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O’Reilly and Microsoft Abandon Web Standards, ‘Open’ Web Foundation (OWF) Wants Them Redefined

Posted in Formats, Interoperability, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol, Standard at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Digital dreams

Summary: As HTML5 is approaching, vendors continue in their attempts to gain ownership and exclusivity over content using formats and protocols

MICROSOFT’S control of the media is an important subject because it leads to “perception management” [1, 2], as exemplified in the previous post. Glyn Moody reveals that “the Editor of The Next Web Italy, @Contz, is “Junior PR at Microsoft Italy”; tiny conflict of interest there, perhaps…?

It’s not just publications as such which are affected by Microsoft marketing people. O’Reilly and Microsoft decided to work together some months ago and now we find that O’Reilly is abandoning web standards and requiring that Web users install proprietary software to read books.

Safaribooks online were availabe in HTML-View for a long time and were accessible with free software.

Now the O’Reilly Safari team has decided to stop this and deliver online books in Adobe flash format only for online reading. As expected gnash does not work.

This means reading and browsing O’Reilly books online is no more possible with free software.

This is not about Microsoft, but it shows that O’Reilly lost its way. From a UNIX/Linux-oriented (and thus standards-friendly) origin it found its way into “Web 2.0″ and other such abstract nonsense.

Speaking of standards, Microsoft starts talking about Internet Explorer 9, which is another departure further away from web standards (DirectX in addition to XAML and ActiveX). Microsoft just cannot permit the World Wide Web to be interoperable.

Glyn Moody shares this new article about HTML5 and also looks with concern at the Open Web Foundation, where “open” is a deceiving term (Orwell must love this!).

The great promise of HTML5 is that it will turn the web into a full-fledged computing platform awash with video, animation and real-time interactions, yet free of the hacks and plug-ins common today.

While the language itself is almost fully baked, HTML5 won’t fully arrive for at least another two years, according to one of the men charged with its design.

In the mean time, Moody shows why the Open Web Foundation is not on the good side.

But independently of these details, there’s another big problem with the Open Web Foundation. The Mozilla Foundation has been pushing the idea of the Open Web for some time now; the appearance of this new foundation, with its agreement, is likely to muddy the waters around the concept of the open Web considerably. But then, that’s maybe what some companies involved in the OWF want…

Heise has some more coverage of the OWF.

“Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

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  1. NotZed said,

    November 20, 2009 at 8:36 am


    “This is not about Microsoft, but it shows that O’Reilly lost its way. From a UNIX/Linux-oriented (and thus standards-friendly) origin it found its way into “Web 2.0″ and other such abstract nonsense.”

    If you believe o’reilly was ever ‘Linux friendly’ then you’re a dolt (like many others). They were only ever about making money from publishing documentation that should’ve (and often did) come with the software to start with. In my eyes they have always been on par with macafee and other leeches. They are no friend of free software – their main guy even helped invent a new `meme’ to intentionally subvert it!

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    If you believe o’reilly was ever ‘Linux friendly’ then you’re a dolt (like many others).

    Yes, but see this.

    What bothers some people is that O’Reilly makes this “shotgun wedding” with Microsoft and FOSS every OSCON.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yes, I commented about it in the original blog article on this:
    In fact, look at the New Releases page I pointed to now.

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 20, 2009 at 11:47 pm


    “This is not about Microsoft, but it shows that O’Reilly lost its way.”
    “From a UNIX/Linux-oriented (and thus standards-friendly) origin it found its way into “Web 2.0″ and other such abstract nonsense.”
    Well, whether “Web 2.0″ was nonsense was a different matter.
    But, yes, they were promoting AJAX, I think.
    “As expected gnash does not work.”
    Personally, on the Linux side, I use Adobe’s non-free Flash plug-in for viewing Flash in Linux browsers, as it is used by many websites anyway. The Silverlight plug-in is installed on the Windows side of the dual-boot, but not used as often, and thus Moonlight is not installed at all on the Linux side.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “Web 2.0″ is actually not just AJAX, they argue.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    It isn’t just AJAX, but I mention it because it is the important part. I was saying whether “Web 2.0″ in general is nonsense is a different topic.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s just “2.0″ meaning “newer”. The meme has spread.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yep, Scoble now prefers the 2010 Web to “Web 2.0″:

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    He’s overhyped.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Yea, I read this, and I notice that nowadays he don’t promote MS as much anymore, of course. Here is a new article on Chrome OS by Scoble:

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I notice that nowadays he don’t promote MS as much anymore

    Cause they don’t pay him a wage anymore to be their TE (AstroTurfer/”whore”).

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Of course.

  3. Yuhong Bao said,

    November 21, 2009 at 12:04 am


    You should read the comments to http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/10/safari-books-online-60-a-cloud.html (the article that was cited on the mailing list), you will see that it got to the point that Tim O’Reilly said that “Wow – pretty unanimous flash hatred here.”, and later John Chodacki (Director, Product Management of Safari Books Online according to the signature) promised to bring back the HTML view. It is clear that the dependence on non-free software were far from the only problem users were complaining about the Flash view.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Good. So progress is made through pressure.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Here is a blog article confirming it:
    And I also added a link to this BN article from the original blog post on the Radar.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “And I also added a link to this BN article from the original blog post on the Radar. ”
    And Tim O’Reilly responded to it too and I responded back:

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The vision of a World Wide Web full of Ogg files (royalty-free) is a grand one. Google recently acquired a ‘codec company’, so it remains to be seen what Google does to unshackle Web videos, of which it dominates about 70% (depending on how it’s measured). Chrome OS relies on Web video, not local storage.

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