04.12.08

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OpenDocument Format Already a Winner in Brazil, Philippines Named for OOXML Irregularities

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 12:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

One that learns and another which has a lot of learning left to do

There has been many success stories for GNU/Linux in Brazil recently. To name just some very new examples:

You will probably be pleased to hear the news from a delegate who attended (and later spilled the beans on) the secretive BRM in Geneva.

ODF is now a Brazilian Standard: NBR ISO/IEC 26300 !!!

On the afternoon of last Tuesday (08/04), the final translated version of the ISO/IEC 26300 was approved by members of the ABNT’s committee responsible for that activity.

According to the Brazilian laws, a National Standard needs to be written on our native language (Brazilian Portuguese) and this is why we need to translate and approve the translated text of any International Standard that is adopted as a Brazilian Standard (called here NBR). ABNT is the Brazilian National Body (NB) and handles all standardization efforts in Brazil.

Needless to say, this is nothing to sneeze at. Remember that Brazil is one of the world’s largest populations. The larger ones said "No" to OOXML as well.

Meanwhile, the integrity of the process in the Philippines is being questioned again. It’s far from the first time and we have given more examples from the Philippines in many past writings, including:

It’s not over yet. Add the following news report to the heaps of evidence of irregularities in the Philippines (emphasis is ours).

BPS director Jesus Motoomull said in a telephone interview that the agency created a technical committee led by the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) to address seven technical comments that had initially led to a “no” vote with comments by the Philippines.

The country, through the BPS, eventually voted “yes” based on a consensus gathered from the members of the technical committee led by the CICT, he said.

“It was not just a BPS vote,” Motoomull said, as he reiterated that the BPS has always voted based on consensus from local stakeholders. He denied that Microsoft had any influence on the agency’s vote.

[...]

University of the Philippines Department of Computer Science professor Prospero Naval, however, was not satisfied with the way the country changed its vote.

“There were a lot of things that were not addressed,” said Naval who was a member of a technical committee led by CICT. He was among those who voted against the Open XML format.

Naval stressed that while he is not against Microsoft, he wants the BPS to explain how they changed their vote.

“I will accept a ‘yes’ vote but they should show me the proof. BPS did not explain that,” he said.

“If the seven comments were addressed, why don’t they publish it? They should be open to the public,” he said.

The latter bit which is quoted above makes it sound a great deal like irregularities at the BSI, which is, according to our count, under at least 4 attacks/investigations at the moment (EU investigation, British computer professionals, formal complaint from the OSC, John Pugh, MP). This is not good for the BSI and in case someone in the Philippines takes the initiative, there might be plenty to find there too.

Who are Microsoft and its partners kidding? With an embargo and a migration plan to GNU/Linux on the table of the European Parliament, the worst Microsoft can do at the moment is persist with bad behaviour. You don’t make business by making enemies.

Related: How the Philippines Changed Its OOXML Vote from No to Yes

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