Bonum Certa Men Certa

Shame on You ISO, Shame On You. Total Disgrace.

ECMA 2.0 in the making, captured by ambitious monopolists

A gentler way to put this would be hard to find because ISO continues to show what a disgrace it has become. It was given a chance to change. It was given a chance to listen to polite critics and respond sensibly. It was given a chance to tell the world that it had been captured. But no. Despite its admission that OOXML is poor, it thinks of ODF and OOXML as a case of survival and competition, having approved a second and muchly inferior set of specifications that are GPL-hostile, vendor-specific, messy to the point of being unimplementable (buggy legacy as part of the 'standard'), pushed forward by well-documented corruption and so forth.

Brief coverage of the latest you can find in the Inquirer, which picked out some more alarming bits.

Otherwise, the body expects Microsoft's OOXML and the open source ODF document formats to face one another in a direct competition for "survival". The outcome will be decided by the market, it said.

[...]

If Microsoft doesn't misbehave, the standards body said that the standards would be left to prove themselves: "After a period of co-existence, it is basically the market that decides which survives," a spokesman said.


Remember what we were told by a credible source recently about Microsoft's likely attempts to pressure out ODF. As we already know, Microsoft spends obscene amounts of money trying to achieve that goal. It goes as far as offering businesses incentives to choose OOXML over ODF. The same goes for developers such as those at Novell. It makes Novell a big part of this problem and also a Microsoft partner against ODF, against competition. Obligatory banner below.

Bad Novell



Groklaw makes some more comments on these latest bits from ISO. PJ is equally disappointed.

Dear ISO, damage control doesn't work, if you let the damage remain. That's like putting out a statement that if an oil spill you caused does any damage in the future, you'll clean it up right away, but for now, you'll leave the spill in place and wait to see what happens going forward. Oil spills need to be cleaned up before they do more damage.

[...]

There is a difference between market *place* and market *players*. Microsoft is a player, and we all saw how fairly they play. The market place tried to speak, and we were called emotional or secret operatives for a market player. For shame, ISO, for shame. So, after the monopoly-distorted market "chooses" OOXML and "kills" ODF, as the FAQ suggests, I'm sure ISO will withdraw OOXML. Not. And even if it did, the poor victim of Microsoft's litigation pincer move will not benefit. It will be too late.

[...]

I am sure you are relieved to hear it. Anyway, now you know. If Microsoft plays dirty with patents, ISO might withdraw OOXML as a standard. And as we've seen watching the OOXML standards process play out, when ISO says something, they reeeeeally, reeealy mean it.


ISO seems unwilling to change its behaviour. Many times before it was caught disobeying rules and then and then attempting to sweep everything under the rug. This mustn't be the way the International Standards Organisation operates. It's an big embarrassment whose scale is global.

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