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OOXML Rumored to be Approved, Announcement Wednesday

Zonk posted about 6 years ago | from the long-hard-slog dept.

Microsoft 223

dominux writes "Rumors are already circulating that Microsoft's OOXML has been voted in by the standards board. The Open Sourcerer claims to have results of the ballot on dis29500. According to the site Microsoft managed to flip enough countries to make it stick. 75% of the P members who didn't abstain voted for Microsoft (That is 58% of all the P members). 14% of all the P and O members voted to disapprove it, this includes all the new O members that joined just in time to cast their vote. Norway has asked that their vote be suspended due to voting irregularities, but it would take more than that to make a difference to the result. ZDNet is still playing it cautious, noting that an announcement either way is set to be made on Wednesday."

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223 comments

omgponies (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | about 6 years ago | (#22930024)

"omgponies" tag is needed

Re:omgponies (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | about 6 years ago | (#22930908)

True or not...

"75% of the P members who didn't abstain voted for Microsoft (That is 58% of all the P members). 14% of all the P and O members voted to disapprove it, this includes all the new O members that joined just in time to cast their vote."

I couldnt help but think of...

"I've got a very good idea what the recall code is and I have to get in touch with SAC headquarters immediately...May I tell you that I have a very, very good idea, I think, I hope, I pray, what the recall code is. It's some sort of recurrent theme he kept repeating. It's a variation on Peace on Earth or Purity of Essence. EOP. OPE. It's one of those...Don't you know that General Ripper went as mad as a bloody March Hare and sent the whole Wing to attack the Soviets? Don't you know that?"

gdi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930036)

this god damn well better be tagged omgponies

April Fools? (3, Funny)

Kinthelt (96845) | about 6 years ago | (#22930050)

This had better be an April Fool's joke.

Re:April Fools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930200)

Moderators must be on crack. No way the fourth post can be "redundant" when the first three are "omgponies"

Re:April Fools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22931296)

"Moderators must be on crack. No way the fourth post can be "redundant" when the first three are "omgponies""

Except for the fact, you know, that the article specifically says this is NOT an April Fools joke, that is...

announcement tomorrow (5, Funny)

farker haiku (883529) | about 6 years ago | (#22930054)

because nobody would believe it if it was made today.

Re:announcement tomorrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930394)

Unfortunately, even today, this doesn't seems to be an April's fool story... This one is real.....And sad .....

Now any "news" joke will not be funny...

Seems to be true though... (4, Insightful)

filbranden (1168407) | about 6 years ago | (#22930536)

Unfortunately, it seems to be true.

I've been tracking this for the last few months, and it's clear that this was essentially a victory of corruption over merits.

What's being said now is that this will be a pyrrhic victory [wikipedia.org] for Microsoft. Many will discredit this standard (even with the ISO stamp on it) because of the history of corruption that lead to its approval. Those who already disliked Microsoft will only hate it even more and become more vocal.

I hope this whole process served to show the world (once again) what "business as usual" means for Microsoft.

Re:Seems to be true though... (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 6 years ago | (#22930670)

What's being said now is that this will be a pyrrhic victory [wikipedia.org] for Microsoft. Many will discredit this standard (even with the ISO stamp on it)

That is the goal.

Microsoft does not like being held to standards. The devaluation of ISO is as big a win for them as the acceptance of MSOOXML.

Re:Seems to be true though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22931120)

I think the best thing to do is to point out to anyone considering MS Office on the basis of its standards-support that while OOXML is an approved ISO-standard, MS Office does not and never will actually support the ISO standard. They refuse to be bound to any of the changes made during the ISO process, and will extend the format as they please with the next version of Office, without waiting for approval.

Re:announcement tomorrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930824)

because nobody would believe it if it was made today.



Most people knew it would end up like this, considering what happened since the beginning, and in the past few days and weeks.

However, they might be leaking this news, on April 1st, leaving people to wonder if it is true or not.

Then, when everyone just do not care anymore, the day after, they release the proper document.

Basic psyop.

If the vote had been more secret, it would have been possible for them to "test the water". If there had been too much protest, They would have reversed the result They wanted to make public. It's not that important to Them. They have plenty of other ways.

Re:announcement tomorrow (1)

Hyppy (74366) | about 6 years ago | (#22930840)

... except, the announcement was made yesterday.

The timestamp on the first story was 10:38 am EDT on March 31st. The ZD article was 2:30pm the same day.

Basically... (5, Insightful)

behe101 (1177615) | about 6 years ago | (#22930056)

if this is approved we can safely assume ISO is corrupt.

Re:Basically... (5, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 years ago | (#22930172)

I am hoping one or two countries stand up and say that how this standard was passed shows that all ISO standards are worthless.

With dozens of countries reporting massive voting problems they had better not pass it, or at least switch those countries from yes to abstain until future reference. Norway had the majority vote againist the standard but still voted yes, Poland, germany, France all had voting irregularities. I hope the EU launches an Anti-trust investigation into MSFT's business practices on it. that would be so much fun to watch.

Re:Basically... (2, Insightful)

Artuir (1226648) | about 6 years ago | (#22930470)

It would be fun to watch if all these rulings seemed to accomplish anything useful. At least from my perspective here in the states, all the ruling in the world has not done a bit of good. Perhaps this is just my ignorance showing, but they've been getting "slammed" by the EU for a very long time. What has come of it? Has it made a difference at all outside the EU?

Re:Basically... (1)

Spudds (860292) | about 6 years ago | (#22930478)

not is corrupt. Has been corrupted.

Microsoft, like the American Government is completely out of control. Unfortunately, there's no 4/8 year fail safe for corporations.

Unfortunately (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 years ago | (#22930584)

Unfortunately to Microsoft discrediting ISO would be a bonus. If there are no reliable standards bodies then it just wakens the position of people trying to argue the advantage of standards compliance. For MS the best outcome would be that people would say "standards mean nothing anyway", because the alternative to de facto standards are de jura - and Microsoft sets most of these.

Re:Unfortunately (-1, Troll)

dpilot (134227) | about 6 years ago | (#22931074)

Microsoft claiming ISO is corrupt is kind of like the Bush administration claiming that government is incompetent. (Not exact, but close enough.)

Re:Basically... (1)

Vexorian (959249) | about 6 years ago | (#22930862)

It's bigger than that, it would mean ISO gets as irrelevant as ECMA. I wonder if citizen is gonna submit its own standard for time measurement units.

Re:Basically... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22931238)

It's fascinating to see that a supposedly intelligent group of people thinks that anything is different about the standardization of OOXML compared to other ISO standards, especially when you consider that Microsoft never leaves the beaten path. ISO will remain important, OOXML will be a call for bids compatible standard and nerds will have temper tantrums in online forums. Nothing changes.

The business world doesn't do revolutions because they're too unpredictable. If you think that a global monopoly can be eradicated by declaring it non-standard, you probably also believe in the easter bunny.

So, that's it then (1)

cmefford (810011) | about 6 years ago | (#22930058)

Honestly, I'm quite surprised. I was rather expecting there to be a big stink over this, but apparently not. Well, it worked for Tom Delay, I guess it should work for Microsoft.

ISO dead, blog at 11 (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 6 years ago | (#22930064)

So, ISO got an extremely high profile black eye in the credibility department from which it may never recover. Developers and purchasers who are not able to make their high-level decision makers realize that they shouldn't early-adopt OOXML despite this certification are going to end up being held responsible for the massive clusterfuck that eventuates. Information will become a lot harder to keep organized and accessible in countries that adopt this messy non-spec as a standard, and global productivity will shrink due to the ensuing chaos.

Thanks MS.

Re:ISO dead, blog at 11 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930150)

You wish. For now this 'extremely high profile black eye' consist of Norwegian protest (which will be ignored or answered with 'no law was broken so stop whining') and bunch of nerds raging on Slashdot. Which they do all the time anyway. Until it hits mainstream media no one that actually matters is going to care.

Re:ISO dead, blog at 11 (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 6 years ago | (#22930332)

You wish. For now this 'extremely high profile black eye' consist of Norwegian protest (which will be ignored or answered with 'no law was broken so stop whining') and bunch of nerds raging on Slashdot. Which they do all the time anyway. Until it hits mainstream media no one that actually matters is going to care.

You think the opinions of mainstream people matter where ISO is concerned? It's the opinion of the propellerheads that work with the technology that matters. If it's not the propellerheads opinion that rules the day, people have been known to call what eventuates a "boondoggle".

Re:ISO dead, blog at 11 (5, Informative)

Tom (822) | about 6 years ago | (#22930218)

So, ISO got an extremely high profile black eye in the credibility department from which it may never recover.
Not just ISO. All the national standard bodies that votes "yes", too.

In Germany, for example, DIN used to be very highly respected. In fact, this whole mess is the first time ever that I heard people say that DIN should fuck itself, be dissolved, is corrupt, etc.

Let's see (1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 6 years ago | (#22930066)

A majority of participants voted for it... Slashdot says we should deny the will of the voters.

It's almost like watching the Democratic primary season in a tiny microcosm.

Re:Let's see (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 6 years ago | (#22930078)

Lets all vote that it's not fair to need to eat, then we can stop dealing with those messy farms.

Oh, wait... democracy doesn't override cold hard reality, does it. My bad.

Re:Let's see (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 6 years ago | (#22930112)

"A majority of participants voted for it... Slashdot says we should deny the will of the voters.

It's almost like watching the Democratic primary season in a tiny microcosm."

I"m treating both issues as cruel April Fool's Jokes myself.....

Re:Let's see (1)

KiltedKnight (171132) | about 6 years ago | (#22930158)

With reports regarding a protest by the chairman from Norway's committee regarding irregularities as well as other reported ones where 20% of the committee voted "yes" and 80% voted "no," how exactly does this translate to a national "yes" vote?

Re:Let's see (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 6 years ago | (#22930268)

75% of the P members who didn't abstain voted for Microsoft (That is 58% of all the P members).
14% of all the P and O members voted to disapprove it,
this includes all the new O members that joined just in time to cast their vote


75% of the P members voted in favor of the standard. This is 58% of the entire P group.

So a solid majority of P members voted in favor.

Only 14% of all members voted against.

New O members who voted all joined specifically to vote against it.

The last item seems to be the real voting irregularity. A lot like how a bunch of Texas Republicans turned blue just to vote against Obama and hand the win to Clinton.

Re:Let's see (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 6 years ago | (#22930674)

You are talking about the international statistics, where only countries are counted. KiltedKnight is talking about the events that led up to Norway's vote: only 5 people out of the 27 present at the Norway meeting voted that Norway should choose 'Yes'. Somehow that translated to Norway voting 'Yes. The other countries have been having similarly weird results, most (if not all) slanted in OOXML's favor.

Re:Let's see (4, Interesting)

Pofy (471469) | about 6 years ago | (#22930806)

>75% of the P members voted in favor of the standard. This is 58% of the entire P group.

At least one memeber of the P group did not vote at all, so the 58% is not completely accurate.

>New O members who voted all joined specifically to vote against it.

The only O members that voted "Not Approved" were Brazil and Cuba. Were they both new? In any case, they were hardly that many. There were on the other hand 37 O members that voted "Approve". Are you saying none of them joined recently?

Re:Let's see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930718)

We just held a vote that resulted in you being declared an idiot.

You wouldn't dare disagree with the will of the voters, would you?

With thanks (5, Interesting)

minginqunt (225413) | about 6 years ago | (#22930074)

Microsoft has performed a valuable service without really meaning to.

By demonstrating once and for all how embarassingly corruptible the ISO is, it calls into doubt the validity of many past and future ISO standards, and will force us into a proper re-evaluation of self-appointed standards bodies and the standards they whore around.

For too long we've taken the rather naive view that being an 'open standard' is enough. At last we see the foolishness of that view.

And in this case, I think it's somewhat unfair to judge Microsoft too harshly for wanting to game the system any way they could- what company wouldn't have done in their position?

But it is to ISO's massive, disgusting and probably reputation-destroying shame they they simply laid back and allowed themselves to be corrupted, defiled and sodomised by a large multinational. And they didn't even get a kiss afterwards.

I hope everyone who played their part in this sordid venture has plenty of time to repent at leisure when they realise that the ISO can never, WILL never, be trusted again.

Re:With thanks (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 6 years ago | (#22930202)

what company wouldn't have done in their position?

But it is to ISO's massive, disgusting and probably reputation-destroying shame they they simply laid back and allowed themselves to be corrupted, defiled and sodomised by a large multinational. And they didn't even get a kiss afterwards.
Yes, I also put all the blame in a rape on the victim, usually. Most of them just don't really struggle, do they?

Now seriously, ISO is fucked (even if this is an April Fools news), but MS is still the party that did it. The blame should be on them.

Re:With thanks (5, Funny)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 6 years ago | (#22930216)

but did you see the way ISO was dressed? she totally deserved it.

Re:With thanks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930324)

Besides the punter was a bit rough, but she got paid, didn't she? It's an ugly business, and I don't approve, but what's a working girl to do?

If she's got second thoughts now ... well, call the cops. She can give the ill-gotten gains to charity, and we'll say no more about it.

Re:With thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930800)

mod +1 good analogy

Re:With thanks (1)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#22930252)

will force us into a proper re-evaluation of self-appointed standards bodies and the standards they whore around.

In the real world this translates to nothing more than the acceptance of the de facto standards of the marketplace. The entrepreneur will always move faster than the committee - he'll be at light speed before the committee is out of first gear.

Re:With thanks (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 6 years ago | (#22930422)

will force us into a proper re-evaluation of self-appointed standards bodies and the standards they whore around.

In the real world this translates to nothing more than the acceptance of the de facto standards of the marketplace. The entrepreneur will always move faster than the committee - he'll be at light speed before the committee is out of first gear.


Right. Because entrepreneurs are always finishing their deliverable before they're invited to review the spec and tender a bid. Entrepreneurs move at light speed, and can do anything. If standards bodies get in the way, they destroy them with fireballs from their eyes and lightning bolts from their arse.

Exactly? (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 6 years ago | (#22930628)

it calls into doubt the validity of many past and future ISO standards

Including ODF, so now we just go back to the situation we had before all of this ISO standard document talk, back to MS Office again. What has changed? Oh right, nothing, which is pretty much what MS's goal was in all of this. They win either way.

Re:With thanks (2, Interesting)

smallpaul (65919) | about 6 years ago | (#22930654)

By demonstrating once and for all how embarassingly corruptible the ISO is, it calls into doubt the validity of many past and future ISO standards, and will force us into a proper re-evaluation of self-appointed standards bodies and the standards they whore around.

Can you please point me to an institution that is not corruptible?

For too long we've taken the rather naive view that being an 'open standard' is enough. At last we see the foolishness of that view.

What does that mean? Being an open standard has never meant any more or less than having the approval of some standards body. Were you really so naive before to think that they had some kind of magic voodoo?

And in this case, I think it's somewhat unfair to judge Microsoft too harshly for wanting to game the system any way they could- what company wouldn't have done in their position?

What company would not have launched a massive international vote-rigging scheme despite enormous cost to their public image? I can think of thousands.

But it is to ISO's massive, disgusting and probably reputation-destroying shame they they simply laid back and allowed themselves to be corrupted, defiled and sodomised by a large multinational. And they didn't even get a kiss afterwards.

A standards body is more than anything a process. ISO is just a vote counter. What would you have preferred they do. Change the rules to prevent a particular standard from being passed?

I hope everyone who played their part in this sordid venture has plenty of time to repent at leisure when they realise that the ISO can never, WILL never, be trusted again.

I don't think that ISO really depends on the support of Slashdotters that much. It has never been the case that ISO certification guaranteed anything in particular about the quality of a standard, any more than the American electoral system guarantees anything about the quality of a president. ISO certification means: "this standard got enough votes to pass." Nothing more and nothing less. The standard could be total crap: anyone who really cared about ISO standards has known this for decades.

I agree with the poster who said you are blaming the victim. ISO manages a process and counts votes. Nothing more. Nothing less. There is nobody at ISO with the authority to say: "Well this standard passed through the procedures but we can't allow it through, so we'll change the procedures." After the fact it might make sense to change the procedures but it would be totally wrong to change the rules of the game in the middle of a standardization process.

Re:With thanks (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about 6 years ago | (#22931212)

Actually, i believe they should suspend the process until the allegations of corruption can be thoroughly investigated.
Any countries found to have broken the rules should have their vote changed to abstain and possibly have their status within the organization demoted.
If there's sufficient evidence of corruption to call the result in to question (ie if all the countries forced to abstain were changed to yes or no it would change the result) then the process should be restarted, or dropped from the fast track.

The entire process should be opened up, each voting country should be required to document in detail why they voted yes or no (explanation shouldn't be necessary for abstentions), and in the case of a second vote should be required to address all of the comments submitted at the first vote, and explain why/how they have been addressed or aren't relevant to that country.

Those who vote on the issue should also be able to demonstrate a competent understanding of the proposal in question, and have done a sufficient level of research into the proposed standard and the issues surrounding it. It is entirely unreasonable for people with little or no understanding in particular fields to have any say in their standardization, for instance many people on slashdot will be qualified to discuss a standard for a computer document format, but considerably fewer will be qualified to help define a standard for fixings used to connect water pipes together etc.

Re:With thanks (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 6 years ago | (#22930708)

And in this case, I think it's somewhat unfair to judge Microsoft too harshly for wanting to game the system any way they could- what company wouldn't have done in their position?
Any company willing to make a little less bucks to make the world a better place ? I know that cynicism is fashionable nowadays but I feel tiring to see everyone assume that everybody is only acting in his/her self-interest without giving a damn to others. In most companies, there are people with enough influence to make the company bend toward one stance or the other. If these people have an ethical mindset, the company's stances will be more ethical.
Microsoft could have considered that such a corruption was unethical, it was not a life or death situation for them. (No, it was not). They have chosen a course of action, an unethical one that they perceive as a money-making one. Why would it be unfair to judge them on that ? Why would it be unfair to point that Microsoft products come from an unethical company ? Don't you think that it is productive to ask a company (the most powerful software company of the planet) to act toward general good ?

Sounds to me like... (5, Funny)

FlyByPC (841016) | about 6 years ago | (#22930080)

The Microsoft way
(tho' rather funny)
Seems here to stay;
Redmond has money!
Burma Shave

Looks like a forgery (4, Insightful)

Adaptux (1235736) | about 6 years ago | (#22930136)

The claimed results of the ballot on dis29500 [theopensourcerer.com] document looks like a blatant forgery to me. For example, the implied claim about the process having been managed by ISO/CS ("Central Secretariat") ist wrong; the process is managed by ISO/IEC ITTF ("Information Technology Task Force"). Also, there is no defined "Voting stage" of "enquiry" in the JTC1 directives, etc etc.

taxation without representation is called what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930138)

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Re:taxation without representation is called what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930162)

WTH is this guy on?

ISO = I Sold Out (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930142)

nuff said

"Slashdot is a useless pile of crap" day. (0, Troll)

kriston (7886) | about 6 years ago | (#22930178)

Yes, gentle reader, it's annual "Slashdot is a useless pile of crap" day.

Re:"Slashdot is a useless pile of crap" day. (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | about 6 years ago | (#22930334)

Yea, I know. The SNR is so low, that I actually have to work on April 1st. Damn you!

Re:"Slashdot is a useless pile of crap" day. (1)

HairyCanary (688865) | about 6 years ago | (#22930340)

The article itself is from yesterday, not today, so I would not immediately jump to the conclusion that it is an April Fools joke just because Slashdot took a day to post a summary.

Re:"Slashdot is a useless pile of crap" day. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#22930450)

It would actually be more of a joke if they started posting the summaries on the day the news actually occurred, instead of a few days later.

Re:"Slashdot is a useless pile of crap" day. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#22930702)

Yes, gentle reader, it's annual "Slashdot is a useless pile of crap" day.
'cept that they don't seem to be doing the normal April Fool's junk...at least not yet. Weird.

April Fools (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 6 years ago | (#22930194)

It was so much better last year...

Sucks this year. Plus that damn NetApp flash ad keeps covering up the top story on the main page and there's no "close" function...

Yeah right! (3, Insightful)

PinkyDead (862370) | about 6 years ago | (#22930204)

"I have repeatedly made the argument that it is bad logic that leads you to the conclusion that there should be only one document format"
And this is Microsoft's policy on things, right? That it is bad logic to conclude that there should be only one of something.

So can we hope to see Microsoft dismantling it's various monopolistic positions in the near future (voluntarily). I look forward to it.

Re:Yeah right! (2, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | about 6 years ago | (#22930258)

The difference between the two arguments is the implicit "open and complete, community developed" and "closed and incomplete, MicroSoft developed".

Re:Yeah right! (1)

huckamania (533052) | about 6 years ago | (#22930888)

All this means is that ODF will have to compete on the merits. Since we all know how wonderful ODF is, it shouldn't even be a contest. Also, I've heard that OOXML is unimplementable, so again, it's going to be a hard sell for Microsoft. They've just committed one of the classic blunders, "Never base your product on a standard from Microsoft".

Re:Yeah right! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 6 years ago | (#22931262)

But the point is, Microsoft don't care if people implement OOXML... Infact, they would prefer that noone else does, as that leaves users with no choice but to use their products.

They also have significant enough existing market share that their refusal to implement ODF hurts the standard significantly. They refused to implement it purely out of malice, as it would have been significantly easier for them to implement ODF (possibly extending it in the process) than to create OOXML from scratch. They also refused to particulate in the process by which ODF was created, again purely for selfish anti-consumer reasons.

Were they truly interested in developing an open standard, they would have worked with ODF, or at the very least attempted to, when they were first invited.

Re:Yeah right! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22931002)

Well you know how it is. People start talking about how there should be only one of something, and the next thing you know there's guys with swords, decapitations in parking garages, random explosions-

I mean, sure it was neat the first time, but...

Microsoft wins (2, Insightful)

Torodung (31985) | about 6 years ago | (#22930208)

If OOpsyXML is not made a standard, Microsoft has proven how corruptable the ISO is, and they win. They will claim that ODF being an ISO standard means nothing, through corrupt actions they were able to take themselves. It's blaming the victim, but it will work.

If OOpsyXML is approved, then the ISO credibility will actually mean nothing, because the standards is, by all accounts I have seen, utter garbage.

Microsoft has proven, once and for all, that democracy is a failure, even if it is the best failure to date.

--
Toro

Waiting until the 2nd (5, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about 6 years ago | (#22930214)

Well a few points:

If this is an April fools joke it isn't funny.

If this is real and the (gasp) "standard" was approved, we should all start calling it the "Fools Standard" in everything we write, thus putting the proper "spin" on it.

Re:Waiting until the 2nd (1)

Spudds (860292) | about 6 years ago | (#22930534)

Unfortunately this is no joke.

OOXML really does look like it's going to be approved.

It is a sad day for technology advocates everywhere.

Re:Waiting until the 2nd (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930616)

Whether or not the opensourcerer is right (though the numbers seem to correspond with those of openmalaysiablog [openmalaysiablog.com] ), I think we have to brace ourselves for the worst. Even with Norway having its vote suspended, that wouldn't be enough, and now Trinidad and Tobago and Slovenia (both P-members) seem to have changed from abstaining to approving, which severly diminishes any hope of getting the whole thing tossed out.

I seriously like your idea of calling it the "Fools Standard", though. Let's hope we never have to use the term, but if we do, let's at least hope you've created a new meme :)

april fool's? I wish (1)

nekohayo (856257) | about 6 years ago | (#22930234)

You know, this is not really the kind of stories that I like to see on April 1st. I do hope it's a DO NOT WANT joke.

Why the hell did they abstain? (2, Interesting)

clickety6 (141178) | about 6 years ago | (#22930278)



It's not just those who voted for the standard that should be admonished, but thsoe coutnries who knew it was a wrong and corrupt process and yet still abstained!

To extend the oft-used rape analogy in the discussions on this topic, these are the bystanders who stood and watched while the rape occured.

I think we need a new icon for ISO stories...a spineless jelly fish might be appropriate...

Re:Why the hell did they abstain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930310)

I think we need a new icon for ISO stories...a spineless jelly fish might be appropriate...
Instead of a regular ISO certified spine-enabled jellyfish? ;)

Re:Why the hell did they abstain? (3, Insightful)

PinkyDead (862370) | about 6 years ago | (#22930780)

I think 'abstain' refers to those who didn't want to offend Microsoft for commercial reasons, but could not in all conscience vote for the pile of shite that OOXML is.

April 1st...sheesh (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#22930282)

You know, it's being announced tomorrow and its April 1st. Also the opensourcer's numbers don't even remotely add up. Come on folks, you can do better than that for an April fools joke.

which numbers don't add up? (2, Informative)

dominux (731134) | about 6 years ago | (#22930572)

it is genuine btw. We did a rather lame April Fools version just before we got the real deal. http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2008/04/01/ooxml-fails-iso-approval/ [theopensourcerer.com] we are not clever enough to do an acknowledged AF followed by an elaborate hoax. So what numbers don't add up?

Re:which numbers don't add up? all of them? duh. (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 6 years ago | (#22930724)

Thanks on the correction, I didn't see all the last minute magic approvals that hadn't been updated on the malaysiablog yet.

Not an April fool - original article dated 31/03 (0, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | about 6 years ago | (#22930286)

Anyway , does it really matter if OOXML is voted for by ISO? Its just XML for heavens sake, what does it matter? Its not like MS will have copyright on it , they WANT other companies and software to use it. Not everything that comes out of Redmond smells bad.

Re:Not an April fool - original article dated 31/0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930302)

I hope your foolness is limited to April

OpenDoc Announces Official Results (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930306)

Dear all,

as you all may be aware we are involved with the ISO/JTC1 SC34 work.
Please find the official results for the ISO vote for OOXML (DIS 29500).
Probably the impact on the adoption of ODF of the OOXML process will be
minimal, but surely there will be some interest from the public around this.

OOXML which was submitted by Microsoft to ECMA, and by ECMA to ISO, has
literally crawled through the needles eye. After a year of discussion
and repairs it still receives the very minimum of support. The BRM
convinced some yet unconvinced others, and counter votes from large
countries like China, India, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and Iran speak
volumes. This must be one of the worst results ever for a standard to
pass within ISO/JTC1 in years.

Appartently the chair from the Norwegian committe has filed a protest
against the national outcome. Although one vote would not make much
difference, others may follow.

Kind regards,
Michiel Leenaars
NLnet foundation
OpenDoc Society board

http://lists.opendocsociety.org/pipermail/members.announce/2008-April/000002.html [opendocsociety.org]

Now I get it! (4, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 6 years ago | (#22930402)

This whole OOXML ISO Standards thing was just an elaborate April Fool's Joke that Microsoft orchestrated. Man, they really had us going, didn't they?

Penalty for cheating == break even? (5, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 6 years ago | (#22930558)

So when msft is caught red-handed, like in Norway, or Sweden, then that one particular vote is not counted. But it is assumed that everything else is just fine, in spite of dozen of irregularities?

That doesn't really seem fair to me. It seems like, if you cheat, then you either win, or at least break even. It's like saying that the penalty for shop-lifting is that you have to put the stuff you stold back.

In fact, it seems like, in the case of Norway, msft did better than break even. Instead of a "yes" msft rigged a "nothing" which is better for msft than a "no."

Considering the massive number of irregularities in the OOXML approval process, I think OOXML approval should be put on hold, until an investigation can be completed.

Re:Penalty for cheating == break even? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930986)

OOXML set for approval with China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Canada disapproving?
People, we're talking more than half the world's population, a very large geographical area, and bellwether countries in their continents.
If Azerbaijan's vote has the same weight as any of the above, then the ISO process is a big joke.

Not all bad (3, Funny)

Einmaliger (1052420) | about 6 years ago | (#22930574)

This is not necessarily a bad thing. If it's standardized, Microsoft might be motivated to finally come up with a product that actually implements the whole thing.

YEs it is (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 years ago | (#22930606)

Why?
All they have to do is implement more than everyone else, then change the "standard" so that others are not compatible.

Re:Not all bad (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | about 6 years ago | (#22930772)

In any case, that's not how standards are supposed to work. They are not descriptions of what might be nice to have so that someone (maybe the body who submitted the standard) maybe implements it all. In most cases, standards solidify tried and accepted stuff.

And here you are, conjuring up nice images of Microsoft maybe, probably, if they are sufficiently motivated, implementing their spec themselves, for the first time, ever.

Re:Not all bad (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 years ago | (#22931064)

Here's why that's not very likely:

1. Microsoft's implementation of other standards is often [intentionally] broken. One needs to look no further than HTML for evidence of that.

2. As you pointed out, the Office 2007 documents do not comply with the OOXML spec, so currently, no one supports a rigidly defined implementation of OOXML. But it's rather telling that many "yes" voters are discussing "changes" "growth" or "evolution" of the standard. ISO does not support this notion. Standards are rigidly defined and adhered to. If there is a change that needs to be adopted, a new standard is created. But as evidenced by all prior Microsoft behaviors and methods, they can't leave a file format alone for 5 minutes, let alone 'forever.' For Microsoft and ISO to be compatible, they'd have to have a new standard adopted with every new service release of their office and Windows products. (Either that, or ISO will have to change everything it stands for... which has arguably happened already)

3. One of Microsoft's most identified behaviors has been to keep changing standards, methods, procedures and behaviors of its products and protocols. Some would suggest that is to prevent people from being "too compatible" and for the longest time, the Samba project, for example, was having a difficult time keeping up with the changes. (They did, and it would seem Microsoft ran out of ways to break SMB/CIFS to thwart Samba as that doesn't appear to have been an issue lately) Microsoft is more inclined to move the mountain closer to them than they would be to move closer to the mountain.

"Hope" and Microsoft have been words that rarely connect. I have hoped Microsoft would behave better than it does for quite a long time. they simply won't. The tragedy is that they have the resources to make really good stuff. They don't want to do it that way. Instead, they'd rather use tricks and tactics to get their way about things. It's really unfortunate that they'd take the less honorable approach, but clearly by keeping the competition suppressed, they have been far more successful which is good for share holders... just not so good for the rest of "technology" and the world that uses it.

Looking at it objectively... (3, Interesting)

pjr.cc (760528) | about 6 years ago | (#22930696)

All I can I say "who cares?".

I know next to nothing about how iso standards go, and I suspect there are many people out there making comment (the vast majority) that know about as much as I do.

In all likely hood the guys at ISO central are sitting there laughing at each other going "hahahha, the IT crowd really got their knickers in a knot over this? they think this one was irregular, they should have seen ISO9004!". But they most likely have their hands fairly well tied too, the votes are in and they probably cant do much about the (supposedly) obvious corruption of the process.. or can they? What power do they have? I certainly don't know myself...

But look at it from another angle, what does it really mean? The whole purpose of standardizing the format (as i understand it) was so that documents could be accessed at any point in the future (and by other applications) without loosing their content and formatting. How does OOXML achieve this in reality? how do you test that theory? With ODF at least you can say, "ok, i just saved a document in ODF from MS word using sun's plugin and opened it up in Sun Star office - wow it prints and looks the same", but thats not case closed because you need to try that again in 10 years and confirm the theory. Try that again with OOXML - "ok, i just saved an OOXML from ms word, now lets open it up in ..... err... what else reads ooxml? oh thats right nothing, we'll have to wait for office 2010"... Or even better (assuming what most people are saying is correct about ms word not even saving according to the standard). "wow, KOffice just realised their OOXML plugin, lets take a look - hmmm, this looks nothing like what i saved, and documents i saved in OOXML format in Koffice dont look right in MS Word either" (or even better, "but documents i saved in KOffice do look right in MS word"). The response "we coded our plugin according to the ISO standard", but of course, then everyone else codes according to the standard and the only one that looks wrong is MS Office - not a compelling argument for MS office is it?

In a way, MS could very well shoot themselves in the foot if they have 10 other office product vendors with the same ooxml implementation that looks wrong only in MS office...

Another thing to consider - Would OOXML being a standard kill ODF? No, ODF still exists and in reality alot of people round the world are already using it - ironically they're probably mostly using it from MS Office anyway because of Sun's ODF plugin. Which brings me to the next point, if OOXML wasn't a standard does it release the strangehold of MS office? no, Sun did all the dirty work providing ODF import/export for MS office already.

The only real problem that exists is when governments of the world (who fell into the trap of ooxml) realize that the MS Office written OOXML documents will only ever open again in MS office properly (hi, welcome to vendor lock-in, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride - oh and by the way, office 2010's OOXML implementation will be slighly different, so hang onto the old hardware cause your going to need it so you can keep office 2007 around). At the end of the day it just gives various bodies the world over a comfy feeling they can stick with MS office anyway and save in its native format (and perhaps point fingers at someone else when it goes wrong). When it comes to "oh, KOffice cant open OOXML the same way MS can", KOffice will get blamed but thats why MS have tonnes of money for pulling off stunts like this no?

Obviously im ignoring things like third party applications that dont open documents for word processing, but things like Google Search appliance wont record documents with a proper formatting and thus MS search will look "right" - and again, this will benefit MS (and there will be many applications in many field that will probably suffer something because of it).

Maybe the EU should have taken MS's 3.1bil and bought their own votes on the ISO committee's just for a bit of poetic justice (or maybe they decided to skip the committee's and went straight to iso central and bribed them - we'll find out on wednesday) ;)

At the end of the day, i really dont see it as something thats going to murder anything, its just another example of a committee gone bad in all likely hood - which is ashame when its something as important as ISO but also unfortunately unavoidable. Besides, there are places who have decided OOXML is the way to go regardless of what ISO says anyway because they love MS. Lastly, one office format not getting standardized doesn't suddenly open the door to competition against MS either.

Tonight we're gonna party... (4, Funny)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 6 years ago | (#22930920)

...DoinItLikeWord95DoesIt.

Re:Tonight we're gonna party... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22931178)

i.e., Screw anything decent in sight and then crash?

ISO introduces new standard for corruption (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22930928)

The new ISO standard ISO/IEC 29500 allows the assessment of corruption in countries, organizations and individuals based on a dual-logarithmic scale which correlates potential and de-facto corruption to optimise investment for multinationals.

Gabriel Garter of ISO comments, "We are very proud to launch this latest international standard, which is now ready for deployment. This was a global effort which required the help of organisations and individuals with years of experience in achieving corruption to finally allow us to provide this valuable service to the market."

ECMA International, the leading standardization organization in this field adds, "We were glad that years of expertise at forcing low-quality technical documentation through ISO for certification with minimum modification proved to be so useful for this new international standard."

Microsoft, the world's largest software company comments, "Microsoft is glad that we could be of use to this project. Over the years we have assembled a valuable compendium of in-house knowledge about various corruption techniques. While these techniques constitute our intellectual property and we would pursue method-piracy to the full extent of the law, we will be offering a licensing program with reduced fees for all Microsoft Gold Partners who participated in the project."

"Our special thanks and gratitude go to Jan van der Beld, whose tireless efforts to selfishly spread corruption have been our source of inspiration," concludes Garter. "In honor of his work, we decided to introduce a special motto for this new international standard. The phrase 'You are well paid. Shut up!' will be printed in bold on the header of every page of ISO/IEC 29500, quoting Mr van den Belds most inspiring speech available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wITyO71Et6g [youtube.com] ."

/.ers needed to help HP develop ethics leadership (2, Informative)

TropicalCoder (898500) | about 6 years ago | (#22931038)

On Groklaw we learned today [groklaw.net] that Hewlett Packard participated in overt political interference along side Microsoft

"Here's the scoop from Les Echos.fr on France's sudden change from its No vote to Abstain. Microsoft France's President Eric Boustouller sent AFNOR a letter [PDF] in French, of course. He tells a tale about OOXML and ODF progressing side by side and how if OOXML is approved, a group will be working hard to make the two more interoperable. Attached was a HP statement of support for OOXML [hp.com] . HP sings the same song. And AFNOR?"

Take a look at HP's Ethics and Compliance Page [hp.com] and you will see how concerned HP is of public perceptions after recent events connected with HP's investigation into leaks of confidential information from the Board of Directors tarnished HP's reputation in this area.

HP tells us they have a long-standing commitment to conducting business with uncompromising integrity, which is core to everything they stand for as a company. I am sure that if they really understood that by supporting MSOOXML they are headed for another scandal, they would distance themselves from OOXML. Even more, since their ambition is to provide a leadership role in corporate ethics, they would help to turn the tide against OOXML.

In light of this, you may wish to help them understand the errors presented by the "HP Position Statement on Standardization of Office Document Formats" and you may comment directly to their Board of Ethics on the Comments page [hp.com] . That is where I just posted the following letter...


Dear members of the Board of Ethics and Compliance at HP

It is clear that your company is deeply concerned about conducting business with uncompromising integrity. In light of your commitment to being a leader in global citizenship and corporate ethics, I wish to direct your attention to a serious error in judgment by somebody there at HP who formulated the "HP Position Statement on Standardization of Office Document Formats".

I refer to the following statements...

"HP believes that the international standardization process is working."

It is now blatantly obvious that quite the contrary is true, specifically, that the standardization process was seriously flawed. Please see the current discussion on Groklaw about this at http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080331212042460#c684749 [groklaw.net] and you will quickly realize that your statement is a serious error.

"additional evolution of it will take place under control of the global community"

...another error - in no way whatsoever could we conclude that the decision for MSOOXML to become an ISO standard was made by the "global community". I believe that decision was made by Microsoft and its partners who overwhelmed the ISO voting process, and AFAIK, additional evolution will be done by ECMA, who is controlled by Microsoft.

"Hewlett-Packard Company ...believe[s] that the two standards will co-exist interoperably, and that customers should have the opportunity to select the standards which best fit their needs."

The phrase boggles the mind when you try to parse it. Let us imagine that the two standards, MSOOXML and ODF are interoperable - then why would we need both? Why would the end user choose one over the other if they both do the same job? Interoperability implies that we could easily convert from one to the other. If this were possible, than that in itself is a demonstration that MSOOXML is a duplication of an existing standard - ODF - and therefore should not be/have been approved.

...and if they don't work the same way - for example, if one standard is better for Microsoft documents and the other is better for, say, OpenOffice products, then they are not interoperable, and the use of the word interoperable is a contradiction. If MSOOXML only works for Microsoft documents, then it should not be an ISO standard, as it only benefits Microsoft. We cannot have an ISO standard for the benefit of a single company.

I believe that HP is serious about corporate ethics and perceptions thereof, and I wish you all success in developing leadership in this area. Your position statement appears to be contrary to everything you are trying to achieve, and seems to be formulated to support your business partner Microsoft to the detriment of global standards and interoperability, at the expense of citizens of the world. I would suggest your clarify your position ASAP before you find yourselves involved in a growing scandal.

Sincerely,

...

pause for thought (2, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | about 6 years ago | (#22931194)

there will be condemnation.

there will be appeals.

and like a jumper that has been badly washed, the ISO system will never be the same. trust takes a long time to build, but can be destroyed in an instant.

groklaw did a superb (as normal) run down on the appeals process, and this will be so inevitably roundly condemned that an appeal will almost certainly happen.

but really I'm quite OK about this being voted in, I always predicted a Pyhrric victory for MS. Here's my logic - if they did not manage to force this through then they lost. But they did manage to force it through and in the process created such scrutiny, condemnation, criticisms of OOXML and contempt from the industry that they still lost. OOXML is widely regarded as a flawed, massive, unimplementable standard, an evolved jumble of legacy components with little clarity. It will be fascinating to see if any other implementation will ever be implemented. Already moves are underway to specify cross platform implementations as required for many, many governments - and I think we can all see where that leaves MS.

Even if another portable implementation is ever implemented, then once again MS loses as their cash cow is no longer required on the corporate desktop.

I mourn for a once respected standards body, of course. But I think ISO has allowed this to happen to itself - it has lost its impartiality and technical clarity and I do not know where the future lies for it. In in ideal world only technical merit should of won out, and only one standard should ever of been introduced to meet a this requirement. If OOXML was demonstrably better then ODF should of been deprecated.

Just my 2 cents.

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