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India Decides to Vote "No" For OOXML

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the still-undecided dept.

Software 120

Indian writes to mention that after an intense meeting at Delhi's Manak Bhawan the 21-member technical committee has decided to vote against Microsoft's Open Office Extensible Mark Up Language (OOXML) standard at the September meeting of the International Standards Organization (ISO). "Microsoft said it respects the government's decision. 'There were only three options "Yes", "No" and "Abstain" to be taken and we respect the government's decision,' Microsoft's legal affairs head Rakesh Bakshi said. He, however, added that India's 'No' vote will become a 'Yes' if Microsoft is able to resolve all technical issues with OOXML before the ballot resolution committee of ISO."

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120 comments

Politics For Nerds??!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20343549)

The Slashdot FAQ [slashdot.org] "clearly states that the politics section is for news "news relevant to United States government politics."

Obviously, this bit about India and OOXML has absolutely nothing to do with the US government politics and has no relevance to it at all.

This politics section is a joke. There is no real rhyme or reason to the stories being posted to this section.

Re:Politics For Nerds??!!! (0)

middlemen (765373) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343565)

I guess whoever submitted the article wanted to show that other countries still have balls...

Re:Politics For Nerds??!!! (0)

endianx (1006895) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343717)

This has more to do with OOXML (nerd news) than with India.

Re:Politics For Nerds??!!! (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343921)

considering a lot of those nerds will find their job outsourced to india....

not to mention regardless of what americans think they don't live in a bubble and what happens in other countries, even outside of terrorism, has ramifications inside the country.

Re:Politics For Nerds??!!! (1, Offtopic)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20347351)

considering a lot of those nerds will find their job outsourced to india....
That comment is just plain disgusting.

Re:Politics For Nerds??!!! (0)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343963)

And? Stuff gets posted to YRO all the time that has nothing to do with YRO. It's just how things are around here.

Re:Politics For Nerds??!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20344001)

So, you're saying US politics has no relation to India IT?

Re:Politics For Nerds??!!! (1)

absoluteflatness (913952) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344545)

Changing the FAQ to read "news relevant to government and politics" is probably a better way to solve this one. There's really no need for the section to be even nominally limited to United States politics. A general section for science and tech-related political news is/would be very much worth having.

"Technical Issues" (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343555)

Sure...

Re:"Technical Issues" (1)

el cisne (135112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343679)

yeah, "technical issues" such as how much money is "technically" in the accounts of those voting. Always seems to work so far.

Re:"Technical Issues" (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343839)

You know what the worst part is? Even if there weren't any "technical issues," OOXML shouldn't be a standard because ISO already has an existing standard covering the same thing! And that preexisting standard leverages other standards (eg. SVG, MathML) while Microsoft's travesty doesn't! So even regardless of "technical issues," making OOXML a standard is ludicrously stupid!

India? Cattle shit in the streets India? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20345609)

India? Cattle shit in the streets India? My god if that place doesn't have enough problems that it has to worry about some god forsaken crap spec that no one understands.

Not Dr. Bombay

Re:"Technical Issues" (5, Interesting)

MuffinSpawn (914643) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345777)

They did this same sort of thing in the web services realm with WS-ResourceTransfer even though WS-ResourceFramework already existed and did everything WS-RT does. They claimed it was a merging of their stuff (WS-Transfer) with WS-RF, but it was really a coup. With WS-RT my original feeling was that they simply didn't want to recode everything to a new standard, so they just forced everyone to accept a superset of what they were using. That's annoying enough as it is, but I can't help thinking it's more than that despite my skepticism of conspiracies.

I can only assume that Microsoft's stance on the open source community is to simply use their clout to get everyone to use their specifications, thus making it seem like they're cooperating with others. In reality they're just forcing their Johny-come-lately garbage down everyone's throat as usual. Unfortunately people want Microsoft on board with standards, so they apparently keep getting duped into doing whatever Microsoft wants them to do in the spirit of pseudo-cooperation. Yes India said "no" to OOXML, but it was qualified with room for negotiation. Don't think that this is a win for open standards just yet. It's not an open standard if only one company gets to dictate what that standard is.

Re:"Technical Issues" (4, Insightful)

burner (8666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20347495)

"In reality they're just forcing their Johny-come-lately garbage down everyone's throat as usual"

It's worse than that.

Consider a manager making a decision of which implementation of a standard to use. Is that person going to select the implementation by the originator of the spec or an implementation by a third party? It's about using the standard to ensure market dominance and put any competition on uneven footing.

Re:"Technical Issues" (2, Informative)

Warbothong (905464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20347475)

Your complaints are like telling a Linux hacker "It's not a bug, it's just that the wording on these buttons should be changed". To a Linux hacker everything is either a bug or some vague hand-wavey thing. To a technical committee everything is a technical issue or some vague hand-wavey thing.

Technical issues can be fixed by changing the text, whilst General Comments (vague hand-wavey things) will be taken on board. Everything you mention could be classed as a technical issue, even the existance of OOXML could be considered a technical issue with ODF (whether OOXML actually offers anything over ODF is debatable, but a serious technical discussion would take on board the points raised by the OOXML text and look for the best resolution. Of course, it is hard to have a serious technical discussion when Microsoft are paying most of the members). General comments can be useful too (for example, a general comment could ask voting members to keep in mind that there is not a single working implementation of OOXML, not even Microsoft Office supports it, thus the market dominance of Microsoft Office and the disruption caused by any change of this does not work in OOXML's favour any more than ODF's, since both can be implemented in Microsoft Office if Microsoft bothered to do it but at the moment neither are. This kind of thing is important to mention, even though it is not a problem with the text of the specification).

I would encourage anyone who can to send comments to their representative body, visit http://www.noooxml.org/ [noooxml.org] to find out yours (I live in the UK and sadly our deadline passed months ago)

Respect (0, Troll)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343563)

I'm pretty sure Microsoft said that it 'respects' not 'respect's'. Respect doesn't own anything. That said, I'm not sure that Microsoft's enthusiasm is unfounded. If they can bribe Universal and Dreamworks, then bribing India doesn't seem too far fetched.

Re:Respect (1)

Svippy (876087) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343597)

They bribed DreamWorks? Then why do they use Linux [zdnet.com] ? That's some bad bribing if you ask me.

Re:Respect (1)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343851)

You must have missed the announcement that Paramount (Not Universal, who already is HD-DVD only - my bad) and DreamWorks got $150 million between them from M$ to switch to HD-DVD only.

Re:Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20343995)

Microsoft (or "M$", as your adult-self calls it) wasn't involved in the deal. Go back and read TFA; it specifically addressed this sort of rumor-mill bullshit.

Re:Respect (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344399)

Microsoft (or "M$", as your adult-self calls it) wasn't involved in the deal.

No, Microsoft's statement was:

"We provided no financial incentives to Paramount or DreamWorks whatsoever,"
Amir Majidimehr, head of Microsoft's consumer media technology group.
Microsoft (and others) provided money to the HD DVD Promotion Group. The HD DVD Promotion Group provided money to the studios.

It's called "plausible deniability".

Re:Respect (1)

bytta (904762) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346505)

That article you link to is over 5 years old. HD-DVD is slightly younger.

In case you missed it, Shrek came out in 2001...

Not according to The Economic Times (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344091)

If you'd RTFA [indiatimes.com] , you would notice that, according to Microsoft, indeed respect does own "the government's decision".

'nough said (0, Redundant)

moseman (190361) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343573)

GOOD!

Good news... (5, Insightful)

Philotechnia (1131943) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343593)

The last time I looked at the OOXML spec, it was the most non-spec spec document I had ever seen. It was chock full of references to Microsoft's proprietary legacy code, failing to provide the details that would really allow for an open implementation. The only thing Microsoft opened up was letting developers know exactly what functionality they weren't being allowed to properly use. If this spec had been passed, it would have been an open invitation for more anti-spec specs down the road. Meanwhile, is it really a coincidence that with the advent of applications like OpenOffice, Office 2007 featured a complete revamp of the Office UI? Methinks not... Microsoft is the functional equivalent of that guy at the bar that can pick up just about any women he pleases, but is cursed with commitment issues that keep anything meaningful from developing. Bring something real to the table, billg.

Re:Good news... (3, Funny)

bytta (904762) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343631)

Microsoft is the functional equivalent of that guy at the bar that can pick up just about any women he pleases, but is cursed with commitment issues that keep anything meaningful from developing.

I thought he was like the weird "friend of the family" who forced himself on almost all the girls before they learned how to say no...

Re:Good news... (2, Funny)

Philotechnia (1131943) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343861)

I suppose MS and the weird friend both deserve to be on at least one watchlist...

On the other hand, can you blame him? At the risk of sounding a little weird myself, is it just me, or did India become a little, um, top-heavy over summer vacation?

/India for Playmate of the Year 2008

No need to worry... (4, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343967)

There's actually a simple XSL template that removes all the errors from the OOXML documents:

<xsl:template match='/'/>

Re:Good news... (2, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345365)

What format does Apple's Pages/Keynote save to? Is it an open standard? Would Apple apologists say that it isn't open because it allows them to innovate more freely?

Is MS Office really that bad to compare it to a guy that treats women as objects?! Personally I think MS Office is by far Microsoft's best application and they deserve credit for it.
MS Office 2007's UI revamp was also a big deal. It makes it much easier to make full use of all of Office, and I'll bet you anything that OpenOffice and iWork will end up copying it to some degree.

Isn't UI innovation what everyone loves about Apple, yet when Microsoft do it it's somehow sneaky and underhanded (like that creepy guy at the bar?!).

No-one is forcing them to create an open standard that will allow other software to interact with MS Office documents, but they are. Shouldn't they get credit for that?

Re:Good news... (5, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345493)

You may actually have a point, if Apple was trying to push whatever format keynote is, as a global *OPEN* standard.

Re:Good news... (0, Troll)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345635)

No. Microsoft wasn't trying to push it as a global, open standard until lately, and everyone still complained.

Nice try, though!

Apple bug reports requesting open standards (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346783)

I know of people, myself included, who have been after Apple for years to support OpenDocument. (Yeah, it's been that long already.) As far as I can tell, the way their bugreporter [apple.com] is set up it's not possible to view other people's bugs. That means that all requests for supporting open standards get blown of as "duplicate" without being able to see the original or its status.

It'd be really interesting to know the real reasons Apple's still failing to support formats like OpenDocument and Ogg. Ogg entered the double digit marketshare [com.com] two years back. OpenDocument is recommended by governments [opendocume...owship.org] around the world for a few years as well. It can't be that M$ is threatening withholding its applications from the platform, because there aren't any left to speak of. Productivity software was the last piece, but faster, better, cheaper, more stable, more interoperable software can be had from everyone else -- again since a few years back. So, what's the hold up at Apple about open formats?

Re:Good news... (1)

Philotechnia (1131943) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345675)

No-one is forcing them to create an open standard that will allow other software to interact with MS Office documents, but they are. Shouldn't they get credit for that?

When they actually do that, get back to me, and I will give them credit. An open standard, OOXML is not. That's my real gripe.

Open Standard? (2, Insightful)

kjkeefe (581605) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345783)

But see, that's just it... They aren't creating an open standard. They are acting like they are creating an open standard, but since it requires several proprietary pieces to work, it is really proprietary. The result is a harder time explaining to non-technical folks the negatives of locking up your content in M$'s proprietary formats and more wasted time for OO.o developers who have to reverse engineer the proprietary elements in OOXML. OOXML is proprietary, plain and simple.

They should be rejected and beaten for trying to pull a fast one on consumers.

Re:Good news... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346077)

What format does Apple's Pages/Keynote save to?
A horrible format, which is basically the model object exported using serialiseWithCoder:. It's a good idea to use this kind of thing for persistence, since it is guaranteed to store 100% of the document's data, but it is not a good interchange or archival format.

Is it an open standard?
No, although for interchange both export PDF.

Would Apple apologists say that it isn't open because it allows them to innovate more freely?
No, it's not an open standard because Apple is not aiming iWork at people who have strict interchange and editable-archiving requirements. I would not recommend Pages for a lot of corporate environments for exactly this reason, although I would recommend Keynote to people who have to write a lot of presentations that are delivered and then forgotten.

No-one is forcing them to create an open standard that will allow other software to interact with MS Office documents, but they are. Shouldn't they get credit for that?
Actually, people are forcing them to create (or, at least, abide by) an open standard. Two decades of lock in to Microsoft formats have made governments and large corporations nervous about continuing this lock in. They are starting to demand that Microsoft use an interoperable format. Rather than using the existing ODF format, they are trying to claim that their internal, half-documented, patent-encumbered, format is open.

Re:Good news... (1)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346367)

What format does Apple's Pages/Keynote save to?
A container format that has copies of images and the actual document in an XML format inside.

Is it an open standard?
No, it isn't. Most importantly: Apple doesn't try to fasttrack it through the ISO to make it one. More importantly, it im- and exports quite a lot of other, competitive formats. Even more importantly: It is horrible XML but it doesn't have "MakeSpacingLikeThisOtherProgram(butI'mnotsayingho wthatdoesit)" tags.

Re:Good news... (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346745)

No-one is forcing them to create an open standard that will allow other software to interact with MS Office documents, but they are.

Seriously? That would be sweet! Because all we've had so far is this non-specified confusingly named OOXML junk that isn't a standard and isn't open. It'd be great if they abandon that for the one you seem to know about.

Re:Good news... (1)

koh (124962) | more than 6 years ago | (#20347179)

Meanwhile, is it really a coincidence that with the advent of applications like OpenOffice, Office 2007 featured a complete patented revamp of the Office UI?

Fixed that for you. Slimes don't get burnt twice.

Wait and see (5, Interesting)

xra (1021817) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343611)

Won't be surprised if a MAJOR investment from Microsoft in India is announced in the coming weeks and coincidentally the indian opposition to OOXML softened...

In related News: Germany will vote YES (4, Informative)

Alphager (957739) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343619)

Germany's DIN has voted to vote YES (sorry, article in german) [heise.de] at ISO.

Re:In related News: Germany will vote YES (3, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344137)

This is the sort of thing Lessig was complaining about. Voting against OOXML is such a no-brainer. Heck, not even wasting time with a vote on OOXML is perfectly justifiable. But somehow, the West's political systems can't get there. Really the only questions are how was the German vote subverted? Corruption and bribery? Trickery and gaming? And what can be done about it? Can anyone persuade MS that this sort of behavior is not in anyone's interest, not even MS's own? India and Brazil voting against OOXML is no accident-- those 2 countries RMS's favorites for their enlightened stances.

The vote may be irrelevant anyway. Lot of people are going with ODF and not OOXML, no matter what these representatives decide. Even if some give OOXML a try, it seems likely to be so bad they'll abandon it.

Re:In related News: Germany will vote YES (3, Interesting)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346433)

Really the only questions are how was the German vote subverted?

Basically, Microsoft directed a global filibuster campaign in order to force MS's OOXML specifications down ISO's throat. What happened in Germany was largely the same thing that happened in other countries like Portugal, Italy and IIRC Spain.

As I'm portuguese, I've followed the portuguese case a bit closer. In that case, the modus operandi was basically to force the participation of entities as MS business partners in order to stuff the ballot, with the shockingly weird twist of barring the participation of entities like IBM and Sun due to some petty arbitrary justifications (not having enough chairs in a room, mind you). So, to sum things up, MS highjacked the process, successfully barred other entities from participating and, ignoring all technical problems and inconsistencies, proceeded to vote in favour of MS's OOXML for, IIRC, a margin of 12-6 (prior to MS the vote standed at 1-6).

Re:In related News: Germany will vote YES (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20346977)

In Sweden, membership in the standards organization has a very low annual few. However, just that particular committee dealing with MOOX, it cost several months take-home pay. Very few small businesses (the ones who will be hurt worst by MOOX) can shell out that kind of money, just to burn time in meetings.

The spec for MOOX is so bad it shouldn't have even gotten this far. When this is all over, Ecma's role in development of global standards will probably have to be re-evaluated.

Re:In related News: Germany will vote YES (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344215)

That amazes me. I always thought DIN was the 'mother of all standards.'

Re:In related News: Germany will vote YES (2, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344705)

Which is kind of non-surprising, as Germany is in a quagmire of corruption right now, with the great coalition probably the best time for decades to put your party members into all layers of the administration (i.e. the layers that are not elected).
Germanies democracy has been completely undermined by the major parties at this point, and they will do anything for power and money - as an example, they are trying to raise the state support for the parties (i.e. mostly themselves) by 15% and call that "to correct inflation". For one, real inflation is nowhere that high, and two just a few months ago they rejected inflation correction for unemployment benefits. The only sliver of hope this has of failing is bad timing: They started it late in the summer break and many newspapers did pick it up.

Re:In related News: Germany will vote YES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20346985)

Germanies democracy has been completely undermined by the major parties at this point, and they will do anything for power and money

And, at the same time and for the same reasons, they're losing paying members. It is hard (but not surprising) how public support of the big ones is shrinking.

as an example, they are trying to raise the state support for the parties (i.e. mostly themselves) by 15% and call that "to correct inflation".

This is AFAIK not true. They want to raise the state support because of all their lost paying members.

Methinks they'd better start becoming more accepted than driving further barriers between themselves and the people.

India (-1, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343641)

Based on what I've seen from H1-B's, even if India does manage to implement some nation-wide data format standard, I'll wager it won't be implemented correctly in most cases (thus requiring an expensive re-write after the fact).

Re:India (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20344933)

Yes. Bashing H1-Bs is sure way to get good Karma on /.

Based on what I have seen, your job is in danger.

Brazilian says no too! (5, Interesting)

rsilva (128737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343739)

Same in Brazil:
Brazil says no [alkalay.net]
And OpenDocument is now a national standard!

Re:Brazilian says no too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20345089)

that's a lot of NOs!

How many no votes are needed? How many cast? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346057)

I seem to remember that only a few no votes are required to sink the "quick-tracking" ("fast-tracking"?) of a proposed standard, but I don't remember how many.

And didn't Poland also vote no?

Re:How many no votes are needed? How many cast? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20346259)

2/3rds of actual votes (not counting abstentions) need to be Yes in order to pass

Meat is murder. (3, Funny)

trudyscousin (258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343853)

"He, however, added that India's 'No' vote will become a 'Yes' if Microsoft is able to resolve all technical issues with OOXML before the ballot resolution committee of ISO. "

Translation: "Vote 'yes' or the cow gets it."

I'd be willing to wager, knowing Microsoft's history, that political machinations will have more to do with India's final vote than technical issue resolution.

Politics and software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20344113)

Hasn't this happened in the past? I may be wrong, but wasn't the story that India was heavily into using Linux until Bill Gates offered a large charity donation and Microsoft offered investment incentives?

Back in the '90s the UK was a more Linux shop. Then Tony Blair got in and all changed. Amazing what politics can do. The Pointy Haired Boss syndrome on a larger scale.

Reading the article it seems a lot of people voting are voting out of short term self interest rather than long term interest or in the case of a standard like this voting on technical merit. Some people have different standards.

As for the cow - had trouble with that in the UK recently too.

Re:Politics and software (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344671)

Going back, that is about the story. India did supposedly have a large linux crowd. I am not sure M$ should get all the credit they deserved. Afterall you're talking late 90s when linux wasn't that polished.

minor gripe (5, Informative)

farlukar (225243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343859)

Office Open XML, not Open Office

Re:minor gripe (5, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344279)

I think it's because of the name MOO-XML (Microsoft Office Open XML) that India voted against, since they found it offensive.

Re:minor gripe (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344331)

I just tried to explain this whole issue to someone and I tripped over the OO thing four times! Calling it Office Open XML was a brilliant move by MS, I have to give them that.

Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20347093)

I just tried to explain this whole issue to someone and I tripped over the OO thing four times! Calling it Office Open XML was a brilliant move by MS, I have to give them that.
Google used to give very different results for Vista [vistasoftware.org] until last year. Now the open source system probably doesn't even make page 20 of the search results.

Office Obscene XML (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345043)

I think that we should call it "Office O bscene XML". There are two reasons for this:
1) It breaks the attempted trademark violation against Open Office, and
2) Their proprietary binary blobs really are an obscenity in the context of XML.

score 1 for professionalism, correctness, caring (4, Insightful)

Anderlan (17286) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343915)

This is the Right Thing to have happened. MS OOXML is not a standard:

  • 6000 pages and still not a complete standard
  • paraphrased: 'to comply with standard, you must implement these hundreds of features from previous versions, which are not in this standard, and which may be covered by patent'
  • WTF!?!
Further evidence of MS's bad faith:
  • I had never really thought about it, but the standard is named to be confused with the Open Office standard. The MS non-standard is called OOXML (Office Open XML). The Open Office standard is called ODF (Open Document Format), but you might just as well call it OOXML (Open Office XML) (I did indeed call it that before this non-standard effort came from MS). All they did was switch the words 'open' and 'office' around! That's like calling a Linux distribution SoftMicro Windows LX and saying you don't intend to confuse anyone.

Re:score 1 for professionalism, correctness, carin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20344061)

That's like calling a Linux distribution SoftMicro Windows LX and saying you don't intend to confuse anyone.
More like "Windows Microsoft LX".
They swapped the order, not the spelling.

Re:score 1 for professionalism, correctness, carin (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345055)

think we'll see the return of Lindows since Microsoft owns the trademark by default? :)

Re:score 1 for professionalism, correctness, carin (1)

erroneous (158367) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344107)

How do you think "Open Office" came to get that name in the first place?

See also: Pot / Kettle / Hue-based accusations.

Re:score 1 for professionalism, correctness, carin (2, Informative)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344423)

From the previous name "Star Office"

Re:score 1 for professionalism, correctness, carin (4, Insightful)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344809)

How do you think "Open Office" came to get that name in the first place?
From the same place that MS got their equally generically-named "Microsoft Office" product from - the place that people go to work.

Re:score 1 for professionalism, correctness, carin (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345227)

``That's like calling a Linux distribution SoftMicro Windows LX and saying you don't intend to confuse anyone.''

Did you mean: Lindows?

Re:score 1 for professionalism, correctness, carin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20346227)

check out a torrent named linux xp, some people seems confused

dashyaoo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20343935)

dashyaoo

Let's at least get the name right (1, Redundant)

eck011219 (851729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20343991)

It's Office Open XML, not Open Office XML. Love it or hate it, getting the name wrong does nothing for the credibility of Slashdot.

Re:Let's at least get the name right (1)

Araneidae (466824) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344859)

I'm afraid the original article makes the same mistake.

Re:Let's at least get the name right (2, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346459)

We should really call it Obnoxiously Offensive XML, to cut down on confusion.

Oh goodie, MS has to patch bugs on a deadline (3, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344015)

Well, that won't be problem. Everyone knows that when the shit has hit the fan and the crunch is on, the MS coders get their act together and just stamp out all the errors and publish a completly fixed solution.

Any of you buying this? Anyone? I don't think even a slashdot editor would fall for that line.

MS has worked on OOXML for a long time, and it still is a mess. Remind you of anything? Like say, everything else ever released by MS?

Maybe MS hopes that the ISO vote will be postponed until MS can release OOXML SP1. After all, that has always worked before. People delayed buying OS/2 because MS promised to release a new windows that would fix everything. People waited with finding alternatives to every single windows release with promise of better things to come.

You will see if MS gets their way if news emerges of the vote being delayed. If that happens, then MS has it in the bag. Then it no longer matters if they ever fix it, if you delayed to wait for a product, you gotta buy that product or admit you were wrong in waiting.

Re:Oh goodie, MS has to patch bugs on a deadline (4, Informative)

e6003 (552415) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344177)

Depending on one's definition of "technical problems" then there's a lot of patching to do because many of the problems are very deeply embedded. I don't just mean the infamous "auto space like Word 95" tags, but the lack of support for dates before 1900, the redefinition of the colourspace to clash with existing ISO standards and the hard-coded definition of non-working days to be Saturday and Sunday (which they are in Western culture but aren't in the Arabic world). A fairly comprehensive list of OOXML's failures is at http://www.grokdoc.net/index.php/EOOXML_Objections _Clearinghouse [grokdoc.net] and it's an editable wiki as well.

Re:Oh goodie, MS has to patch bugs on a deadline (1)

archen (447353) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346523)

but the lack of support for dates before 1900

The well known tactic by Microsoft to get people to move off of Microsoft Office 1895 and finally upgrade.

Re:Oh goodie, MS has to patch bugs on a deadline (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344323)

"Like say, everything else ever released by MS?"

My Microsoft Natural keyboard has worked great for the past 8 years, and my Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical for the past 4. They are both well designed, easy to use, are reliable.

Re:Oh goodie, MS has to patch bugs on a deadline (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345099)

I said the same about my sidewinder II .... till it broke :(, was my favourite stick too :(

As I also type this on my MS keyboard and mouse... Microsoft has made some good hardware in the past, maybe they should stick to that rather than pretending to do software >:)

Re:Oh goodie, MS has to patch bugs on a deadline (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345245)

Isn't it kind of ironic that some of the best products Microsoft (a software company mainly) puts out are hardware products. You'd think they would be able to get their core business right, and would have problems with stuff they are less focussed on.

Re:Oh goodie, MS has to patch bugs on a deadline (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345751)

In view of the $1.2 billion they're setting aside to fix br0ken xbox 360s, I would have to disagree with you. How, if you s/products/peripherals/g, I could go with that.

123 countries vote for a standard (2, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344145)

From the article: About 123 counties are participating in the vote. Does anyone here know which countries, and what they voted for, if they have voted already?

Re:123 countries vote for a standard (1)

seanellis (302682) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344419)

Here's the official list from ISO:

http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/stdsdevelopment/tc/tclist /TechnicalCommitteeParticipationListPage.Technical CommitteeParticipationList?COMMID=4767 [www.iso.ch]

There are 32 participating countries, and 15 observers, a little short of the 123 claimed.

Re:123 countries vote for a standard (3, Interesting)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344513)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML#Contr adiction_phase_voting [wikipedia.org]

According to the comments placed next to the vote. It looks like majority has voted "no", and yet the majority has actually voted for "yes". Do those people actually know what yes and no votes mean?

Re:123 countries vote for a standard (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344643)

About 123 counties are participating in the vote. Does anyone here know which countries, and what they voted for, if they have voted already?

Some of those countries "participating" are observers.

This is the best explanation of the voting process I have seen.
http://www.robweir.com/blog/2007/02/merely-flesh-w ound.html [robweir.com]

Re:123 countries vote for a standard (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345267)

``About 123 counties are participating in the vote.''

Get your own ISO standard! Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Details on Indian campaign (5, Informative)

anivararavind (825859) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344377)

Some quick links on Background of this campaign:

ODFAlliance India Mirror [odfalliance.in] on Wordprocessing-ML subcommittee discussions

Issue List [odfalliance.in] submitted to the Technical Committee by the WordProcessing ML Sub Committee

Why ECMA OOXML is not a Free Document standard [odfalliance.in] :Paper By Dr. Nagarjuna

My Earlier Post : Defeat M$ efforts to push Ecma OOXML in Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) [movingrepublic.org] Economic Times Report says

"We unanimously agree on the disapproval of OOXML with comments. The same will be submitted to ISO," National Informatics Centre head and BIS technical committee chairperson Nita Verma said after a marathon meeting that lasted over six hours. There was no need for a voting as only Infosys Technologies and CSI supported Microsoft.
Shame on You Infosys

Kudos !!! (4, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344433)

great. another indicator that india has a really developing and conscious i.t. crowd.

India loves MSFT. It is just a ploy (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344501)

Almost all the politicians in India are falling over themselves to please MSFT. They crow about getting research facilities and other investments they attracted from MSFT. It is possible that some of the professional civil service corps produced a well reasoned arguments why India should vote against OOXML. But all it takes is a grand statement by MSFT that it is going to open another research center in Uttar Pradesh or Punjab. That will give an excuse for the very corrupt, best pol money can buy politicians of India, to overrule the civil service. It is nothing more than a simple ploy by the Govt of India to wangle a better deal from MSFT. The only question is what they are wangling for. Something for the country or something for themselves.

Sorry to be so cynical.

Re:India loves MSFT. It is just a ploy (0)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344785)

Sadly it is true. Even the technical institutes chose Microsoft because they need funding.

But what to expect from a third world country. Their priority does not lie with the technical merits of document files (they will still take printouts and put them in big files - this will not be undone because it creates employment) and one cannot blame them for it.

Technical issues (3, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20344617)

If they consider the tags like "DoSpacingLikeWord3ThoughtWordPerfect2ForCPMDidItB utIsActuallySlightlyWrong" which are useless for a modern format and completely unimplementable by anyone who doesn't know excatly how WP2 for CP/M does its spacing and how Word 3 for DOS differed, as technical issues, then they will never vote yes.

On the other hand, anyone voting for an international standard who doesn't consider that to be a serious problem (as there can be only one proper implementation) is either incompetant or in someone's pocket. I don't really know whichis worse.

India does something right (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20345037)

I have worked with companies and people from India before, and they never seem to be able to do anything right. Ever. This is a glitch in the system, doing something right, but it couldn't have come at a better time.

Is ODF really much better? (1, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345183)

Is ODF really much better as a "standard" on which to build a world or are we really just sticking it to Microsoft here?

I bet ODF has plenty of backwards compatibility issues too.

Re:Is ODF really much better? (5, Informative)

Twinkle (84777) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345283)

ODF is fully specified, OOXML is not.

There's no comparison, ODF is a complete description of a document, OOXML has things like "use word 95 rules" or "important undocumented binary blob here". OOXML is a Trojan horse.

Re:Is ODF really much better? (1, Troll)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20345409)

Is ODF really much better as a "standard" on which to build a world or are we really just sticking it to Microsoft here?

OK, this ventures into troll territory, but I really mean it. ODF:OOXML::evolution:creationism. ODF and evolution are both working standards that can be argued and refined. OOXML and creationism are both nebulous descriptions of how things might be that leave out all the information necessary to properly discuss them.

If you believe that evolution is a theory while creationism is a conjecture, then you must also believe that ODF is a standard while OOXML is an internal code document for approximately the same reasons.

Re:Is ODF really much better? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346075)

"OK, this ventures into troll territory"

No, I'm just ignorant.

I've just been googling a bit to educate myself.

First off, ODF seems to have nothing to do with Open Office - I thought it did. A format which isn't based on some software is good.

Second, yes, OOXML really does look like the behemoth people are claiming. From the bits I've read there seems to be no way a normal person could ever implement it. It'd take hundreds of years.

This document is a good one: Objections to OOXML [forums.scc.ca]

Microsoft seems to have shot itself in the foot here. They're deliberately trying to force though an unimplementable "standard" and this time people have spotted them doing it.

There's no reason for backwards compatibility. It should be possible to convert legacy documents to OOXML but I don't see a need to go backwards to the old formats. Without this requirement most of OOXML could be pruned.

Re:Is ODF really much better? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346597)

No, I'm just ignorant.

Oh, I didn't mean you! I meant what I was getting ready to say. A big "I agree" to the rest of your comment.

Re:Is ODF really much better? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20347157)

See? Told you I was venturing close to troll territory. Sigh.

Re:Is ODF really much better? (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20347311)

Yes, it is. It is 1/10th the size, fully documented (no "spaceLikeWord98" tags) and references other open standards (PNG, MathML, etc.) rather than inventing its own new formats for such things. MS OOXML is just them documenting what they've already done and presenting it as a standard. It also shows just how *crappy* they code things (WTF? spaceLikeWord98?? What intern thought of that?). Compatibility issues will be solved by the document version and XML namespaces, not stupid 'workLikeODF1_0' tags. ODF is fully extensible using namespaces.

Re:Is ODF really much better? (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20347635)

Ohh Lord, please not again that stupid "but...but...but other pupils has problems too" type of comment.

Yes, ODF has problems. However, it's future are very clear that problems will be fixed and format will be naturally improved, with lot of input from MANY vendors which use it every day. And even those problems are quite nothing as OOXML ones which Microsoft simply refuses to fix.

Let's be honest, Microsoft still thinks that it has *it* - t.i. that it has charm and cunningness to fool everyone on any subject. Who the hell needs first version of standard to be back compatible with previous, prioritary and undocumented ones? Just Microsoft, no one else NEED that, period. Microsoft need it desperately for marketing and PR stuff. Why to fuck with ISO procedure in first place?

But in same time, it is very stubborning, childish, and I would say, very suicidal. Why the hell submit incomplete spec to ECMA and ISO? Even if they wanted to game system here, it looks arrogant, stupid and shortsighted.

Personally I already lost significant interest will be OOXML approved or not. Yes, ISO is very easy corruptible and Microsoft uses it in full. But it won't stop ODF addaption and Microsoft knows that. It is just damage control. Just like SCO.

As far as I have read and heard, pushing broken standard at all cost have made lot of people rethink their support and devotion to Microsoft as vendor.

M$ won't fix the technical issues (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#20346905)

There is no point to M$ in fixing the issues, here is why:

The issues are mainly parts of the spec that are not properly defined anywhere. If M$ were to fix the issues then others would be able to implement (read/write) the file format. If others can implement the file format then M$ looses it's main strangle hold on word processors. So it makes no sense at all for M$ to spill the beans and allow other to compete on a level playing field.

Let's say that M$ does properly specify the format, what else can it do ?

  • Change the format used by M$ Word to make it incompatible with OOXML - and then blame the competition for getting it wrong.
  • Point out that OOXML relies on some patents ...

Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20347641)

Could someone tell me what exactly Microsoft has to do with OpenOffice?
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