, is the recommended format for publishing editable files. Versions of PDF, ODF and OOXML have all been adopted as international standards by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

“They are not implementing all parts of the OOXML standard, so he [technical director of Microsoft Denmark] is lying.”

Mogens Kühn Pedersen, chair of the Danish Standards Committee

One of our readers has highlighted this comment from the accompanying Slashdot item:

[OOXML] combines “OO” and “XML”, two of the most powerful buzzwords the computing industry has ever seen.

I’m not trying to be funny, either. You wouldn’t believe the number of managers I’ve had to deal with who see those terms, and go apeshit crazy about how good something is. Tell them your technology is “object-oriented”, and they’re sold. Then tell them it involves “XML”, and they absolutely can’t resist it.

Mind you, these people tend to not know a thing about the technical aspects of software development. They don’t know any programming languages, but are convinced that “object-oriented” is the ONLY way. They haven’t got a clue what an XML document even looks like, but insist that it can do anything.

The only thing managers these days slurp up more than “OO” and “XML” are “Web Services”. If Microsoft had named it OOXMLWebServices instead of just OOXML, ODF would’ve been destroyed years ago.

We have written about this deceiving name many times before. It’s also intended to make people (including via search engines) wrongly associate “Open Office” with “Office Open [OOXML]. Microsoft has used these shameless tricks for years.

“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

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