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Standards Expert — "Microsoft Fails the Standards Test"

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the proof-of-the-pudding dept.

Microsoft 177

levell writes "Alex Brown, Convenor of the Ballot Resolution Meeting on OOXML, has written a blog post saying that Microsoft is failing the standards test. Mr. Brown notes: 'In its pre-release form Office 2010 supports not the approved Strict variant of OOXML, but the very format the global community rejected in September 2007, and subsequently marked as not for use in new documents — the Transitional variant. Microsoft are behaving as if the JTC 1 standardisation process never happened, and using technologies (like VML) in a new product which even the text of the Standard itself describes as "deprecated" and "included... for legacy reasons only"...' He also says that defects are being fixed very slowly and that 'Looking at the text, I reckon it is more like 95% that remains to be done, as it is still lousy with defects.' It's an insightful look at what has happened with OOXML since ISO approved it from someone who was not opposed to its becoming a standard."

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177 comments

Alex Brown gets heart broken (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707054)

"But Microsoft said it would respect me in the morning! And call me later!"

The best bit of this gushing fountain of schadenfreude is the comments. Rob Weir pointing out that they were entirely fucked over precisely as Tim Bray predicted, and Alex and Rick Jelliffe still insisting that Microsoft will love them really once it sees just how pure and worthy their love is.

Guys. You got fucked over. Ballmer had his sweaty way with you and got his ISO number. He deleted your number on his way back home. He is never going to light up your phone.

Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (3, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707080)

So, here's a new motto up for grabs: Don't be evil... unless you can pay the MS licensing fees?

Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707438)

Is it safe to talk about Stockholm Syndrome in such cases already?

Either way, since he was one of those who planted the seeds of the mess, while being constantly warned how it'll end up, I don't see how he can complain and expect to be treated seriously... (not that he won't be)

Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707778)

It gets better. In the comments Jeremy Allison provided Mr. Brown with a reality check. Yet he still defends Microsoft with this response via the Ike Turner defense:

Don't you think corporations change? Google from wide-eyed startup to the new Big Brother megacorp; Sun from centre of the technical solar system to bin-end bargain; IBM from evil monopolist market-abuser to ... no, wait ...

Microsoft: Promise, baby. I won't hit ya no more, I love you, you know that.
Mr. Brown: I know it baby. It just hurts that you love me so much. Let's make love.
Microsoft: Yeah baby let's make some sweet love. But don't be dissing my technique or you know what'll happen.
Mr. Brown: Sorry baby it's all my fault...

[smack]

Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708086)

And implying Jeremy had no experience of Microsoft to base his opinions on. It's class all the way down.

Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (5, Informative)

levell (538346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707824)

I think that you have to give Alex Brown a lot of credit for this article. He effectively "sided" with Microsoft in the massive controversy that was the OOXML standardisation. In that position many people would convince themselves they had done the right thing and turn a blind eye to Microsoft's failings.

That he's prepared to publicly do what he has make me have a little more respect for him and people like him (Rick Jelliffe) for the part they played in the mess that was the initial standardisation.

Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (3, Interesting)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708224)

He's still in denial and lashing out at people who dast say "I told you so" too early for his liking.

Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708248)

He may come out less credible out of this - but so does Microsoft.

And this just confirms what we have known a long time - Microsoft don't give a crap about any opinion or being popular. They are big enough to just roll over everyone. Not very different from dictators around the world.

Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (2, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707894)

But he double-dutch promised. He even flew in a pair of twins from Dutchland, and they double-dutch vouched for his promise. And you know how trustworthy the Dutch are.

So now you know how deep our disappointment is. He has totally ruined our whole belief in the double-dutch system.

Unless he had his fingers crossed behind his back. Did anybody remember to check? Both hands?

Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708240)

It's all IBM's fault. IBM aren't Dutch enough.

Alex Brown musn't have been paid then (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707060)

... because he was sure full on in favour of his masters work and blind to its faults when the ballot took place.

and this is new news why? (5, Insightful)

Sosetta (702368) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707066)

Why is this news? Microsoft doesn't follow any standards, and never has. It's part of their strategy. Since they're bigger than everyone else, everyone has to adhere to their (non) standards, which means everyone else is always playing catchup, and can never get ahead. This way implementation is never judged on speed or size, but instead judged on "how Microsoft-like" it is. Microsoft always wins that comparison.

Re:and this is new news why? (5, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707120)

It's news because governments are increasingly requiring computer data to be stored in standard formats. It's much easier to check that box if it's ISO approved. If, however, Office isn't using the ISO approved version of OOXML, there might be some governments who will never install Office 2010.

Microsoft may be shooting themselves in the foot.

Re:and this is new news why? (5, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707334)

Jane you ignorant slut, Microsoft created Microsoft Office Open XML because governments were starting to require an "open" standard for document storage. They created one they and millions of others knew could not be implemented. They then paid one standard organizations(ECMA) fees to get labeled a standard and then they hijacked a second standards organization(ISO) by flooding their committees with Microsoft partners in order to get it approved.

It is the idiots who keep thinking Microsoft is going to do any of the things they say they'll do when it's said to get their way who are shooting themselves in the foot. And the really moronic thing is that they keep lining up to do this without seeing how many have done the exact same thing year after year after year.

If this "news" gets any traction and Microsoft Office Open XML( notice how their product name is in the name of the standard ) gets bashed any more, they'll just pretend to do some work on it and the same idiots will think that something will come of it and they'll back off. 2, 3, or more years from now someone will cry that Microsoft isn't acting in good faith. Like I said, they're idiots. IMO

LoB

Re:and this is new news why? (3, Informative)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707730)

Parent is not a troll. Idiot moderator should try and recognize popular SNL lines before proving they are an idiot.

Re:and this is new news why? (2, Funny)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707926)

Yeah idiot moderator, watch SNL!

Re:and this is new news why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707992)

Since when does Scottish Nuclear Limited has popular lines?

Re:and this is new news why? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708320)

Why, I thought that Scottish Nuclear Limited was a ferry?

Re:and this is new news why? (3, Interesting)

Zumbs (1241138) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708508)

Fortunately, not all governments have fallen for the ploy. Recently, the Socialdemocratic-Socialist opposition forced the Conservative-Liberal government in Denmark to pass a law, requiring the state to use truly open formats. One major battle were exactly if OOXML should be considered an open standard. This battle were won by the opposition, as it managed to force the government to make a series of criteria for for what an open format is, where only ODT were included, and it is highly unlikely that the OOXML version including deprecated functionality will meet the criteria.

Microsoft Office Open XML

Are you sure that is the official name? If so, why isn't the abbreviation MOOXML?

Re:and this is new news why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707912)

Microsoft is supposed to be using the Transitional variant so if it's actually compliant with that, Office 2010 will be ISO compliant until the ISO drops the Transitional variant. It's kind of a bizarre situation since MS can probably license Office 2010 to governments with the ISO rubber stamp right up until the ISO actually guts it out of the standard then who knows what those governments will do if MS hasn't produced a service pack implementing Strict. Even now my understanding is that Office 2007 will be compliant (discounting bugs in implementation) with ISO Transitional once they revise it to restore parity with the ECMA spec (which is the entire point of Transitional really).

Re:and this is new news why? (2, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708650)

Friends don't let friends use office, period.

Re:and this is new news why? (0, Offtopic)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707234)

do a clean install of XP, get SP3 & updates, use nLite to make an image without internet explorer, without outhouse express, without windows media player, (basically just the bare OS, no extra ms-software) then do a clean install with the nLite image, and install openoffice, java, firefox, Gimp, and any FOSS windows app that you need, i been using Linux exclusivly for years until i got an SDR (software defined radio) Flex SDR-1500 and there is no decent software to run it in Linux, wine does a pitiful poor job running it, so i went with XP. i dont love XP but it does the job where linux was failing at it.

Re:and this is new news why? (2, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707362)

i dont love XP but it does the job where linux was failing at it.

NO.

GNU/Linux isn't failing. It's precisely because people like is are willing to just jump and use whatever OS certain hardware/software requires that those providers won't develop their software for other platforms. Hiring windows developers is cheaper. Porting is more expensive. The fact that you and lots of other people are willing to jump boats whenever your privative software overlords tell you to do so is what allows this companies to continue not giving a fuck about anything but microsoft.

GNU/Linux didn't fail. YOU failed.

Re:and this is new news why? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707420)

so i am supposed to just use my new thousand dollar SDR radio as a doorstop because there is no Linux software for it?

Re:and this is new news why? (3, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707498)

No, you are supposed to use one of the many SDR solutions that have good GNU/Linux support, including many that even release their source code, and are compatible with other Free Software.

Re:and this is new news why? (-1, Troll)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707720)

How about you drop dead and stop telling people what to do? He isn't "supposed" to do anything, he's free to choose whatever solution SDR he wants, and if that means using Windows, that's his right. Grow up.

Re:and this is new news why? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707922)

Yes it is his right to use any SDR he wants to buy and to run it on Winodws if that is what it needs. He I supposed underder the first Amendment is still entitled to complain about how it does not work on OSS and call OSS a failure, if he wants but its stupid because:

There are SDRs that support OSS

Some of the best SDRs support OSS

As a parent pointed out he is acting as an enbabler for behavior the community he wants? to be a member of does not like; when he had better options.

He is doging his personal responsiblity to make consicious, researched purchasing descison and attempting to blame others for anticipating and meeting his needs.

So sure he is entitled to his opinion but the rest of us don't have to agree or give him much consideration when its pretty clear he made is own bed and just is simply unsatisfied laying in it.

How about you stopping telling GNU what to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31708358)

How about you stopping telling GNU what to do? And shut the fuck up and leave out all this bullshit about how it's GNU/Linux's fault not yours. Man up, if you want to do what you want to do without being told, man up and accept it is YOUR failure, not GNU or linux.

Re:and this is new news why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707736)

Hi, I would like to welcome you to the real world, but I don't think you're living in it.

Re:and this is new news why? (1, Troll)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707858)

Yes to promote freedom, you should do EXACTLY WHAT I SAY!

Because God knows you won't be free unless you're mindlessly following somebody else's instructions! While you're at it, work on eliminating that damned independent thought.

Re:and this is new news why? (-1, Flamebait)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707674)

No, Linux failed. There's no reason someone should suffer through using Linux when Windows does the job fine as it is. Are you going to throw a hissy fit and cry because more people buy Coke over RC Cola too?

Re:and this is new news why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707794)

NAre you going to throw a hissy fit and cry because more people buy Coke over RC Cola too?

yes

Re:and this is new news why? (4, Insightful)

bb5ch39t (786551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707924)

I am a Linux-only user. And I somewhat agree with you. If somebody has a requirement that only Windows succeeds in fulfilling, then use Windows. As a person who desires to run Linux, I make sure that my purchases are supported by Linux. If a vendor decides to not support Linux (and proprietary software on Linux is OK by me), then they lose my business. Whether that is of relevance to them is up to them. It is not up to me. I've never understood any "fanboyz" of any flavor (Linux, *BSD, Windows, or MAC). Use what does the job.

Oh, and "Linux" did not "fail". The vendor decided to not support Linux. The vendor decided not to publish the tech details so that others could support their hardware. Nobody "failed". The vendor did exactly as they desired: To lock their customers into their software. And the vendor decided to only support Windows as a simple economic decision.

Do We Expect Otherwise? (4, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707068)

Really? End of subject.

Re:Do We Expect Otherwise? (2, Insightful)

Mojo66 (1131579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707176)

No, because that's their business model, it's called "Lock-In".

Re:Do We Expect Otherwise? (1)

doug (926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707602)

What is unexpected about MS doing this? The only thing unexpected is Brown saying this publicly. From what I saw a few years ago, I figured that he was Microsoft's play thing forever and ever.

Re:Do We Expect Otherwise? (4, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707998)

Inexcusable acts do not become less inexcusable and deserving of less outrage just because you do them a lot.

Microsoft IS standards (4, Insightful)

OopsIDied (1764436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707076)

thanks to the average user, who does not care about these kinds of things.

Re:Microsoft IS standards (0, Flamebait)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707310)

The avarage users (a.k.a. everyday people) are using what is being banged through their throats.

They don't buy computers because they want to have a computer so they can do something with it... no. The avarage user is forced to use computers because all of their friends are using Facebook and he is the only one who doesn't. The avarage user doesn't need e-mail because he can also read paper, but he must because nobody sends the person paper mail anymore.

All businesses started using word processorts because they kicked the shit out of typewriters in terms of productivity and it was the future. Then Microsoft came and said: "Hey guys, take our word processort for free!" and then the CEO said "Hey that's cheaper! Use that instead! Money Money Money!!!!!!!!"

Than Microsoft got their hold of the market. Not because it was better software, but because it was free of charge. Then Microsoft's practises came into effect. Bill Gates was far more interested in business and the economy and was excited about the strategy/theory of having your product become more succesful, the more it was used.

Then came the Embrace, extend and extinguish into effect because Word could read all the other docs, but all the other word processorts couldn't read Word.

So then all companies where slowly required to acquire Word. But in order to run Word you must have the Microsoft OS too.

Now the avarage user is required to have a computer. Is required to have Word. Is required to have Microsoft's OS. Is now locked in product.

The only way to absolutely kill Microsoft is becomming compatible with it, but not the other way around.

Enter Apple, the company who makes Mac OS X, has Microsoft Office but also their own shit. Mac OS X is now also compatible with Exchange. Apple computers can now also run Windows. They can run Linux.

But can anyone run iWorks on Windows? Can anyone run Mac OS X on a computer that's not made by Apple? Bingo!

And now you can see Apple getting tremendous marketshare. Each keynote highlights that extremely rapid growth of succes.

iPod shuffle costs about $80, a Mac mini costs about $499 and the cheapest Macbook about $800 and the prices of the lowest end keep lowering.

Now what does Linux need? To get the avarage computer users to run the Linux OS. Luckely Apple is using some standards. OpenGL, Acid 3 browser, UNIX, Posix...

And then there is Google with it's services and open shizzle.

Apple must crush MS and get the largest marketshare. It is then that all other operating systems get their fair share and fair competition...

Re:Microsoft IS standards (1, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707394)

Apple is just a monopolistic tyrannical corporation just like Microsoft only worse because you have to use Apple's hardware, so you would be jumping from the pan into the fire going with Apple.

Re:Microsoft IS standards (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707436)

Yes it sucks. But if it acquires a monopoly then open web standards will become the defualt. Then OpenGL becomes the default. Etc. Etc. Etc.

So then all other operating systems get a chance to become compatible with the big fat de-facto and then Mine (Mine is not an emulator) can be created and then Linux can finally become very compatible and by extend usable and by more extend makes your computer running Linux/*BSD/whatever capable of being used in the social world.

Re:Microsoft IS standards (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707594)

iPod shuffle costs about $80

$59

a Mac mini costs about $499

$599

cheapest Macbook about $800

$999

Jesus. If only these prices were listed on some sort of website [apple.com]

Re:Microsoft IS standards (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707702)

That's why I said about. I do not live in the US, I like here:

And the prices where old, but here a MacBookc costs 899 euro's, Shuffle 55 (two months ago at a large mall here (BCC) 79 euro's) and Mac Mini does, yes, costs 599.

Totally my fault. Totally my bad. But it's a fact that these things are becomming cheaper every year.

Re:Microsoft IS standards (1)

51M02 (165179) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707372)

The "average user" is not the one targeted by Office 2010, if I recall correctly, but the IT dept. whose boss/mayor/president may wants open standards documents.

The "average user" is still running Windows XP to surf the web (watch pr0n) and play video games and he is fine with his copy of Microsoft Office 2003.

My predictions from 2009 (4, Insightful)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707088)

  • Office 2010 will conform to the Transitional consumer and producer classes defined in the OOXML standards. Any bugs that are found in the shipped version of Office 2010 will be "fixed" by retroactively changing the standards to match what Office actually does, as is currently being done by Microsoft-packed SC34/WG4 committee with similar bugs found in Office 2007's OOXML support.
  • Office 2010 will not have conforming support for OOXML Strict producer or consumer classes.
  • Office 2010 will write dozens of non-interoperable, proprietary extensions into their OOXML documents, extensions which are not defined by the OOXML standards and which have not been reviewed or standardized by any standards committee and which will not be fully interoperable with other OOXML editors, or even with previous versions of MS Office.

That and more from my 2009 blog post [robweir.com]

Every one of these has come to pass. If the scales are falling from Alex's eyes, then great. But the rest of us saw this coming a long time ago. In fact, Microsoft told us at the SC34 meeting in Seattle last year that the "Strict" conformance class would not be supported until Office 16. Alex knows that. So it is odd that he is pretending that this is something unexpected.

Re:My predictions from 2009 (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707952)

Office 16? It's going to take that long? Well I suppose that's pretty much on par for Microsoft and supporting standards.... late.

Microsoft not following a standard that they set? (2, Interesting)

dremspider (562073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707110)

Wow.... What a surprise. Just when I thought Microsoft was starting to get better. We really need to get away from these binary formats anyway... A LOT of security vulnerabilities come from binary formats.

Re:Microsoft not following a standard that they se (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707444)

I totally agree with you - binary file formats are like totally insecure for sure... I mean one need only look to web browsers which parse those "binary" html and xml formats and how many hundreds of critical security bugs they have had over the years. Its the low level parsing of document structure where all the bugs are - switching to XML will make your documents secure and I have a caribbean vacation getaway I would like to sell you. Only $99..whats your fax number?

Re:Microsoft not following a standard that they se (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707550)

Isn't OOXML, you know kind of, XML like rather than a binary standard???

Re:Microsoft not following a standard that they se (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708112)

it's some XML in a zip container from my knowledge. In fact on *NIX systems the file utility shows them as zips. I remember at uni that we had issues with the linux based mail system marking the attachments as zips and then they didn't auto open in word.

Re:Microsoft not following a standard that they se (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708042)

I agree that complex proprietary formats are a big problem, but can you define "binary formats" a little better? Everything except for stuff in a few experimental architectures (trinary, analog, etc) is stored in a binary form.

This is no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707114)

Microsoft did not want a standard. They wanted a tick in the box to say that their file format was standard so they could sell to company's and governments who had a policy of storing documents in an open way to ensure that they could be retrieved in the future.

Say it ain't so! (1)

doggo (34827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707144)

Wait, what!!!? Microsoft is ignoring standards?! Noooo waaay!

Re:Say it ain't so! (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707184)

The best part it's their own standard they're ignoring, not someone else's halfcocked 'standard' like CSS or XML.

Re:Say it ain't so! (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708068)

The Strict variant isn't theirs; it's the ISO's work. The Transitional variant however is pretty much the ECMA spec once the ISO modifies it back into compliance with ECMA. Of course, the ECMA spec is pretty much the Office 2007 format.

You could have seen this coming (4, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707170)

even if you were born 2500 years ago: [wikipedia.org]

The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."

http://www.aesopfables.com/cgi/aesop1.cgi?4&TheScorpionandtheFrog [aesopfables.com]

Re:You could have seen this coming (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707414)

Except in this case, the scorpion is stinging the frog before even getting into the water.

Re:You could have seen this coming (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707432)

except in this case, the "frog" is so clueless that he doesn't even know the scorpion is a scorpion. The truth unravels with the "frog" being completely surprised to find out he's not only been stung, but that they shinny object he trusted was in fact a scorpion who has done this hundreds of times before. Poor stupid "frog". And BTW, our governments are full of such "frogs" and also most of corporate management. Microsoft can hitch rides, and has, for a very long time.

LoB

Re:You could have seen this coming (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708590)

What's next? The Angry Warrior Speech [youtube.com] ?

Is This News ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707182)

MicroSLOP [microsoft.com] is the most destructive botnet unleased on the Intertubes.

Yours In Ulyanovsk,
Kilgore T.

Re:Is This News ? (1)

bb5ch39t (786551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708046)

Very true. Hum, my ISP does a lot of restrictions to try to stop problems such as spam and botnets. So, why is it that they only support Windows? It would be more consistent to support everything except Windows.

I just posted this comment on TFA: (5, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707214)

Many previous posts said it was unrealistic to expect microsoft to implement proper support in Office 2010. I think what is unrealistic is expecting microsoft to implement any kind of standards.

The only time they will implement anything that is standards compliant is when they have no choice. Think about IE. It took 15 years to get them to implement standards in IE (In IE9) and they only did so because Mozilla, Apple, Opera and Google forced them. Only after they lost significant marketshare against this companies that they implemented HTML5. And, remember, embrace, extend, extinguish. IE9 is only phase1 (Embrace). In a year or so, we'll see IE9 marketshare grow, and the proprietary extensions will start rolling. In a few years, It'll be 2001 all over again. IE15 will be as incompatible as IE6 was.

This is microsoft. That's what they do. They won't change. They are the most hostile company I've ever seen. They blatantly attack the rest of the industry, and as long as people put up with it and buy their products, they have no reason to change their tactics. They've worked well for them for almost 3 decades.

Re:I just posted this comment on TFA: (4, Informative)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707322)

What's especially interesting is that if Microsoft hadn't stopped working on IE for years, probably there would be no market reason for them to do anything involving web standards today.

You can't legitimately bash IE6 for being incompatible, though -- in its day, it had so much of the browser market (largely by default) that whatever IE6 did was the standard for anyone with a pragmatic bone in their body.

Re:I just posted this comment on TFA: (1, Informative)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707528)

You have no understanding of the browser wars.

Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_war [wikipedia.org]

Re:I just posted this comment on TFA: (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708362)

Uh... the article you're referencing has a diagram showing that IE had over 80% of the market for about 7 years and around 90% for several of them. During those years when Netscape had pretty much died and Firefox wasn't going (or later, gaining traction yet), IE was, from a pragmatic web developer's standpoint, the standard.

I'm not sure what in this article you think refutes anything I said.

Re:I just posted this comment on TFA: (4, Insightful)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707598)

It makes you wonder about all those promises that Microsoft has made to GNOME, Mono, and Linux to not sue. I don't buy any olive branch that Microsoft bares. Microsoft is evil, they will do everything to make it look like they want standards and interoperability, and then do everything in their power to make their product the only product. Seriously, anybody who believes any offer of friendship from MS is seriously gullible.

Re:I just posted this comment on TFA: (2, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707866)

It makes you wonder about all those promises that Microsoft has made to GNOME, Mono, and Linux to not sue. I don't buy any olive branch that Microsoft bares. Microsoft is evil, they will do everything to make it look like they want standards and interoperability, and then do everything in their power to make their product the only product. Seriously, anybody who believes any offer of friendship from MS is seriously gullible.

Agreed. I'm deeply worried about the future of Gnome. Specially since they had that stupid fight with the FSF. I spoke with Richard about it, and told him that it was important to keep Gnome close, since it was in danger. Here's what he had to say: (This is an extract from a very long email exchange)

Lots of fellow hackers and developers condemn the ideals of free
software. That has been true for 20 years or more. I wish
everyone agreed with the free software movement, but they don't.
We can't convert them. We can refuse to let them convert us.

We must, above all, refuse to be a coward like Obama who will make
whatever concession is necessary to avoid the appearance of short-term
defeat. That road leads to total failure.

So, we are between the FSF (Who, at the time, is more important than ever, but still acts like a zealot and drives people away) and Microsoft (That, as usual, acts like your average pedophile, lurking in kids with candy, and then raping them).

Many projects need a parent organization that protects them and helps them organize. Microsoft and their army of corporate trolls and other puppets is a very dangerous choice.

Re:I just posted this comment on TFA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707658)

What standards were Microsoft not implementing 15 years ago? There were no standards for any of the shit that Netscape and MS were shoving into their browsers at the time.

Fool me... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707220)

Fool me 48 times, shame on you, fool me the 49th... Shit! You did it again!

But you won't fool me 50 times. I'm sure you wouldn't do that.

Mod parent up! (3, Informative)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707404)

Too bad we're just preaching to the choir here...

Purchasing failure - set the requirements, follow (5, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707260)

The requirements need to be set by purchasing and strictly followed.

Buy only Software that meets OOXML-Strict or OpenDocument. If no supplier is able to meet OOXML-Strict then no purchases will be made.

I hope the EU and government sue (3, Interesting)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707292)

For each and every project that specified that a standardized format should be used, they can now be hold liable. Lets hope that they get sued to bits over it. I'm not holding my breath though, the EU seems to have some random rights and wrongs they pursue.

Re:I hope the EU and government sue (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707586)

Lets hope that they get sued to bits over it.

Not a problem for them. Usually when they get sued for big $$ they usually pay it off with vouchers for over expensive microsoft products right? That's one thing that needs to stop across the board - no company should be allowed to pay off any fines it receives for anti-market practices with it's own products and/or services.

Samba won big... (4, Informative)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707672)

I believe that in one of the last suits, Samba (and thus the rest of us) had a pretty big win in which Microsoft agreed to hand over a lot of technical documentation. I believe that there was even some part of the agreement that basically defused a number of patents that might have been brought to bear against Samba and other FOSS, but I can't remember the particulars off the top of my head.

So sometimes the EU's suits do bear good fruits.
Which we can pick up for Free and enjoy deliciously!

(. Oh, how bewildering .) (3, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707312)

Is this person for real?

And if we look elsewhere within Microsoft we can see - for example from their engagement with HTML 5 and work on MSIE - that they can move in the right direction when the will is there.

So why - given the awareness Microsoft has at the top, at the bottom, and round the edges - does it still manage to behave as it does? Something, perhaps, is wrong at the centre -- some kind of corporate dysfunction caused by a failure of executive oversight.

Yes, what really is the difference between 'office app space' and 'internet browser space'? Let's not forget Microsoft's swift rush to Internet standard conformance! They were like frolicing collies running over the meadows, busy herding eager to please!

Standards only matter when they are actually used (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707350)

I've never in my life received a document labled ooxml or other such crap from ANYONE. Either internally or amoung the tens of thousands of customers we interact with.

All this mumbo jumbo about "open" standards I don't understand. Who is actually using any of this and why should the end user care?

Re:Standards only matter when they are actually us (1)

bb5ch39t (786551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708090)

I get such things (docx and xlsx) from our CEO's executive assistant. I don't think our CEO even knows what a computer is.

Reached out (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707358)

I'm glad that Alex Brown talked to the responsible Microsoft Program Manager for comment rather than basing his article solely on a pre-release version of Office that is many months old.

Talk about being tainted... (5, Insightful)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707360)

The article says

Microsoft employs many eminent and standards-aware people of unimpeachable record – they also obviously “get it”

Actually, Microsoft employs many people who were previously of unimpeachable record. When these obviously intelligent and "eminent" persons get in bed with Microsoft and then don't cry foul at the first, second, third, or fourth time that Microsoft willfully and intentionally manipulates standards bodies, then how can we possibly consider their record anything but stained?

I know several people who work for Microsoft, and while I am happy that these friends still have work, especially in this time of massive layoffs, I wish that they had an opportunity to apply their skills at a company not so unbelievably hostile to standards groups.

Tainted includes ISO (1)

drdrgivemethenews (1525877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708222)

Tend to agree about Microsoft's hostility to standards processes (I'm involved in some of them). But why isn't ISO taking any licks here? It takes like 3 years to move a standard through ISO; what development organization has that kind of time?

And remember, there's only one vote per country in JTC 1 committees, which makes it easy for US-based companies to feel like the process is a bit imbalanced when it comes to software standards.

To all you professing to have seen this coming (4, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707412)

Go ahead. Tell me "I told you so" if you must. But I, for one, am SHOCKED. Utterly and stupefyingly shocked and dismayed by this move from the new kinder, gentler Microsoft. I refuse to believe this is on purpose. They turned over a new leaf and this can ONLY be described as a minor mistake, a hiccup, a bump on the road to reform, so to speak.

Microsoft is just kind of like my wife. She promised me after I found out about her cheating on me all those times that she'd stop. She's turned over a new leaf. She never MEANT to hurt me. And she's really trying to mend her ways but it's hard to change all those years of learned behavior, you know. It's not her fault she has needs I can't fulfill. And she loves me, I know she does. She says so every time I text her to ask her where she is. So I know it's true. And when she comes home smelling of some other man's junk I know it was just an accident. She would never intentionally take advantage of my naivete after all these years I've been with her. And neither would Microsoft.

Right? ... Guys?

the future is now! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707472)

[quote]This annex is normative for the current edition of the Standard, but not guaranteed to be part of the Standard in future revisions. The intent is to enable the future DIS 29500 maintenance group to choose, at a later date, to remove this set of features from a revised version of DIS 29500.

Read more: http://www.adjb.net/post/Microsoft-Fails-the-Standards-Test.aspx#ixzz0jxg6R5sd[/quote]

seriously, they have been taken for a ride and i hope they recognize this before office 2010 comes out and they market it as being standards compliant.

I stopped reading when I got to this nugget (2, Interesting)

TexasTroy (1701144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31707748)

I stopped reading when I got to this nugget - "It is also a worrying commentary on the standards-savvyness of the Office developers that the first amateur attempts of part-time outsiders find problems with documents which Redmond's internal QA processes have missed." Is the author really this naive? If so, how did this guy become involved in the process in the first place?

Re:I stopped reading when I got to this nugget (2, Funny)

simpz (978228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708542)

I was just thinking he must be the world's naivest man!

After Internet Explorer lock in, closed network protocols (SMB, AD, Exchange, SMB2, Kerberos) , private API's only MS apps can use, Sharepoint only working well on IE, patent trolling on FAT etc etc
he can't believe a convicted monopolist wouldn't subvert the hallowed ISO standards process for profit.

Wow, either naive or just thinks MS critics must be motivated by bitterness and jealousy, 20 minutes of googling and a little bit of insight (and not just buying everything MS say as innocent mistakes) would have set him right when it might have made a difference.

At least they're putting it in Office 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707854)

...and not something people will actually pay for. I like Windows 7, but Office is still a steaming pile of horse shit.

Sick of elitists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31707986)

What is it about the times we live in right now that spurs elitists to form a small group that tells us how to do everything?

Is Microsoft a company that can do as it pleases with it's software or is it a group of slaves that must do the will of the group of elitists?

The same thing happens with political correctness. Am I free to speak my opinion or am I a slave to the elitists who say my opinion is offensive?

Re:Sick of elitists (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708406)

In the case of MS, it's two things. First, nobody but nerds cares about any of this.

Among nerds, it's rage that normal people don't care. So instead of letting the market work it out, they know people won't change their buying habits so they attack the "problem" with an authoritative approach. Can't make people buy what they (nerds) see as "better"? Then get the government to force MS to change.

Re:Sick of elitists (1)

simpz (978228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708652)

Yeah true only nerds care, but you'd hope someone on an ISO file formats committee would be nerdy enough to care about this. It's his job!

OH, COME ON!!!! (3, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708012)

Doesn't anybody appreciate the delicious irony of TFA's URL: "www.adjb.net/post/Microsoft-Fails-the-Standards-Test.aspx"?

Re:OH, COME ON!!!! (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708420)

Irony fail. What does ASP.NET have to do with any standards?

Re:OH, COME ON!!!! (0, Troll)

pitdingo (649676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708646)

ASP.NET does not have anything to do with standards....that is the point. ASP.NET is a proprietary, patent encumbered Microsoft technology. The story about how microsoft fails standards is done in a non-standard proprietary microsoft tech. get it now?

I post this over and over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31708104)

http://www.happychild.org.uk/nvs/cont/stories/aesopsfables/page0214.htm

Maybe next time M$ will truly be trying to mend their ways and become less evil?

Yesss, maybe... mwahahahaha...

Continuing the Office upgrade virus tradition (1, Insightful)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708148)

Microsoft CAN'T go along with standards. If they did, then when they release a new version and change the file format to yet another proprietary variant it wouldn't force everyone to upgrade when their early-adopting friends (who probably got it free from MS) send them a document or spreadsheet in the new format and they can't open it, modify it, and send it back without buying an upgrade. Ka-CHING! We got another one Jocko!

Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31708150)

Mr. Brown's mom fails the standards test.

It's called MOOXML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31708242)

Remember. It's not OOXML. It's Microsoft Office Open XML aka MOOXML. Much easier to pronounce ;-D

"We don't need no stinkin' standards" (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708316)

They are just afraid that someone with a submarine patent is going to sue them if they use it. They are probably right.

Disagreement (2, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708334)

I have to disagree with Alex. Not with his summary of what happened, but with his conclusions. The OOXML standards project hasn't failed, and isn't heading for failure. It's been wildly successful. Remember that Microsoft's goal with it wasn't to produce a standard document format. It was to get an ISO standard passed with OOXML in the name so Microsoft could provide the correct tick-list item to sell to governments, while still keeping MS Office using a format that only Microsoft could reliably read and write. In fact, a document format that conformed strictly to a published standard that was completely and correctly specified was for MS an explicit non-goal, something to be kept from happening.

And if Alex expected anything else from Microsoft, I have to think he's deluded. There's nothing in Microsoft's history to suggest they'd do otherwise if they have any alternative open to them.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31708402)

Anybody taking 5 minutes out of their precious lives to Google^H^H^H^HBing Microsoft's past business practices and integrity as a company should have known better. To be surprised by any of this now means you are either a complete moron or were bought and paid for. We all know that metric tons of politicians were bought off. I suppose the obvious conclusion is that the remainder are complete morons. Nothing to see here. Please move along. "We" told you so.

Just like RTF all over again (4, Informative)

EMB Numbers (934125) | more than 4 years ago | (#31708636)

Microsoft worked with industry partners and standards organizations to create the RTF standard for document interchange. The first version of Word that could save RTF saved a badly broken non-standard version of RTF. WordPerfect and other competitors who tried to implement the standard for document import were screwed because they couldn't faithfully import MS Word documents. Users blamed WordPerfect.

Who knows whether MSWord's buggy RTF export was deliberate or merely incompetent. The point is that history once again repeats itself.

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