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Norway's Yes-To-OOXML Is Formally Protested 324

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the how-not-to-get-accepted dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Norway's yes-to-OOXML may tip the vote in favor of accepting it as an ISO-standard, but the committee chairman just faxed a formal protest to the ISO. 'I am writing to you in my capacity as Chairman (of 13 years standing) of the Norwegian mirror committee to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34. I wish to inform you of serious irregularities in connection with the Norwegian vote on ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (Office Open XML) and to lodge a formal protest. You will have been notified that Norway voted to approve OOXML in this ballot. This decision does not reflect the view of the vast majority of the Norwegian committee, 80% of which was against changing Norway's vote from No with comments to Yes.'"
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Norway's Yes-To-OOXML Is Formally Protested

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  • by inTheLoo (1255256) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:09PM (#22926030) Journal

    Or truth or science. A lie is a lie no matter how many people you pay to repeat it. Corruption has no place in any technical organization that will be litened to and respected.

    Groklaw predicts more challenges [groklaw.net]

    and notes the results will now be announced on Wednesday [reuters.com], so and ISO standard for M$XML is not going to be one of the worst April Fools jokes of the next decade.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:20PM (#22926136)
      What's the point of http://www.gatesfoundation.org/ [gatesfoundation.org] if it is not to buy good karma for Bill and MS?
      • by Eddi3 (1046882) on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:38PM (#22927162) Homepage Journal
        It helps lower his taxes in the US.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @04:15AM (#22928790)
          Except that the BMGF only donates money. It's hard to score a tax write down on cash.

          Only on slashdot does anyone think that Gates runs his foundation for tax purposes. The man has sixty billion fucking dollars, why would he want to dodge tax? What would he do with the money? As it is he's given more than half of it away to charities. He spends more annually on disease prevention than the entire US government. Just fucking grow up and give the man some credit.

          I've no intention of defending MS, but it is just abiding by the rules of capitalism. It's required by *law* to generate as much profit as possible and it's playing by the rules of the game. If you don't like the rules stop voting republican.

      • by techno-vampire (666512) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @12:10AM (#22927928) Homepage
        ...good karma for Bill and MS?

        br? Look: if Bill and MS want good karma, they should stop posting as AC, and give up trolling, just like anybody else.

    • by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:30PM (#22927126)

      A lie is a lie no matter how many people you pay to repeat it. Corruption has no place in any technical organization that will be listened to and respected.
      Technology and technical organizations are human endeavors. Therefore corruption is no more out of place there than in any other human endeavor.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @12:36AM (#22928066)

      [http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSL3019918720080331]

      This Reuters article is, technically speaking, utter rubbish.

      Microsoft has pushed hard for international certification of Open Office XML (OOXML)

      It's Office Open, stupid. (Albeit not open).

      Open Document Format (ODF), developed by Sun Microsystems

      Only by Sun Microsystems ...?

      The ODF technology allows users to save documents in a variety of formats, including Microsoft's.

      Whattt? ODF is an accepted ISO standard for office documents. To convert it to utter rubbish, you need a converter (like OpenOffice.org), stupid.

      While OOXML originally did not allow saving text and spreadsheet documents as ODF files, Microsoft later made it possible to do so.

      First, you need a converter here, too. Second, Microsoft does not support ODF up to now, therefore I'm wondering when MS Office "made it possible to do so" ... Perhaps later? No, never, if OOXML gets accepted by ISO.

  • Stupid governments (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:11PM (#22926048)
    "This decision does not reflect the view of the vast majority of the Norwegian committee, 80% of which was against changing Norway's vote from No with comments to Yes."

    This is why we need open source governance.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_governance [wikipedia.org]
  • Nice Sentiment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:11PM (#22926052) Journal
    It's a nice gesture, but it's a lost cause. The ISO has been undermined by Redmond and its agents, and now an unimplementable file format will give Microsoft the highground it needs to peddle its monopoly, to the detriment of anyone interested in a real open file standard.

    I leave it to the EU (as the US DoJ clearly has no interest in this any more) to take Microsoft to task, and hopefully empty their coffers a little bit. That seems to be the only thing to be done with Microsoft until the time comes when they're anti-competitive behavior is finally met by government agencies of sufficient power to break the company up.
    • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:23PM (#22926164)
      All that will happen, in the long run, is that ISO will become untrusted, marginalized and obsolete. Microsoft has graphically demonstrated how easily ISO's processes can be corrupted, which means that other corporations will follow suit (assuming they didn't get there first.) Don't expect the world to have the same respect for ISO after this.
      • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:56PM (#22926476) Journal
        And that is the real tragedy here.

        We already had OOXML rubber-stamped by Ecma, proving, once again, that Ecma likes to rubber-stamp things. Having it ISO-certified, while a blow, is perhaps not the most serious result of this...

        If OOXML is certified, we're put in a lose/lose situation. Either we accept it, and OOXML becomes a "standard", even though it really isn't -- or we continue to write letters and refuse to accept it as a "standard", which implies we can't trust ISO -- which means we're just about out of standards organizations to trust. And a world without official standards is a world of defacto standards, which means Microsoft will win every future battle.

        Think of it this way: If we couldn't trust the w3c, or the Acid2/3 tests, the standard for websites would likely fall back to "Works Best with Internet Explorer 8." That's effectively what's about to happen to everything ISO.
        • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:5, Informative)

          by belmolis (702863) <billposerNO@SPAMalum.mit.edu> on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:23PM (#22927080) Homepage

          Even if OOXML becomes an ISO standard, that doesn't mean we're obligated to use it. For one thing, it won't be the only ISO standard for documents: we already have ODF. For another, ISO certification still will not make it an open standard. Governments and other organizations that require documents to conform to an open standard will still have to use ODF, not OOXML. We need to continue pressure for the use of open standards and to refuse to use OOXML ourselves.

          • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:48PM (#22927236)

            Even if OOXML becomes an ISO standard, that doesn't mean we're obligated to use it.
            Of course. ISO has tons of standards that we don't all use all the time. In the same way that the ISO C standard doesn't require everyone to program in C, an OOXML standard won't force anyone to use OOXML. What matters is whether or not a large number of people stand behind a standard and request that others follow it.

            This is also not the first broken standard full of ambiguities out there, or the first one with politics involved, or the first one where a company with a monopolistic stake pushed a standard through. It just rises to the top because of more obvious than usual political maneuvering and the larger than normal company pushing from behind.

            ISO standards are rarely highly technical guidelines created by unbiased technical people. Usually there's an existing implementation that gets to call most of the shots, or a set of conflicting implementations that maneuver to limit the amount of redesign they have to do. Which makes sense actually; creating a standard before there is an implementation or experience with the technology is often premature.
            • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:5, Informative)

              by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:57PM (#22927288) Journal

              Of course. ISO has tons of standards that we don't all use all the time. In the same way that the ISO C standard doesn't require everyone to program in C, an OOXML standard won't force anyone to use OOXML. What matters is whether or not a large number of people stand behind a standard and request that others follow it.

              It also matters when governments start imposing standards-compliance on themselves. For a brief moment, we had hoped that we'd be able to get government documents in a reasonably standard format (ODF) -- that is, I think, why this is actually a big deal.

              Usually there's an existing implementation that gets to call most of the shots...

              I'd argue that's actually a good thing, if and only if said implementation is at least as free/open as the standard itself. No spec can capture every single quirk of a real live piece of software, and in case we discover two alternate implementations which both fit the spec, it would be nice to be able to say which is correct.

              That's not originally my idea, but I can't remember where I heard it first.

              But for large parts of the spec to basically say "Whatever MS Office does" -- or, actually, "Whatever a particular piece of extinct proprietary software does" -- that seems pretty unacceptable in a spec which is meant to define the now and future standard, rather than simply document (partially) what a particular implementation is going to do anyway.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Daengbo (523424)
        Oh, they got there already. [antitrustlawblog.com]
      • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:19PM (#22926666) Homepage
        All that will happen, in the long run, is that ISO will become untrusted, marginalized and obsolete.

        With Microsoft's Office monopoly becoming further entrenched as a side effect. Haha, side effect? More like the point of the whole operation.

        Here's the deal as it stands right now (or rather shortly before this farce began):
        - ISO was well respected.
        - Open Document Format was accepted by ISO as a standard.

        These two things combined give Open Office (and any suite that implements ODF, since its an ACTUAL open standard so you can do that) a lot of built-in approval, and makes them look very good to governments/organizations who are starting to mandate open formats for documentation. This is bad for MS, half of their business being the Office monopoly (which supports and is supported by the Windows monopoly).

        So what's their strategy here? Well one (or both) of two things happen:
        - Their BS non-open "open standard" is accepted, so they can claim their format meets the needs of governments who mandate open standards.
        - ISO is no longer respected as a standards organization, so their approval of ODF no longer means as much.

        Whichever happens, their little problem with ODF being a standard goes away and MS Office remains the only "standard" (de-facto or ISO-approved) that matters. They don't really care which. Oh no, their manipulation of the process is exposed! Guess that means you can't trust ISO any more! Frankly I give even odds to both happening. But even if ISO ends up rejecting OOXML, it's going to take a hell of a lot to stop the second from happening.
        • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:5, Informative)

          by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:51PM (#22927248) Homepage Journal
          ISO has been dead to me since the C99 standard was published. They changed virtually nothing from the draft even though there was a vast outpouring of bile from the community when the draft was published. Now it is almost 10 years later and there are still no C99 compliant compilers. The most compliant compiler is gcc in c99 mode [gnu.org] which isn't the default mode, even though the C89 standard is officially deprecated.

          Of course, it's not really possible to write a C99 compliant compiler as the the standard mandates behavior that is sometimes either completely impossible or just completely undesirable.

          • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @01:02AM (#22928170)

            ...even though there was a vast outpouring of bile from the community when the draft was published... Of course, it's not really possible to write a C99 compliant compiler as the the standard mandates behavior that is sometimes either completely impossible or just completely undesirable.

            What's wrong with C99? (Note: I'm curious, not argumentative.)

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          So what's their strategy here? Well one (or both) of two things happen:
          - Their BS non-open "open standard" is accepted, so they can claim their format meets the needs of governments who mandate open standards.
          - ISO is no longer respected as a standards organization, so their approval of ODF no longer means as much.


          I'm going out on a limb here, but there is a possible third outcome of this:
          - ISO acceptance of OOXML is used to justify legal penalties against MS for not implementing interoperability

          I basically
      • by Eddi3 (1046882)
        Easily? No. Microsoft has shoveled TONS of money into passing OOXML.
      • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kocsonya (141716) on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:11PM (#22927378)
        Maybe the whole ISO process was a bit like the Internet. The protocols were originally designed with the assumption that the participants (at least the servers) are trusted entities. The protocols themselves trust the underlying delivery mechanisms and servers trust their peer servers. Then came the realisation that you can't trust servers, you can't trust administrators, you can't trust routers or even the cable - you can't trust anything and anyone on the Net.

        Probably the whole ISO process was designed with a similar mindset, assuming that the standard sub-committies themselves are serving the public interest and not their own, the thought of corruption didn't even occur to them. Now we have a malicious script kiddie with a very powerful toolset (i.e. billions of dollars) to wreck havoc and to set up a spam botnet.
    • Re:Nice Sentiment (Score:5, Insightful)

      by initialE (758110) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:13PM (#22926620)
      I hardly see it as a lost cause, it's that kind of attitude that allows corruption to win. If ISO is compromised to that extent then it is important that people are informed about it. Keep up the pressure, provide evidence that is not anecdotal, discredit ISO in the eyes of governmental and business interests as a last resort.
  • by Dracos (107777) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:14PM (#22926080)

    Is if ISO contracted Diebold, er, I mean, Premier Election systems, to tally the votes. This is the most ludicrous thing I've seen since 2000.

    • by nizo (81281) *
      Well, if they had used Diebold they would have won, but then they would have had to explain why the second place winner was "Democrats".
  • WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Socguy (933973) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:15PM (#22926092)
    Perhaps I don't understand how voting bodies work, but how can anyone take these folks seriously with all the nonsense surrounding this vote?
  • by OldFish (1229566) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:19PM (#22926124)
    It sounds like Europe is getting a taste of how the election process works in the U S of A.
  • by Iowan41 (1139959) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:24PM (#22926176)
    The International Standards Organization has rebranded itself as MS.ISO, and is making itself available for vote tabulation in the Russian Federation, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Broward County.
  • Wow, your sleazy backroom vote rigging gets exposed on Slashdot, and suddenly it's a major international incident.
  • Norway corrupt too? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:35PM (#22926268)
    It's sad! Very sad indeed. Why? Because I thought Norway was one of the least corrupt nations on earth, and that's why it enjoyed a standard of living higher than my own country - the USA.

    Why is this corruption syndrome, typical of the USA cropping up in very successful [European] countries? Why?

    • ...obvious innit? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by toby (759) * on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:39PM (#22926302) Homepage Journal
      Wire transfers from Redmond.
    • by ookabooka (731013) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:03PM (#22926526)
      Be glad, at least someone blew the whistle. How many votes from other nations do you think could be somehow influenced and nothing done about it? Yeah yeah I'll grab my tinfoil hat :-p
      • The mainstream press is largely ignoring this, but DOES take input from "iReporters" and concerned individuals. It's easy for this to go unnoticed, if it goes unreported (as far as 90% of the planet is concerned). Well, why should the mainstream press care? It's not as if readers/viewers worry that much about their wordprocessor. True, but as I've pointed out in e-mails to news outlets, those ISO markers for health and safety aren't there for decoration. If ISO can be bribed once, it can be bribed again. Yo
    • by rossz (67331)

      Why is this corruption syndrome, typical of the USA cropping up in very successful [European] countries?


      Such an unfounded USA bashing. Jeez. You need to get out (of the country) more. Corruption in Europe is as old as Europe. Hell, we (Americans) learned it from them!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As a Norwegian, I can only say that you are completely unaware of the things that go on in my home country. There are essentially two Norways, one internal and one external, and the external one is the one that's presented to tourists and the outside world.

      For example, there was the case when the ruling and massive Labour party had written false "letters to the editor". Essentially, what they did was write things like 'I am a single mother and I hope for the sake of my three children that the opposition's p
    • by Adambomb (118938)
      I think the real question is, why is it so blatantly obvious in the US? I can't bring myself to believe that america is the only place one can find these kinds of corruption. What I see is that it seems like american politicians have gotten used to having a rather less skeptical and less inquisitive electorate than many democracies and republics. This leads to certain attempts at subtlety that leave the rest of the world with a raised eyebrow and wondering "who the hell is swallowing this, and how?".

      This le
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      Why is this corruption syndrome, typical of the USA cropping up in very successful [European] countries? Why?

      I'm sorry I have to be the one who tells you this, but corruption was alive and well in European countries long before the Americas replaced "Here be Monsters" on the maps. I imagine it was alive and well in China & Sumeria long before the Europeans had any civilization to speak of.

      That said, I seriously wonder where you got the idea that America is somehow more corrupt than European countries. Do you pay any attention to international news?

      http://www.google.com/search?q=norway+corruption+scandals [google.com]
      Repl

  • Objection (Score:3, Insightful)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:36PM (#22926280) Homepage
    JO: Your Honor, we re-new our objection to Commander Stone's testimony, and ask that it be stricken from the record. And we further ask that the Court instruct the jury to lend no weight to this witness's testimony.

    RANDOLPH: The objection's overruled, counsel.

    JO: Sir, the defense strenuously objects and requests a meeting in chambers so that his honor might have an opportunity to hear discussion before ruling on the objection.

    RANDOLPH: The objection of the defense has been heard and overruled.

    JO: Exception.

    RANDOLPH: Noted.

  • Everybody complains, but nobody does anything about it!
  • by omz (834760) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:43PM (#22926358)

    If you want to see how bad was this process handled, see one of its awfuls deliverables.

    Open the document "Response_DE-0028_dates_v9.doc" in this zip

    http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/open/0989_reference_docs.zip [ipsj.or.jp]

    This is one of the changes frenetically [ece.ntua.gr] accepted [tbray.org] in BRM, regarding treatments of dates in OOXML. See the salad of colors trying to explain the modifications. And this is a fix ( BRM ) of a fix ( one of ECMA 1027 proposed fixes ) of a NB comment of a draft text ( original ECMA submission ).

    And this document contradicts this another BRM document: http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/open/0989.pdf [ipsj.or.jp] because the first says that the .DOC file replaces ECMA responses 18 and 43 but the "Response_DE-0028_dates_v9.doc" document says that it replaces ECMA responses 18, 43, 76 and 690 !

    ECMA and Microsoft have not provided a final text with all this changes applied. In the BRM they frenetically changed Scope, Conformance , Schemas , and lot of normative text. Microsoft is now rushing to get a final text in less than one month, to comply with ISO normative.

    This is how ISO delivers IT international standards, mandating fundamental changes to drafts, leaving national bodies with the only alternative to cast a political [slashdot.org] vote leaving aside the technical content of the specification.

    Congratulations to the countries that had *balls* and didn't agree with this way of deliver standards to people:

    • New Zealand [standards.co.nz] ( dissaproved )
    • Brasil [homembit.com] ( dissaproved )
    • India ( dissaproved )
    • China ( dissaproved )
    • South Africa ( dissaproved )
    • Canada ( dissaproved )
    • Venezuela ( dissaproved )
    • Ecuador ( dissaproved )
    • Iran ( dissaproved )
    • Italy ( abstained )
    • Spain ( abstained )
    • Belgium ( abstained )
    • Netherlands ( abstained but only Microsoft opposed the disapproval )
    • France ( abstained due to heavy Microsoft pressure )
    • Malaysia ( abstained due to heavy Microsoft pressure )
    • Australia ( abstained due to heavy Microsoft pressure, government opposed OOXML )
    • Kenya ( abstained )

    And congratulations Microsoft, your friendly little countries supposedly experts in XML document description languages ;-) ( now ISO P-members ), who joined ISO JTC1 just to cast an unconditional-yes-votes [noooxml.org] payed off:

    • Jamaica
    • Cyprus
    • Malta
    • Kazakhstan
    • Lebanon
    • Azerbaijan
    • Cote-d'Ivore
    • Pakistan
    • by compro01 (777531)
      i'm certainly glad to hear my country's (Canada) representation had the fortitude to stand up and refuse to go along with this.
    • Even China disapproved OOXML... how ironic.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Abstaining is not having balls. Only 25% "no" votes were needed to defeat this, corruption notwithstanding, and several countries copped out by voting "abstain". Shame on them.
  • by NullProg (70833) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:55PM (#22926470) Homepage Journal
    if any of these allegations are true: http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/microsofts-great-besmirching [linuxjournal.com]

    Is anyone going to use ISO specifications again if Microsoft purchases the OOXML vote?

    What really gets my clusters in a bunch is that Microsoft could elect to work with Sun, IBM, Apple, Adobe, Whoever, to really come up with an Open Document specification if they wanted too. This specification isn't about Apple, Microsoft, Sun, and IBM. Its about government documentation funded by the public that needs to be available a thousand years from now. Way to be a good corporate citizen Microsoft!

    People will still choose MS Office because they like it, not because it does or does not save documents in a government mandated open specification. Microsoft could simply add a new "Save As" filter following the Open Specification.

    Enjoy,
    • by cgenman (325138) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:07PM (#22926558) Homepage
      People will still choose MS Office because they like it, not because it does or does not save documents in a government mandated open specification. Microsoft could simply add a new "Save As" filter following the Open Specification.

      There are certain government regulations about acceptable file specifications. This is to preserve interoperability, facilitate competition between vendors, and to guarantee accessibility in one or two hundred years.

      By getting this sham declared a "standard," they can continue to sell to certain government agencies, who can continue to produce docs that are only readable on proprietary Microsoft software and platforms.

      Microsoft could most definitely offer a valid save-as file filter to create ODF documents. But it is in their best financial interest to retain user lock-in as much as possible. Ironically, this is exactly the sort of thing that standards bodies like the ISO are supposed to prevent. If this goes through, one must seriously reconsider the weight attached to an ISO certification.
      • by trawg (308495)
        I think its important to add that one of the serious consequences of such a thing is that we, the taxpayers, will end up footing the bill so our governments can keep upgrading their versions of Office every few years so they can keep reading those documents.

  • by plopez (54068) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:56PM (#22926474) Journal
    If you can't win, simply get the rules of the game changed. Lawyers and politicians understand this. Nerds don't.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      If you can't win, simply get the rules of the game changed. Lawyers and politicians understand this. Nerds don't.

      Not true, every nerd worth his salts knows how to change the "rules" of the copy protection "game", whether that be with cheat sheets or a debugger. :)
    • Wait... you mean to tell me life ISN'T fair. foooooooooook
    • by Torodung (31985) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:39PM (#22926794) Journal
      My 5-year-old kid understands this. I taught her a strong lesson in "no cheating" the other day. Exactly one day later she was making up her own rules. No prompting from me. She loves to win.

      As a good parent, I let her. That's the "fair" way to cheat, but I don't let her make them up as she goes like Hillary Clinton and Microsoft. I make sure we agree to the rules before we play.

      The ISO should have done the same. I hope Microsoft is up against the wall for this crap.

      --
      Toro
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mctk (840035)
      Every nerd knows that if you can't win, go GOD mode.
    • there's an oblig quote here about the laws of physics, and how you can't change them.. but i think you already knew that, captain.

      ISO is supposed to be a technical body for a reason.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by OldFish (1229566)
      Nerds do understand it - they just don't think it is right. I like what Shakespeare said about lawyers. If he were still alive today he would have the highest /. karma rating ever.
  • Seems like everything is on a precipice right now.

    The ISO vote on OOXML, and in fact the ISO credability as an organization hangs in the balance. There will be other challanges to YES votes coming in soon as predicted by Groklaw - will the right thing happen? will ISO step back from the brink and do the right thing?

    This is not the battle over, not by a long chalk, but it is a very commendable move indeed on behalf of Mr. Pepper.

    May this strands of rationality and clear thinking grow strong and firm
  • by Torodung (31985) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:12PM (#22926602) Journal
    So it's all down to Scandinavia again. Send in Eric the Swift, Olaf the Stout and Baleog the fierce. They should be able to sort this puzzle out.

    I think Linus should go over there and kick some ass, too. ;^)

    --
    Toro
  • O...M...G... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:13PM (#22926618)
    Is Microsoft completely unable to play fairly and with integrity in anything they do?
  • thank fuck. I just checked the submission date to ensure this was not some vile and tasteless April fools from MS.

    ahhhh. perhaps that why they moved the date of announcement? they did not want to annouce the OOXML was an approved international standard on April 1st...?
  • While this may delay the inevitable by a few years, eventually this will grind its way through the court system. Microsoft's little game with the EC following their previous court case means Europe has an axe to grind, and here we are looking at good evidence that Microsoft has not only abused their monopoly, but that they have outright tried to destroy a worldwide standards organization in order to prevent competition. That OOXML is useless as a standard could very well be interpreted as a violation of the
  • but isn't Office by any standard definition, a standard? IE can do their own thing and every web master is forced to abide. If you are a business buying computers, you pretty much need Office, and it isn't a hard decision even if it is expensive. Using Open Office is the harder decision, even though it is free.

    So isn't this OOXML hoopla just all fun and games for Microsoft? If Open Office and others are going to copy Office's formats anyway, then why not make it official. They're making our lives easier in
  • by dpilot (134227) on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:27PM (#22927106) Homepage Journal
    OK, So Microsoft has most likely gotten OOXML passed as an ISO standard. Unfortunate, but probably true.

    Further, it appears that the real reason they did this is so that they can put that all-important checkmark in the box that says, "Interoperates with ISO standard file formats" when trying to sell MS Office into accounts.

    OK, great.

    Now PROVE IT!

    Prove that MS Office is OOXML compliant. Last I heard, OOXML was like Office 2007, but not really there. Last I heard, OOXML was an incomplete spec with no full implementation.

    If Microsoft is going to to for that "ISO standard file format" checkbox, for that matter if anyone is going for an ISO standard checkbox, isn't it necessary that there be compliance testing? And long as we're compliance testing, the certification of compliance should NEVER be given until the appropriate committee evaluates the product against the spec and decides that that the product unambiguously implements the spec.

    No full, unambiguous compliance, no check in the little box.

    No matter how long the evaluation takes.
  • If you have ever purchased a Microsoft product, this is how they are using it - as leverage to further their position as a monopoly, stifling everyone else with dirty tactics. Is this how you want your money to be spent?

    This is one reason they will never see any of my money. Nor should they see any of yours.

  • What the fuck is up with the voting procedures in the EU?! People vote No, and the vote gets recorded as a Yes? There aren't even enough people to make that switch difficult to detect! How does that kind of crap even happen? Are all the vote counters in all those EU countries just plain corrupt or what?!

    Jesus..
  • I tried to get details about Norway's committee structures from the news articles and various other linked texts, but a lot of it is in Norwegian, which I can't read. In the US, there can be two committees, one technical and the other with oversight. Everybody attends the technical committee, but not many stay the extra day to be part of the oversight committee. However, the technical committee only votes on a recommendation to give to the oversight committee. Then the oversight committee can (if it wants)
  • Limericks (Score:5, Funny)

    by Viceroy Potatohead (954845) on Monday March 31, 2008 @10:56PM (#22927584) Homepage
    There once was a man come to Bergen
    Who promised that everything's working
    He came to the fjord
    And bought off the board
    Now we're all autospacelikeWord'ing.

    There once was a man who said "Trust us!
    Accept this, or surely you'll bust us."
    With his special langcodes
    Now he's ISO'd.
    I wonder how much this will cost us?

  • In Finland.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by rasjani (97395) on Tuesday April 01, 2008 @02:33AM (#22928536) Homepage
    I didnt RTFA so im not sure what is going on in Norway so im just guessing that it was somewhat similar issue as in Finland.

    Majority of board was against OOXML Standard but in the end, board's decision was "yes". Why ? Board consists of big businesses, government and some other groups. 3 of the bigger companies in the board where IBM, Sun & Google and their votes where not counted because "they would vote as their head offices dictate" and thus the overall voting results from "absolutely no" where turned into "yes with clauses".

    Yey!

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