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O'Reilly and Microsoft Abandon Web Standards, 'Open' Web Foundation (OWF) Wants Them Redefined

Digital dreams



Summary: As HTML5 is approaching, vendors continue in their attempts to gain ownership and exclusivity over content using formats and protocols

MICROSOFT'S control of the media is an important subject because it leads to "perception management" [1, 2], as exemplified in the previous post. Glyn Moody reveals that "the Editor of The Next Web Italy, @Contz, is "Junior PR at Microsoft Italy"; tiny conflict of interest there, perhaps...?"



It's not just publications as such which are affected by Microsoft marketing people. O'Reilly and Microsoft decided to work together some months ago and now we find that O'Reilly is abandoning web standards and requiring that Web users install proprietary software to read books.

Safaribooks online were availabe in HTML-View for a long time and were accessible with free software.

Now the O'Reilly Safari team has decided to stop this and deliver online books in Adobe flash format only for online reading. As expected gnash does not work.

This means reading and browsing O'Reilly books online is no more possible with free software.


This is not about Microsoft, but it shows that O'Reilly lost its way. From a UNIX/Linux-oriented (and thus standards-friendly) origin it found its way into "Web 2.0" and other such abstract nonsense.

Speaking of standards, Microsoft starts talking about Internet Explorer 9, which is another departure further away from web standards (DirectX in addition to XAML and ActiveX). Microsoft just cannot permit the World Wide Web to be interoperable.

Glyn Moody shares this new article about HTML5 and also looks with concern at the Open Web Foundation, where "open" is a deceiving term (Orwell must love this!).

The great promise of HTML5 is that it will turn the web into a full-fledged computing platform awash with video, animation and real-time interactions, yet free of the hacks and plug-ins common today.

While the language itself is almost fully baked, HTML5 won’t fully arrive for at least another two years, according to one of the men charged with its design.


In the mean time, Moody shows why the Open Web Foundation is not on the good side.

But independently of these details, there's another big problem with the Open Web Foundation. The Mozilla Foundation has been pushing the idea of the Open Web for some time now; the appearance of this new foundation, with its agreement, is likely to muddy the waters around the concept of the open Web considerably. But then, that's maybe what some companies involved in the OWF want...


Heise has some more coverage of the OWF.

"Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also."

--Bill Gates [PDF]

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