10.19.07

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OOXML and ODF: Where Do We Go from Here with a Broken ISO?

Posted in Deception, ECMA, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 9:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As you stroll around various forums you’ll find that one thing is beginning to become very clear. ISO is broken and in order to repair the ISO, serious changes need to be made. The ISO is broken for two reasons:

  1. It seems to be biased in favour of a certain large company, as we showed many times in the past
  2. Its process is too open for benevolent intervention and therefore to manipulation as well

OpenISO was born some months ago in response to Microsoft’s manipulation in Switzerland. The OpenISO is not quite ready yet (the site lacks sufficient substance). However, we received some information from a reputable source which tells us that the ISO needs be overhauled. It’s matter of fixing a broken (existing) system or starting from scratch, which still seems like wishful thinking.

“The system assumes that all participants are gentlemen.”Ecma, by the way, is in a worse state 1, 2]. We ought to prepare ourselves for more pseudo standards coming from Ecma. Microsoft has them stacked up like cannon balls, for that whole ‘politically correct/suitable’ game. Increasingly, governments adopt stronger pro-open standards policies.

Novell loves moneyAccording to an unnamed source, the ISO’s rules are “based on the assumption that participants are acting in good faith. They are also biased towards making participation easy, in order to allow everyone affected by standards to have a voice in their creation.” How about cases where a company x (let us call it “Novell”) receives money from another company, y (for convenience, let us call it “Micro-Soft”) to support a standard which does not truly serve anyone? You get the picture.

Rob Weir made some similar observations some months ago. The system assumes that all participants are gentlemen. As someone who studies Microsoft’s behavior (far beyond standards in terms of scope), I am through being a gentleman in this game simply because thugs beat gentlemen as long as the broader (and broken) system prevails. It even boils down to economics and politics, which I try to avoid. These cannot be separated though.

What we are left with are at (least) three ways of fighting for standards and fair competition:

  1. Identify and make it the public’s common knowledge that Microsoft is gaming the system
  2. Promote open standards by word of mouth and by setting a good example
  3. Produce tools that facilitate and support truly open formats and standards

With regard to point (3), progress is being made. Yesterday I spotted the following neat tool which is Web-based.

The GooTrad (Beta) web application of the Traducindote project, is a OpenOffice Writer documents translator (OpenDocument format), which uses Google Translate.

Additionally, version 3.3 of Docvert was released some days ago.

Docvert takes word processor files (typically .doc) and converts them to OpenDocument and clean HTML.

[...]

It’s released under the GPL v3 so although it’s open source there’s no legal problems developing proprietary software ontop of it. The XML produced is easier to understand and more structured than the OOXML or .DOC formats.

Ensuring that OpenDocument prevails and spreads is ensuring the the market is fair, competitive, and in a healthy state that benefits the consumer. Anything else is likely to be greed-driven. Just ask Microsoft and it will admit this.

OOXML is a monopoly

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A Single Comment

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    October 19, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Gravatar

    I wonder what would happen if OOXML wins as the standard file format?

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