Bonum Certa Men Certa

Absurdity in Pictures -- What on Earth Has Novell Just Committed Itself To?

Some things need to be seen in order for their complexity to be realised. OOXML is one such thing. Have a look at the picture in the following new Web page. Here is some text which accompanies it:

Can you imagine better way to spend 4 hours of your Friday afternoon time than discussing OOXML problems with non-techies from Microsoft?

[...]

I have read approx. 200 pages of the specification and I decided to stop, because it is dangerous. The ideas presented in various parts of the specification (like two ways to represent the date - one of them representing dates between 1900 and 20000 and another one to represent dates between 1904 and 20000 where the second one is a complete subset of the first one!) are dangerous to the mental health of the reader. The innovative method of storing the language code (e.g. the decimal integer 58380 into two digit hexadecimal number) is also worth a world-wide patent...

I simply can't believe that developers and or TC45 members from Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, Toshiba, and the United States Library of Congress actually read the final document. I can't believe it. If I ever write such document, I surely won't sign it by my name. Why?


Imagine implementing, testing, and optimising this incomplete set of specifications, which is being 'extended'. Novell has actually given Microsoft some backing by agreeing to do this (the impossible mission, but someone must pretend it's pursueable, right?).

To make matters worse, Microsoft continues to snub an ISO standard. ODF is a standard which Novell defended before it negotiated with Microsoft. Mind you, Microsoft has no intentions to support ODF, yet it seems to expect Novell to implement what can never be implemented. According to this new item:

As the friction between ODF and OXML continues to bubble, Nick McGrath, Microsoft's director of platform strategy, has gone on record dismissing ODF as a potential solution for Microsoft, even as the company backs ODF for ANSI accreditation.


As it stands, Novell continues to give its support to monopoly abuse and wastes its resources trying to achieve something which it never will. Is the company being manipulated as means of promoting something which almost no nation desires, let alone is willing to accept? Time and time again, when it comes to protocols and formats, Novell passively nods on behalf of and in support of its new ally.

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