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ISO Puts OOXML On Hold

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the system-is-working dept.

Software 138

schliz alerts us that ISO, in response to the four appeals (Venezuela, India, Brazil, South Africa) filed in recent weeks, has put the OOXML standardization process on hold. Here is ISO's press release, which says that ISO/IEC DIS 29500 will not be published for at least "several months" while the appeals process goes forward.
Update: 06/11 10:13 GMT by KD : Reader Alsee points out that the fourth officially recognized appealing country is Venezuela, not Denmark as originally stated. The protests of Denmark and Norway are being disregarded, as they do not come from the administrative heads of their national organizations.

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Wow (4, Interesting)

sheepweevil (1036936) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737145)

Maybe the ISO hasn't been bought off totally. They actually made a rational decision about OOXML.

Re:Wow (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737263)

They didnt make any "decision" at all. From TFA:

According to the ISO/IEC rules, a document which is the subject of an appeal cannot be published as an ISO/IEC International Standard while the appeal is going on.
They're just doing what they have to.

Minor correction. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737401)

They're just doing what they have to.
Not even that.

This could all be another fake "evaluation" like the others were.

Just because they appear to be going through the steps that they're required to ... doesn't mean that they're still not bought and paid for.

Until ISO can PUBLICLY state the errors that were made and WHO made those "errors" AND take action against those individuals they can not be trusted. Not even to follow the procedures that their own rules require of them.

They didn't follow them when they were fast-tracking this. There is no reason to believe that this time will be any different.

If only I could cry nonsense (4, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737887)

Alas I fear I cannot. I find myself tending towards the belief that Microsoft will stop at nothing to get their ISO standard assigned, even if it means the destruction of the credibility of ISO itself.

Mind you, if ISO is so vulnerable this does beg the question 'is it still relevant?'

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (4, Insightful)

TrixX (187353) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738113)

Mind you, if ISO is so vulnerable this does beg the question 'is it still relevant?'

Perhaps not for you and me, but as long as people in decision-making positions consider "ISO standard" as relevant, it is automatically relevant.

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (2, Interesting)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23740879)

Does anyone here know if adoption of ISO standards have any insurance/liability implications? In my experience, those are the only two words that management actually listen to. E.g., Using UL-approved devices limit your liability to some extent, because people trust their judgment. Bad ISO standards undermine that trust, but if there are no repercussions for using bad standards, then I do not see how their relevance would diminish.

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (4, Insightful)

wish bot (265150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23741847)

It's more of a best practice thing, as the codes tend to be performance based. For example, if I designed a pedestrian bridge to meet the structural codes but something went wrong - it would still be my fault, not ISO's.

You can think of them as the tested minimum (with generous safety margins!) to meet certain criteria. So they're good as a guide, and non-experts will require the standards to be met to be able to 'certify' something as complete/fit for purpose/etc.

However, what's at stake is that it is now possible for 'you' to establish an ISO standard that only YOU are capable of implementing. It's not so much that this is a 'bad' standard, but that it's not a standard in anything other than name.

It shows that industry can control the standards process to their own benefit when it is supposed to be independent and neutral. So, you should have just listened to Microsoft in the first place and bought Office 20xx for the next 10 years because the rep TOLD YOU SO.

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23741961)

For the private sector? The technical problems in OOXML will restrict competition and provide inaccurate mathematical results (risk to organisational data) [robweir.com] , and there are accessibility problems which causes a non-accessible work place. Those last two might be reasons for the private sector to worry about liability. It's probably too early for insurance ideas about OOXML.

The public sector has those concerns too (especially accessibility wrt equality/human-rights), but it's also to do with not favouring one company over another (just like web standards) and OOXML clearly favours one company in that the specification has undisclosed information that can only be explained by Microsoft [robweir.com] .

Does that help answer your question?

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (4, Funny)

SendBot (29932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738143)

Mind you, if ISO is so vulnerable this does beg the question 'is it still relevant?'
Maybe they're just better for things like high voltage electrical connections or things that are otherwise very safety-oriented (read: can catch on fire).

When it comes to things that could save nation-states guhzillions of dollars and maybe use that money for something more important...

Steve Ballmer will throw a chair (metaphorically) at anyone who gets in the way of his profits.

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23738235)

Mind you, if ISO is so vulnerable this does beg the question 'is it still relevant?'
If people in power think they are relevant or there are laws that rely on the ISO then Yes and that's why they're so dangerous.

So continue speaking up about the ISO because while it's in Microsoft's interests to privately control them the ISO are useless without credibility. That is one thing to focus on -- facts, debate, humour, and ridicule of the ISO [slashdot.org] .

Microsoft will next use the ISO to attack PDF... again via an Ecma fast-track called XPS.

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (4, Insightful)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738249)

Mind you, if ISO is so vulnerable this does beg the question 'is it still relevant?'

No it doesn't. It actually shows how badly needed it is. Otherwise MS wouldn't give a damn and you wouldn't either.

It does beg several questions though - e.g How can a rational and fair evaluation be assured? How can the decision making be improved, especially in some "underdeveloped" countries, but sadly also in many "developed" ones. How can the national bodies be hardened against lobbying?

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (4, Funny)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738631)

Mind you, if ISO is so vulnerable this does beg the question 'is it still relevant?'

Of course. Why, ISO is an ISO-9000-compliant organization!

I disagree. (5, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23743771)

To be ISO9000 compliant, ISO must have written documentation outlining the procedures for being bought off. If no such documentation exists, it violates the standard.

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (1)

thewebdude (1276170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23740713)

I don't think M$ will be eager to put any more effort into this already doomed idea: http://news.zdnet.com/2424-3515_22-202407.html [zdnet.com]

"Microsoft's decision to add support to Office 2007 for the Open Document Format instead of its own OOXML office file format is due to backwards compatibility issues with OOXML, it has emerged."

"In Microsoft's announcement, the company said it was adding native support for ODF due to increasing pressure from customers "and because we want to get involved in the maintenance of ODF". The company now says OOXML support would require substantially more work."

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (3, Insightful)

GotenXiao (863190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23742989)

"Microsoft's decision to add support to Office 2007 for the Open Document Format instead of its own OOXML office file format is due to backwards compatibility issues with OOXML, it has emerged."

"In Microsoft's announcement, the company said it was adding native support for ODF due to increasing pressure from customers "and because we want to get involved in the maintenance of ODF". The company now says OOXML support would require substantially more work."


Read:
Embrace, extend, extinguish.

Re:If only I could cry nonsense (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744019)

Amusing that OOXML will require "substantially more work", it reinforces what people have been saying about it being difficult to implement... And if Microsoft have trouble implementing it, when they wrote it in the first place, just think how difficult it will be for other parties?

Re:Wow (4, Informative)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737405)

Not to mention that the interim draft was not made available as mandated by ISO rules because of the failure of the editor to deliver it. The ISO JTC1 Directives demand the meeting report and the final DIS to be distributed within 1 month of the meeting.

Now Microsoft has a formal excuse for its lazyness to deliver the consolidated text. Blame ISO haha.

Re:Wow (4, Interesting)

ianare (1132971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737399)

Except no decision has been made yet.

The two management boards will then decide whether the appeals should be further processed or not.
They are simply "considering" the appeals. All MS has to do is stack the two management boards (should be at leats partly there already, considering almost all of ISO has been tampered with), and get them to reject the appeals.

There is only a faint glimmer of hope, a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel.

Common misconception (2, Funny)

remmelt (837671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744075)

> a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel

That's not the end of the tunnel, that's just oncoming traffic.

Re:Wow (2, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23739419)

They figured that decision could mark their death and setting up a new organisation (like UN started after WW2) so they decided to cool things down a bit.

They also figured the Big Blue and Sun are very serious, it is not like couple of disgruntled nerds blogging. IBM is older than most of countries in ISO and Sun have huge expertise on how governments work too.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23740087)

No, it was entirely because of the persuasive arguments of this new hotshot country known only as South Arica. Look it up.

Owned (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737153)

Thank god for this. Hopefully it'll be done away with completely and MS will be told where to stick it.

Re:Owned (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737469)

Somehow I doubt this. If England, France, Germany and China (for example) had made the appeals, I would be more optimistic.

GREAT (5, Insightful)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737161)

"On hold" is nice, but will there be an investigation or backlash regarding how it was passed in the first place? Or has the process of buying a standard just become a cost of doing business?

Re:GREAT (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737447)

"On hold" is nice, but will there be an investigation or backlash regarding how it was passed in the first place? Or has the process of buying a standard just become a cost of doing business?

I think it's safe to assume there will be no investigation or backlash. However if OOXML is ultimately rejected as a standard, then it would mean that the attempt to buy a standard failed, thanks to the pressure put on ISO by the states that participate, which ultimately stemmed from organizations in those states who saw what was happening and protested. It would mean that while the ISO process is vulnerable, it is possible to have oversight over its proceedings. No more just coasting and assuming anything that comes into ISO must be okay, but that's probably a good thing that should have been the case all along.

I'm not saying this will completely save ISO, but it could certainly help.

Re:GREAT (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737987)

> ...then it would mean that the attempt to buy a standard failed, thanks to the pressure put on ISO by the states that participate, which ultimately stemmed from organizations in those states who saw what was happening and protested.

...and that those people need to be sure to look both ways before crossing the street for the next few months...

Re:GREAT (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738427)

However if OOXML is ultimately rejected as a standard
As you kind of know it will be in the Court of Public Opinion, irrespective of what the paid toadies do.

Re:GREAT (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738889)

However if OOXML is ultimately rejected as a standard
As you kind of know it will be in the Court of Public Opinion, irrespective of what the paid toadies do.

Nonsense.

Unfortunately, anything Microsoft spews out becomes a de facto standard in a few years' time anyway. No they're just making it formal.

Re:GREAT (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737527)

I think you misunderstand -- It's still an international standard it's just not published and Ecma/Microsoft/ISO-secretariat have the only copy of the standard.

This means that 1) ISO are giving Microsoft an unfair advantage over their competitors and 2) national bodies still can't comment on OOXML.

3 nations appealed out of 88. This is not cause for celebration or a sign that the process is OK. The ISO process is broken and the people who forced this standard through are still in power.

Re:GREAT (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737945)

Copying the insightful parent in readable text, not this monospace crap. AC so as not to karma whore, naturally.

I think you misunderstand -- It's still an international standard it's just not published and Ecma/Microsoft/ISO-secretariat have the only copy of the standard.
This means that 1) ISO are giving Microsoft an unfair advantage over their competitors and 2) national bodies still can't comment on OOXML.

3 nations appealed out of 88. This is not cause for celebration or a sign that the process is OK. The ISO process is broken and the people who forced this standard through are still in power.

Re:GREAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23739567)

Most Standards orgs are pretty transparent. It is not hard to figure out how to manipulate votes if you have $$$. /dc

Simpsons reference (2, Funny)

codemachine (245871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737169)

Haha!

Re:Simpsons reference (1)

codemachine (245871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737217)

That was supposed to have a 'Nelson' close tag. I really ought to proofread. Oh well.

Glad to hear of this decision from ISO. I wonder if MS was anticipating this all along, hence the fact ODF will be included in the next MS Office, while OOXML will not be.

Re:Simpsons reference (2, Funny)

nem75 (952737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737679)

That was supposed to have a 'Nelson' close tag.

<nelson>Haha!</nelson>

Re:Simpsons reference (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 6 years ago | (#23742343)

For shame, sniping another man's mod points. Tsk tsk tsk.

ISO standards themselves are closed! (4, Insightful)

compumike (454538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737223)

I know everyone's going to make comments about OOXML being not a truly open/free/libre format, but there's something bigger going on...

Just to get access to published standards themselves on http://www.iso.org/iso/store.htm costs easily $50 to $150 each! Can someone please tell me how that makes any sense at all? How can we have global standards if people can't afford to even read them? Am I the only one who thinks this might be a bit hypocritical?

--
Hey code monkey... learn digital electronics! [nerdkits.com]

Re:ISO standards themselves are closed! (3, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737303)

Don't worry, that was before they had Microsoft's corporate sponsorship to subsidize the cost of making copies....

Re:ISO standards themselves are closed! (4, Informative)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737585)

The IEEE are just as bad. They charge an arm and a leg for every one of their standards. Just stick the thing up on the web, you cheap bastards.

Re:ISO standards themselves are closed! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23743807)

That is to ensure the developers are completely armless and that the implementations don't have a leg to stand on.

Even worse... (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737695)

are SAE standards, many of which are incorporated into US regulatory law.

The net effect is that you can't be sure you're legally compliant unless you pay some private organization a tithe.

Re:Even worse... (4, Informative)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738333)

While you have a point, it is important to realize that the documents are generally available for reference at libraries or other public locations. Indeed the town hall (for local law) or state capitol (for State law) should have any standard referenced by applicable law available for public viewing. In the worst case you just request the document via inter-library loan, or view the mandatory deposited copy at the Library of Congress.
I do agree though that this is less than ideal, but it is not quite as bad as your post makes it sound.

Re:Even worse... (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23739663)

I would have less problem with this if it were legal to photocopy those works. If you want to do business using one of these specifications, in reality you must pay for them. There is no reason that the specifications should cost more than the cost of distribution.

Re:Even worse... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23739703)

There is no reason that the specifications should cost more than the cost of distribution.
Clearly you're not familiar with the the ISOs business model [holloway.co.nz] .

Re:Even worse... (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23740379)

Is it still mandatory that a copy be deposited with the Library of Congress? I thought that had been eliminated.

Re:ISO standards themselves are closed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23738367)

Two things:

Swiss francs, wtf?

There are alternatives [google.co.uk] to paying ISO

Re:ISO standards themselves are closed! (2, Funny)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 6 years ago | (#23741629)

Just be lucky they aren't basing the price in Euros.

Re:ISO standards themselves are closed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23743371)

Or god forbid, some amerikkan 'dullahrs'. £££

Re:ISO standards themselves are closed! (3, Informative)

jhhdk (1120433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23743931)

This is how standards organisations have been financed.
150$ for a standard of socket sizes for light blubs is petty cash compared to cost of facilities needed to produce them.
Standards-(organisations) is still mostly concerned with manufacture of physical goods and their thinking heavily influenced by industrial era (as is most of society, most people have no clue what it means to live in the information age).

Well done, ISO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737225)

Despite some obvious flaws in the process of standardization, I applaud ISO for recognizing the evaluation of the technical community it servers. Here's hoping sanity will ultimately prevail and the ISO retains the respect it's earned in the past.

Re:Well done, ISO! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737359)

I applaud ISO for recognizing the evaluation of the technical community it servers.

Heh, good one! The fast track process was completely inappropriate for OOXML. With 9 months to review 6000 pages the technical community had only scratched the surface of what's broken in OOXML [robweir.com] .

No one in the technical community is happy with the quality of OOXML -- even Microsoft can't implement this thing.

ISO wrote:

According to the ISO/IEC rules, a document which is the subject of an appeal cannot be published as an ISO/IEC International Standard while the appeal is going on. Therefore, the decision to publish or not ISO/IEC DIS 29500 as an ISO/IEC International Standard cannot be taken until the outcome of the appeals is known.

This statement has no bearing on the similar statements issued by South Africa and Brazil in their formal appeals that they should have received a final text by now. National Bodies should have received a final text but this is quite different to publishing (which is all the ISO are talking about in that final paragraph).

Section 13.12 of the directives reads,

"In not more than one month after the ballot resolution group meeting the SC Secretariat shall distribute the final report of the meeting and final DIS text in case of acceptance."

The BRM was in February and the final text was due in late March. It still has not arrived. You might call this evidence of the OOXML text being in an unreleasable state (read: a mess) and South Africa would agree...

"Given the magnitude of the specification and the number of identified edits required it was clear that this directive [13.12] could not have been met. This is the clearest possible indication that DIS 29500 as submitted by Ecma and as modified by the BRM is not ready for fast track processing." -- http://tinyurl.com/4ceags [tinyurl.com]

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster! (3, Funny)

austin987 (1233720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737237)

In His infinite Noodliness, has touched the ISO with His Noodly Appendage.

Re:Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster! (3, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738993)

In His infinite Noodliness, the FSM touched the Microsoft midgit while he was composing the OOXML standard draft and put in all the spaghetti code and specifications, and is now laughing His Hallowed Noodles off.

hurrah! (5, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737273)

I have a nasty thought that "on hold" is ISO speak for "waiting for the fuss to die down".

But I really hope that there has been enough of a back lash from the knowledgeable and enough of a crammed education on why this matters that this is now too high a profile for it to be swept under the rug.

Of course the downside of this whole fiasco is that there are now many, many more OOXML implementations out there and planned so this is hardly a complete bust for MS.

Still here's hoping that common sense prevails, and a bug grateful thank you for all those people who fought it.

Re:hurrah! (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737333)

All those countries initially voted no with comments. The comments weren't addressed, and then suddenly the standard was fast-tracked and passed.

The "appeals" will be heard, but I'm not expecting a miracle here.

Re:hurrah! (4, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737375)

Actually "on hold" is more along the lines of "Microsoft has gotten what it wanted and would really like this format to die on the table so it doesn't have to actually implement any of its promises".

[corporate spin]Oh sure! MS Office 2010 was going to be fully open spec, but the ISO never got around to finalizing OOXML, and we got tired of waiting. So, Hey! Here's a new proprietary format. After all, it's not our fault, we upheld our part of the bargain and released the specs...[/corporate spin]

Re:hurrah! (4, Interesting)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737487)

As Microsoft finally announced to switch to ODF and refuses to implement the unpublished OOXML format before adding full ODF support there is really no reason to go on with ISO OOXML. Governments should simply mandate ODF as the XML based document standard format in their own administration. The Netherlands are a perfect example. [ososs.nl] More governments will follow. Microsoft can just embrace the domino effect. Ironically it was the ISO OOXML process that made ODF adoption happen.

Re:hurrah! (4, Funny)

ozbird (127571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23739365)

"Microsoft can just embrace, extend and extinguish the domino effect." There, fixed that for you.

Re:hurrah! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737531)

The largest downside, in my opinion is the resignations from people who have become disenchanted with the ISO.

These people are the ones we need now more than ever. There is a good Steve Jobs quote that seems appropriate:

"John Sculley ruined Apple and he ruined it by bringing a set of values to the top of Apple which were corrupt and corrupted some of the top people who were there, drove out some of the ones who were not corruptible, and brought in more corrupt ones..."

Re:hurrah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23738041)

ISO's probably just holding out for more money from Microsoft

Re:hurrah! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744085)

Except...

Microsoft are planning to implement ODF *before* they implement OOXML...
Pretty much everyone else has already implemented ODF...

Why would anyone consider using OOXML?

burn baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737361)

Hooray, burn the docx.

Only one comment? (0, Offtopic)

Amadio (785462) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737425)

Wow, I saw a post with only one comment? What's happening? Where are all the guys that stay here commenting 24/7 so that when other access they actually have what to read?

Re:Only one comment? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737861)

Where are all the guys that stay here commenting 24/7 so that when other access they actually have what to read?

That was me. Sorry. Pepsi syndrome. What were we discussing? OOXML?

"ISO diverts OOXML spec to standard track for further improvement before adoption" is not an available future headline. "ISO rejects DIS 29500" and "New standards body gaining acceptance" are still available at this time.

'South Arica' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737431)

Perhaps there needs to be an ISO standard for checking the spelling of Slashdot posts.

Re:'South Arica' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737855)

There is, ISO/IEC DIS:29501 on the Ecma fast-track AKA "The Englesh Dictonary" by George Bush Jnr.

You now have 9 months to review 600,000 words and 1 week to argue about your discoveries. Good luck!

While we won't follow any rules that allow you to see what you're voting on we do reserve the right to remove your right of appeal on the prescribed deadline, at midnight, geneva time.

Sincerely yours,
-- ISO Guy
ps. Fuck you.

On Hold... (5, Funny)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737503)

Actually them putting it on hold is compliance with the OOXML specification as written by Microsoft.

"No Microsoft product shall have the features promised or be released when scheduled".

So all of you cheering this decision are incredibly misguided. Look a little closer and you will see this is clearly evidence of more MS tampering in the process.

Norway set aside the comittees no, and said yes (4, Interesting)

viking80 (697716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737605)

The Norwegian Standards committee was also almost unanimously against the OOXML. Then the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation offered a few hundred million $$ to various pet projects of the Norwegian prime minister such as a Svalbard seed bank http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault [wikipedia.org] as well as vaccination of kids in poor countries.

To everyones big suprise, the government set aside the No vote, and ruled by fiat that Norway would vote Yes.

But then again, why care about a petty little standard and some petty corruption when you can save the world.

Re:Norway set aside the comittees no, and said yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23738129)

One would imagine that Norway is in no need for money having all that oil and no national debt.

Re:Norway set aside the comittees no, and said yes (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23739815)

Norway is spending only the interest on selling off their oil reserves, and stashing the rest. Didn't you watch Sicko? They put a philosopher in charge of how to spend the money. I feel like I'm playing Alpha Centauri... and losing.

Re:Norway set aside the comittees no, and said yes (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23743547)

It probably wasnt a bribe per se, but more a lobbying thing. The gates foundation probably went into these projects with clean intentions, and as a result Bill and Torvald gets some facetime:
T: How are your kids? Are they going to summerschool?
B: Just fine, and yours?
T: I have some problems with Vista; do you have anyone I can call?
B: Sure, and Vista would probably work better if we got OOXML approved anyway. Be more open also.
T: Open is good.

After OOXML fails ISO (5, Funny)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737629)

So, Bill, what are we going to do tonight?

Same thing we do every night, Stevie. Try to take over the world.

that's OK (4, Interesting)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737643)

Since even Microsoft has switched to ODF, that's pretty much a no-brainer :-)

Re:that's OK (2, Funny)

louzer (1006689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23740095)

I bet MS ODF file will contain a high res JPEG rendering of the document. This will get the MS fan boys in corporate world think FOSS is incompetent

The summary is impressive with inaccuracy (3, Informative)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23737655)

First sentence of TFA:
Four national standards body members of ISO and IEC - Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela - have submitted appeals against the recent approval of ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology - Office Open XML formats, as an ISO/IEC International Standard.

Re:The summary is impressive with inaccuracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23737891)

I used to live in Arica, but never realized a "South Arica" even existed!

Re:The summary is impressive with inaccuracy (1, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23739195)

We can disregard Venezuela as they are Commmies and enemies of freedom.

Re:The summary is impressive with inaccuracy (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744133)

So then we can disregard USA and many other country because they are countries what rapes freedom and free will.... No wait... you are trying to be funny or then just a stupid...

What's a country worth? (2, Interesting)

tqk (413719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23740637)

It only took four countries' standards bodies to get them to ... pause.

Interesting, if you're a country. "Unless you can find lobbying pals, we're not listening. Call back when you've garnered some support."

Re:The summary is impressive with inaccuracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23743521)

Actually, I was more impressed with South Arica.

Is ISO afraid ? (2, Interesting)

jeanph01 (700760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738063)

This is a great news. I think ISO is a bit overwhelmed at the least by the sheer pressure the world is putting on them about OOXML. Neelie Kroes by the way tell them that she can help if they ask : http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/08/317 [europa.eu] .

Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23738103)

What will Microsoft's chairholder say?
Strong buy IKEA?

The ISO has ALWAYS been for sale (1)

forgot_my_nick (1138413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23738273)

I don't get the sudden outrage about this. The ISO has ALWAYS been for sale to the highest bidder.
How do you think we ended up with this Gibibyte/Mebibyte nonsense?
I am suspicious about several ISO standards in the construction industry myself.
And ISO 9000 and company?

Re:The ISO has ALWAYS been for sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23739495)

How do you think we ended up with this Gibibyte/Mebibyte nonsense?
That was the IEC and the NIST. ISO had nothing to do with it. Incompetant programmers had more to do with that 'nonsense' as you put it than ISO did.

48 replies? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23738377)

People actually read these boring-ass stories?

Denmark? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23738717)

TFA:
"Four national standards body members of ISO and IEC - Brazil, India, South Africa and VENEZUELA - have submitted appeals against the recent approval of ISO/IEC DIS 29500 [...] as an ISO/IEC International Standard."

Summary:
"[...] ISO, in response to the four appeals (DENMARK, India, Brazil, South Arica) filed in recent weeks [...]"

Slashdot - as we know and love it. ;)

Denmark did NOT protest! (5, Informative)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | more than 6 years ago | (#23739473)

Please let us get the facts straight here.

Denmark did not protest, appeal, or in any way change its official vote. The official Danish ISO vote is controlled by Dansk Standard [www.ds.dk] , who voted "Yes" in the final OOXML specification vote (after initially voting "No with comments").

The reason Denmark keeps sneaking into the list of countries who "appealed" is probably because a local pro-Open Source lobby organization named "Foreningen for Open Source Leverandører i Danmark" (OSL) (their name in English is "The Danish Open Source Business Association") has submitted a protest and that is by many people mistakenly translated into an "official appeal".

Since the protest is not submitted by Dansk Standard (who holds the official ISO vote) but is in fact from a local lobby organization, the vote can not be considered "official" in any way. And it is important to note in this context, that the official Danish vote is still "Yes".

The protest is available in Danish [osl.dk] on the OSL website and I also found a copy of the letter in English on Groklaw [groklaw.net] (its not on the OSL website for some reason). The original Groklaw artikle on the subject is here [groklaw.net] , in case you want to read the comments yourself.

The complaint criticises both the way Dansk Standard handled the OOXML approval process and a few formal errors in the ISO process.

The story was first announced by Computer World Denmark [computerworld.dk] (Danish only, sorry). It was first mentioned on slashdot [slashdot.org] on June 1st where sadly it was also mistakenly described as an "official" protest.

- Jesper

Re:Denmark did NOT protest! (2, Informative)

broeman (638571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23743119)

Yes, I applaud the submitter for not RTFA! "Brazil, India, South Africa, and Venezuela have officially filed complaints against the controversial certification of OOXML in expedited proceedings in Geneva." - Venezuela is appearently located in Denmark? Thanks for clearing this up, I wished Denmark officially protested, but sadly it is not the case. The minister for IT has been seen several times involved in stories, where he supports certain companies in the public, and he is pretty IT-illiterate.

Re:Denmark did NOT protest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23743551)

Denmark did not protest, appeal, or in any way change its official vote.
Well blame kdawson. The article itself clearly refers to Venezuela, not Denmark.

Re:Denmark did NOT protest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744109)

So Moderator!

How about correcting the story to Venezuela as the fourth protesting nation - not Denmark.

Re:Denmark did NOT protest! (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744125)

Since the protest is not submitted by Dansk Standard (who holds the official ISO vote) but is in fact from a local lobby organization, the vote can not be considered "official" in any way. And it is important to note in this context, that the official Danish vote is still "Yes".
Can you please explain what OSL has paid to goverment or any other organisation, etc... so they are lobby organization? Have they paid hundreds of thousands or millions to someone to get their mind turned what OSL wants?

Stop spamming (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23740059)

The Microsoft/OOXML spam on Slashdot has gotten as bad as the Ron Paul spam on Digg. OK we get you are fanatical about a subject (ie standards) but please enough is enough. In the scheme of things this MS/OOXML subject is not that important despite what you zealots think.

Re:Stop spamming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23740799)

It matters as much as web standards do because the alternative is the government supporting one particular company.

For OSX/Linux users it matters because we want to be interoperable and OLE requirements in OOXML mean it's tied to Windows.

For Microsoft Office users it matters because they're being gouged for 10 billion a year for (pretty much) the same software that they bought last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. They don't have competition or competitive pricing precisely because of these file format secrets.

So we've got sovereignty and democracy, choice of operating system, and a 10 billion dollar upgrade treadmill. That's why it matters in the scheme of things.

Re:Stop spamming (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23743607)

The Microsoft/OOXML spam on Slashdot has gotten as bad as the Ron Paul spam on Digg. OK we get you are fanatical about a subject (ie standards) but please enough is enough. In the scheme of things this MS/OOXML subject is not that important despite what you zealots think.
Hey I'm writing software that reads OOXML and what happens to my kids if the standard is nuked and so no one wants to buy it.

That's right, government cheese. In a van. Down by the river.

Re:Stop spamming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23744127)

Well, hAl, you're not writing to OOXML because that hasn't been released, and if Microsoft Office deviated from OOXML you'd follow the cash to DOCX not OOXML.

s/Denmark/Venezuela/ (4, Informative)

Phil Hands (2365) | more than 6 years ago | (#23740297)

There are four appeals, but Denmark's not one of them -- Venezuela is though.

Denmark are just part of the general howl of protest from people who've looked at the heap of excrement that is DIS 29500 and found it wanting, and/or were in one of the many countries where the behaviour of their National Bodies has made it clear that their local Microsoft lackeys have been interfering with what should be a process focussed on technical merit, not on whether personal gain can be maximised.

Re:s/Denmark/Venezuela/ (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23743693)

Denmark are just part of the general howl of protest from people who've looked at the heap of excrement that is DIS 29500 and found it wanting
Yeah, the poor standard of DIS 29500 is a popular topic of conversation where I am. Just now I popped out for a burger and the guy that gave it to me was complaining about blatant violation of ISO voting procedures.

Miss Vote (1)

onedobb (868860) | more than 6 years ago | (#23740303)

Also if I'm not mistaken Cuba aso had to appeal it's vote due to a issue. and I remember rumors that some countries there was basically 2 votes, yes, and yes with recommendations. http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/25/1715222 [slashdot.org]

Venezuela != Denmark (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23741815)

seriously. I know the ./ crowd is mainly US folk, but try to get the international stuff right once in a while.

kdawson... (1)

comm2k (961394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744051)

I even submitted the story about Venezuela (which was rejected) - yet the summary gets it wronger than one can imagine..
Denmark?!
South Arica?!

Note:grousing about rejected submissions is Offtop (2, Insightful)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23744095)

Note: grousing about rejected submissions is Offtopic and usually gets moderated that way. It happens, don't take it personally.
Note: grousing about rejected submissions is Offtopic and usually gets moderated that way. It happens, don't take it personally.

2008-06-02 19:06:05 Venezuela, Not Denmark, Is Fourth To Appeal OOXML (Index,Microsoft) (rejected)
The recent report Denmark Becomes Fourth Nation To Protest OOXML [slashdot.org] is a bit of confusion. There have been many many protests, however the IEC acknowledges four appeals- Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela [zdnet.co.uk] . It appears the letters from Denmark [groklaw.net] and Norway [slashdot.org] are being disregarded, as they come from the Chairmen of their respective Technical Committees rather than the administrative heads of the national organisations.

Ok, I won't grouse about rejected submissions. However I damn well will grouse about Slashdot editors re-posting wrong information after getting a submission informing them IT WAS WRONG THE FIRST TIME THEY RAN IT.

-
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