Bonum Certa Men Certa

ISO's and BSI's Trouble Has Just Gotten Greater

"The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting “standardization by corporation”, something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees. I am glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible. I wish my colleagues every success for their future efforts, which I sincerely hope will not prove to be as wasted as I fear they could be."

--Martin Bryan, ISO
Former Convenor of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1 (OOXML)



We have been hearing that more legal action might be on its way, but it is too early for details to be revealed. As you may recall from yesterday, the credibility of the BSI and ISO was put to the task. They face new challenges as conflicting interests continue to be found.

You can probably still remember that ISO's FAQ was pointless at best, if not plainly outrageous [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. The BSI's FAQ was self contradictory. The response was consistent in fact and by no means equivocal, although Updegrove used sarcasm to get the point across. some folks went as far as doing scientific rebuttals that should make ISO blush for deceiving the public. Here is the conclusion from Rob Weir:

For ISO, in a public relations pitch, to blithely suggest that several thousand page Fast Tracks are "not unusual" shows an audacious disregard for the truth and a lack of respect for a public that is looking for ISO to correct its errors, not blow smoke at them in a revisionist attempt to portray the DIS 29500 approval process as normal, acceptable or even legitimate. We should expect better from ISO and we should express disappointment in them when they let us down in our reasonable expectations of honesty. We don't expect this from Ecma. We don't expect this from Microsoft. But we should expect this from ISO.


Watch the figures in the page. A lot of work must have gone into producing them and they illustrate just how statistically impossible it is for OOXML to go through, unless something rotten was happening.

Criticism of ISO -- despite its great reverence -- is not something which only a few bloggers and 'courageous' journalists are willing to do. In fact, there are many comments from the public which support this. For example:

Re: ISO calls for end to OOXML 'personal attacks'

To accept OOXML is to live in the dank slimy hell of bureaucracy. To shaft ourselves. To fight it and push for clean and implementable standards is to boldly and generously begin an adventure into a brighter successful and enormously more effective future.


“It's time to chuck OOXML back at ECMA and Microsoft, both of which view this as a global game of money and power.”There are many more comments just like this. Heaps in fact. The small portion of the public that actually understands these matters has gone very vocal. Remember Norway and other street protests? When was the last time you saw people getting so passionate over standards, let alone about technology?

You may also wish to look back at the fiasco in India, where Microsoft's business partners are still being slammed for supporting the monopoly that suppresses many people. One of our readers, CoolGuy, lives in India and in light of Microsoft-enslaved (also slavery-imposing) companies voting blindly in favours of OOXML he warned about the reality behind such companies. They are reportedly misusing their workforce and the following brand-new article from India Daily says more about this.

Wipro Microsoft alliance is a shame for all Indians – alliance or slavery?



[...]

The alliance uses Microsoft technologies instead of challenging Gates in his own game. Wipro is just a servant of Microsoft facilitating Indian cyber slavery under the American corporate banners.


Remember that Wipro is among those who voted in favour of OOXML. Is there any crumb of decency and ethics left in such companies? It sure makes you wonder who makes decisions 'on behalf' of entire nations, whose government departments and academia vote more sensible (insistence on unilateral "No" to OOXML, at least in India). Look back at the beginning of this post and ponder the famous "follow the money" meme.

It's time to chuck OOXML back at ECMA and Microsoft, both of which view this as a global game of money and power. And lest we forget Jan "you are well paid, shut up" van den Beld from a Microsoft lobbying arm. ISO should do the right thing. It still can. It is a moral obligation.

ODF format
ODF as the only
ISO standard: this battle
is not over yet

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