09.11.07

Gemini version available ♊︎

ISO / JTC 1/SC 34 / OOXML: What is Really Going on There???

Posted in Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 1:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Standardisation efforts behind OOXML are not over and it would be naive to assume that they are. When a multi-billion dollar cash cow is at stake, people will work relentlessly and resort to dirty tricks. The closer we look at the latest details, the more irregularities appear. Yesterday, we said we would keep an eye on developments, so indeed we do. Here are some of the latest findings. You can explore a trail of previous incidents by following the hyperlinks (cross references in particular), thereby moving backward in time to get a broader and more complete picture.

Comment Recycling

Remember the alleged spamming of ANSI? Repeated comments that overwhelm decision makers in a very ineffective way? Watch the following:

The DIS 29500 ballot comments have been published on the SC34 web site (ZIP of Word documents).

Glancing through them, I am struck by how much is word-for-word identical between countries. Maybe countries shared comments (and certainly the open Wiki for UK comments may have been a source), or maybe some of the larger multi-national organisations reviewing DIS 29500 their fed pooled comments down to many different nations. Ultimately, though, the source of comments does not matter; what matters is whether they have technical merit.

The fact that Word format is used here (see jtc1sc34.org) gives away some possible biases. The remainder of this essay talks about the fact that the comment will not be effective when it comes to squashing deficiencies. Gross reuse, rather than independent thinking, leads to a situation where there is no constructive criticism. it’s just repeated criticism, whose scope is narrower, thus it’s easier to address. This begs the question: did the panels just ‘import’ some arguments? Were panelists thinking for themselves? The next bit reveals more disturbing evidence.

Assessment of a Misinformed Puppet

Good critics are strong critics. For good criticism, one must understand the position he or she defends. In the past, Microsoft was ‘caught’ sending non-technical people to introduce OOXML. It’s no coincidence. Such a strategy turns a discussion about technically poor specifications into a powwow about industrial ‘politics’.

If you thought that was bad, have a look at those who are supposed to be competent enough and party neutral. Look who is actually deciding on future formats.

One is the “I don’t understand” role. When the technical experts get going, they decide on something, and then they need to figure out how to word it in the specification. Making these experts come up with a good way of explaining the issue and the resolution is incredibly important, but often doesn’t happen as the others on the committee are too embarrassed to admit that they don’t understand.

[...]

In the end, technical committees need members who can talk to other people; who listen to a different point of view and can respectfully disagree; who can admit when someone has a better idea; and who can check their ego at the door.

Related & recent articles:

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  2. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap



  4. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)



  5. Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

    Links for the day



  6. [Meme] [Teaser] Benoît Battistelli, King of Iceland

    Later today we shall see how the current deputy of the head of the EPO‘s overseeing body was in fact likely rewarded for her complicity in Benoît Battistelli‘s abuses against EPO staff, including staff from Iceland



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 18, 2021



  8. Links 19/10/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.5 and Ubuntu 22.04 Now Developed

    Links for the day



  9. [Meme] [Teaser] Thrown Under the Bus

    Tomorrow we shall look at Danish enablers of unlawful EPO regulations, Jesper Kongstad and Anne Rejnhold Jørgensen



  10. The World Needs to Know What Many Austrians Already Know About Rude Liar, the Notorious 'Double-Dipper'

    Today we publish many translations (from German) about the Austrian double-dipper, who already became the subject of unfavourable press coverage in his home country; he’s partly responsible for crushing fundamental rights at the EPO under Benoît Battistelli‘s regime



  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper

    Friedrich ‘Rude Liar’ Rödler is notorious in the eyes of EPO staff, whom he was slandering and scandalising for ages while he himself was the real scandal



  12. Links 18/10/2021: Porteus Kiosk 5.3 and Ventoy 1.0.55

    Links for the day



  13. [Meme] [Teaser] More to Life Than Patents

    Greedy sociopaths oughtn’t be put in charge of patent offices; this is what’s dooming the EPO in recent years (all they think about is money



  14. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

    Microsoft contemplated buying GitHub 7.5 years ago; the goal wasn’t to actually support “Open Source” but to crush it from the inside and that’s what Microsoft has been doing over the past 2.5 years (we have some details from the inside)



  15. Links 18/10/2021: Linux 5.15 RC6 and 7 New Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] The Austrian School of Friedrich Rude Liar

    With reference to the Austrian School, let’s consider the fact that Friedrich Rude Liar might in fact be standing to personally gain by plundering the EPO‘s staff by demonising them while helping Benoît Battistelli crush them



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 17, 2021



  18. How (Simple Technical Steps) to Convince Yourself That DuckDuckGo is Just Spyware Connected to Microsoft, Falsely Advertised as 'Privacy'

    In recent days we published or republished some bits and pieces about what DuckDuckGo really is; the above reader dropped by to enlighten us and demonstrate just how easy it is to see what DuckDuckGo does even at the client side (with JavaScript); more people need to confront DuckDuckGo over this and warn colleagues/friends/family (there’s more here)



  19. Austria's Right-Wing Politicians Displaying Their Arrogance to EPO Examiners

    The EPO‘s current regime seems to be serving a money-hungry lobby of corrupt officials and pathological liars; tonight we focus on Austria



  20. [Meme] Friedrich Rödler's Increasingly Incomprehensible Debt Quagmire, Years Before EPO Money Was Trafficked Into the Stock Market

    As it turns out, numerous members of the Administrative Council of the EPO are abundantly corrupt and greedy; They falsely claim or selfishly pretend there’s a financial crisis and then moan about a "gap" that does not exist (unless one counts the illegal gambling, notably EPOTIF, which they approved), in turn recruiting or resorting to scabs that help improve ‘profit margins’



  21. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…

    Prior to the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regime the EPO‘s hard-working staff was slandered by a corrupt Austrian official, Mr. Rödler



  22. Links 17/10/2021: Blender 2.93.5, Microsoft Bailouts

    Links for the day



  23. Links 17/10/2021: GhostBSD 21.10.16 and Mattermost 6.0

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 16, 2021



  25. [Meme] First Illegally Banning Strikes, Then Illegally Taking Over Courts

    The vision of Team Battistelli/Campinos is a hostile takeover of the entire patent system, not just patent offices like the EPO; they’d stop at nothing to get there



  26. Portuguese Network of Enablers

    Instead of serving Portuguese people or serving thousands of EPO workers (including many who are Portuguese) the delegation from Portugal served the network of Campinos



  27. In Picture: After Billions Spent on Marketing, With Vista 11 Hype and Vapourware, No Real Gains for Windows

    The very latest figures from Web usage show that it’s hardly even a blip on the radar; Windows continues bleeding to death, not only in servers



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] Double-Dipping Friedrich Rödler

    As we shall see tomorrow night, the EPO regime was supported by a fair share of corrupt officials inside the Administrative Council



  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal

    How illegal “Strike Regulations” and regressive ‘reforms’ at the EPO, empowering Benoît Battistelli to the detriment of the Rule of Law, were ushered in by António Campinos and by Portugal 5 years before Campinos took Battistelli’s seat (and power he had given himself)



  30. Links 16/10/2021: SparkyLinux Turns 10 and Sculpt OS 21.10

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts