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Norwegian Standards Body Members Resign Over OOXML

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the take-this-job-and-shove-it dept.

Software 208

tsa writes "Ars Technica reports that 13 of the 23 members from the technical committee of the Norwegian standards body, the organization that manages technical standards for the country, have resigned because of the way the OOXML standardization was handled. We've previously discussed Norway's protest and ISO's rejection of other appeals. From the article: 'The standardization process for Microsoft's office format has been plagued with controversy. Critics have challenged the validity of its ISO approval and allege that procedural irregularities and outright misconduct marred the voting process in national standards bodies around the world. Norway has faced particularly close scrutiny because the country reversed its vote against approval despite strong opposition to the format by a majority of the members who participated in the technical committee.'"

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Boycott Novell has More to the Story. (1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253715)

Boycott Novell puts the Norwegian story into proper perspective [boycottnovell.com] . They have been covering another scandal, which is the OOXML team trying to take over ODF upkeep. The M$ goal has always been the destruction of standards and standards organizations like ISO. They may have won the battle against ISO but they are losing the war against ODF and other real standards. If ISO won't clean itself up, it will be replaced.

Re:Boycott Novell has More to the Story. (0, Troll)

right handed (1310633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253747)

Boycott Novell also has a good summary on M$'s attack on OSI [boycottnovell.com] . If Vista and Office 2007 were worth using, all of this sabotage could succeed. As things are, it is pointless vandalism.

Yeah, right M$ is dying. (1)

inTheLoo (1255256) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253811)

Sure thing, twitter, tell us how M$ is dying [slashdot.org] . $60 billion dollars down the drain in three years, universal project rejection [slashdot.org] , and company debt are signs of strength and unbreakable monopoly! As it was in the early 90s is as it is and alway will be? OK, they are dying.

Long list of rejects, all coming to a head. (2, Informative)

GNUChop (1310629) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253991)

  • Vista, which you mention.
  • Office 2007, no one likes the new interface and users are better off with OO.org now.
  • Zune, laughing stock of crappy music players and M$'s media efforts. They did all of that DRM foolishness for Zune? Ha ha. They fought ogg vorbis for this [theregister.co.uk] ? What a waste.
  • Xbox, billions down the drain to place third behind Sony and Nintendo. Broke even for a quarter or two. Wait till the Red Ring of Death and ignighting power supply lawsuits get through with them.
  • M$ search. Can't break 10% of the market even when they pay people to use it.
  • Servers, losing to Apache and Google every day.

This list can go on and on because M$ is a huge company wasting lots of money. What's hard to find are unqualified successes - products that people actaually like and want. The failure of their new OS and Office should be crippling blows they can't hide with novel licensing schemes like "Assurance" programs for big dumb companies and "free downloads" at Universities that cost students hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees.

aw, come on, it's not that bad. (1)

inTheLoo (1255256) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254013)

Everyone love their touch tables, right? ha ha.

Re:aw, come on, it's not that bad. (1, Informative)

westbake (1275576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254073)

Yes, it's that bad. $60,000,000,000 gone, vanished, blown away. Much of it spent attacking others, destroying free formats and wrecking other software companies.

Re:aw, come on, it's not that bad. (1, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254109)

Get help.

Re:aw, come on, it's not that bad. (1, Funny)

Mactrope (1256892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254147)

You can do better than that! M$ is at the top of their game, right? The ISO scandal has not touched their reputation in the least and the Norwegian standards body can safely be ignored. Everyone is going to be migrating to OOXML because they all love M$ Office and Vista! Pass the crack pipe!

Do you LOVE THIS COMPANY? Let me hear you say it.

Re:aw, come on, it's not that bad. (1, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254159)

Do better than what? It's a serious suggestion. Get some psychiatric help - you've clearly lost a screw somewhere important.

Re:aw, come on, it's not that bad. (1, Flamebait)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254413)

Mactrope is pretty much on the ball here. He may have some issues, I really don't know, but Microsoft can make as many mistakes as they want, stuff everybody up and generally be the worst player in the field.
The world is so entrenched in the MS paradigm that to them MS=Computers and Computers=MS. That's all he is saying.

Re:aw, come on, it's not that bad. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254729)

OH, another twitter sock puppet [slashdot.org] . Stop trolling slashdot and get a life.

Re:aw, come on, it's not that bad. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254707)

Macthorpe is a sock puppet for a series of accounts that have the sole purpose to troll slashdot.

is there ANYone to explain me why parent (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254863)

and the parent's parent's parent are modded insightful ?

are there any morons among us, who are STILL saying that microsoft did nothing wrong in this ooxml scandal ?

Re:is there ANYone to explain me why parent (3, Interesting)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254931)

I wasn't commenting on that, I was commenting on the 7 sockpuppet conversation that twitter decided to have with himself at the start of the comments.

I am seriously beginning to question his sanity - I mean, in the last 6 months he's accused me of sending him death threats, of working for Microsoft and of harbouring multiple Slashdot accounts, none of which are remotely true and the latter being supreme hypocrisy. He's a newspaper headline waiting to happen.

are there any morons among us, who are STILL saying that microsoft did nothing wrong in this ooxml scandal ?

Come to mention it, some actual concrete proof would be nice, but I've already found out that I'm as likely to get that as Ellen Degeneres is of settling down with a nice man. Call me a moron if you like, but I tend to like evidence that isn't circumstantial groklawed hogwash before accusing people of anything.

A lot of people on Slashdot forget how many companies rely on Microsoft's dominance of the market to make a living. Instead of thinking "Well, maybe the reason a lot of companies registered to vote is because their profit margin relies on OOXML becoming a standard", they instead jump to the most extreme conclusion they can find.

Sweatly B will save them! (1, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254119)

Steve Ballmer will rescue M$. With his genius understanding of all manner of technical issues like antipersirant and subtle manners, M$ will surely prosper. Who else could get away with chair throwing rants with such memorable quotes as, "I'm going to fucking kill Google," and still think of themselves as cooler than Steve Jobs? It's amazing. To think he has said he would have ended up wasting all of that talent at an insurance company if it were not for Bill Gates. Where would John McCain's cabinet be without this gift to the nation? How else will M$ survive the next few years?

Re:Sweatly B will save them! (0, Offtopic)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254287)

Uh Twitter,you DO know that having conversations with yourself using multiple voices is a sure sign of insanity,right? I'm serious dude,get some help. When anyone says "microsoft" you turn into a complete foaming at the mouth looney. It is just sad,really f*ckin' sad.

Re:Sweatly B will save them! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254365)

Dude, you said the same thing Macthorpe [slashdot.org] . Can't you keep your sock puppets straight?

Re:Long list of rejects, all coming to a head. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254017)

dude, no offense but... do you have any idea whatsoever how psycho you come across replying to yourself this way?

Crazy like a fox. (1)

ibane (1294214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254235)

The above string of -1 rated posts demonstrates that you are well organized and able to scrub Slashdot of any content you please. If what you say is true, that twitter has all of these sockpuppets, then you have lots of modpoints and time on your hands to track and censor him. If that's not true, you have censored the comments of about eight users. Either way, we see an organized but insane smear attack.

What's this story about? Stacked panels and other dirty tricks? How nice of you to reveal yourself.

Re:Crazy like a fox. (1)

Odder (1288958) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254255)

I think you have nailed this one. Read up on the Slog to learn how M$ themselves express this kind of effort [groklaw.net] . It's not pretty.

Re:Crazy like a fox. (-1, Flamebait)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254443)

Great link. Somehow I feel used and abused by MS and I reckon lots of us have contributed something towards MS's rise to infamy.

Re:Crazy like a fox. (1)

myCopyWrong (1310641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254279)

Sounds about right. It seems so obvious.

Re:Crazy like a fox. (1)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254291)

I agree, these fucktards have pissed on this site for a long, long time.

Re:Crazy like a fox. (1)

freenix (1294222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254303)

How many accounts and modpoints do these asses have? This [slashdot.org] has to be a very partial list. Is there an organized effort to root them out? Is it possible even?

Re:Crazy like a fox. (1)

ibane (1294214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254321)

If it could be done, Slashdot would have already have done it. Comments have been scrubbed/worthless for years and now they are censoring story submissions too. Same thing happened to digg, kuroshin and just about every other message board. The M$ turds flood and stink out every large and influential meeting place. It will be good when M$ goes under.

Re:Crazy like a fox. (1)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254509)

Hahaha.

Seriously. I don't get paid to mod down twitter & friends' inane drivel. It gets modded down because its complete rambling bollocks, on par with the time-cube guy.

Re:Crazy like a fox. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254937)

> If what you say is true, that twitter
> has all of these sockpuppets

You tell us, you seem to know a lot [slashdot.org]
about this twitter fella.

> you have censored the comments of
> about eight users

Five of which, according to this [slashdot.org] compendium,
magically appeared on this thread and replied to you.

What a coincidence!

Re:Long list of rejects, all coming to a head. (1)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254495)

Twitter, you are clearly an idiot. MS posts one of the highest net profit margins of the sector, easily outstripping all "open source" friendly companies.

Re:Long list of rejects, all coming to a head. (1)

Super Jamie (779597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254593)

Actually, the Zune is a really nice player. I own a Zune 80 and an iPod Video. The Zune has superior audio and screen quality to the iPod, the controls are great, and they have radio.

Just sucks they use this encrypted MTP format to copy music over, so they only work with the Zune software under Windows.

But VirtualBox + USB Proxy + Wireless Sync solves that problem.

Re:Boycott Novell has More to the Story. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25253929)

Twitter sockpuppet, mod down.

Re:Boycott Novell has More to the Story. (2, Interesting)

willyhill (965620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253889)

For anyone [slashdot.org] thinks this "conversation" is a little strange, twitter, "right handed" and "inTheLoo" are the same person.

Re:Boycott Novell has More to the Story. (1)

willeyhill (1277478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254041)

Twitter sock puppet, mod down.

one more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254049)

don't forget GNUChop, who just jumped in.

any bets as to whether or not he'll break the record of 6 socks replying to each other on the same thread? anyone?

Re:one more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254183)

He hit 7 when he name-trolled macthorpe (as usual).

Re:one more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254201)

ayeee, he also has a name troll for willyhill!

what is this guy's problem? this whole thing is completely bizarre.

Re:one more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254517)

He should take his pills... Seriously.

The only thing he manages, is to show how mentally deranged he is.

Norway? Does that even count? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254051)

I mean, Norway? What that is useful comes from Norway? Besides being cold as ice, with a population described the same, what is Norway? I mean, Sweden, OK, it's got a ski team of buxom blondes, but Norway? What is Norway but an ice desert?

Re:Norway? Does that even count? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254079)

I mean, Norway? What that is useful comes from Norway? Besides being cold as ice, with a population described the same, what is Norway? I mean, Sweden, OK, it's got a ski team of buxom blondes, but Norway? What is Norway but an ice desert?

Oil, money and hi-tech? Maybe you should think before you write?

Re:Norway? Does that even count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254155)

Norweegians hibernate half the year so cut them some slack

Re:Norway? Does that even count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254435)

Oil. It and Britain work the North Sea, a place you don't want to be. It's said the next Euro-war will be between Britain and Norway, over the North Sea oil. We all know the outcome of that one (Saudi Arabia).

Re:Norway? Does that even count? (2, Insightful)

level4 (1002199) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254681)

It's said the next Euro-war will be between Britain and Norway, over the North Sea oil.

What?! Who the hell says that?

Firstly, prosperous modern democracies with large middle classes and a lot to lose do not go to war. There has never been a single case. It is just not going to happen.

Secondly, there could be no victory. If Norway attacked Britain, the rest of Europe would stand by and watch Norway reap its well-deserved stomping from the vastly superior British armed forces. If Britain attacked Norway, the rest of the EU would declare war on them. Either way would bring utter disaster for the aggresor.

If you'd said Russia v. Norway, that would be at least a little more within the bounds of extreme probability, though still highly unlikely. The world will have to get a lot crazier before Russia attacking mainstream Europe over relatively minor resources would be anything other than a suicide mission. Russia may be a little aggresive but they're not insane.

Whoever told that to you is an idiot.

Re:Norway? Does that even count? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254569)

Trolls? (come from Norway)

Re:Boycott Novell has More to the Story. (0, Troll)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254131)

You know, if I had a million different Slashdot troll accounts, I'd make sure I had one account to point out to everyone else that they were trolls.

Not an attack. Haven't been following Slashdot long enough to be "in the loop." I'm just crazy like that.

Re:Boycott Novell has More to the Story. (1)

willyhill (965620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254141)

Probably... this guy is hardly [slashdot.org] that clever [slashdot.org] , though *grin*

Re:Boycott Novell has More to the Story. (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254259)

That just made my day. I'm simply amazed at how dense you have to be to write stuff like that with a (metaphorically) straight face.

And that makes you my friend! ;-)

What the hell (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254309)

Erris
Mactrope
gnutoo
inTheLoo
willeyhill
westbake
Odder
ibane
myCopyWrong
right handed
GNUChop

All these accounts belong to the same person And he's getting modded up? Where do I sign up
for this deal? Where I can game Slashdot so blatantly and be rewarded for my troubles?

Once you've crossed that threshold, whatever you had to say is completely irrelevant. I don't care
who you are. Rules exist in online communities for a good reason, and this... sorry, shitstorm of
"I agree with you" replies by a single person is just too much.

Typical. (0)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254387)

Don't have the logic or modpoints to fight the truth? I guess that leaves you attacking the messenger. Just as bankrupt as M$ itself.

Take this job and shove it dept. ??? (3, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253733)

I thought it was the 'Take this chair and throw it' department? What gives?

Re:Take this job and shove it dept. ??? (0, Redundant)

Celeritas (33191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254791)

I thought it was the 'Take this chair and throw it' department? What gives?

I think you're confusing that with Ballmer's department

AC's Erect Body Member Ejaculates Over You (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25253757)

and you loved every minute of it, you fucking catchers

- CmdrTaco

Conflicted (5, Insightful)

Hemogoblin (982564) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253763)

My first thought was "It's good that these people are taking a stand against injustice.", but my second thought was "These principled people just resigned. Norway's board is entirely corrupt now." Bummer.

Re:Conflicted (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25253787)

My first thought was "It's good that these people are taking a stand against injustice.", but my second thought was "These principled people just resigned. Norway's board is entirely corrupt now." Bummer.

Bummer? Not really. There isn't really any good reason to stay on the board and give it legitimacy when the entire process is corrupt. Do you honestly think that their input mattered or could have changed anything?

The right thing to do. (3, Interesting)

GNUChop (1310629) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253847)

Would you want your name on something you completely disagree with? Leaving with a loud public stink is the right thing to do when technical matters have been nerfed aside by asshats like M$. The next thing to do is form a proper standards body and protect it from shenanigans. You can't always keep others from doing evil things but you can always refuse to cooperate. ISO's leadership will not be able to ignore this for long.

Re:The right thing to do. (0, Offtopic)

willyhill (965620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253961)

You already posted [slashdot.org] and shilled your own comments with three accounts, this is the fourth. Is it too much to ask to limit yourself to one account [slashdot.org] per article? You know, the way most of us do.

shut up, dumb fuck. (1)

westbake (1275576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254195)

He's posting at -1. Your reply, with the karma bonus even, makes sure all his stuff is visible on the default page. Who needs shill accounts with self modded idiots like you around?

Re:shut up, dumb fuck. (0, Offtopic)

willyhill (965620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254215)

You've explored this "angle" before [slashdot.org] . Unfortunately for you, it doesn't work. No matter how many times you insult me.

Re:shut up, dumb fuck. (3, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254371)

He's got a good point though. Your stuff is cluttering up the place too.

It's probably impossible to get you and twitter to take your battles elsewhere, but could you at least try to keep it down a bit? Ignore the stuff already at -1 or 0.

Re:Conflicted (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253853)

Yeah, so much for the idea of Scandinavians not being corrupt. If the Norwegians are corrupt, who can we trust? That's why transparency in government is so important.

Re:Conflicted (4, Insightful)

enos (627034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254125)

Have you seen Norwegian TV news? It goes from one scandal to the next. There's always someone stealing big chunks of money in one way or another.
Of course the magnitude is smaller because they have far less people, but they're far from corruption free.

Transparency helps, but there's not much you can do if you can't kick the crooks out easily. Plus, who are you going to replace them with? Honest people don't like government work very much.

Re:Conflicted (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254717)

I disagree.
There are much scandals because of transparency.
Opposed to other countries where everything happens under the hood.

Re:Conflicted (4, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254883)

"Plus, who are you going to replace them with? Honest people don't like government work very much."

That is one of the more profound statements I have encountered here (on slashdot) about politics for quite s while!

I hope some moderators are here and share some '+insightful' love with you.

That is the situation with the upcoming Presidential elections here in the USA.

It seems to be a choice between a turd sandwich, or a shit casserole.
Does it really matter at this point? You already know it will taste like crap!

I guess all you can do is vote as you think is best, and hope it will work out.

Another option would be a revolution, and overthrow of the existing government.
This has not worked out well in the past, as the incoming 'party/gov't.' has not planned much farther ahead than getting 'there'.

I, for one, do not have the answers to the questions that have/can/will come about...just more questions.

Re:Conflicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254225)

That would be Denmark and Sweden that are the least corrupt countries on earth, along with New Zealand.

I agree about transparency though, for all the things they do right, there's still a ton that could be done better.

Re:Conflicted (1)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254727)

Oh, that it were as you say!

As a Kiwi I'm sorry to say that we're also suffering some serious issues with corrupt politicians down here in NZ and with the encumbent party in particular.

The New Zealand Labour government - ostensibly centre-left in political leaning - finds itself somewhat out of touch with its constituency, having furthered some very sinister policies (believe it or not, it is now actually illegal to smack your child for discipline in NZ).

After three terms in office with a sycophantic media burying Labour's political gaffes and providing a pleasant sideshow to distract the great unwashed, they've managed to quietly gut the social structure of what was once a rather nice place to live. It seems as a nation we may have finally woken up to this, making 08 November 2008 a very important day for us indeed.

Finland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254709)

Actually Finland came out far worse than even Norway in that scandal. The language differences help keep things under wraps now that the government stopped publishing translations in Swedish.

Re:Conflicted (4, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253967)

Exactly, that's why I always say if you're going to resign on principle, at least make sure to take out those who remain, otherwise what have you achieved? A few poisoned herrings would have done the trick.

Re:Conflicted (5, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253995)

didn't IBM also resign from ISO over OOXML? i think this form of passive protest is important as it draws attention to the corruption at hand. if nothing else, it's garnered media attention and highlighted how serious an issue this is.

i think all principled members of ISO need to show solidarity and resign together. a mass exodus from the organization would force the industry to stop ignoring the issue. it says to governments and companies who care about standardization that ISO is no longer a legitimate vendor-neutral standardization body.

the next step would be for IBM, the Norwegian technical committee members, and other parties serious about standardization, to form a new organization for promoting international standards--and to make reforms to safeguard against an incident like this from happening within the new standards body.

Re:Conflicted (1)

the_arrow (171557) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254233)

and to make reforms to safeguard against an incident like this from happening within the new standards body

I thought there already existed safeguards within the ISO/IEC framework, but that they basically were sidestepped. Whats to stop a new organization from doing it again?

Re:Conflicted (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254289)

the next step would be for IBM, the Norwegian technical committee members, and other parties serious about standardization

IBM, serious about standardization? Surely you jest.

IBM was the least principled company involved in the OOXML standardization process. Two of their employees, Bob Sutor and Rob Weir, spread a lot of FUD. They made claims about the OOXML specification that were provably wrong (anyone could grab the spec, check it, and see--but almost no one did, so their FUD was widely believed). Interestingly, whenever they would post something that was a blatant lie, they would disable comments on their blogs for that post. They did have some valid criticism of OOXML, but even then, most of those were also problems in ODF. For example, they bitched about the fact that OOXML allows three different base dates to be used for calendars. But they were silent on the fact that ODF allows those three same base dates--plus tens of thousands of others.

This was quite a contrast to the blogs of people like Brian Jones, on the pro-OOXML side. His comments were not closed, and critics of his positions were allowed to respond, right on his blog. He had nothing to hide there.

Re:Conflicted (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254563)

Yes it undermines the corrupt: "IBM have resigned from the ISO because it is crooked, perhaps we should not bother about there standards."

It could also pave the way to setting up an alternative standards body for file formats.

Re:Conflicted (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254907)

the correct next step is for the ISO to cop on, and realize that, like other supernational bodies (eg ICANN), it can only be effective (and hence exist) if it is seen as incorruptible and representing the best interest of those involved in an industry and their clients.

While a new organization will clearly be more effective than the ISO in its current state, it is really should be a last resort option.

That said, maybe the ISO model just isn't the right one for the software industry.

It will help... (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254217)

...if (and only if) those principled individuals set up a rival standards organization, have as part of their charter that they refute corruption and automatically negate standards tainted by corruption, re-certify where legal all known-to-be-"safe" standards under their own name, and then lobby research shops and companies hurt by the ISO scandal to work with them. Fork the certification market, but because of rebranding existing standards, no other standards body would ever need to be involved.

Another alternative - standards bodies rely on the income from charging absurd fees for standards, relying more on secrecy than anything. If you pay enough for a standard, you won't just give it away, in theory. If some suitably rich investor with lots of contacts and enough cunning bought up copies of those standards and then just dumped them onto public sites, it could cripple standards organizations for a long time. If it was clearly linked to the ISO debacle, ISO might not be too keen to be seen to complain - most countries deem bribery (even outside of government) a more serious offense than a petty trade secret violation and the press are more into scandals (which ISO is undoubtedly riddled with) than knuckle-rapping.

Re:It will help... (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254741)


On the contrary. Good people remaining in the service of a bad organisation only adds to that organisation's strength. Walking away takes from the strength of that organisation. These people tried to redeem the organisation - they protested, they appealed and they went public. The organisation did not reverse its actions. To remain is to continue to lend support to its actions, to walk away is to diminish its authority. Whilst it could in theory help if they set up an alternate standards agency, these are merely people from a national group. Unless they started organising with other protestors from around the World, they can't set up anything to rival ISO. But they don't actually need to. Standards emerge and get organised without the aid of ISO. In fact, ISO often merely turns up and codifies such standards. Weaken ISO and where there is a need, other parties will start to fill in the gap in authority. I don't think you can ask more of these people than they have already given up. I assume there's a paycheck they have renounced somewhere in this, as well a privileged position.

I have full respect for their actions.

Re:Conflicted (0, Offtopic)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254219)

It's like Homeopathy, they are using something that's bad to cure something else that's bad, in this case a corrupt group will fix the corrupt organization.

They have achieved something (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254267)

When principled people withdraw from an endeavor, they take with them the credibility they leant to it. The credibility of principled participants is all a standards body has to offer.

They are by their action hastening a day when a new, credible standards body can displace the corrupt corpse of ISO.

Good on 'em.

Nice statement, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25253773)

It's a nice statemnt, but you know that now that these people have left, they will be replaced with people more willing to just rubber stamp whatever comes down the line. Sure their voices were being ignored by their bosses, but at least they had a chance to be heard by the rest of the world.

Microsoft at its best (5, Informative)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253789)

Microsoft seems to want to to take over ODF too.
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080825162905645 [groklaw.net]

Apparently they are not happy there is a working specification in the wild. It being a standard must hurt even more.

Form a new standards body (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25253813)

It's a good time to start a new standards body with a new goal.

Re:Form a new standards body (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254847)

It's a good time to start a new standards body with a new goal.

And hookers! In fact, forget the standards body and the goal.

Can the EU courts look at this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25253817)

I can't believe no laws were broken in this process. Why can't the EU courts take this up?

Re:Can the EU courts look at this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25253859)

I thought ISO and all the other standards boards were just private entities. They're not answerable to any governments, so there's no laws broken.

Re:Can the EU courts look at this? (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254039)

It's not the ISO entities themselves; it's M$ and their hired cronies.

What is a standards body? (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254213)

I can't believe no laws were broken in this process. Why can't the EU courts take this up?

Easy - a "standards body" is not an entity with any legal weight. All it is is a group of people who get together and make recommendations that others may choose to follow. It's purely a political process but not at all a legal one. The only value that a standards body has is that other entities (EG: companies) trust it to determine what technologies to implement and in what fashion.

For example, there there is no legal requirement that any software vendor implement TCP or IP. But TCP and IP are detailed by the ISOC [isoc.org] . If you are a software company, you will implement your TCP stack in accordance with ISOC standards or your implementation will be considered sub-standard.

But if you screw up your implementation, there's little ISOC can do, and nothing legally. They can say you are bad, they can make recommendations against your software. But that's it.

The only weight that a standards body has is that others trust the insight and recommendations made by the standards body. When a standards body can be legitimately accused of shenanigans, that's pretty much it's end.

Goodbye ISO, it's been nice knowing ye...

Many laws were broken (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254293)

First among them treason. Agents of a US corporation have subverted major agencies of sovereign nations. Those government employees of non-US nations have by their participation betrayed their nation, the public trust they held in their positions, and their duty. They've done it to preserve the profitability of a foreign enterprise, and by extension line their own pockets.

It's only a matter of time before this is figured out. Heads will roll - in some cases figuratively and in some cases literally.

Re:Many laws were broken (1)

bertilow (218923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254789)

It's only a matter of time before this is figured out. Heads will roll - in some cases figuratively and in some cases literally.

You must be new here. And I don't mean "new on Slashdot". I mean "new in the real world". No heads will roll. Nothing will happen. Life and corruption will go on just like before. Business as usual.

Re:Many laws were broken (1)

vigour (846429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254903)

First among them treason. Agents of a US corporation have subverted major agencies of sovereign nations. Those government employees of non-US nations have by their participation betrayed their nation, the public trust they held in their positions, and their duty. They've done it to preserve the profitability of a foreign enterprise, and by extension line their own pockets.

It's only a matter of time before this is figured out. Heads will roll - in some cases figuratively and in some cases literally.

I wish this was true, but sadly most people, including politicians have no interest in OOXML debacle. Politicians have paid "experts" to direct them, and tell them what their opinion should be. It doesn't help matters in a country like Ireland where MS have a relatively large presence and have people on the advisory committees.

It also doesn't help when you read comments like this from the official National Standards of Ireland website [www.nsai.ie]

After months of intensive review, analysis and discussion, NSAI has voted Disapproval - with Technical Comments, in respect of the OOXML submission. This effectively is a qualified yes, whereby Ireland has some technical issues with the submission. If the Technical Comments are satisfactorily resolved and incorporated into a new draft, the vote is subsequently amended to Approval.

Re:Can the EU courts look at this? (3, Insightful)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254469)

I can't believe no laws were broken in this process. Why can't the EU courts take this up?

Normally, it would be illegal for a bunch of companies to get together and collude like they do at a standards body. But anti-trust laws have exceptions to promote the creation of open standards. You would think such an exception would not apply if participants were paid or otherwise compensated/coerced into voting to benefit an existing monopoly.

How soon people forget ... (4, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254085)

FTFA:

Actually, you can only read part of the resolutions passed by this stacked committee. As usual, there are deep secrets that the public can't access. That's just one part of what's wrong with those people and why ODF must never fall into their secretive clutches. If it does, I have little doubt that ODF will end up brain dead, on life support, turning blue for lack of oxygen, and then suddenly, sadly, we'll find it dead as a doornail.

This was the same state Unix was in around the early 1990s. We're not dead yet! In fact, we've taken over the large computer market since then.

ISO has lost its street cred so expect an Open Source replacement. Open Standards benefit everyone, so I expect someone to fill in the gap.

Re:How soon people forget ... (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254367)

This was the same state Unix was in around the early 1990s. We're not dead yet! In fact, we've taken over the large computer market since then.

Ahem. Linux Is Not UniX. Linux owns the big iron these days, holding over 85% [top500.org] of the Top500 [top500.org] . It's pretty dominant on the small end too, with home routers and file servers being the extreme of that bracket. The middle is getting squeezed out as thin-is-in netbooks and nettops push into the mainstream.

ISO has lost its street cred so expect an Open Source replacement. Open Standards benefit everyone, so I expect someone to fill in the gap.

Unix was never open source until Open Solaris (the provenance of which is still subject to vigorous debate).

But of course you knew that. I was a Unix admin in 1984. At the time it was the stuff. Unfortunately because it was born before the age of software as property it wasn't designed to be protected from the greatest threat progress has ever faced: intellectual property lawyers. Linux was.

Re:How soon people forget ... (2, Insightful)

greenbird (859670) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254465)

Unix was never open source until Open Solaris

BSD isn't Unix?

Re:How soon people forget ... (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254689)

No, BSD is not Unix [opengroup.org] . To say that BSD is Unix is perhaps like saying that grass is rice. That's not quite correct. Some grasses are rice. Some grasses are differently purposed and differently used. They may share some genetic material but a putting green is not a bowl of cereal.

However, all rices are grasses. All of the currently used Unixes owe the vast majority of their genetic material to the University of California at San Diego and Berkeley. It would be fair to say that modern Unixes are all Berkeley System Developments with proprietary "enhancements". This is perhaps the acknowledgment you were looking for. That's not the same thing as saying that BSD is Unix.

But the whole of a Unix was never Open until Open Solaris, which as I said is still in doubt. In fact, since Open Solaris hasn't been accepted by The Open Group, who bought the name "Unix" and certify Unix systems, it's not a Unix either. Nor is any particular flavor of BSD.

And still... Linux Is Not UniX. It was never intended to be. Linux is Linux. It's its own brand and that's all it needs to be. It doesn't need to carry forward the heritage from the Information Science pirates of a byegone era. To the extent that it pays homage to the great minds that went before, it's standing on the shoulders of giants as all great art does. It doesn't steal their intellectual property -- it just acknowledges the best of their ideas in new and creative ways and creates on that foundation new expressions that, in our litigation constrained environment, can be used and expanded upon freely.

Re:How soon people forget ... (2, Informative)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254823)

No, GNU's not Unix.

Re:How soon people forget ... (2, Informative)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254479)

But of course you knew that.

Of course. But what that comment referred to was the lawsuit that effectively ended Unix' chances at the time, but spurred all the BSD spinoffs and later Linux. Maybe I had the year wrong, that was during the time I took a sabbatical from Unix hacking to pursue professional bowling.

I was a Unix admin in 1984. At the time it was the stuff.

Ah. Right on and yes, Unix was very much the cutting edge then.

Now that I think about it, I'm at the tipping point. I started with Unix in late 1981, Linux in late 1995 and I have very nearly spent more time with Linux than Unix. Unix in the form of its descendents Linux and Mac OS X is still very much alive. Powerful, fast and it doesn't crash, so it's still the stuff.

Re:How soon people forget ... (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254735)

I took a hiatus too. I didn't miss the show - I was just sidelined playing with stuff I knew was good. It didn't take me more than three months of Windows development to figure out that it was a trap. The last month of that I spent looking for specifications for a sound card so I could do audio capture before I discovered that the company that wrote the drivers for SoundBlaster was actually a wholly owned Microsoft subsidiary that wasn't giving up the specs at any price or terms I could live with.

I started with Unix in late 1981, Linux in late 1995 and I have very nearly spent more time with Linux than Unix. Unix in the form of its descendents Linux and Mac OS X is still very much alive.

OS X bought [opengroup.org] Unix certification because it was an important selling point. They had to do significant engineering to qualify for the mark, but they have it not in recognition of their engineering, but because they licensed the right to call OS X a Unix from The Open Group.

Unix is not what it was in the 1960s and 1970s - the love child of great minds. It's now just a service mark. A brand. Intellectual property law ruined it, and Ransom Love killed it with his hubris. It's time to let it go.

Who pays their salaries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254191)

Opera, IBM, Linpro, NUUG, OpenOffice, FreeCode.

No hidden agendas there.

Auction? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254329)

Is ISO something like a bond rating service? For sale at the right price.

The Inquirer story has a translation (3, Interesting)

steveha (103154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254447)

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/10/02/norway-standards-members-walk [theinquirer.net]

I was shocked by how excellent the "rough Google translation" was. Unless they had a human clean up the translation a bit, that is amazingly good English prose for a machine translator to emit. (I can't speak for how accurate it is, but it seems plausible enough.)

English is a mess, with lots of irregular usages. How about Norwegian -- is it particularly easy or particularly hard to translate?

steveha

Re:The Inquirer story has a translation (2, Informative)

orzetto (545509) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254855)

Aside from the fact it is fairly likely a human did actually edit the translation, Norwegian (and all Scandinavian languages with it) has a syntax that is quite similar to English, except for some rules like the verb always in second position, as in German. (Yes, I speak Norwegian).

balanced reporting? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25254627)

It's worth pointing out that only one of the resigning members was a member of the SN/K 185 committee before OOXML was brought in for review.

These are essentially members that joined principally to block OOXML as a standard, and have been very vocal in their opposition.

Given their "OOXML - Go to Hell" public demonstrations, their professionalism and objectivity should probably be taken with a pinch of salt.

Re:balanced reporting? (1)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254783)

You deserve modding up for this, although you do not cite your references.

It is important to remember there are two sides to every story. I'm dead-set against the gaming of the ISO and so of course I want to hang on to every nugget like this; anything that shows up the appalling behaviour of Microsoft and the ISO itself in the public eye.

Without your comment I would have been unaware that this is a Pyrrhic victory and of little consequence; in fact, the real story would have been if they hadn't resigned in 'disgust'.

Thats scandinavia for you (0, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25254851)

Now if only norway stopped whaling, i would be able to put it in my small list of 'Wonderful countries of the world' next to sweden.
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