[sf-lug] anti-ooxml petition picking up steam

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Fri Jan 11 16:22:23 PST 2008


On Jan 10, 2008 4:01 PM, Asheesh Laroia <asheesh at asheesh.org> wrote:

> On Thu, 10 Jan 2008, Christian Einfeldt wrote:
> > In case you have not signed the petition opposing OOXML as an ISO
> > standard, or haven't seen the vote count recently, you can see both
> > here:
> >
> > http://www.noooxml.org/petition
> Howdy Christian, good to hear from you.  In general, I find the
> terminology of Open Document Format vs. OOXML confusing, especially as OO
> is part of the name of OOo (OpenOffice.org).

Yeah, in fact, according to this article, even official Microsoft PR and
blogs have made that mistake, according to this story:


The Digg cover of that story is here:


 and the /. firehose story is here:


Can you maybe refer to "OOXML" as "MS OOXML" in the future?

Yeah, I generally do refer to it as Microsoft OOXML or MOOXML in places
other than Digg and /. submissions.  The mainstream media calls it MOOXML,
and so one's chance of getting dugg or /.ed is increased if you go with the
conventions.  One of Microsoft's main goals with OOXML is to make it such a
confusing topic as to completely destroy any sense of order with regard to
international standards.  Recall, Microsoft considers itself to have already
established .doc as a standard, and they are extremely honked off by the
fact that they now are forced to deal with this who standards debate.

Microsoft is rabidly anti-government, except in cases of things like WIPO
where governmental bodies are supporting Microsoft's IP.  To Microsoft,
governments are mostly a source of expense, delay and inconvenience for
them.  ISO has cost them billions of dollars in expense and delay and has
resulted in the catapulting of ODF into the limelight and a sense of
legitimacy.  Nation after nation has started to support ODF, which is making
great strides in adoption and deployment, now with 40 apps and lots of
nations and / or state and /or municipal governments requiring that
documents they send and receive are ODF-compliant.  Consider this remarkably
candid comment by Doug Mahugh, the Microsoft OOXML evangelist:


Office is a USD$10 billion revenue generator for the company. When ODF was
made an ISO standard, Microsoft had to react quickly as certain governments
have procurement policies which prefer ISO standards.
Ecma and OASIS are "international standards", but ISO is the international
"Gold Standard".
Microsoft therefore had to rush this standard through. Its a simple matter
of commercial interests!

So there is a benefit, IMHO, to *reducing* confusion by "standardizing" on
one name for MOOXML in public discussions.  We must make the public aware of
this issue, and if that means going with OOXML for public discussion, I am
okay with that.

But in discussions of people who already know what MOOXML is, I will often
call it MOOXML or even just MOOX.

> I'm a fairly
> geeky fellow, and this always surprises me every time I read it; surely
> there are others who are also confused.

Yup, the more confused you are, the more likely you will walk away from the
discussion and not care.  That is exactly what Microsoft is after.

It is stunning to see that Microsoft has succeeded in actually bottling up
the ISO by flooding ISO with members who will only vote on one issue:
MOOX.  They fail to show up for any other vote, and so nothing gets done.
Nothing.  Those fuckers have succeeded in grinding international standards
discussions to a halt.

> While I don't use Digg, I'm glad there are people like you working to
> raise awareness of this proprietary format and the danger that it could
> rubber-stamped by a standards body.

Right, and in a sense, you can take heart:  ISO members are really getting
pissed off at Microsoft because of the way that it has tied up their
business.  So while Microsoft is hoping to pack the National Boards (NBs) of
the countries participating in the vote with pro-Microsoft members, the NBs
that are able to retain some objectivity are very irrate with Microsoft, and
are digging in to oppose Microsoft.  At least that was the case a couple of
months back, when for example the NBs of New Zealand and Hungary and Sweden
voted against Microsoft due to its arrogance.  But we really need to keep up
the drum beat here.
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