Bonum Certa Men Certa

Update on OOXML and Norway: How a Technical Panel of 7 Grew to 30!

"Before Paul and I started the company, we had been involved in some large-scale software projects that were real disasters. They just kept pouring people in, and nobody knew how they were going to stabilize the project. We swore to ourselves that we would do better."

--Bill Gates, Programmers at Work by
Susan Lammers (1986) ISBN 0914845713



"We've got to put a lot of money into changing behavior."

--Bill Gates



As you may be aware by now, Norway has been ahead of many when it comes to ODF adoption. Just months ago we spotted this report. Translated to English it stated:

Norway: ODF Must Be Used on Government Websites' Forms



Everyone should have equal access to public information: Open standards become compulsory within the government

The government has decided that all information on governmental websites should be available in the open formats HTML, PDF or ODF. With this decision the times when public documents where only available in Microsoft's Word-format is coming to an end.


We have already covered this here. To repeat some more citations from last year:

Norway and OOXML

There is now a report from Norway on how Microsoft rallied its partners to try to get a favorable vote on MSOOXML.


Despite these irregularities, Norway ended up voting "No" back in September.

Norway Decides: No with Comments on OOXML and a Hint from Hungary

Also in:

norway says no to ooxm

Standard Norge actually gives a conditioned yes to OOXML, but that's a big NO with comments.


As we explained or at least mentioned on several occasions recently [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], Norway's latest vote was a big fiasco. Some people are finally gathering evidence and putting it up for display. The list is very large. Here is just a small arbitrary portion.

[This is a draft written by Tobias Brox and may not reflect EFNs official point of view. Also edited by Geir Isene, same disclaimer]

List of "irregularities", possible irregularities and "dishonesty" in the Norwegian OOXML "war". Disclaimer: We're not implying that anyone has broken any laws - but a technical standard should be evolved and approved on it's technical merits, not by political or commercial pressure, nor from personal opinions from administrative staff in SN.
  • 2007: committee stuffing: the NS/K 185 committee grew from 6-7 persons to 30 persons due to the OOXML case...


So, the committee grew almost 5 times larger. Can anyone call this "normal"? Is this "regular" or "irregular"? Given the accusations from September 2007, should anyone be surprised at all?

Remember that OOXML is not a done deal yet, but Microsoft will spare no moment and waste this jubilation opportunity. It will most likely continue to celebrate while it lasts and give the impression that Microsoft Office is now a standard. Toby says a little more about it in this new video.



Update on 14/04/2008: the video above is now available as Ogg Theora.

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