Bonum Certa Men Certa

WHATIS: The OpenDocument Foundation

Whatis and Whatif

The following is nothing but a theory, but it is worth presenting nonetheless.

Let us begin with an antitrust court exhibit. From a leaked Microsoft document (Comes vs Microsoft trial, 2006):

"[Microsoft:] Gathering intelligence on enemy activities is critical to the success of the Slog. We need to know who their allies are and what differences exist between them and their allies (there are always sources of tension between allies), so that we can find ways to split ‘em apart Reading the trade press, lurking on newsgroups, attending conferences, and (above all) talking to ISVs is essential to gathering this intelligence."

Be aware that Gary Edwards and Marbux (of the organisation formerly known as "The OpenDocument Foundation" [1, 2]) have begun submitting links to their new site. They use Digg where they post elaborate comments about a decoy, a distraction. They comment on each other's submissions, which are barely receiving any attention at all. The OpenDocument Foundation's Web site has meanwhile become a link farm (inactive) with many inbound links. This is not very ordinary.

“At times, however, new people are introduced to intervene and create tensions, misunderstandings, and civil wars.”Also be aware that Microsoft tries to have its rivals fight against one another (BSD vs GPL, RMS vs Linus, Tanenbaum vs Linus, Sun vs Linux GNOME vs KDE etc. etc.). Watch the quote from the antitrust exhibit at the top again. The Foundation's work may therefore leave you suspicious.

There is a story behind some of the examples given here, e.g. a subtle bribe offered, which is provable. Knowing all the people at the Foundation, I know their intentions were good, but it is possible that their minds are being poisoned by an external source which deceives. Nobody knows for sure and it's extremely unlikely. At times, however, new people are introduced to intervene and create tensions, misunderstandings, and civil wars. This happens in many places. The next post will possibly provide another such example that is new (Apple turned against Linux).

Ironically, here we are doing the very same thing that we complain about (civil wars), but the take-home message is that whenever a civil war crops up, pause and ask yourself if an outside force is responsible for it in one way or another. If so, the issue must be raised and explored until it's resolved.

Timely quote again:

“A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me... It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this...”

--Andrew S Tanenbaum, father on MINIX



In other OOXML/ODF news, we continue to see signs of disorganisation ahead of the BRM.

Rather remarkably for a 6000-page specification, OOXML is on a fast track, but it has come into collision with over 3000 comments on that specification, many of them negative. The question is, how on earth can the national bodies (NB) who do the prodding, poking and voting, work their way through those comments to pick out the really key ones, and make sure that they get sorted before approval is contemplated?


That would be a good question if only it was possible to get access to these comments that affect virtually all of us. As we explained before, the process if closed and it is deeply flawed [1, 2, 3, 4]. Also see [1, 2, 3, 4].

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