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ISO Takes Control Of OOXML

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the down-to-business dept.

Software 260

mikkl666 writes "Alex Brown, head of the ISO work group responsible for OOXML, has posted a summary of their latest meeting, and he also comments on the resolutions discussed there. The basic message is that ISO now has 'full responsibility for the standard,' and that several workgroups will be established to work on OOXML. An interesting point here is that 'setting up a maintance[sic] procedure for ODF, and then working on cross-standard initiatives' is one of the explicit goals. On a side note, they also reacted to the very emotional discussion on OOXML by posting an open letter: 'We the undersigned participants ... wish to make it clear that we deplore the personal attacks that have been made ... in recent months. We believe standards debate should always be carried out with respect for all parties, even when they strongly disagree.' As Brown correctly points out, 'This content speaks for itself.' We discussed the approval of OOXML earlier this month."

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260 comments

First Trout! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054608)

I am a Fish!

Re:First Trout! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055084)

Welcome! And thanks for the Salmon!

What do they expect? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054636)

After all the backroom dealing that was involved in getting OOXML standardized, a lot of people are going to be bitter.

Re:What do they expect? (-1, Troll)

Macthorpe (960048) | about 6 years ago | (#23054950)

After all the backroom dealing that was involved in getting OOXML standardized, a lot of people are going to be bitter.
All this reminds me of the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 - an awful lot of coincidence and not a lot of fact.

Despite the bevy of rational explanations, with official bodies denying, often with proof, that no 'backroom dealing' occurred, it's still not enough for people to realise that the ISO process may actually be working fine. Just because people didn't get the result they want, they go out of their way to find as much completely circumstantial and unprovable 'evidence' as possible that the system is broken.

It's actually kind of amusing to see people get so worked up. ODF is still a standard, and OOXML becoming one doesn't actually change that.

Re:What do they expect? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054964)

Hi there! Welcome to Slashdot. I think you may be lost.

Re:What do they expect? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055106)

That Microsoft needed to stack the deck is all-telling, OOXML is unimplementable, has no place as an approved standard and Microsoft and the NB's full-well know it.

You're attempting to conflate the issue, there is ample evidence of irregularities in the OOXML fast track process without considering the backroom deal. The question why so many NB's did an about face requires further exploration and action, if not a backroom deal then something was responsible and it sure as hell wasn't improvements to the "standard"!

Re:What do they expect? (5, Insightful)

Lknight (125949) | about 6 years ago | (#23055120)

It's amusing to see that because of the actions of a single software company, money that could have been spent on something like finding cleaner sources of energy or battling rising food prices, will now be spent on trying to support OOXML.

ODF is a standard, implementable by any third party and independent of the implementor's software. OOXML's inclusion as a 'standard' now also has the effect of influencing ODF's openness via 'cross-standard initiatives'.

The ISO process was abused, clearly. OOXML does not meet the minimum definition of an open standard and that is enough to show the process was abused.

Re:What do they expect? (5, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | about 6 years ago | (#23055258)

Despite the bevy of rational explanations, with official bodies denying, often with proof, that no 'backroom dealing' occurred, it's still not enough for people to realise that the ISO process may actually be working fine

Have you actually looked at the OOXML spec? It doesn't matter if "backroom dealing" occurred. If that trainwreck is approved as an ISO standard, then the ISO process is broken. Full stop.

Re:What do they expect? (4, Informative)

Mathinker (909784) | about 6 years ago | (#23055278)

> with official bodies denying, often with proof, that no 'backroom dealing' occurred

Like the Swedish official body?

From http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/08/31/Sweden-OOXML-vote-invalid_1.html [infoworld.com] :

The Swedish Standards Institute has declared its recent vote in favor of Microsoft's Office Open XML format invalid. It means that Sweden will probably abstain from an important upcoming international vote on whether to make the format a standard.

The reason given by SIS was not the controversial circumstances surrounding the vote, in which Microsoft was found to have offered companies "incentives" if they voted in favor of OOXML. Instead, SIS cited a technicality, saying proper procedures had not been followed.
SSI more or less admits that MS swayed member companies votes and at the same time claims that was perfectly OK, but there was a technical problem somewhere else (a double vote).

Are the other official bodies you're talking about applying the same "standards" as SSI to their voting procedures? If so, you might be technically correct, but as far as I'm concerned, it still stinks.

get real (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055350)

One example-majority of Norway's delegates want "no", yet their vote gets cast as "yes". And this is "working fine"? You are an adult, get paid a living salary for some job that requires at least average intelligence and thinking skills?

ISO is fucked, corrupt, and no one should pay any attention to them anymore, their usefulness as a legitimate standards body is over. And MS has been their typical since they have been in operation "industry standard" conniving scheming assholes.

It doesn't Matter Anymore. XAML replaces it all. (3, Insightful)

FireAtWill (559444) | about 6 years ago | (#23055028)

XAML will replace HTML (as well as Flash, PDF, Postscript, etc.)

Under the guise of security, Microsoft has quietly been making Windows applications difficult to deploy within corporations, and have been luring corporate developers towards ASP DotNet. With the release of The latest DotNet development tools and Expression Blend, the strategy is nearing fulfillment.

It has been a master stroke, I must admit. I've long thought that HTML was a poor foundation for what we're trying to do on the web these days. I spent all of yesterday putting the pieces together and am well impressed. And afraid.

Microsoft's strategy appears to be to drive internal corporate developent, then B2B, along with governments (Library of Congress), etc. and by eventually it will surely gain ubiquity. It will raise the bar for internet applications. Anybody switching between Expression Blend and, say, Dreamweaver will quickly see the folly of stretching pixels to make boxes. Vector graphics makes much more sense for the web. Along with a rich set of controls.

Why would you need OOXML, when you've got XPS (a subset of XAML)? It can replace ))XML, PDF and Postscript.

Of course, this is all an open standard right? And Microsoft has released the specs and is working with Mono on Moonlight, right? Well, yes, just when they're launching all of their tools that utilize it.

I imagine that's what will happen with each future version of the standard.

MS os OpenOffice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054644)

Is this the MS led standard, or the OpenOffice one?

Re:MS os OpenOffice? (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | about 6 years ago | (#23055276)

The Open Document Format (ODF) started as the OpenOffice format (though Sun does not control it).

The Microsoft Office Open XML (OOXML) format is the MS-led one.

Personal Attacks? (5, Insightful)

mazarin5 (309432) | about 6 years ago | (#23054646)

So is evidence of bribery, corruption, and other underhanded tactics considered personal attacks? It looks like they've decided to go ahead and accept it as a de facto standard; I thought they hadn't finished voting yet.

This open letter assures me though - the $y$tem works.

Re:Personal Attacks? (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 6 years ago | (#23054712)

"Personal attacks" has increasingly been the whine of people trying to cover up actions and speech that they personally did wrong, when the attacks are on those acts and speech, not the "person" themself. It's a perversion of invoking the "ad hominem" [wikipedia.org] fallacy accusation when all they're really entitled to claim is "don't look at me" (because they don't want to be accountable for their actions).

Re:Personal Attacks? (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 6 years ago | (#23054932)

Well said.

In matters of logic, it is critical to be clear about what questions are being addressed by which evidence.

The first question is the worthiness of OOXML to be an international standard. The second question is the integrity of the process under which ISO approved OOXML.

Nobody is arguing that OOXML is a bad standard because the process that approved it was corrupted. They are arguing that OOXML is a bad standard AND the process that approved it was corrupted. These questions are not unrelated; one could argue that assuming the badness of the OOXML process is evidence of the corruption of the process. However it isn't strictly necessary for one question to beg the other. There is sufficient independent evidence to consider each question separately.

It is really proponents that are confusing the two issues, and have an interest in doing so.

If the standard is bad, then the process that approved it must be questionable. Therefore, if the process that approved the proposal is above reproach, then the standard cannot be bad. We can't say, however, that because the process was bad, the proposal was bad, although it is not inconsistent to believe this.

Future relevance of ISO given their OOXML debacle (4, Insightful)

r7 (409657) | about 6 years ago | (#23054972)

The first question is the worthiness of OOXML to be an international standard
That would be my second question. The first would be regarding ISO itself. Clearly this brings down ISO's stature as a standards setting organization by several notches. I mean how seriously can you take a standard that was adopted not on its technical merit, not because it was better than competing proposals, but because the voting members could be bought?

Re:Future relevance of ISO given their OOXML debac (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055154)

I mean how seriously can you take a standard that was adopted not on its technical merit, not because it was better than competing proposals, but because the voting members could be bought?
You mean like the ISO-9000 standard?

This is not the first time that an ISO standard was obviously political rather than technical.

Begs the question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055138)

However it isn't strictly necessary for one question to beg the other.

This may be the first time someone on /. got it right, ever! One for the record books. I'm impressed. O.B. for everyone else: http://begthequestion.info/ [begthequestion.info]

Re:Personal Attacks? (2, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | about 6 years ago | (#23055164)

Except OOXML already is the standard, or at least the spiritual successor to it. Microsoft Word is how 90% of the world creates their documents.

Here we have the company responsible for that 90% (if not more!) wanting to open up their file format and make it an ISO standard, giving the wider global community some sort of say in the process, for the first time ever. There is absolutely no reason to oppose OOXML's adoption as a standard. It already *IS* the standard and any attempts to block it are just idiots sticking their head in the sand.

Let me repeat that: the vast majority of human beings on this planet that need to create a document in a word processor do it with some version of Microsoft Word. Period. This is *FACT*. Any move toward putting that file format into an open standard is a good move.

Complaining that the first version has technical flaws is just as useless. The ISO can address that with revisions. Some of those "flaws" are directly related to preserving the ability of a word processor to open older documents and render them properly (think un-translatable languages. will archaeologists be able to open a 100-yr old Word document in the future? 500 year old? I hope so, because that will be a regular part of the job...). If you've ever read Joel's article about the file formats, you'd understand that there are some behaviors that simply can't be described other than to say "here is the piece of code that produces that output". Microsoft didn't care back then - I doubt you would have given a rat's ass in the 80s either under the same circumstances and with the same disk and memory limits. We know a lot more about software development now.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who opposes the adoption of OOXML can go piss up a rope. As a developer I'm more than happy to have, for the first time ever, some readily available documentation on the file format and a standards body that will at least try to take care of the standard, whether they ever succeed or not.

Re:Personal Attacks? (4, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 years ago | (#23055228)

It's my understanding that OOXML isn't even a standard that microsoft uses or can implement and microsoft intends to replace it in the very near future. So what was the point of this exercize? To make sure that a true open standard has a harder time getting a foothold until microsoft brings out their "real" open standard.

Now-- there is another issue... OOXML is not a true open standard-- it is patent encumbered for one thing, and can't be implemented for another.

Openoffice does a better job of opening my older word files than Word does at this point (in fact, at least a couple times a year I use it to FIX MSword documents at work that get corrupted section headers and crash Word). The thing that started this entire mess is that some governments noticed this fact with regard to their documents (i.e. Microsoft making not just the word processor you are using obsolete but making your *data* obsolete-- and in under 10 years) and passed laws saying documents were required to be in an open format so they could be read 50 years from now.

Microsoft word format is a standard-- its just not a very stable standard (changing substantially every few years) and it is not an OPEN standard. If ISO wanted to vote OOXML "the standard way one version of Word stores data" it might have been true. But they didn't-- they voted it an "Open" standard which has legal meaning to all those governments passing laws that their documents must be stored in an open format. It was a huge-- corrupt- scam job where Microsoft essentially got a standards body to label a white flour roll an apple so it would be immune to new laws saying kids had to have fruit instead of rolls with their school lunches.

Re:Personal Attacks? (5, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 years ago | (#23055410)

There is a way the governments can recover this...

Instead of using a title "Open", they list the characteristics they require.

* Not encumbered by patents in anyway (all involved patents must be released into the public domain immediately)
* Completely specified (nothing defined in terms of how another program works-- specify the desired behavior)
* I'm sure there are a few others but these two alone would kill OOXML from being relabeled an apple.

Re:Personal Attacks? (5, Insightful)

Repossessed (1117929) | about 6 years ago | (#23055274)

If Microsoft had opened up the specs for the docx and other new file formats for ISO approval, and documented them in an implementable fashion, then I (and I think, pretty much anybody who wants an office suite that can compete with Microsoft), would be thrilled. Hell, I *was* thrilled when I first heard about it.

Microsoft did not do this though, Microsoft gave us 6000 pages of an unimplementable spec, which refers to information that is not publicly available. There are serious legal questions as to whether the 'patent promise' holds any water as well, meaning that implementing the spec could cause problems for open source products. On top of it all the flagship OOXML product, Microsoft Office, does not currently appear to be following the OOXML spec properly. This is only going to get worse as ISO working committees refine the spec to fix the implementation problems Microsoft put into it.

The end result of this is that we are left with a ISO spec that has no real world implementation at all. The only thing I can really hope comes out of this is Microsoft gets hit with a fraud charge for claiming office is ISO compliant when is truth it is not.

Re:Personal Attacks? (5, Insightful)

Lknight (125949) | about 6 years ago | (#23055332)

Except OOXML already is the standard, or at least the spiritual successor to it. Microsoft Word is how 90% of the world creates their documents.
And that's right where we want to be 20, 30 or even 50 years from now.

Here we have the company responsible for that 90% (if not more!) wanting to open up their file format and make it an ISO standard, giving the wider global community some sort of say in the process, for the first time ever.
Not quite. They didn't want to open their file format, but they wanted to make it an ISO standard. They also wanted to give the global community a pat on the head to let them think that they had some sort of say in the process.

There is absolutely no reason to oppose OOXML's adoption as a standard. It already *IS* the standard and any attempts to block it are just idiots sticking their head in the sand.
There is absolutely no reason to oppose ODF's adoption as a standard. It already *IS* the standard and any attempts to block it are just idiots sticking their head in the sand.

Let me repeat that: the vast majority of human beings on this planet that need to create a document in a word processor do it with some version of Microsoft Word. Period. This is *FACT*. Any move toward putting that file format into an open standard is a good move.
You seem to be confused. There is a difference between a de facto standard (in this case due to a monopoly) and a derived standard (usually created and documented from technical input from known experts).

Complaining that the first version has technical flaws is just as useless. The ISO can address that with revisions.
I would agree with you if it wasn't already a 'standard'. Think of other standards that you use which, if they were adopted before they addressed technical flaws, would have disastrous impacts. Want to play with the standard for electrical transmission? How about the standards that even let you use the Internet?

Some of those "flaws" are directly related to preserving the ability of a word processor to open older documents and render them properly (think un-translatable languages. will archaeologists be able to open a 100-yr old Word document in the future? 500 year old? I hope so, because that will be a regular part of the job...).
So our brand new standard has to cater for the current de facto format's ability to be backward compatible with a monopolist's software package?

What would have been really great is if we had a whole bunch of other standards and incorporated them into a brand new standard! Too bad we didn't think of it before OOXML.

If you've ever read Joel's article about the file formats, you'd understand that there are some behaviors that simply can't be described other than to say "here is the piece of code that produces that output".
No, still don't understand. And by the way, can you show me where Microsoft said 'here is the piece of code that produces that output' for all the binary blobs they're spewing out? Thanks!

Microsoft didn't care back then - I doubt you would have given a rat's ass in the 80s either under the same circumstances and with the same disk and memory limits. We know a lot more about software development now.
Including not to tie ourselves to 80's file formats. Oops. Seems not.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who opposes the adoption of OOXML can go piss up a rope. As a developer I'm more than happy to have, for the first time ever, some readily available documentation on the file format and a standards body that will at least try to take care of the standard, whether they ever succeed or not.
Well, I'm glad one of us is happy. Actually, no I'm not. If you think the OOXML file format documentation will actually help you, go read it and come back.

Re:Personal Attacks? (1)

Angostura (703910) | about 6 years ago | (#23055432)

There is a difference between de facto and de jure standards.

The former would be how IE 6 rendered Web pages.

Re:Personal Attacks? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 6 years ago | (#23055024)

Also, how can a personal attack be made without knowing the attacked party personally ? Hell, most of them are not even named in the bribery accusations. They are usually designed by "faceless and numerous Microsoft drones".

Re:Personal Attacks? (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 6 years ago | (#23054754)

I doubt that the working group itself has been bribed. After all, they just held ISO down: it was Microsoft's paid catspaws who did the actual gang rape.

Re:Personal Attacks? (5, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 years ago | (#23054818)

This seems sadly true. It's easy for a group that believes in an ethical standard to be misled by people who pretend to it publicly: it's like a spouse with an abusive partner. They hope for the best, and want the partner to improve and hope that they will, but their support of the partner actually prolongs the abusive relationship.

ISO needs to go to a family shelter, change their address, get a restraining order, and make sure that Microsoft's visitation rights with the children are supervised for safety.

Re:Personal Attacks? (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | about 6 years ago | (#23054798)

>So is evidence of bribery, corruption, and other underhanded tactics considered personal attacks?

ISO don't consider them personal attacks at all. But that's what they'll cry, to anyone who will listen, as part of the spinning process.

Part of the problem is that those who want open, free and workable standards also tend to be nice people. Consequentially, they hold themselves to much higher standards than the bad guys, and refuse to use the underhanded (but winning) tactics of randomly spewing out FUD and shit about the opposition.

How to stop this? 2 options-

1) Some kind of ninjas/super best friends/Judges Dread figures, who will look after us all, and never abuse their position.
2) A highly educated majority of the populous, with the will and persistence to continually pick apart the lies.

I know which I think is more likely....

Re:Personal Attacks? (4, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | about 6 years ago | (#23054896)

ISO is a worthless org now that it has become obvious they not only allow corruption and deception but they also have refused to do anything about it. They knew months ago that Microsoft was paying business partners to join ISO and instructing them on what to say at the MSOOXML voting meetins. They/ISO have known that these fraudulent new members were not acting as concerned ISO members and voting on other ISO projects as is required and they/ISO continued to let another vote go through on MSOOXML months later.

ISO is worthless and should be disregarded until they fix what is wrong and repair the damage done in the exploitation of their poorly designed voting process by Microsoft.

As far as MSOOXML and ODF goes, it is over and Microsoft destroyed ODF just as they have done to so many public use standards in the past. Destroyed may be too harsh but they have basically diminished its value by about 90% because of the perceived openness of MSOOXML will trump choices to use ODF. MSOOXML will be viewed as some kind of vague standard and Microsoft will continue using proprietary versions in their MS Office products with mostly poor implementations of the "official" MSOOXML standard. IMO

LoB

Re:Personal Attacks? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055412)

You can cry baby boy. The only worthless thing here are the comments of a bunch of spoiled Yankee kids that think they are Uber-Linux-Hackers...
You are just a bunch of pathetic sex-deprived WoW inhabitants and your opinion has no weight and doesn't count...
So, MS won once again, and ISO IS INDEED the one that sets rules for standards for the whole World. So, now go back to your country crumbling in pieces, with your factories being bought by European and Chinese. Except for the US, everybody else follow and respect ISO standards... So, you are the losers on this game.
Give me a M - M! Give me a S - S! Give me a F - F! Give me a T - T! MSFT! MSFT! MSFT!

Re:Personal Attacks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055226)

It always bribery, corruption, and other underhanded tactics when it's a position you don't like.

And pissing sunshine and rainbows when it's a position you do.

A plague on both your houses.

Re:Personal Attacks? (1, Interesting)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | about 6 years ago | (#23055370)

Baseless accusations of bribery, et al, might be considered personal attacks by those on the receiving end.

The problem is that your accusations of bribery, et al, are so vague, that you're painting everyone that voted YES with the "corruption" brush. I wish you guys would man up and make a specific corruption charge against specific individuals.

For example, the Czech Republic's expert, Jiri Kosek, explained in great detail why the Czech Republic switched from NO to YES:
http://xmlguru.cz/2008/01/ecma-response-to-czech-ooxml-comments [xmlguru.cz]

Well, according to you guys, nobody in his right mind would switch from NO to YES without being bribed (or whatever), so let's get specific. Are you accusing Jiri Kosek of accepting a bribe, yes or no?

Sure, it's easy to accuse Microsoft of bribing "people" (since Microsoft is hated around here anyway, such a vague accusation will increase your karma), but bribery it is a two-way street. By accusing Microsoft of bribing people, you are also accusing someone of accepting those bribes. Don't you think that those that voted YES have a right to be offended by your accusations that they took bribes?

If you would make specific charges, naming the individuals that accepted bribes (and provide some details, like the dollar amounts that changed hands), then you'd have more credibility, wouldn't be painting everyone with the "corruption" brush, and would give those specifically accused a chance to defend themselves. But as it is, you guys don't have the evidence or guts to make specific charges against specific people (like Jiri Kosek), so you make these vague unsupported charges.

Re:Personal Attacks? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 6 years ago | (#23055510)

Don't you think that those that voted YES have a right to be offended by your accusations that they took bribes?
I have no desire to read the entire standard, but if the descriptions we've seen here on slashdot are representative, I submit that many here would suggest that they should be far more offended by the suggestion that they didn't.

Here's a message for ISO and the letter... (1)

Snotman (767894) | about 6 years ago | (#23054648)

Boohoo! I guess the adoption of the standard around the world speaks for itself and the political motivations to have two document standards. How do they reason that there needs to be 2. And while they are at it, they should make a third and a fourth and a fifth. Obviously, when it comes to standards, diversity matters.

Re:Here's a message for ISO and the letter... (1, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | about 6 years ago | (#23054672)

How do they reason that there needs to be 2
Neither the F/OSS folks nor the Microsoft folks will abandon their established format. There will be two formats, no matter what the ISO does.

So, the best thing the ISO can do is formalize each "standard", and get each party used to listening to it and using it as the reference.

Re:Here's a message for ISO and the letter... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054894)

Private business (ie Microsoft) has always been free to deviate from ISO standards in products they create. This is technique is generally referred to as "proprietary." The fault here is that Microsoft is has decided they don't want their format to be considered "proprietary" because of the competition the open source standard presents one of their flagship products. Thus, they have subverted the system with $ and corruption to force it to adopt their proprietary format as a "standard." This, in itself, perverts the organization of ISO, rendering it little more than a corporate puppet.

Re:Here's a message for ISO and the letter... (1)

r7 (409657) | about 6 years ago | (#23055080)

the best thing the ISO can do is formalize each "standard"
I'm sure that would be a satisfactory outcome for Microsoft. It is, after all, true to their well established "embrace and extend" business method. But OOXML is not capable of being an actual standard for document interchange.
Think about it for a second, simply adding xml tags to the beginning and end of a proprietary file/object is like calling a sow's ear "silk, i.e., nothing more than marketing-driven rhetoric. Using terminology that means one thing to market your completely different thing, and doing so with the blessing of an "international organization", is corrupt.

Thank MSISO, but no thanks.

Re:Here's a message for ISO and the letter... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 years ago | (#23054816)

How would they reason that it is bad to have two competing document standards?

The formats are significantly different, and OOXML must have some merit for being a standard in itsel, or at least some people believe. Presumptively if a major piece of the market is utilizing the format, then there are benefits to be realized by having standardized.

We have many programming language standards: for example, there is an ISO standard for C, there is an ISO standard for C++, there is an ISO standard for FORTRAN, etc.

MS wanting to standardize their Office formats can (IMO) only be seen as a great indication of Open Office's success, and the fact MS now feels a need to switch from proprietary file formats (unreadable to third party software) to more open formats.

Now with elimination of software patents... M$ Offices' unfair vendor lock-in and inability to interoperate with users of non-MS software may vanish in the future (provided they actually adopt the open format they are standardizing as the default file format)

Just a few benefits of OOXML being standardized.

It would be nice if M$ were to adopt ODF; however, it is doubtful they ever would do so -- due to "not invented here" syndrome.

Re:Here's a message for ISO and the letter... (1)

Lknight (125949) | about 6 years ago | (#23054886)

OOXML is not standardized. It's 'standardized'.

If Microsoft really wanted to eliminate their lock in and work on an open standard, they would have worked to extend ODF. That wasn't profitable for them, so they didn't do it.

We do have many programming language standards, but all of those standards are well defined. They do not include something that only one complier from one company knows just how it works!

Something is either open or not. You can't have it both ways. Microsoft realizes this, and realizes it can (through sheer complicated technicality) give the impression of being open, while being closed. It seems they are still fooling some of the people some of the time.

Re:Here's a message for ISO and the letter... (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 6 years ago | (#23054976)

we've got a noob here. Microsoft follow standards you say? ha, and to even mention language standards is a double ha, ha.

Microsoft does NOT follow standards and any piece of garbage coming from their employees stating they do is fiction and just a tool to fool the market into thinking they do. Learn your history dude/dudette.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/10/21/reborn_or_stillborn_all_new/ [theregister.co.uk]

And thinking that Microsoft will adopt ISO OOXML is foolish thought too. This whole exercise was created to block ODF because US State governments were realizing it would be best to have their docs in an open standard instead of one companies secret format. It is factually impossible for anyone but Microsoft to fully implement the ECMA MSOOXML standard and now that ISO has been corrupted and overtake by Microsoft partners to allow MSOOXML as also an ISO standard, it is game over for ODF. Microsoft got what they were after, no change to their control of the document specifications. IMO

LoB

Re:Here's a message for ISO and the letter... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 years ago | (#23055456)

Maybe, when MS finally gets around to making a fully compliant implementation of the final version of OOXML. And if OOXML fully meets the legal requirements for being an 'open standard' (maybe just being certified by ISO is not sufficient)

Customers who need an open standard will then have the option of picking OOXML or ODF, assuming they determine that OOXML fully meets their requirements.

MS Office has a history over 10 years. MS has put out a fairly compelling (nice looking) product, Office 2007, and sold many copies.

OOo is well, free, quite a few years younger than Office, and does not provide some of the accessibility features, usability features, and performance of Office, for instance when saving and opening documents.

When low cost is the object, OOo wins, when other considerations are more important, such as widespread reputation for reliability+usability, preference among colleagues, ease-of-use, etc, sometimes OOo won't win.

Re:Here's a message for ISO and the letter... (3, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 years ago | (#23054912)

it does speak volumes. with the EU investigating several countries for massive amounts of corruption, Norway voted against adopting it, yet the technical committee of MSFT friends passed it anyways. a 19 to 6 vote against does speak volumes.

There are currently enough voting irregularities that which if half of them switch to abstain OOXML is no longer a standard. OOXML is a piece of shit. no one and that's including MSFT can ever implement it as it is so complicated and relies on knowing undocumented features of word 95, 97, and 2000.

MSFT just killed the ISO as they can no longer be taken seriously. With enough bribes you can buy what ever standard you want.

why not open source Windows? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054654)

Since the EU seems to be the only organization with a backbone willing to stand up to Microsoft, why don't they solve the "closed protocol" problem by open sourcing Windows?

The EU has the windows source code already. They have the regulatory power to do what is necessary to force compliance with the law, which MS is not willing to do on its own.

Think about it: this would open up the possibility for Windows competitors. MS would no longer be a monopoly, and could not abuse its position to ram non-"standards" through a kangaroo standards body. They could no longer abuse their dominant market position to shut down competitors or strongarm vendors into not allowing other OSs to be sold on their systems. It fixes all the problems caused by a MS monopoly.

In addition, it ultimately allows for more security: Windows vendors could compete on security of their version.

It brings interoperability to the industry, and it means that hardware drivers can be supplied for many different systems, not just Windows, addressing one of the big problems *nixes face today.

It's time to see an open source Windows. All the EU needs is a >little more of a backbone. "MS: you have failed to comply with the terms of the court. As a result, Windows is now open sourced, and we are seeding 10 competitors to start up and sell their own versions."

Bring competition back to the market, and these things will not be a problem any more. As long as there is no meaningful competition, any other steps are bandaids.

Re:why not open source Windows? (1)

tomtomtom777 (1148633) | about 6 years ago | (#23054686)

The EU has the windows source code already.

What makes you think they have? Any sources on this?

Besides, even if they have access to it, they surely didn't get the right to open-source it. Not legally nor morally, even for open-source advocates.

Re:why not open source Windows? (1)

Danse (1026) | about 6 years ago | (#23054834)

Besides, even if they have access to it, they surely didn't get the right to open-source it. Not legally nor morally, even for open-source advocates.
Given that copyright is a legal right granted by legislation, it could certainly be revoked by legislation as well, which would be both legal and moral if the corporation was violating the law, which they have determined that MS has been doing, repeatedly.

Re:why not open source Windows? (0, Flamebait)

notamisfit (995619) | about 6 years ago | (#23055240)

First of all, copyright, like any other form of property right, is a moral right upheld by legislation. Yeah, they can "revoke" it, in the same sense that government thugs with guns can "revoke" my right to my computer or my house. Second of all, yeah, EU could expropriate the copyright. How much shit do you think is going to hit the fan if they do? That's essentially a repudiation of every international copyright agreement out there, and reciprocity can be a real bitch.

Re:why not open source Windows? (3, Informative)

Danse (1026) | about 6 years ago | (#23055478)

First of all, copyright, like any other form of property right, is a moral right upheld by legislation.
It's hardly a moral right. It's simply a compromise between the public and those who create new works in an effort to encourage such creations. They get a temporary right to exclusively duplicate and distribute those works in exchange for them being added to the public domain at the end of that period. That the copyright industry has grossly perverted that compromise is the real breach of morality.

Re:why not open source Windows? (-1, Flamebait)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 6 years ago | (#23054796)

Since the EU seems to be the only organization with a backbone willing to stand up to Microsoft
Since when is extorting^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H levying huge "fines" demonstrating a backbone? Seriously, how much courage does it take to tell Microsoft they have to pay $600M in fines to continue to do business in Europe? If they really wanted to show backbone they would simply say that Microsoft products could no longer be sold in Europe. Period. But as we all know, it's much easier, and of course much more profitable for the commission, to just keep fining them. How brave of them.

Re:why not open source Windows? (1)

notamisfit (995619) | about 6 years ago | (#23055246)

MS opens themselves up for this shit by continuing to operate in these countries. I wish they'd made good on their promise to pull out of South Korea a few years back; now everyone knows they'll stay and swallow whatever shit the European worker's paradise wishes to feed them.

Re:why not open source Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055286)

Since the EU seems to be the only organization with a backbone willing to stand up to Microsoft

Since when is extorting^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H levying huge "fines" demonstrating a backbone? Seriously, how much courage does it take to tell Microsoft they have to pay $600M in fines to continue to do business in Europe? If they really wanted to show backbone they would simply say that Microsoft products could no longer be sold in Europe. Period. But as we all know, it's much easier, and of course much more profitable for the commission, to just keep fining them. How brave of them.
that is actually being looked into btw

infact such a thing was reported a few days ago on /.

Now wait just a cotton pickin' minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054662)

Microsoft's patented strategy is: Embrace, Extend, Eliminate.

Is Microsoft going to have to embrace, extend and eliminate their own 'standard'. Surely they aren't going to let ISO dictate OOXML to them. My brain hurts.

Re:Now wait just a cotton pickin' minute (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 6 years ago | (#23055076)

why do they have to fully support the ISO standard? That was not the plan IMO and there is nothing which requires them to do this. They may have a poorly supported export/import function for the ISO standard but they do not have to support it. And there is no reason to believe they would even though they will say that they do and will support it.

There is nothing legally requiring them to do this. And the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish element here is to the ODF standard. They claimed to embrace XML, they extended the belief that everything in XML is open by embedding proprietary and patented stuff in their XML, and the Extinguished ODF's chance of being a valid competitor for office file formats by purchasing there way to standardizing a version of their MSOOXML.

There is nothing requiring them to support this new office document standard and I would think it very difficult to find a document from Microsoft which we could believe proves they will adhere to it. The ISO org will now spin its wheels pretending they have a purpose in this game of Microsofts and spend many years running around in circles working on these two documents, MSOOXML and ODF. And Microsft will continue on controlling access to the office document formats. IMO

LoB

Re:Now wait just a cotton pickin' minute (1)

dvice_null (981029) | about 6 years ago | (#23055092)

They don't have to follow the standard. They can use their own version of the standard. As no-one else will use the standard, they basicly can use the ISO standard as a marketing term, without actually following use.

Damage control done too late (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about 6 years ago | (#23054668)

ISO, it is already too late. OOXML is tainted with very bad attitude from Microsoft and not control, nor ownership change not gonna cut it. You blow your own reputation and you have to live with that.

And hands off from ODF. Get lost.

Re:Damage control done too late (1)

deniable (76198) | about 6 years ago | (#23054850)

Yeah, but if we can get the right people on the committee we can fix OOXML. Let's give Microsoft a moving target. :)

As to cross standard efforts, I think ODF should embrace OOXML, then extend it.

Re:Damage control done too late (1)

Lknight (125949) | about 6 years ago | (#23054958)

You're assuming Microsoft will actually follow the standard in its entirety. The moving target is for the people who want to inter-operate with Microsoft, not the other way around.

ODF should embrace any missing functionality using existing standards (like flowcharts drawn using SVG). To embrace OOXML will cause it to implode upon itself.

Re:Damage control done too late (3, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | about 6 years ago | (#23055058)

They wanted to get OOXML ISO standardized purerly because of marketing and PR stuff, so they can continue to brainwash governments and orgs into using Microsoft Office. As simple as that.

If you really think they care about full compliance, well, they never cared, they never will care.

I propose we call it POXML (4, Funny)

toby (759) | about 6 years ago | (#23054670)

To reflect the dreadful plague that is Microsoft and all their works.

Re:I propose we call it POXML (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054864)

To reflect the dreadful plague that is Microsoft and all their works.

I guess that works out to Proprietary Office XML?

Re:I propose we call it POXML (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054944)

POXML approximates a standard. POXML it is. As for Alex Brown, head of the ISO work group, and his statement on the vote on Microsoft's proposed fast-tracking of the POXML, the voting is still under appeal. Stating there were a lot of irregularities in the process is not a personal attack. In fact, it is an understatement. However, if ISO cannot control whether an outside company gets to decide which ISO rules are followed (we will know more about this once the appeals are over), then ISO certainly cannot state they have "control" of POXML, or OOXML, or whatever you want to call something that Microsoft controls and ISO does not.

Spare me the false civility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054680)

When a party is acting dishonorably, to the extent that Microsoft did with their OOXML shenanigans, they and their supporters need calling on it. These guys allowed OOXML to happen and they are being called on it. Never mind an open letter about personal attacks, these fucking clowns must be actively excluded from any future standardization process or that too will be deemed a joke!

The future (3, Insightful)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | about 6 years ago | (#23054694)

The real test is the future. If Microsoft works through ISO to improve the standard, and ODF and OOXML are gradually harmonized, then all our complaining is moot. If other companies and projects implement OOXML and have no trouble doing it, and Microsoft doesn't sue them for infringement of some obscure patent, that's fine. We get what we want.

Consider this silver lining: without ODF, under what other circumstances would Microsoft have turned their new document file format over to a standards body? This whole scenario would have been an open source advocate's wet dream in the 1990s. Sure, what happened with the ISO vote was deplorable and calls the standards body's process and impartiality into question, but things are a lot better than they would have been without ODF.

Re:The future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054716)

Unless they modify it to actually be standard, instead of being a "standard" shell to a proprietary microsoft document format, then this could be a good thing.

If not, it's time to send in the captcha ... the marines

Re:The future (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about 6 years ago | (#23054762)

It is not worth for Microsoft to improve standard, if they won't make their Office releases _fully_ OOXML standard compliant. As standard for now is completely mess, I will guess it will take approximately 2 years to wait for it to be seriously completed.

In two years ODF will have additional stuff to support flowchart apps, and other stuff.

OOXML standardisation is simply NOT WORTH that. It is just Microsoft childish behaviour (they don't have serious strategy for that) that keeps OOXML floating around. And ohh, lot of support for coders who just don't wanna rewrite their filters to support ODF (Novell/Ximian, yeah, I am talking about you).

Re:The future (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 6 years ago | (#23055046)

It is not worth for Microsoft to improve standard, if they won't make their Office releases _fully_ OOXML standard compliant.
They have already made an official commitment to do just that, both for their next Office release, and for the final version of the OOXML SDK.

In two years ODF will have additional stuff to support flowchart apps, and other stuff.
As you sure well know, the issue with ODF is the lack of support for it in the most widespread Office suite out there. This isn't going to get any better, either. Meanwhile, the number of applications with OOXML support grows steadily [wikipedia.org] . Apple's commitment to OOXML (apparently they even support reading it on the iPhone) and not to ODF is the final nail in the coffin - it pretty much only leaves Linux as the only "ODF by default" platform out there; and even there Novell is muddying the waters now with its plugin, and OpenOffice 3.0 is going to support OOXML out of the box...

Look, we may like it or not, but it has pretty much been decided now. OOXML is going to be the standard for exchanging office documents. Ugly as it may be (I admit I haven't read the specs, but I've read the introductory booklets by MS covering the basics - and it looks rather messy even there), it's still better than no standard at all.

Re:The future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055486)

Ah, so they already made an official commitment to fully comply with OOXML? Well all is well then isn't it? I also heard that Duke Nukem Forever was just around the corner... So basically OOXML is the spec and now that the Spec is a standard it's worth implementing? Even funnier is that this spec got Fast-Tracked! Pardon the language but: Unbe-fucking-leivable! There's a reason why in the IETF for a Internet-Draft to become standards track there need at least exist two independent fully interoperable implementations...

Re:The future (2, Insightful)

Samari711 (521187) | about 6 years ago | (#23054790)

Of course, that assumes that Microsoft actually implements any of the changes that ISO makes to the standard. I wouldn't put it past them to not follow their own standard if it stops suiting their need.

Re:The future (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054898)

Well, considering M$ has explicitly said that they wouldn't follow any changes ISO makes to the standard...
Or, for that matter, they haven't even implemented their own draft version of the standard in the latest Office.

Re:The future (0)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 6 years ago | (#23055088)

From here [microsoft.com] :

"... we are committed to supporting the Open XML specification that is approved by ISO/IEC in our products"

It makes sense too, if you think of it. What Microsoft expects to get from this is access to markets where a standardized document format is required (such as some governments). Unless they actually implement the OOXML as approved by ISO, they won't get it (they would still be able to claim that OOXML is an ISO standard without clarifying that it's not the same OOXML as in Office 2007, but they wouldn't pass any actual checks or certifications needed).

Re:The future (4, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | about 6 years ago | (#23054792)

If Microsoft works through ISO to improve the standard, and ODF and OOXML are gradually harmonized, then all our complaining is moot
Given Microsoft's past actions regarding ODF, what do you think the chances are that they will allow them to be harmonized?

Consider this silver lining: without ODF, under what other circumstances would Microsoft have turned their new document file format over to a standards body?
Turned it over? They rammed it through the process using every dirty tactic they could come up with. Somehow I'm thinking that Microsoft hasn't really lost control of anything. They seem to have plenty of control over the ISO.

Re:The future (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 6 years ago | (#23055132)

Given Microsoft's past actions regarding ODF, what do you think the chances are that they will allow them to be harmonized?
Pretty good, actually. It begins with "embrace and extend", remember? Though in this case, it is now more likely to be "assimilate".

Re:The future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055196)

"Given Microsoft's past actions regarding ODF, what do you think the chances are that they will allow them to be harmonized?"

Why wouldn't Microsoft allow them to harmonize the standardized OOXML with ODF?

After all, they've already said long ago that they do not plan on using the ISO OOXML version themselves anyway. Or has that changed somehow?

So basically the situation is, the committee will cripple ODF down to the level of the unimplimentable OOXML (or attempt to). This might go so far as forcably add "IndentLikeOffice95" to ODF "to harmonize them". Of course the open source community will reject that and refuse to add it! Thereby making their non-corrupted form of ODF non-ISO standard and thereby unusable by governments and schools that require a standard! :)

Meanwhile those schools and governments will adopt the next version of MS Office because it will be the only thing to support "OOXML" which is being pushed upon them by marketing as an ISO standard - even if it isn't since it's just a -version- of it that isn't actually compatible with the real ISO-OOXML.

Re:The future (1)

Danse (1026) | about 6 years ago | (#23055464)

You say:

Of course the open source community will reject that and refuse to add it! Thereby making their non-corrupted form of ODF non-ISO standard and thereby unusable by governments and schools that require a standard! :)
and then...

Meanwhile those schools and governments will adopt the next version of MS Office because it will be the only thing to support "OOXML" which is being pushed upon them by marketing as an ISO standard - even if it isn't since it's just a -version- of it that isn't actually compatible with the real ISO-OOXML.
So, Microsoft will basically do the same thing that the open source community is doing, namely refusing to implement the standard. Yet they will somehow be acceptable? If that's the case, the the ISO is completely pointless. I almost hope it comes to that, as I would like to see them face some serious consequences for this debacle.

Re:The future (1)

Kasracer (865931) | about 6 years ago | (#23055272)

Given Microsoft's past actions regarding ODF, what do you think the chances are that they will allow them to be harmonized?
OOXML is now an ISO standard. They have no choice in the matter.

Re:The future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055186)

"If Microsoft works through ISO to improve the standard, and ODF and OOXML are gradually harmonized, then all our complaining is moot."

While you're at it, if we wish really hard we can turn lead into gold and then we'll all be so rich we won't care.

The process spoke for itself (5, Insightful)

stox (131684) | about 6 years ago | (#23054702)

ISO, the best standards money can buy.

Re:The process spoke for itself (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 6 years ago | (#23055358)

At least ODF is a standard. Won't people be more likely to use it if they see it works the same across the board? OOXML can't claim the same.

Microsoft now owns ODF, (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 6 years ago | (#23054728)

This is going to get bad.

The convenor of the committee is Alex Brown, an advisor to the British Library, which was a co-sponsor of Ecma putting OOXML on the fast track.

They've basically given Microsoft control over ODF's future.

Bye bye interoperability for another couple of decades.

Re:Microsoft now owns ODF, (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 6 years ago | (#23055102)

MS can't own ODF. They may gain control over a body that approves of ODF as a standard. They may be able to tell that body to change what it claims to the standard. But the all the authors of ODF have to do is publicly announce that they no longer consider the ISO accreditation of ODF to be valid. The OOo team sure as hell won't write anything into the OOo ODF filter if it serves MS (and only MS).

Corrupt officals (1)

edxwelch (600979) | about 6 years ago | (#23054744)

If they want to avoid personal attacks maybe they should clean up their shop first. Like find the corrupt officals that changed the vote of Norway and fire them.

corepirate nazis insist on controlling everything (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054750)

software, weather, thinking, life itself, so, we the people (at least some of us), will continue to resist/deplore the efforts of the greed/fear/ego based LIEforms. see you there? let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A

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

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

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

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

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What exactly has changed here? (5, Insightful)

Lknight (125949) | about 6 years ago | (#23054794)

There were a number of defects in the OOXML 'standard' and there is yet another working group charged with rationalizing the issues who (because of the vagueness of the 'standard') need to get the ECMA people in to 'advise' them if they could change something or not. That does not sound like they're in control.

One has to wonder who they think they're fooling. Microsoft has no obligation to implement any changes the ISO group may advise, but through the ECMA, the ISO would have no real choice.

To add further insult to injury, they're setting up yet another group to work on 'cross standard initiatives' - i.e. let's try to make ODF as useless as OOXML as a standard.

The ISO didn't have control of OOXML from the beginning. If they believe anything they do will give them control, they are sadly mistaken.

Re:What exactly has changed here? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054992)

What changed is an admission by ISO that OOXML needs some work, i.e. that they made it a standard before it is ready.

Re:What exactly has changed here? (1)

Lknight (125949) | about 6 years ago | (#23055434)

I don't see from the article where they admitted that they made it a standard too early. The most they are doing is getting a group together to keep track of all the defects they find and getting another group to keep the ECMA and ISO versions in sync. Business as usual for maintaining the 'standard'.

Personal attacks... (5, Insightful)

krazytekn0 (1069802) | about 6 years ago | (#23054820)

are only uncalled for when there is no clear evidence of personal misconduct.

Re:Personal attacks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23054914)

Superb.

If you could just produce the clear evidence of misconduct, I'm sure you'll be in the clear to say whatever you want.

You missed the real story with the ISO/IEC action (5, Interesting)

marbux (761605) | about 6 years ago | (#23054830)

Private deal to approve OOXML? More evidence surfaces [universal-...ouncil.org] --- Universal Interoperability Council).

Circumstantial evidence is mounting of one or more private deals having been struck to approve DIS-29500 Office Open XML ("OOXML") as an international standard, a deal that may have played a role in several key national standardization bodies changing their voting position to approve OOXML.

[more]

This whole matter reminds me of a startrek episode (1)

3seas (184403) | about 6 years ago | (#23055022)

... where some evil doctor was recreated in the holodeck to help find a cure for a disease one of them had. Even though the one being cured would have rather died than have this evil doctors cure.

the moral point came at the end. To save the evil doctors program and cure, or to delete it because of the immoral way in which he did his research.

The choice was to delete it.

In other words, ooxml could be the best document format there is, but given the evil company who created it (evil proven so in so many ways, not least of which is in legal cases outcomes), do we all really want it or is it something that mass ignorance (users who don't know but will use it upon it being dumped on them) will force the rest of us to use?

OR

IS THERE GOING TO BE A 99.9% converter so those of us who want to be free of it can be, as well as allowing those who want top be ignorantly enslaved can be fully so?

If the standards org is not going to do this then what is the worth of anything else they might do with this matter?

 

MS OOXML and ISO OXML are now different (3, Insightful)

caseih (160668) | about 6 years ago | (#23055070)

Now that OOXML has been made an ISO standard (called now OXML I think), we can differentiate between MS's bastardized implementation of this format and the ISO standard. If anyone thinks that now third parties can freely implement OXML and be able to read and write with 100% accuracy formats created in MS Office, they are sadly mistaken. Sure OXML file should be able to be read and written by any applications that implement the ISO format just fine (provided they can implement every detail of the hundreds of pages of specifications), but MS Office will always be able to produce files that don't quite look right everywhere else because of the way MS interprets/wrote the specification, or deliberately left out some important little detail. This will create a second-class landscape of OXML users, which will always be minor plays and insignificant next to the continuing Office hegemony. This is a fantastic move on MS's part. They've managed to totally play the part and even go through the motions without giving up a single thing! The ultimate deception. In the meantime a bunch of us rag-tag Linux hippies will continue to promote a standard that's truly open in the ways that count (ODF), and hopefully have some success in certain circles. The rest of the clueless masses seem preoccupied with other things to care, sadly. Anyway, it will be interesting to see exactly how this situation plays out. The EU, at least, has the guts to stand up to MS (sort of anyway), so hopefully they will slap MS hard if things do go the way I predict they will.

About incompetence (5, Informative)

firefly4f4 (1233902) | about 6 years ago | (#23055114)

Meanwhile some on-looking SC 34 people felt insulted. One neutral XML expert, who I know for a fact took a very close technical look at DIS 29500 asked "what are they saying? that we are incompetent? that we do not have the right to decide for ourselves?".

No, the general public is not calling them incompetent. Other technical [alkalay.net] committees [www.scc.ca] are calling them incompetent.

They're just being polite about it.

Waste of time (2)

pembo13 (770295) | about 6 years ago | (#23055146)

The chances of Microsoft implementing any changes ISO makes is slim to none. And no business or government agency is going to (collectively) believe that Microsoft doesn't follow its own "international standard". Which means that OO.org, Koffice, Abiword, etc all need to follow the Microsoft way, as some have already begun to do.

I'm Sorry, Is Some ISO Maggot Making M$-Noises? (5, Interesting)

RailGunSally (946944) | about 6 years ago | (#23055162)

The ISO sold its intrinsic value, in the form of its integrity and credibility, to Microsoft Corporation. Now the utterances of ISO functionaries are of no importance whatsoever, just as the standards maintained by the ISO are of no value at all. We will interpret the actions of M$ and the ISO as the damage that they truly are and simply route around them. The lesson here is that, in the brave new interconnected world, centralized authorities are single points of failure. They are utterly vulnerable to the enemies of freedom, and must be eliminated. We will therefore evolve distributed standards authorities of some fundamentally new nature. Soviet-era centralized control systems are as obsolete as proprietary operating systems. These things will chaotically destabilize and vanish to be replaced by an equilibrium of resilient, distributed algorithms.

OOXML is dieing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055232)

Netcraft confirms it.

submit defect reports (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23055312)

If OOXML has been approved then people should submit defect reports. The purpose of a spec is to allow a person to read it and implement it. Since OOXML doesn't allow that, it should get buried with requests for clarifications. They'll still be writing defect reports, errata, and addendums by the time ODF gets ratified.

Who cares what they've been paid to "think" (1)

Akita24 (1080779) | about 6 years ago | (#23055428)

Dear ISO, since we've established that you're nothing more than a selfish, greedy collection of assholes who are bought and paid for, we could care a rat's ass what you think of anything from this day forward. You are NOT a standards organization, you are a pathetic front for whomever pays you the most cash. You have flushed what little credibility you once had as an impartial entity working towards standards that would benefit everyone down the toilet for good. Go crawl back under your rock and die a slow painful death. I for one don't give a fsck what you are paid to think and never will again.
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