EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.04.08

ODF/OOXML: Summary of the Latest News and BRM Reports

Posted in Asia, ECMA, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 12:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reports from the BRM in Geneva continue to come [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], but there are some encouraging news from the ODF front as well. IBM, for example, is now spreading its ODF love using Symphony (“proprietary software” comes to mind) on top of GNU/Linux in Europe. Here is the report from Reuters.

International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said it was offering the PCs based on the open-source Linux operating system together with Red Hat (RHT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) software distributor VDEL of Austria and Polish distributor and services firm LX Polska in response to demand from Russian IT chiefs.

[...]

The PCs will include IBM’s Lotus Symphony software based on the Open Document Format, a rival format to Microsoft’s Office Open XML document format, which the latter is trying to get adopted as an ISO internationally approved standard.

The following article takes a more direct approach and focuses on the role of GNU/Linux in the stack.

IBM to offer Linux machines

[...]

The machines, it was announced, will come with Red Hat’s Linux distro, and will come pre-loaded with software from IBM, including its Lotus Symphony suite.

Fortunately enough (yet unsurprisingly), OOXML file are still rare (also see this), so there is hardly any inertia.

So with all this evident love for Microsoft Office 2007, why is it that 6-months later there are only 63 OOXML spreadsheet documents on the web, something like 0.3% of the number of ODF spreadsheet documents? How can there be 300 companies supporting OOXML and only have 69 OOXML presentations on the web? (This is starting to sound like when I say I support 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. I don’t do it, but I sure support it!)

OK, I know the argument about “dark matter”, that Google indexes only the tip of the iceberg, that there is a lot of data squirreled away on PC hard-drives, behind corporate fire walls, etc., stuff that Google will never see. But the same is equally true for ODF documents, right? I have tons of ODF documents on my laptop, but none of them are indexed by Google.

Over in Greece (discomforting memories spring to mind, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]), some complaints are politely made about ECMA/Microsoft’s handling of comments and irrational time constraints.

The contrast with OOXML is sharp, and this brings us to another issue of contention. The Greek workgroup on OOXML had been handed only the Ecma Responses for Greece. It was at the BRM when we found out that we should have studied all responses, not only those for Greece. It is not clear if this is an error by Ecma or by the Greek NB, but, in both cases, we did not have the time to study one thousand responses, so there would have been no difference. In fact, even the 80 responses that Greece studied, we did not study at the level of scrutiny that is required when you inspect a standard. There was no time for that. What we did was glance through, and make fast decisions based on what seems right at a quick glance.

More such complaints are made by the ODF Alliance [PDF] (as text).

…the ODF Alliance said in a statement that “despite the hard work by the many national standards bodies and ISO/IEC, the results fell far short of fixing the most important errors and omissions in OOXML. More than 80 percent of the comments from national bodies were not discussed…”

Malaysia is no exception.

Malaysian delegation at the ISO meeting in Geneva (25 – 29 Feb ’08) finds the technical issues in the draft standard OOXML unresolved satisfactorily

Malaysia’s Department of Standards (STANDARDS MALAYSIA) recently found the Draft ISO standard, ISO/IEC DIS 29500: Office Open XML (OOXML) specification for electronic document formats, had the majority of its technical issues still not addressed satisfactorily.

In an interview with Sean Daly, Vint Cerf questions a variety of things, including the closed nature of the whole process.

Cerf: We saw that walled gardens are NOT what users want. They want freedom to interact with everyone in convenient and standards-compliant ways. I do not think we will see walled gardens of the previous kind, but I do worry when global standards are adopted that are likely to be implementable by only one vendor. When global standards processes are overly influenced by proprietary interests, they cease to facilitate interoperability and competitive implementation. I do worry when standards are adopted that have potential encumbrances or that erode the openness that has been a hallmark of the Internet since its origins.

More recently, Noooxml.org concluded that the BRM has made things worse for Microsoft (but everyone has already known this, Microsoft included).

Microsoft tries to blame all negative criticism on fanaticism, covert influence from IBM and an unreasonable anti-Microsoft attitude. I would be more inclined towards regarding a blank approval without comments as a sign of corruption or gross incompetence.

Where is it most likely that you will find corruption and a lack of experience: in long standing P-members, or in small newcomers without even a proper national standards committee?

A very comprehensive list of OOXML irregularities you can still find here. It continues to be updated.

Here is Matt Aslett’s take on the spin from Microsoft, which leads to confusion (by design).

Lastly, the OSI talks about this issue.

But if you read this far, you’re smart enough to look behind the claims of a label and determine whether its promises can be judged true. Now is the time to stand up and say no to OOXML, saving us all generations of technical servitude, commercial disappointment, and individual shame. Support ODF, support true open standards, and enjoy the support you can get from open source.

In conclusion, in the the past week we saw victories for ODF and a major setback for OOXML. This momentum will hopefully be maintained.

Spread ODF

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  3. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  4. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  5. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  7. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  8. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  9. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  10. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  11. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  13. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  14. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  15. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  16. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  17. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  20. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  21. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  22. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  23. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  24. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  25. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  26. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  27. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now



  28. When Courts in the US Attack the Right to Reuse APIs

    Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court



  29. Links 10/11/2014: 2015 GNU/Linux Forecasts, Debian Shakeup

    Links for the day



  30. Links 7/11/2014: War Thunder on GNU/Linux, KaOS ISO 2014.11

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts