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09.11.10

Microsoft is Still Trolling ODF and Other Free Software Causes Using Fake ‘FOSS People’, OOXML Defects Ignored

Posted in Free/Libre Software, IBM, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 2:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MicrISOft

Image: stuffing-capable ISO

Summary: News about ODF, SC34 which is a farce, and some of the latest heckling from Microsoft proponents who masquerade as pro-openness or impartial

DESPITE interference from Microsoft intruders [1, 2], the OpenOffice.org conference in Hungary went pretty well based on numerous reports. People in attendance learned about the need for Open Document Format (ODF) and there are other pro-ODF articles in the press these days. The Guardian, for instance, is still making waves.

A good piece from the Guardian’s Charles Arthur yesterday, reporting teacher and Windsor & Maidenhead councillor Liam Maxwell’s analysis, of how much councils could save by switching to Open Document Format, as used in OpenOffice.org: some £200M if all councils did this for all their staff. There was some background to this, about the problems encountered by Windsor and Maidenhead, on Computer Weekly’s site on Wedensday.

The key stumbling block for councils, as for schools, appears to be compatibility with others systems, most notably those supplied by Capita. Liam calls for the Cabinet Office to strengthen its present position on open source and open standards by mandating ODF as a standards across the public sector, were this to happen I don’t doubt that we’d see Capita quickly make SIMS and their other products compatible with OpenOffice.org, making it far easier for schools and councils to choose their office suite from all those available, rather than forcing them to pay for MS Office, bundled with ‘features’ which many will rarely if ever use. Charles seems to think that such a requirement is far more likely with Francis Maude at the Cabinet Office than it had ever been under the previous administration, even in Tom Watson’s day.

Microsoft is not done throwing wrenches at ODF.

Bart Hanssens recently stated that “odf 1.2cd05 60-day review ended, comments received” (these comments are part of the openness of this system). Rob Weir, who works alongside Hanssens on ODF, found himself having to confront Microsoft minions again. Microsoft’s booster and insider Alex Brown, who was the BRM convenor for OOXML while he smeared ODF, is not being left alone by Weir, who writes about another scandalous SC34 (see coverage from SC34 in 2008 and SC34 in 2009): “If you are looking for OOXML defects to fix, how about going back to 100′s of NB issues you gaveled away at the BRM?”

Weir is then met by opposition from Brown’s longtime right-winger, the ODF-hostile Jesper Lund Stocholm [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. He is a known Microsoft booster and Weir’s responses to him go like this:

- “Are you saying that there are zero issues remaining from the OOXML ballot that should be addressed? Really? Zero?

- “So if I understand correctly, you are asking NB’s to resubmit defect reports for issues not resolved at the BRM?

- “It wasn’t clear. I assumed WG4 would look at the defects already submitted during BRM. You are saying they are not.

- “You should send note to all NBs telling them that they need to resubmit relevant defect reports from the OOXML ballot

- “With ODF we do it differently. Our defect log includes all ballot comments received for ODF 1.0. No need to resubmit

- “I understand how to submit comments. But I wasn’t aware that the previously submitted comments were being ignored.

- “Deferred ballot comments are either in WG4′s defect index or not. Simple question. What is the answer?

- “Earlier Alex suggested lack of interest explained the lack of comments. Maybe NBs think they have already submitted? I did.

“NB issues should be solved,” says the FFII to this booster (the FFII’s member also participated in squashing OOXML).

Watch Jesper Lund Stocholm belittling OpenOffice.org by implying that it’s a ripoff of Microsoft Office. Typical.

Weir finally responds to Brown by writing: “I’m not suggesting a new process. Just asking status of those defects. Sounds like they need to be resubmitted, right?”

“BRM comment processing rates can range from 0.5-1000 comments/hour,” says Weir to Mary McRae from OASIS (maintainer of ODF).

Not surprisingly, throughout this conversation the two Microsoft boosters (Microsoft is fronting with them) tried to defend Microsoft by attacking its competition. For instance, they turn to dismissing and attacking ODF, simply because they cannot defend their dirty handling of their proprietary OOXML. The conversations can be found in Twitter, so they don’t need additional exposure here.

Bart Hanssens adds: “The ironic thing is that Ecma never made public the public comments they received on OOXML. But for ODF this is an open book.”

On and on it went for a couple of days and at the end Weir gave up feeding those Microsoft minions. Microsoft rarely speaks directly about such issues, it just sends out MVPs or something else that may seem impartial to an outsider. Weir then posted a rant about ISO, which is captured by the vendor called Microsoft as far as document formats are concerned. To quote part of this rant:

We saw during the OOXML ballot, and especially at the BRM, how this totally fell apart. It was raised several times that Microsoft was dominating the committees, sometimes representing more than 50% of the people in the room. But ISO leadership dodged the issue, saying there was nothing they could do about it, based on their rules. This may be true. But that is just acknowledgment that their rules are not able to prevent domination problems.

And on Balance, ANSI says:

The standards development process should have a balance of interests. Participants from diverse interest categories shall be sought with the objective of achieving balance.

Like committees containing almost exclusively Microsoft Business Partners? Fail. In fact you can go up and down the list and ISO fails to meet these minimum requirements.

ISO got poisoned some years ago, at least the parts of ISO which Microsoft had to ‘stuff’ with workers who are in Microsoft’s pocket. We did give examples at the time. Other Microsoft minions are harassing the FFII right now, but the FFII is not alone among their victims. Microsoft Florian, for example, is labelling Eben Moglen “Fidel” (as in Castro) and calling him that many times. How low has Microsoft sunk in its battles against the SFLC/FSF? Microsoft’s MVP Miguel de Icaza is also attacking the FFII right now. Anyone who still believes that this man exists in the GNU/Linux world in order to serve an agenda not of Microsoft need look no further than some of this man’s most recent actions. He apparently still trolls ODF too. The FFII wrote to him: “Feel free to submit ODF1.2 bug reports to @rcweir and Oasis, 5 days to go.” There is increased friendship and collaboration between the Mono camp and Microsoft Florian, both of which attack the FFII, trying hard to cause trouble. Microsoft Florian maintains his rude habit of mass-mailing people to achieve his goals.

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