Bonum Certa Men Certa

Some Unanswered Questions on OOXML

The following questions are merely open questions and they are not necessarily a request for answers. They hopefully explain our cause for concern. We chose not to speak about the "GNOME Foundation" (i.e. community as as a whole) because the Foundation itself remains divided on this issue.

The questions are not directed at anybody in particular, but those who support GNOME's current stance ought to take notice.

Question 1: Why do you not just come out completely against OOXML and unite the group which favours standards and software freedom? The specification is going through all types of changes and even more to come, according to the outcome of BRM. In that case, you might be wasting time now. In any case, GNOME is suffering for now reason. Some say that a "Black and White" approach is not a good stance for a community, and that it should not be Black. Please think how OOXML as an ISO is fair competition for ODF.

”Are you aware of the fact that Microsoft bloggers have used GNOME Gnumeric as an example of support for OOXML?“Question 2: Has it crossed the minds of those in position of authority to perhaps contact someone working in the community on ODF development or a standards expert before you just decided to participate in ECMA? That would have been a wise thing for authorities in an important FOSS Foundation to do.

Question 3: Are you aware of the fact that Microsoft bloggers have used GNOME Gnumeric as an example of support for OOXML?

Question 4: Jody Goldberg was working on implementing OOXML for Novell at ECMA and had already improved the specification. Then he wanted to join ECMA to just to get documents for GNOME. That does not make sense, does it?

Question 5: Knowing the ISO process, OOXML will go through many more changes before it is even approved, if ever. One does not even know what the final specification will look like or even if Microsoft will actually use it. Does that not seem like a waste of time for little or no advantage to GNOME?

I know, I know... Jeff Waugh will ask me why I posted these questions in public because they are not a comfortable thing to face, but let's just thrive in transparency rather than intercept messages (a 'knife the baby' attitude).

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