07.09.07

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ISO is Still a Winner in Poland, But ISO May Have Lost Its Way

Posted in America, ECMA, Europe, Formats, Interoperability, ISO, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, Videos at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It appears as though Europe is still ahead of the United States when it comes to honouring standards. The level of influence which Microsoft enjoys overseas is probably more limited. A preliminary look at a policy has revealed that, at least for the time being, the international standard which is OpenDocument format has precedence in Poland.

This basically means that Microsoft’s Office Open XML will not be treated as open standard, thus not preferred in Polish e-Government services, making OpenDocument Format the office standard of choice.

The part which says “for the time being” is motivated by the usual factors that are rarely discussed openly. Among them: the corrupted ways of processes which standards bodies adopt and also the ISO, which appears to be less focused on its goal of establishing unified standards; instead, it is leaning towards serving wealthy companies that lobby heavily. ISO seems to be inheriting ECMA’s poor status. which is becoming poorer each day.

There are very few videos available about the ISO, but here is one we could find. It teaches you about the goals of the ISO, which are clearly not met here.

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2 Comments

  1. Stephen said,

    July 9, 2007 at 4:17 am

    Gravatar

    Unfortunately, Poland is one of 27 states with voting power in Europe! Let’s hope the other 26 votes move broadly against closed standards. There has rarely been such an alignment (even before the EU enlargement) in areas relating to technology.

    Aside: Office XML is, of course, closed because the spec is so obfuscated, that it may as well have been written in ogham notation. It should be rejected out of common sense. However, the EU wing of Microsoft’s marketing engine is revving as indicated by this polarised article from the BBC…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6265976.stm

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 9, 2007 at 4:31 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, I’ve seen this too. Britain is one of the European nations that are still heavily influenced by Microsoft.

    I have just come across this article in this morning’s news from Australia:

    How open is “open” when Microsoft say it?

    To quote one bit:

    “Microsoft put forth the argument that OOXML is sufficiently different: ODF is constrained because it needs enhancements to support the detris accumulated over the differing versions of Microsoft Office’s evolution – yet OOXML will also need to cater for this. It seems a hollow argument to say an entirely new open specification is required. Given ODF exists, and that PDF is already a de-facto standard for electronic document exchange, one really must question the significance of Ecma-approval and the genuineness of the word “open” in Microsoft’s parlance.”

    Here’s the URL:
    http://www.itwire.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13391&Itemid=1054

    Based on patents, DRM, and past stories about lobbying, Australia is still subjected to a lot of pressure from Microsoft.

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