Bonum Certa Men Certa

Interoperability is Not Open Standards

Novell could have relied only on open standards for server communication, exchange of documents, and so forth. Instead, Novell settled for translation, access to closed source code, patent covenants, and secret formats. It chose a greedy mind's route, which involves exchange of money for an access approach that does not properly isolate formats from applications. Platform gaps remain.

This ongoing debate comes to show the difference in mentality at Red Hat and Novell, to use just one example. It inspired me to write a short article on the importance of a single, unified, vendor-independent format. I decided to address the importance of standards in migration to Linux. This is a very hot debate these days. Its relevance is likely to culminate and end next week. Massachusetts decides on document standards on Friday.

Meanwhile, Rob Weir tells us that OOXML has suffered a setback.

On Friday July 13th, INCITS V1 met via teleconference for 3 hours but failed to reach a 2/3 consensus necessary to recommend an "Approval, with comments" position on Microsoft "Office Open XML" (OOXML) document specification.


More on this in Andy Updegrove's standards blog.

As significantly, Rob reports that a very dramatic increase in the membership of V1 was observed in the months leading up to the vote – most of whom were coincidentally were representatives of Microsoft business partners, and the great majority of whom voted as a block in favor of advancing the specification in a manner that would permit, and against any vote that would prevent, final approval as an ISO/IEC standard.


There have been other cases where Microsoft sent its own people to overwhelm committees or stuff the ballots.

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