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Re: [xml-dev] Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

Rick Marshall said:
> did anyone read this document referenced by dave's reference?
> http://www.grokdoc.net/index.php/EOOXML_objections
> was it referenced before and i missed it?

It was made up for the Contradictions phase in February and is out of
date. See the Discussion tab for some of the comments against it. It is a
*severely* flawed list, with almost every item being incorrect in some
way, and they have made no attempt to fix it even for things that are
known to be incorrect.

To be up-to-date on the issues, look at the comments that national bodies
have sent this week on the ISO process.

> For me the real issue now is "has the process been corrupted?" and if it
> has it could be a disaster for the ISO.

To repeat myself, where is the evidence of this corruption? You get loony
sites like NOOXML spewing their bile, then this gets picked up by the next
sites as authoritative, then it becomes conventional wisdom. But where is
the evidence? I see in the Wikipedia entry they have repeated the
Portuguese chair story, even though it is completely bogus.

> What if one country decides that the process is corrupt and therefore
> will not accept the decision of the ISO ** on that basis **? MS could be
> responsible for the beginning of the demise of ISO - not a good thing I
> would have thought.

That is a little silly. There have always been people who like and dislike
ISO. Usually the large computer companies don't like it because they
cannot participate as first class voters: voting is on a national basis.
They prefer the boutique bodies because there is less risk, and when they
don't get what they want from one body, they move to the next. That is OK,
a plurality of standards bodies offering different services is a strength
not a weakness.

What we have to do is resist the hysteria. Not see boogymen in every
corner. Look for objective evidence, see whether things were handled
correctly, see whether any harm was actually caused, not label mistakes as

> What if Australia (eg) decides that ECMA 376 is just a device to
> maintain a monopoly, trade barrier, or price point - then (as was done
> with dvd regional encoding) the MS could be ordered to allow, possibly
> even assist, alternative implementations. Or worse, the standard may be
> outlawed.

Standards are voluntary. Standards Australia is not a government agency
and has no power to require anyone to do anything.

I simply don't know why people don't want there to be a standard for an
XML document format specifically designed to allow the most common binary
(and RTF) formats (office, spreadsheet and presentation) to be converted
to XML without loss, which provides good reviewed documentation, and with
clear free IP rights. It doesn't entrench MS: their market position and
GUI does that. And it doesn't prevent governments from saying "We always
accept ODF for public documents" (as they should) either.

Rick Jelliffe

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