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ISO Rejects OOXML Protest Appeals

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the money-can't-buy-happiness-but-it-can-rent-it dept.

Microsoft 258

snydeq writes "ISO and IEC gave OOXML the greenlight after organization leaders rejected appeals from four countries to protest the vote that approved OOXML as a standard. According to an ISO press statement, appeals by the national bodies of Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela did not garner support from two-thirds of the members of the ISO Technical Management Board and IEC Standardization Management Board, which is required by ISO/IEC rules to keep the appeals process alive."

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258 comments

Better Articles (4, Informative)

GNUChop (1310629) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619399)

See NoOOXML [noooxml.org] , OpenDot [blogspot.com] , NoOOXML [slashdot.org] ">Boycott Novell and Groklaw [groklaw.net] for better analysis. People are very angry about this and they should be.

Re:Better Articles (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619723)

People are very angry about this and they should be

No, people are very ignorant about this, and shouldn't be.

I followed the OOXML ISO process, and read nearly all the criticism on most of those sites. However, unlike most readers, whenever the criticism was of a technical nature, I went to the spec itself and checked.

Bottom line: those sites often lied about objective matters of fact. Given that, I see little reason to credit anything else they have to say about OOXML.

I'm convinced. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619811)

AC, your detailed technical analysis has convinced me to never trust Groklaws again. Thank you for such an insightful and objective assertion of opinion as, "unlike most readers, whenever the criticism was of a technical nature, I went to the spec itself and checked. ... those sites often lied about objective matters of fact." Such excellence is par for the course with AC comments. How can I ever thank you for saving me from "ignorance"?

Re:Better Articles (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24620035)

interesting - do you have any examples to back this up?

Re:Better Articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24620423)

AC, you're making the claim, so the Burden of Proof is on you. Does anyone care to provide links to any lie in particular?

Cooler heads prevailed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619941)

Seems like "Because we hate Microsoft" isn't a compelling enough reason for the ISO.

Re:Cooler heads prevailed (5, Insightful)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620077)

Seems like "Because we hate Microsoft" isn't a compelling enough reason for the ISO.

True, but "unimplementable" should be.

Re:Cooler heads prevailed (1, Troll)

The_Quinn (748261) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620197)

I guess most of the countries' representatives ond't effectively govern as well as you could. Too bad you can't rule the world and bring us the Utopia in your head :)

Re:Cooler heads prevailed (4, Insightful)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620445)

I guess most of the countries' representatives ond't effectively govern as well as you could. Too bad you can't rule the world and bring us the Utopia in your head :)

Who do you think that these wonderful leaders are? They put their pants on one leg at a time just like you and me. Most of the bureaucrats who prepare these decisions are no more educated than you or I. Governments, even authoritarian ones, are the people.

What's more, I live in a democratic republic, and in such a system, the people must participate or it fails. Questioning government positions is part of what you call a country's "political discourse," which is necessary for the society as a whole to come to a coherent decision that expresses itself in elections.

Re:Cooler heads prevailed (5, Interesting)

Timosch (1212482) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620125)

It is not about "We head Microsoft", it is about the fact that something like WordWrapLikeWord95 should not exist in an ISO standard.
BTW: There was a very interesting graph in the German magazine c't. The essence was as follows:
XHTML: ~100 pages, ~400 days of standardization process
ODF: ~800 pages, ~900 days
SVG: ~600 pages. ~1050 days
SOAP: ~200 pages, ~950 days
...
OOXML: ~6500 pages, ~350 days.
You've no idea how incredible that looks in a graph...

Re:Cooler heads prevailed (0, Troll)

HairyNevus (992803) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620603)

Yes, but it's a good enough reason to mod people down on /. No news there, though.
Anyone else think that this whole "ISO OOXML corruption" story is just being exaggerated and carried on by the MS-hate machines out there (slashdot being one)?

Re:Cooler heads prevailed (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620875)

No, because I've been reading all the articles. You'll find that there is plenty there to be pissed off about.

Re:Cooler heads prevailed (4, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620899)

I tend to look at it like this...

If nobody speaks up, Microsoft has won. There are a lot of underhanded business practices that MS has "gotten away with" because nobody cared to speak up. If people just let it die off, it opens door for other companies to undermine the standards practices because "people will soon forget."

What you can do? (0)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619421)

What *we* can do when the goverments, corporations and organisations are corrupted and we cant turn to ask help from them, because those who has power, controls those who could help us....?

Re:What you can do? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619441)

Keep using OpenOffiec? I know, it sounds drastic but if everyone did and didn't give a damn about what ISO does, wouldn't that be enough?

Re:What you can do? (4, Insightful)

Milyardo (1156377) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619543)

Thats how we got into this mess in the first place. Rather than accepting ISO decision to make ODF the international standard. Micrsoft decided everyone already uses office, so we'll use that instead. Microsoft doesn't really give a damn if OOXML passes or not. They just want to be able to say they are standards compliant(easy to do when you define what that standard is). ODF is still a standard as well though, although I don't know what good will come of there being two standards.

Re:What you can do? (4, Informative)

AJWM (19027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620757)

Microsoft doesn't really give a damn if OOXML passes or not. They just want to be able to say they are standards compliant

Ironically, they are NOT compliant with the version of OOXML that ISO/IEC approved, which isn't the same as the version of OOXML that ECMA originally handed them. (It's not even clear that the ECMA OOXML spec conformed fully to what Microsoft Office does, but that's a moot point now.)

Re:What you can do? (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620847)

Microsoft doesn't really give a damn if OOXML passes or not. They just want to be able to say they are standards compliant

Ironically, they are NOT compliant with the version of OOXML that ISO/IEC approved, which isn't the same as the version of OOXML that ECMA originally handed them. (It's not even clear that the ECMA OOXML spec conformed fully to what Microsoft Office does, but that's a moot point now.)

I'm sure Microsoft are much happier with the idea of tweaking the XML output in a future service pack then they are with having to compete on a level playing field with OpenOffice.

Re:What you can do? (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620893)

Furthermore, Microsoft said they won't even attempt to get Office 2007 to support it via a Service Pack. Instead, they won't attempt to support that standard until the next version of Office at the earliest, and that could mean at any point in that product's life span.

Re:What you can do? (2, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619677)

It wouldn't be enough (though it's certainly better than nothing). I doubt that MS actually expects anyone to use OOXML, as it is pretty close to impossible to implement. But when they have to go before government agencies in various countries to answer for their monopolistic, unfair business practices they get to say, "we contributed an open document standard, and we're a big contributor to the Apache Foundation. Heck, we're all about open source and freedom!" And since government bureaucrats are not exactly the hardest people to trick when it comes to technology issues, that will carry a lot of weight. And "membership" has other benefits, which can be leveraged to poison the whole pot.

MS is simply buying its way in to "OSS", just as it has done with so many more traditional competitors before destroying them. This is very, very bad.

Re:What you can do? (2, Informative)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619731)

Keep using OpenOffice? I know, it sounds drastic but if everyone did and didn't give a damn about what ISO does, wouldn't that be enough?

Thing is, it OOXML were a good standard, or even a standard in the sense that it actually documented something which was implementable.. then there wouldn't be such an outcry.

ISO exists because of an information/communication bottleneck which no longer exists to quite the same extent today. The need to have a central repository of standards outweighed the requirement for fitness of those individual standards.

But, given the multiple documented abuses of process, ISO is actually propelling us rapidly towards a future where more standards are able to be created and maintained outside of the vast bureaucratic machine. I'd credit F/OSS before ISO, but the latter are accelerating the process.

Re:What you can do? (4, Insightful)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619473)

Historically, it always ends in fighting.

Armed revolution.

Foreign takeover.

Collapse into anarchy.

Breed like rabbits, vote against the current leaders, and get labeled undesirable and attacked.

Pick your poison.

Re:What you can do? (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619563)

So, the ISO needs to allocate a defense budget now. Excellent; let's hope they use Excel to crunch the numbers.

Re:What you can do? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619927)

Breed like rabbits

I know which of those sounds more fun....

Re:What you can do? (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620281)

Breed like rabbits

That's not really a viable suggestion for slashdot. Breed like robots maybe.

Re:What you can do? (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619719)

What can you do? Pick one: soap box, ballot box, natalie portman's box, ammo box. Note that the first 2 have been ineffective, and the 3rd is overrated.

Re:What you can do? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619929)

I wager that 95% of the members of Congress never heard about any of this. Write them. Tell them how you feel. Educate them on the issue. Maybe one of them will actually give a damn.

Re:What you can do? (1)

kpainter (901021) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620107)

100% of the members of Congress won't give a shit unless there is a huge check attached to the letter you are planning to write.

Re:What you can do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24620181)

Write to them.

Re:What you can do? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620509)

You don't say "Call to them" do you? There are times that prepositions are optional. "Write them a letter" is acceptable grammatically, and so is "write them".

Re:What you can do? (5, Informative)

Adaptux (1235736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620329)

What *we* can do when the goverments, corporations and organisations are corrupted and we cant turn to ask help from them, because those who has power, controls those who could help us....?

Despite the name, ISO is not an international organization in the same sense as e.g. WTO or WIPO are international organizations with countries as members. ISO is simply a cartel of national "standardization organizations". Everyone has the right to start an organization to compete with them. I believe that ISO is so strongly committed to acting in the best interest of the dinosaurs that there is no real alternative anymore to doing this. If you agree, please join us at OpenISO.org [openiso.org] .

MS (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619443)

I don't get why MS really even *cares* about OOXML passing or failing. The .doc "standard" (and I use that term loosely) was still used even with it being very closed. If MS wants to use an open format then there is nothing wrong with using the more open (and vastly superior) Open Document Format. But I don't really see the motivation in trying to get OOXML to pass...

Re:MS (5, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619497)

Some governments are passing laws saying that documents must be stored in a format that is a documented standard.

This is just MS's way of checking that box without actually making their format open.

You are right in that they don't want to open their format, but they need to have the appearance of having one.

Re:MS (5, Interesting)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619817)

Norway has decided that all official documents must be available through ODF, PDF or HTML; which ever is most suited to the information in question. Also schools and public offices must accept ODF as a valid format. This is because no policy should require citizens to purchase expensive software to use public services. Among other things.

Re:MS (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620925)

Some governments are passing laws saying that documents must be stored in a format that is a documented standard.

This is just MS's way of checking that box without actually making their format open.

What I don't understand is this: how can they check that box without supporting the format? My understanding is that it's an unimplementable hodgepodge that's not fully supported by any version of MS Office to date.

Re:MS (2, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619531)

See the problem is that ODF makes life easier on you especially if you change applications in the future. OOXML makes it harder on you. But MS is not concerned about you being able to read any format as they are concerned in keeping you tied to their products. If you use OOXML, you can't change applications easily. That might be a bit pessimistic. As of this writing no application, not even MS Office can read and write OOXML reliably so maybe OOXML may never make it to wide adoption.

Re:MS (1, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619885)

Because Sun, IBM and other people who are inherently hostile to Microsoft control ODF. If Microsoft had adopted it and then went to them with a change to support something specific to MS Office they'd get the cold shoulder. Whether people like to admit it or not, Office is much more than a word processor and a spreadsheet (see SharePoint, etc.), has a hell of a lot more features than OpenOffice and its release cycle is much more active. So Microsoft can't afford to be screwed by the people who control the standard. Eventually they'd be forced to come up with their own version of it, and 'round the bush we go again with "OMFG embrace, extend, etc".

Not that OOXML is better, or even particularly appealing. But Microsoft does have the de facto standard (by sheer installed base weight) and what is pretty much the reference platform for office suites. So there's no way in hell that they would have adopted ODF. And I don't think any of their customers would have wanted that at all.

Personally, given the fact that they've opened up the binary format now, I plan on using the normal .doc format in the near future. I'm not interested in XML formats, regardless of who where they come from.

Re:MS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24620223)

>If Microsoft had adopted it and then went to them with a change to support something specific to MS Office they'd get the cold shoulder.

Unfortunately, Microsoft disagrees with you, and is supporting ODF instead of OOXML. Please keep up. You are using the old Microsoft marketing tools.

Re:MS (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620315)

Complying with standards where it makes sense (like text document formats) doesn't mean you have to have explicit support in the standard for everything you do (like Sharepoint). If anything, a bit more intelligence and general standards compliance in Sharepoint (have you tried using the Sharepoint Wiki interface in anything but Internet Explorer?) would go a long way, and using HTML instead of (say) COM objects for Sharepoint doesn't seem to have hurt them.

Re:MS (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620367)

So there's no way in hell that they would have adopted ODF. And I don't think any of their customers would have wanted that at all.

I'm not so sure. Even those customers who are mandating ODF aren't omitting Word. I would think that, considering how prevalent the Office suite is (as you pointed out), at least some of Microsoft's customers would be plenty happy with Microsoft adopting ODF.

Re:MS (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620497)

I think Microsoft has to support ODF one way or another. But I think they're going to do that through plugins and whatnot.

But there's no way they would have adopted ODF as the interop format for Office. That would have been a Rob Weir blog post waiting to happen. And in reality, they don't have to, because formats are driven by the software that uses them, not the other way around. It's not like OO.org has 500 million installs. Who else is driving adoption of ODF?

Re:MS (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620607)

You're not even towing the party line, given that Microsoft Office 2007 is supporting ODF now.

Have you even read the spec for the binary formats? Get a clue. They're also not implementable. (Surprise!)

Re:MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24620033)

In my opinion, Microsoft is fighting desperately to remain relevant to today's market. For a while, there was a big fuss about open document formats for legitimate long-term archival purposes related to government entities. Technology-aware governmental bodies were considering a switch to PDF, ODF, or other openly documented file formats. Microsoft desperately wants to retain control of the office document space, so they were very concerned about having their own "open" document standard. The ".doc" standard is only useful as long as you have software to read and print the document files and Microsoft was, for a long time, the sole provider of such software. These entities don't really expect Microsoft to support the format for 25 years or more.

ISO is dead (5, Insightful)

Ariastis (797888) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619447)

RIP ISO 2008

Re:ISO is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619685)

It's never alive at the first place, so it can't be dead. It loses relevance when it still ripping off people with outrageous standard fee, when it cost the organization nothing to post contents online.

ISO=I Sold Out (so F***en shut up) (4, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619499)

Nice to see that the price for ISO members was high enough to prevent appeals from going through.

Standards for sale.
Act now before the prices go up.

Re:ISO=I Sold Out (so F***en shut up) (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619733)

Nice to see that the price for ISO members was high enough to prevent appeals from going through.

If you can't join 'em, beat 'em. It's the OSS way. Fork it, or start your own. It looks like you have enough pissed off people to make a go at it.

Re:ISO=I Sold Out (so F***en shut up) (3, Funny)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619891)

Yes, good idea! I'm going to start my OWN standards organization. With hookers!...And blackjack!...In fact, forget the standards!

Re:ISO=I Sold Out (so F***en shut up) (0, Offtopic)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620989)

The standard drink for the new standards organization will be Grog. The standardized procedure for making Grog will be as follows.

1. Make a rum and water (like Word 95 did it)
2. Hold the water.
3. Add more rum.
4. Repeat if necessary.
5. Party with Ted Kennedy.
6. Dump the dead hooker in the lake.
???
8. Profit

Re:ISO=I Sold Out (so F***en shut up) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619865)

As bad as the situation is, this is just the beginning. ANY organization that still charges money for public standards in digital age are designed to make money, not to cater topublic interests, and will have the same problems as ISO. We should start giving new names to ISO, such as:

Infinitely Stupid Organization
Internally Screwed Orifice
Institutionalized Super Outrage
International Slavery Organization
Infernal Scummy Offering
Intellectual Sanity Overlooked

Re:ISO=I Sold Out (so F***en shut up) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619993)

ISO rejects OOXML protest appeal. The ISO chief was heard saying "Sorry, we can't refund the money to Microsoft. All sales are final!" after which he turned around and asked his vice chief "How about them Ferraris, eh? They should match our mansions in the Bahamas."

Re:ISO=I Sold Out (so F***en shut up) (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620919)

Nice to see that the price for ISO members was high enough to prevent appeals from going through.

There wouldn't have been much point in accepting corruption if they allowed the appeal.

Lots of /.'ers have predicted this as "the beginning of the end for ISO", but really, who outside of /. either knows or cares about the issues at stake?

microsoft (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619513)

daffynition: A dreaded male sexual dysfunction

In Other News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619533)

The International Standards Organization today announced that it has been purchased by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. "Over the past year or so, Microsoft has paid me a shitload of money!" said the ISO's CEO while worlfing down a Microsoft-sponsored steak and lobster dinner on his lunch break. "So when Steve Balmer made the proposal to buy us, I couldn't resist!" The organization will be renamed Microsoft ISO and will focus on standardizing Microsoft's standards so that the marketing department can add standards support to feature lists.

standards are falling (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619537)

So inertia is going to dump more crap on the world, so it seems. How a 'respected' body like ISO can let this slip through, particularly in the face of all the wheeling and dealing (corruption?) that's gone on during the voting process is depressing.
The IE6 of office software is upon us.

Re:standards are falling (5, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619607)

This is only in the spotlight because it matters to anti-MS geeks. International standards have ALWAYS been such a freagin mess. It has always been a fight of power and money. "Fine, we will let you have your feature in the standard, if our technology is part of the standard too, then we'll vote for your proposition, and you vote for our proposition tomorrow".

Its why many are so stupidly hard to implement, are political mess (XHTML2 anyone?), and why corporations eventually feel the need to make their own, to just bypass it all and be done with it.

It was -always- this way. ISO has -always- been a freagin joke, and most people who implemeneted their crap already know this (ISO9001, lol). This is just a whole lot of same old same old.

Re:standards are falling (2, Insightful)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619853)

What you say is certainly true, but my point is not anti-MS specifically, but is a much more general one. We all have to live by standards (that's why we have law) and if some do not comply it inevitably causes chaos. While the transgressors often benefit, others suffer. Normally one 'standard' wins the battle of public aceptance, but it's often not the best one, it's the one that's promoted by people who are prepared to do whatever is necesary to win! What's best for the majority is a side issue, and this can't be good.

Re:standards are falling (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619911)

My point is that "respected" bodies like ISO aren't falling. They've hit the lowest ground years (and in some cases, decades) ago. This particular event is nothing new: its always how it has been, and why most of these standards suck ass, from ISO to the W3C and beyond. It didn't reach a new low or anything, it has done much, much worse.

The whole idea of "independant standard bodies" is about as flawed as the idea behind software patents. It simply cannot work, and I'm not sure what the alternative is.

Re:standards are falling (5, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620439)

My point is that "respected" bodies like ISO aren't falling. They've hit the lowest ground years (and in some cases, decades) ago.

Then maybe it's time we started demanding standards that were truly fit for purpose. That could be the one true thing to come out of this mess. It it raises general in the technical community of how badly broken ISO is, then maybe we're seeing the first steps on the road to a workable standards process.

In any event, there's nothing to be gained by accepting the status quo, and everything to gain from making a fuss. Good standards are important. If ISO can't deliver them we need a standards body that can.

The whole idea of "independant standard bodies" is about as flawed as the idea behind software patents.

I think you're conflating two ideas there. Firstly, there's the notion of a standard is a technical specification that (I expect and demand) everyone can implement and conform to. Secondly, there's the notion of a sort of government monopoly - in the sense that if YoYoDyne Inc control Standard X and the govt mandates that all frobnitz conform to Standard X, then only YoYoDyne can practically market frobnitz.

The point I think you're missing is that if a standard is a standard in the first sense, then the abuse implicit in the second scenario is impossible. It's not that standards are inherently broken, it's that closed, proprietary standards are broken. And so the problem comes back to IP rather than standards, per se.

Re:standards are falling (2, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620845)

In any event, there's nothing to be gained by accepting the status quo, and everything to gain from making a fuss. Good standards are important. If ISO can't deliver them we need a standards body that can.

I totally agree with you. My posts were to point out that if we make a fuss about the WRONG THING, the eventual fixes won't fix anything. Too many people here seem to think that ISO fell because an overly powerful evil corporation pushed it around. But it fell because EVERYONE have ALWAYS been pushing it around. Thats very important to understand, else the next standard body or whatever will fall the same way, just without the big buzz to notify us that it did, like this.

I think you're conflating two ideas there

I'm not... again, I was trying to show the real problem. OOXML is open in the sense that anyone can implement it. Its just totally hellish to do so because a big corporation's ideas were forced into it: like virtually ALL freagin standards, from OOXML to SOAP going by tons of IEEE stuff. Lots of them are extremely hard to implement, and seriously, if I had the choice between implementing OOXML and implementing HTML 5.0 and CSS 3.0, I'd sure as hell pick the former, its easier! There isn't even a perfect implementation of XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.0 for christ' sake (or did FF3.0 and the latest webkit FINALLY did it? Because I have seen VAST difference in behavior between FF2.0, FF3.0, Safari and Opera, so its not just Microsoft having trouble. And I'm not talking about the defaults being different, since thats valid by the standards).

These are all open standards. But its damn near impossible to implement them. You can get 90-95% right with several years and big money behind it (ok, I don't think Opera has the founding of Microsoft/Apple/Mozilla Foundation, so thumbs up to them to be getting so close), but good lord!

Re:standards are falling (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620655)

We all have to live by standards (that's why we have law)

perhaps, but that's not why I think we SHOULD have law. IMO we should have law to protect me from you and you from me, not to make us think and act alike. No law should endeavor to protect me from myself; I should have the right to ruin my life any way I see fit.

Re:standards are falling (0)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620729)

While a bit off topic, I have to say that unfortunately, you need to protect people from themselves, because people who ruin their lives often ruin others (for example, school drop outs are much more likely to go toward crime).

Re:standards are falling (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620905)

Someone posted this link [mcwilliams.com] in one of my journals, and it has very compelling arguments against your stance. It's a complete book posted online.

Re:standards are falling (2, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620127)

political mess (XHTML2 anyone?)

XHTML2 may be a political mess, and while it flatlines, HTML5 (a technical mess) is being prepared to be forced down our throats... get ready to choke on a big mouthful of bloat, tag soup, and presentational tags.

At least the ISO has some authority (rotten as it is), but the W3C is impotent, and has been for years.

Re:standards are falling (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620551)

And it is largely microsoft that is responsible for making the w3c impotent.

Re:standards are falling (2, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620699)

The W3C makes a lot more standards than just HTML/CSS, and its standards sucked long before Microsoft failed to implement them, and even those that are perfectly (or mostly so) implemented everywhere still also suck.

All it does is spit out standard specifications that are more bloated than Vista on a bad day, and virtually everything that falls under its wings go that way. Its just the same as ISO: its multiple bodies pushing for their ideas and goals and instead of filtering the good from the bad, they implement everything to keep everyone happy (SOAP). Or not enough to make a few key people happy in their own little world (CSS... even with CSS 3.0, if it was fully implementing, you'd still be missing a lot of stuff. "You shouldn't need to have vertical control in a document!!! Welcome to the real world, idealistic zealot").

They'd still be that way, Microsoft or not.

Re:standards are falling (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620295)

Very true. Corporations, including many who loudly tout "open standards" are only in favor of "open standards" and "fair processes" when the alternative is something that gives someone else an advantage. Their mission is to maximize profits and return to shareholders and management, not to do good in the world. Politicians who survive and rise are concerned more about winning the next election than they are about doing good things. The best of them try to do both, but when push comes to shove, they do what it takes to get (re-)elected or they disappear.

Re:standards are falling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24620313)

ISO9001?

IT'S OVER 9000!!!!

Re:standards are falling (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619715)

I'm not really surprised at this point. When they said that multiple competing standards were a good thing, I'd have thought any credibility would have been gone at that point.

Standards are only useful if they're used widely and claimed compliance is enforced. Having a history of multiple competing standards just undermines any credibility that ISO had.

Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619541)

I think that the ISO just proved they are just another group of administrative people and have nothing to do with good reliable standards.

Re:Standards? (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619937)

I think that the ISO just proved they are just another group of administrative people and have nothing to do with good reliable standards.

ISO/OSI 7 layer model, anyone?

its a paper thing but almost never real running code. CMIP anyone? no? you prefer snmp which actually WORKS and is a real standard?

yes, ISO is a laughing stock. the wars between the IETF guys and the OSI guys were funny to watch some 20 yrs ago. IETF did real stuff and OSI just measurebated (yes, intentional misspelling).

nothing really new here.

ISO=International Slavery Organization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619545)

As bad as the situation is, this is just the beginning. ANY organization that still charges money for public standards in digital age are designed to make money, not to cater topublic interests, and will have the same problems as ISO. We should start giving new names to ISO, such as Infinitely Stupid Organization, or Internally Screwed Orifice, or Institutionalized Super Outrage.

The ISO press statement continues (1)

gplus (985592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619645)

The ISO press statement continues:
"... We're corrupt, and we're proud!"

How long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619663)

Before we get a wikileaks of the ISO members papertrail's?

US rejects bushwhacking by corepirate nazi gang (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619713)

fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Who cares? (3, Interesting)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619787)

The damage to the standard has been done. There has been so much negative press swirling around OOXML that ISO approval at this point is largely symbolic and meaningless.

Microsoft shot itself in the foot by trying to bribe national ISO members instead of keeping it on the downlow and improving OOXML to appease those obsessive standard-freaks. But then again, this is Microsoft we're talking about.

I'm not a luddite and would gladly try new things (including Microsoft things), but my perception of OOXML is so low based on all the news stories I've read that I'd rather switch to papyrus than save a document in .docx

Re:Who cares? (4, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620261)

The damage to the standard has been done, but by outright rejecting the protests, ISO is also irreparably damaging its reputation. That damage could have been mitigated. Instead, they covered their ears and screamed "LA, LA, LA, LA, LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" like a petulant five-year-old child.

Today, they might as well have released a press release that said, "We are a standards body that represents the desires of the highest bidder. Screw you all." That's certainly the way the entire open source community is going to interpret this. The result can be nothing less than a large percentage of people who should care about ISO standards replying, "Screw you, too." No other outcome is possible at this point; they have effectively marginalized themselves in the eyes of the technical community---probably irrevocably so. In the eyes of the community, the ISO simply no longer matters, or more accurately, must be completely ignored for the good of standardization.

Or, in government terms, "One wrong turn deserves another."

Maybe now someone can investigate IBM (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24619851)

Now that this is over, can someone investigate IBM? I'd like to know why they had two paid staff members writing blogs, on company time, full of technical FUD about OOXML.

Re:Maybe now someone can investigate IBM (2, Insightful)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619975)

Exactly what would there be to investigate? Is paying an employee to write on a blog against the law?

Re:Maybe now someone can investigate IBM (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620231)

Anyone who has been following this story knows that OOXML needs a lot of work. That's not to say OOXML couldn't be a good standard someday but as of today it has many issues with it. Such an immature and incomplete implementation should not be a standard until those issues were resolved and should have not been fast-tracked. But instead of acknowledging the flaws, you're trying to introduce a red herring by complaining about an two people complaining on their own blogs about OOXML. How is this in any way relevant to OOXML being a poor standard?

Slashdot Effect (0)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24619909)

Let us put it to good for once. Everyone reading this article should send at the very least one email to their elected government official. Google will tell you who to contact. We need to let our governments know how we feel about this ISO fiasco.

This is what you complain about? (0)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620299)

Everyone reading this article should send at the very least one email to their elected government official

I see. You've already sent correspondence to your government officials in regard to global warming, the crisis in Darfur, Russia's invasion of Georgie, alternative energy adoption, and all the other really important things.

Good thing we solved all those problems - now it's time to complain about a standard being approved by ISO that nobody cares about.

Re:This is what you complain about? (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620483)

Last year I was in a car accident. Someone rear-ended me and totaled my car. The insurance agent called me, and without seeing the car or knowing any facts, said I was 15% liable for being rear-ended. I didn't speed, I stayed in my lane, etc. I called a lawyer who said I was screwed. There wasn't enough money to justify fighting the case in court. The body shop guy said he saw it ever day in my state, that the insurance company wouldn't pay the full claim and just screwed people if the case was small enough to stay out of court. He saw someone parked on the street had their car totaled, and the insurance company said they were partially liable for being parked on the street legally. If the car wasn't on the road, it never would have been hit.

I was furious, so I called my state senator to talk about the partial liability law. We have term limits, so he wasn't up for reelection and wouldn't personally benefit, but he called me back several times to get info. He researched the law, and several cases like mine where we were ripped off. Then he went into legislation and fixed the law.

Sometimes there are a few decent people in office who want to do good. But if you never bring these things to their attention, nothing will ever be done.

Contacting your elected officials may not work, but it beats doing nothing.

Paid for Fair and Square (0, Troll)

MikeV (7307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620225)

Is anyone surprised? Microsoft paid for that ISO fair and square. Bribed the right people, paid for the right votes. They got their money's worth. This proves that the world's way works. Corruption to some is just business to others.

But then, Slashdot is now a pro-Microsoft camp - so why all the belly-aching? I see so much praise heaped up on Microsoft here nowadays that I wonder if they'd forgotten OSS and *nix which was their original focus and forgotten the damage Microsoft has perpetuated on the computing industry as a whole. After all, it's not FAT32.com - it's Slashdot.com - but then who here even knows what that stands for anymore?

Re:Paid for Fair and Square (0, Flamebait)

TheOldSchooler (850678) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620909)

Yea sure. Because everytime I see a story about Microsoft posted on Slashdot I think "oh man, another page full of knee-jerk pro-MS comments!"

Microsoft Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24620277)

Can Microsoft be charged with fraud if they advertise that Office 2007 is OOXML compliant?

No standards compliant programs (2, Informative)

geopsychic (932419) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620343)

The net result of this mess looks like no program can claim to be standards compliant. No one other than M$ will be able to support OOXML due to the incomplete specification and M$ has shown no interest in supporting ODF.

ISO is dead. Long live it's successor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24620667)

I suppose I consider ISO dead now. Just like congress, they can be bought.

So, what organization is going to take over as steward of international standards processes and to take ownership of the former ISO valid standards?

Right. Nobody gives a rat's rump what I think.

OOo and ODF compliance? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#24620775)

I understand that OpenOffice does not absolutely conform to the ODF standard. If we can convince a beancounter that the letter of the law must be obeyed and that what MSOffice makes does not meet that requirement, MS will be able to point out that OOo doesn't fit the bill perfectly, either. So is there a plugin or something for OOo that allows creating 100% compliant ODF files?

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