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India Third to Appeal ISO's OOXML Approval 99

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the uphill-battle-not-over dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "India is now the third country to appeal the ISO's approval of OOXML, with their appeal arriving just before the deadline last night. According to PC World, this makes OOXML the first BRM process under ISO/JTC 1 to be appealed, which leaves us in uncharted territory. Although there was substantial confusion in the comments on yesterday's story, Brazil is really appealing, not merely disapproving, of OOXML, having sent a letter that begins with 'The Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT), as a P member of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC34, would like to present, to ISO/IEC/JTC1 and ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC34, this appeal for reconsideration of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 final result.' Groklaw speculates that this may have something to do with Microsoft hedging their bets by supporting ODF 1.1 in Office 2007, though we probably won't see any more countries appeal now that the deadline has passed."
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India Third to Appeal ISO's OOXML Approval

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  • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@NospAm.davidgerard.co.uk> on Friday May 30, 2008 @06:01PM (#23605085) Homepage
    Andy Updegrove says a fourth country may also have appealed [consortiuminfo.org].
  • Fast Track (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gewalt (1200451) on Friday May 30, 2008 @06:04PM (#23605109)
    If the approval was fast tracked, then the appeal should be too. Get that spec disqualified, FAST.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jd (1658)
      No, I've a much better idea. Place the specification on a genuine fast track - say, the Monte Carlo F1 circuit - and let it be utterly crushed into oblivion before being smeared across the landscape.
      • by Splab (574204)
        You probably don't want to hit a 1000 page document when going around at 300 Km/h.
        • yeah not to mention the (loop)holes, closed ends, bin junk, and so on that typifies such top-heavy structures...
  • You know I can understand the reason of why we want to do this. I can even understand why people want a neutral standard. BUT... You know this is so boring because it is not going to help me one ioata...

    Yes, yes in the *future* all will better. And we will have solved world hunger, poverty and what have you...

    Yes I am frustrated because I F****G wish they would make Open Office a REAL competitor to Office.

    For example Calc in OO now has the ability to go beyond 256 columns... Wow, progress! NOT!

    Maybe if OO b
    • by Miseph (979059) on Friday May 30, 2008 @07:11PM (#23605669) Journal
      Uh, actually, I'm sure they're thinking plenty hard about playing nice, and seeing as there is a competitor (OO is taking away some of their customers, even if only the ones who don't care about spread sheets going beyond 256 columns, and since it keeps getting markedly better where Office keeps getting markedly more irritating...) have decided that is a risk they simply cannot afford to take.

      You must have been asleep for the past 2 decades, because otherwise you'd know by now that Microsoft's version of "playing nice" is creating a de facto standard that they alone control then avoiding making any changes 9even positive ones) to it so long as nobody else is in the game.
      • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Friday May 30, 2008 @07:38PM (#23605869) Homepage Journal
        Microsoft sells student copies of MS Office dirt cheap. I've seen a few schools install OOo side-by-side with MS Office, and some invididual users make the switch, but until major companies cancel mass volume licensing of MS Office, I don't see MS breaking a sweat.

        The fact that several large governments were talking about ditching MS Office (over open file standards) is what got MS to play ball. Now that they support ODF (and likely OOXML once they iron that out as well a bit) those government agencies are likely to stay with MS Office.
        • by arctanx (1187415)
          I reckon you'll see the opposite effect. With MS Office officially supporting ODF, you can just make your document in ODF and know that anyone running either office suite will be able to use it. Some businesses (the ones which are not too ingrained in their thinking) will say, "Well hang on a second. We want to be able to write our documents and have them work in Office. We can do that either by paying a huge amount of money to Microsoft, or by installing OpenOffice for free." So I don't think it's going
          • Having worked for a few different Fortune 500 companies, OSS is often a dirty word. Executives only trust big names they know.

            We only buy Microsoft and Dell for most things. We just bought an expensive Sharepoint Server, when a simple wiki would have saved tons of money. We use Linux, Unix and Solaris only in implementations largely dictated to us by vendors.

            I think it makes sense to save money by going to OpenOffice, but corporate America doesn't always make sense.
            • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOsPam.hotmail.com> on Friday May 30, 2008 @11:42PM (#23607221) Journal
              corporate America doesn't always make sense.

              Which is why they'll be overtaken by hungrier organisations that do make sense.

              • More often the 32 billion dollar company buys the 20 million dollar company as soon as it attracts attention.
                Then it converts it to the dominant corporate culture.
            • by Fri13 (963421) on Saturday May 31, 2008 @02:45AM (#23607877)
              "OSS is often a dirty word."

              Then stop using "Open Source" and start using "Free Software" and do not mention that "Free" means "Free as speech" and not "Free as beer", when ever you talk with persons who are money-slaves. Let them think that they get software for free and they dont need to pay for it. Then let the lawyers to take care of GPL and other people to understand they are actually using OSS.

              Bosses and other persons who makes the decisions, dont need to know those, because they are so afraid that "Open Source" force them to publish their treasure. They are like pirates, you need to trick them. They are greedy, you need to give them to think they have control for everything.

              They will learn actually...
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by jimicus (737525)

                Bosses and other persons who makes the decisions, dont need to know those, because they are so afraid that "Open Source" force them to publish their treasure. They are like pirates, you need to trick them. They are greedy, you need to give them to think they have control for everything.
                They will then instead adopt the age-old idea that you don't get something for nothing.
                • Remind them that (Score:1, Interesting)

                  by Anonymous Coward
                  when they ask you to do some free overtime.

                  They know.
            • by fedtmule (614169)
              OpenOffice may be OSS, but it is also backed by Sun. Thus, it seems to me that OpenOffice is already backed by a big name and your executives should be happy with OpenOffice.
              • by jimicus (737525)

                OpenOffice may be OSS, but it is also backed by Sun. Thus, it seems to me that OpenOffice is already backed by a big name and your executives should be happy with OpenOffice.
                Sun is a big name that's well known in technology circles. Unlike IBM or Microsoft, however, they're nowhere near as well known by people outside technology circles.
        • by Miseph (979059) on Friday May 30, 2008 @08:07PM (#23606143) Journal
          "until major companies cancel mass volume licensing of MS Office"

          Which will happen when *drumroll* enough individual users make the switch. I didn't say that OO was beating MS Office or even universally better than it (although for my needs it actually is, which is why I have declined to install MS Office even when offered it for free-as-in-beer), just that it is becoming a credible threat for the relatively near future.

          The bottom line is that Firefox has demonstrated to Microsoft that FOSS can come out of nowhere to beat the crap out of their products, and now that one of their golden geese is being threatened they aren't about to take any chances. If they lose their Office monopoly, that's easily as bad to them as losing the Windows monopoly, not least because it directly threatens that one as well (why would corporate users want to pay money for Windows to run software that runs better and safer on any number of cheaper solutions?). It seems like they are realizing that they let OO continue and grow for far too long already, and they're actually concerned they might have to compete again, and on much worse terms with a far inferior track record than the last time around.
          • I think people often forget that a big part of Firefox's growth and succcess was a good marketing campaign. Many other FOSS projects have great alternatives to Microsoft products, but just haven't been marketed.

            The GetFirefox and SpreadFirefox campaigns were great. I'd love to see a campaign for OOo 3.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              True, but I think that firefox diffusion is a great threat to microsoft not for the internet explorer lose of market share, but for the change in the mindset of the common people, which for thousand years believed that you get more for more. Now that people are starting to see this firefox thing, which is better AND cheaper, people is starting to think in a dangerous way for microsoft.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by moreati (119629)

          Now that they support ODF

          A minor nitpick. MS have stated their intention to support ODF. Until they deliver it's dangerous to assume or to state as fact, that support. Alex.
          • by jimicus (737525) on Saturday May 31, 2008 @04:48AM (#23608205)

            A minor nitpick. MS have stated their intention to support ODF. Until they deliver it's dangerous to assume or to state as fact, that support. Alex.
            More to the point, Microsoft are famously good at corrupting standards. I wouldn't be too surprised to see ODF "support" that amounts to "will happily read and render sensibly anything produced by OO.o, will go out of its way to write ODF files that for whatever reason OO.o doesn't like".
        • I'm confused... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by zkiwi34 (974563)
          Since when is a promise to support ODF the same as actual support of ODF? As in "will" does not mean the same as "does." Maybe it's me, but the future isn't the present, and as they said in "The Terminator," the future is not set. I also remember well Microsoft promising to support Kerberos, and look how much fun that wasn't.
        • > The fact that several large governments were talking about ditching MS Office (over open file standards) is what got MS to play ball. Now that they support ODF (and likely OOXML once they iron that out as well a bit) those government agencies are likely to stay with MS Office.

          The problem is that MS Office is not compliant with ISO-OOXML. Nothing is. Nor are there standards to determine precisely what compliance means.
          • That's why I said, once they get that ironed out. I'm fully aware that they don't currently support their own supposed standard.
    • Not about OOo (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew (866215)
      This isn't about OOo versus MS Office. I don't mind paying for software. I just want to make sure that when I save a file, people can open it and read it, especially me a few years down the road. Microsoft's closed, proprietary formats keep changing (forcing unnecessary upgrades) and they drop support for old formats after a while.

      I'm just some bum writer who wants to open my old files, but what about actual important documents? Right now PDF sadly is about the only way to go and feel safe the document
      • Right now PDF sadly is about the only way to go and feel safe the document can be read down the road.

        Something wrong with ASCII text files?

        Stuff that I want to be sure I can access long down-the-road I try to save as a plain text file if at all possible.

        I still have files that I originally wrote using SpeedScript on my Commodore 64. I can actually still use SpeedScript to open and edit them on my Fedora Linux computers (thank you Vice [viceteam.org], but I also have plain-text versions that I can
        • Something wrong with ASCII text files?

          Absolutely nothing at all. I used to save things as RTF files or in proprietary versions of such (and still have loads of doc files, being an Office user also). But everything that matters to me gets saved as plain text. (in either TextPad or BBEdit, platform depending).

          I understand that the issues with file formats, and the corporate uses of Excel and whatnot, are a separate issue, entirely, but, for regular people like me, plain text is perfect. Content is king. (wi

    • Anybody following the OOXML ISO approval process (or anybody who followed the Peter Quinn case) can see that msft is desperate and willing to go to any lengths to shove its bogus "standard" through the system.

      BTW: ODF has nothing to do with openoffice. OpenOffice is an application, ODF is a document standard - like HTML or ASCII.

      I use openoffice 2.4, it works for me, does all I need to do. Although I will admit, I considered every version of openoffice before 2.4 to be too slow.
    • Maybe if OO became a REAL competitor Microsoft would think much harder about playing nice!
      I hope you come back later and realize how little sense your sentence makes. Companies don't waste time, money, or resources on non-competitors. That's essentially the same as shitting money out.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hedwards (940851)
        Well run corporations don't do that. But corporations the size of Google or MS or IBM have a lot of money at their disposal, I don't believe that any of those 3 couldn't shit an obscene amount of money and still be in business.

        Sure, it's a poor way of doing business, shitting money that is, but large corporations do it all the time on stupid stuff. I mean just look at IE and silverlight. You can't say either of those was ever particularly centered on profit. IE alone has probably cost MS billions in terms o
        • Sure, it's a poor way of doing business, shitting money that is, but large corporations do it all the time on stupid stuff. I mean just look at IE and silverlight. You can't say either of those was ever particularly centered on profit. IE alone has probably cost MS billions in terms of extra exploit patching and anti-trust litigation. And even under ideal circumstances, it lacks a way of bringing in money.

          You have to remember the context in which IE was developed. Netscape was the darling of the computer

    • by howlingmadhowie (943150) on Saturday May 31, 2008 @02:27AM (#23607817)
      who modded this insightful?

      this isn't about openoffice.org, this is about people having access to their own information. This is about governments being able to read all the documents they are making now in the future. This is about unfettered, exact communication between countries.

      in short, this is remarkably important. I can't think of anything more important in communication than open standards.
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      If OpenOffice wasn't seen as a threat, then MS wouldn't need to work so hard keeping their formats closed and obscure.
      If they truly had the better product, it could stand on it's own and they wouldn't need to use dirty tricks to keep market share.

  • I wish... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mathimus1863 (1120437)
    I'd love to believe this will make a difference, but I suspect the same bribing/stacking/manipulation MS used before will succeed again.
  • I just wonder one thing that, why someone/ some countries can appeal to a standard once it is passed to be a standard? I thought once it is a standard then everyone must agree that it is a standard, no matter you agree with it/ vote for it.
    • I just wonder one thing that, why someone/ some countries can appeal to a standard once it is passed to be a standard? I thought once it is a standard then everyone must agree that it is a standard, no matter you agree with it/ vote for it.

      The appeal process was known about from day one. Kind of like a provisional grant, which becomes permanent after the time to appeal is up, which it was on the 31st of May

      All countries are entitled to appeal. Three did. More may have done so without the desire to make it public.

    • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Saturday May 31, 2008 @07:49AM (#23608693)
      Yes, but if a country suspects that there have been irregularities they can call schenanigans.

      Imagine this: The country of Lithuanistan is a voting member of ISO. United Megacorp has a smaller standards body like ECMA put a standard they cooked up on the ISO fast-track process. Everything proceeds as expected and the Lithuanistanian national body votes YES on the standard, even though most Lithuanistanian techies are very sceptical about it. A week after the vote, though, someone from UniMeg leaks documents that show that the entire Lithuanistanian NB had been bought off by UniMeg and they didn't vote because the standard hat merit but because they liked their new cars.

      Lithuanistan is pissed. They want a chance to stop the standardization process (or at least freeze it for further investigation), now that they can prove it has been tampered with. However, all votes have already been cast. This appeals process is what they'd use: If you have doubt that the standardization process went as it should you can appeal before the standard becomes final.
  • I understand that MS Gold Partners are activly but verbally encouraging universities and schools to purchase a few paper licenses and allowing all students to use MS Office in an attempt to undermine OpenOffice ... even MS India staff is involved in this scam .. but since nothing is on paper, their deniability is complete ..
  • India is country #1 in outsourcing and this fact makes appeal very important for global OSS community.

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