Weird Moment of the Day

I saw this blog from one of the current chairs of the ODF committee in OASIS:

So, ODF was adopted as an ISO standard about a year ago, and since then there has already been a new version of ODF (1.1) released by OASIS, and they are supposedly close on version 1.2. I believe 1.2 is supposed to be significant as they’ve promised it will include a formula definition for spreadsheets (although the working group hasn’t seen much activity lately if you look at the mailing list archives: So, the maintenance of ODF right now is being handled solely by OASIS, and I’m not sure what their plans are for bringing new drafts to the ISO.

Now, one of the Chairs of the ODF committee (IBM and Sun are now co-chairs of the ODF committee) has a blog post saying that Microsoft is somehow pulling a “bait and switch” because Ecma has proposed to ISO that a joint maintenance agreement be set up once DIS 29500 is approved. We’re still months away from approval, but TC45 has already reached out and tried to start a discussion around maintenance.

So it’s been a year since Rob’s committee had its ISO approval and has since then maintained sole control; and TC45’s DIS 29500 still has a few months before approval and they are already trying to establish a maintenance agreement. And this is now called a “bait and switch”?

That’s my Weird Moment of the Day.


Comments (32)

  1. Could it be that something is missing from your summary of Rob Weir’s post? Maybe the fact that Microsoft has, on multiple occasions, assured the world that ISO would be the sole maintainer of OOXML? The point is not about who is going to maintain OOXML – the point is that Microsoft has been caught lying about it. I think Rob Weir made that pretty clear, not a lot of room for misunderstandings there.

    Please post IBMs/SUNs messages to that effect regarding ODF. Otherwise this is just another piece of Microsoft FUD.

  2. Alan Lord says:

    Brian, I admire you for standing up to what must be an almost unrelenting tide of vitriol. Not personal I note thankfully, but directed at your employer.

    I’m sure that you must be a really nice guy to put up with this charade, but I hope M$ is paying you very well?

    I guess they must be because I can’t understand why anyone would want to work for a company that is a convicted monopolist and has such a bad reputation around the world.

    I really think that this fiasco with the fast-track of ECMA-376 is going to be the start of a scenario involving a "house-of-cards" and a strong wind…

    Now there are individuals inside the JTC1 (who was also liaison to TC45) publicly denigrating what M$ has done (, I don’t believe ISO will be able to ignore it for much longer. Nor will the Governments of this world.

    Good Luck.

  3. So Alan Lord admires you. Methinks it is a rather backhanded complement.


  4. Alan Lord says:


    It wasn’t intended to be backhanded at all. I really am impressed by the way Brian conducts himself and makes himself a target.

    As I said – it is his employer that stinks…

  5. skc says:

    Alan, so you admire the way Brian conducts himself but not enough to prevent you from being so childish as to write MS as M$?


  6. Rob Weir says:

    Brian, you should mention that Ecma drafted this maintenance proposal in July, when they thought they would win the September ballot.  Despite this, during July and August Microsoft continued to state publicly that they would be transferring control over to ISO.  That is the point I was trying to make — that Microsoft was promising one thing while simultaneously planning the opposite.

    You can try to distract and confuse, but the record is quite clear on this.  Six days after your people promised at an NCC meeting in London that ISO would own OOXML if approved, Ecma submitted a maintenance plan to JTC1 that asks for Ecma to control the maintenance of OOXML.  Microsoft then continues to publicly assert this false promise of ISO control right up until the Sept 2nd ballot.

  7. says:


    Interpreting Martin Bryan’s comments as "publicly denigrating what Microsoft has done" is blatantly untrue.  Maybe you should reconsider a career on a tabloid newspaper.

    He is fed up because the ISO procedural structures cannot cope with the interest in this standard, whether that be generated by Microsoft, or anti-Microsoft camps.

    He is also complaining about standardization by corporation, so you are shooting yourself in the foot, since this includes the "snoozerollering" of Sun’s format as well.

    What were the meeting minutes for the ODF process then: "yeah, whatever, fine by me. Is it time for lunch yet?"

    Mr Bryan should, however, be taken to task on his comment that the influx of new P-members are purely pro Open XML supporters.  You should be very sure of your facts before committing them to a public document.

    Even if he is correct, with his position at ISO, this is similar to a judge leading the jury.


  8. Stephan and Rob,

    Wow, I can’t believe you guys are getting so worked up on this (well I understand you Rob given your current career choice).

    It’s a proposal. ISO makes the decision. Ecma just submitted an approach where there is a joint group (both ISO and Ecma) that does the work.

    This is another example of the OASIS ODF folks just floating along being completely undefined, and meanwhile the Ecma folks are trying to actually be responsible and set up something that would be workable for ISO. Give a break guys, this one is really weak.

    (BTW Rob, most of us were pretty convinced that we wouldn’t have enough votes to pass the September 2nd checkpoint. I was sure we would have technical work to do in order to satisfy the national bodies and turn their vote at the BRM. I was actually impressed with how close we were, given that we were only off by a few percentage points)



    Microsoft is paying me what they pay any other program manager working on Office. I consider myself to be extremely lucky in life, as are any of us lucky enough to have a been born into a situation where it’s possible for us to get a good education, etc.

    I don’t do this because of money. I do it because I’ve spent the past 8 years working on moving the Office applications (with over 400 million users) into a new world of documents. We had tried this with HTML, but it didn’t work. We now have moved to an open file format that allows all those billions of existing binary documents to be transistioned into this new world, without any impact to the owners of those documents. (This was why our customers like Barclay’s Capital, and BP were on TC45. This ability to transition their files without any potential loss was critical to them and they wanted to review the formats to make sure that would work)

    I’m very proud of this. That’s what motivates me still.



    "snoozerollering", I like that 🙂

    I also appreciated Rob pointing us to the results of the ODF ISO process in my previous post. If you look at the results, they didn’t do anything. There were a number of comments from China related to the weak support for various features and they just responded "need more information to do anything with this". Total blow-off.


  9. hAl says:

    What I find strange is that Rob does avoid the question why the OASIS TC in which he resides has not submitted ODF 1.1 spec for ISO approval.

    It has been out for one and a half years or so isn’t it ?

    Why if OASIS seem to have full control over next versions of ODF and wihtout ISO playing a part and even when a version is finished does not even bother submitting them to ISO is Rob Weir writing about Ecma.

    Shouldn’t he look at his own specifications and why they are not at ISO right now ?

  10. Rob Weir says:

    hAl,  ODF 1.1 was approved as an OASIS Standard on February 2nd, 2007, so less than a year ago.

    But I’m not sure I see your point.  Did we ever promise to hand control of ODF over to ISO?  No.  In fact, when we submitted ODF to ISO, at that time we negotiated a maintenance plan with JTC1 and ODF was for a ballot by JTC1 under those terms.  That’s the way PAS submissions work, the maintenance agreement is negotiated at submission time.  PAS submitters like OASIS also have a far more rigorous set of criteria they are evaluated against, as an SDO, before they are permitted to enter into such agreements.  Ecma, using Fast Track, is not subject to this level of scrutiny.

    In any case, it should be obvious that submitting anything to SC34 at this time is asking for trouble.  The majority of ballots are failing and have been failing for lack of participation.  As you may have read, we now have leaders in SC34 suggesting that it may be better to move ISO standards to OASIS, since the climate there is better.  

    So my recommendation is to wait for the OOXML train wreck to be cleared from the tracks before we submit any further ODF work to ISO.  When the debris is cleared you’ll likely first see some maintenance done on ODF 1.0 followed by a technical revision with new features.  That’s my recommendation.  In the end, OASIS membership decides.

  11. That’s convenient Rob given that you guys are the ones who’ve gummed up the system.

    Why did you choose to oppose Open XML’s adoption in ISO? Why did you do so much work to find issue with Open XML during the fast track process rather than during its development within Ecma? You guys are Ecma members, and could have had a positive impact on the spec if you had wanted to. Instead you guys took your 300,000 person strong workforce and mobilized it with one mission and one mission only (kill Open XML). It was hilarious seeing some of the meetings where there would be a few IBM guys with no technical knowledge at all, but they had your template of 200+ issues and the talking points. They couldn’t explain any issue in detail, but they would still demand that it was a problem and that Open XML should be rejected. It’s hilarious how many issues you see show up in numerous National Body comments that are just word for word copies (spelling mistakes included) of the IBM hit list. What about the incidents like where an IBM employee actually wrote the official document for a country that he wasn’t even associated with? Come down off your ivory tower man, it’s just silly.

    We are OASIS members but since we didn’t have an interest in ODF we didn’t participate in its development (no one really had interest in it until much later in the game). Since we didn’t have an interest, that also meant we didn’t oppose it in ISO. We could have gummed up the system the same way you guys have if we wanted to. It’s just a consensus based system that expects people to try to work towards a mutual agreement. It’s not built to handle this mounted opposition you guys have thrown at it. We didn’t realize the depths to which you would go though, and that was our own naiveté.

    I really wish you would get a hold of yourself a bit (but it’s clear you’re enjoying your new found fame). I was reading through the comments on your blog earlier today and it’s completely nuts. Your constant doom and gloom preaching and stirring of paranoia does no good for anyone. You’ve polarized this issue and are having a negative impact on the entire industry.

    There is so much positive news right now and you’re trying to confuse people and not allow them to focus on those positives. Look at where we are now compared to where we were just 3 years ago. There are multiple open formats for people to choose from, and there are even open source translator projects that go between them all (ODF, Open XML, UOF, DAISY, HTML, etc.). I said back in the spring that the war was over, and I really had thought it was true. You guys just won’t let it stop though. If ODF is a better format, let it win for that reason. Don’t hold onto the ISO thing with such a jealous grasp that you block any other true progress from happening. Maybe if you spent as much time improving ODF and OpenFormula as you do trying to bring down Open XML you guys would actually have a final draft ready.

    There are clearly a large number of people out there who want to see Open XML ratified by ISO, why do you want to stop that? Now you’re taking the approach you used of Ecma bashing to actually bashing the ISO and trying to bring everyone into OASIS (gee, that’s convenient).

    We really aren’t going to make any progress with this mudslinging though. I’d much rather we talk about the actual technical issues and the advantages/disadvantages of the different approaches we’ve taken.


  12. Nobody Real says:

    So, Rob.  Given, as you say, that submitters are required to negotiate the maintenance agreement, why are you busting MS and ECMA’s chops for doing the exact same thing ODF has done, and you say is required for them to do?

  13. Rob Weir says:

    @Nobody Real, I’m "busting MS and ECMA’s chops" for promising one thing in order to get ballot votes, but then not delivering.  Do you think this is OK?  Do you think a company should promise anything and everything in order to win, but then not deliver?  Note that Microsoft has and will be making all sorts of promises in this process, from the Open Specification Promise, to assurances that they will address all comments, to statements that they will fix items in a future release.  So its is very relevant to examine how they have or have not delivered on these promises.  


    Its called a "standards war".  Look it up.  Whining about it won’t make it go away. They’ve been occurring since at least the start of the Industrial Revolution.    

    You’ll need more than a recitation of Microsoft’s Valentine’s Day "open letter" to resolve this promise we’re discussing (or avoiding discussing as the case may be).  For example, you could say, "Rob, you are wrong, we actually will hand control of OOXML over to ISO as we promised".  Or you could say, "Rob, you are wrong, we never wrote or said that."  But saying, "Rob, look at that bird over there" while pointing one way and then running in the other direction, that is not going to work.

    Or are you suggesting that Microsoft is entitled to make promises to third parties that it does not intend to fulfill, because Microsoft is annoyed at IBM?  Is that the justification?  What other behaviors do you feel are excused by this annoyance?

  14. Rob,

    Exactly. You guys are making this into a war, and that’s not good for anyone. We have no problem with ODF, and in fact have been working on building better integration of ODF into the Office products. Why do you guys insist on making this into a war?

    If you want a war, fine, we can go that way. I think it’d be far more advantageous for everyone though if we could avoid it. War doesn’t help anyone.

    I really don’t get you though. I can’t tell if you’re just trying to be a pain in the ass, or if your questions around the maintanence is actually something you think is a valid concern. So you’re saying that you are upset because you believe that we lied?

    (1) Ecma said they would hand the formats over to ISO once Open XML had become an ISO standard.

    (2) Ecma is now trying to work with ISO to figure out how to best define the maintenance of the standard once it gets approved.

    How do these two things conflict? Are you saying that you’d assumed that the statements made in the past implied that Ecma would have no involvment at all? That’s just silly. If you somehow got that from the public statements made, then I’m sorry you misunderstood. The folks in TC45 are hoping that it can be a joint effort. ISO and Ecma working together. If ISO doesn’t want it that way, then that would be unfortunate. Hopefully though we’ll be able to set up a good cooperative relationship.

    (It’s called working *together* Rob.)


  15. Bruno says:

    I don’t think it’s worth spending time arguing with Rob Weir.  Every word he utters is completely disingenuous.  He knows his argument is complete bull, but he makes it anyway.

    I still don’t know why he and IBM are working so hard to kill a standard that they have no interest in.  Microsoft had no interest in ODF, so they didn’t try to block it.  It’s a shame that Rob isn’t big enough a person to do likewise.

  16. hAl says:

    <blockquote>hAl, ODF 1.1 was approved as an OASIS Standard on February 2nd, 2007, so less than a year ago.

    But I’m not sure I see your point.</blockquote>

    How hard is it for you to read:

    Why has the OASIS TC you reside in not submitted ODF version 1.1 for ISO approval ?

    Your post suggest that for OOXML Ecma as a standardazation organisation having a joint control with ISO submitted is not good. It is weird however that it is in effect OASIS (where effectivly IBM and Sun control the ODF specification) is the organization that is doing so poor in keeping up the maintenace for an ISO standard. ODF was submitted to ISO in september 2005 and ISO has not been handed anything by OASIS since then even though it has still major holes in it ?

  17. Bruce says:

    Brian: you do yourself no favors by understanding opposition to ISO standardization as solely a product of IBM. For example, on your question "Why did you choose to oppose Open XML’s adoption in ISO? Why did you do so much work to find issue with Open XML during the fast track process rather than during its development within Ecma?" Irrespective of IBM’s comments and Rob’s role, you know full well that a lot of the technical issues with OOXML were publicly (and privately) aired during the ECMA process.

    I know consumer choice in international standards has become the MS marketing mantra here, but for there’s another mantra that many of us hold to: one standard. You act as if this is a surprising and irrational position, but it’s not.

    Finally, the issue of maintenance and evolution going forward becomes rather important when you consider the rather tight constraints of the TC45 charter. I personally want to see the ISO process force some cooperation on moving beyond all the heated rhetoric and defiant positions.

  18. RobertLilly says:

    Hi Brian

    Microsoft has an interest in everything, they choose not to have an interest in the development of ODF for a simple reason, it would not be in the "interest" of protecting its monopoly. If MS had chosen to work on ODF, the format would be more to your liking. Instead, MS took a gamble and is relying on its omnipresent power to get their own way. And all the indications are, this has alienated the ISO committee and reduced MS credibility in other standard areas.

    Please don’t pin this on MS vs IBM, there are many other entities and communities which combined is a much larger force than just IBM, against the ratification of a defacto format as a standard. A format which simply does not qualify as an ISO on many technical levels, questionable patent promises, and hardly meets any of ISO goals/policies. Two standards, one tested, rejected by many is a PROBLEM. But above all OOXML as a ISO standard reinforces unfair competition and paves the way for everything proprietary becoming a standard.

    David Lane in the previous post made some suggestions, some really are a good start to the beginning of collaboration.

    Best to you

  19. skc says:

    Robert Lilly, it’s not that simple I’m afraid. MS’ overarching design goal for OOXML is to ensure compatibility with the vast majority of the office documents already in existence.

    You’d have to agree that that is decidedly NOT the goal of ODF. So even if MS were part of the ODF standardization process, there would be an insurmountable impasse.

    I think this whole debate centres around just that.

  20. Bruce,

    I agree that plenty of issues remain on the OOXML specification, but the same can be said about any specification.  

    From the small specifications (RSS 2.0, 5 pages) to any large ones.    Writing specifications is like writing software, you might think that you have all your bases covered until someone from QA comes back with a list of one hundred bugs.

    I think it is fair to say that those who are free of producing bugs or writing bug-free specifications should throw the first rock.  

    What matters the most in my opinion is to have a commitment from Microsoft that issues of interoperability nature with OOXML be addressed after the specification reaches 1.0.   This means that as implementors start using the specs, that areas that happened to be gray areas be clarified, and that answers to problems that we can not envision today be cleared up.

    From watching the debate since January of this year, it seems that the distributed review of the OOXML focused on the editorial, on the "gotcha" aspect of it, and very little on actually trying to find grey areas for third party implementors.   The work that was done by Jody Goldberg while at ECMA had a much higher quality as he was actually trying to implement the specification.

    So there are multiple level of issues, just like you would have multiple levels of bugs in any decent bug tracking system: blockers, critical, major, normal, minors, request for enhancements;   And you can also judge these bugs in another dimension: how hard is it to fix?   is it a two minute fix, is it something that can be fixed by expanding the documentation, or is it an architectural problem that would take months to fix, or something so big that it requires products to change?

    By lumping all "technical issues" together we are not going to make any progress.

    My personal interest is in making sure that Linux never becomes a second-class citizen and is able to interop with as many commercial products available on the market.  Those could come from Microsoft, Apple or a third party.

    What we have here is Microsoft going out of their historical way to write down and specify things and actually taking feedback from members at ECMA and now ISO to resolve issues that will help us interop.    This is in high contrast with Apple, the darling, of the industry is doing these days where they go out of their way to add cryptographic checksums to anything they can for the sake of blocking third party products (we know, because interop with Apple products is now at an all-time low: DAAP got encrypted, so no music streaming from non-Apple products for you;   third party software can no longer "write songs" to an ipod, mind you, it can still "pull them", so this was not about any sort of copyright protection;  and the iPhone/iPod touch use a new proprietary USB protocol so we can not effectively read or write music from them while standards like MTP exist).

    So I applaud Brian’s work (driven for whatever business reason) that allows third parties (and in this case, free software users) to interop better with their software.

    Now, from the previous experience with TC39, Microsoft remained engaged after it became an ISO standard (the .NET and C# specifications) and continued to address shortcomings that we found on the spec as time went by, and also continued to evolve the language.   At least at the time they actually had various other people at ECMA weight in on some of the design decisions for the compiler and runtime, people that were either implementing the language and the runtime, or were creating compilers that had to generate code for it.


  21. Wizard of Wor says:


    the point is that ECMA can apply any changes it wants. It applies the ECMA patent policy which is RAND. So the standard becomes RAND and all other market players get "an obligation to enventually compensate" you. Microsoft is a dangerous company and needs to be removed from the market through state regulation as its power is threatening the functioning of a democratic process, we see it in the methods that takes place to sway committee votes and competitors.

    Don’t play these games. You know that Microsoft offered ECMA no competence to change the spec or address the criticism. The Gnome Foundation thinks it smartly gathered more documents from your company.

    It is time for our public regulators that a war against your company is actually conducted to ultimately bring it to reason, to defend our national interests against American practices. Al Capone was jailed for tax irregularities, the governments you treated badly in our national commitees will also find means to fight back. It is a war and you declared it by playing against the rules.

  22. marc says:

    >I’m very proud of this.

    >That’s what motivates me still.


    one tip for you: santa claus doesn’t exist

    sorry 😉


  23. Wizard,

    I’m sorry you feel that way.



    Your link there helps to emphasize my point. I’m very proud of the shifts we’ve made, and the work we’re doing right now. I’m proud to have played an important role in that.

    Just 3 years ago no-one would have believed we would open the formats like this. Now we’ve done it, and it completely caught the compatition off guard. They’ve been scrambling ever since to find ways to spin it as a negative.


  24. Last spring, we saw some positive developments in the file format world. We started to reach a critical

  25. nksingh says:


    Did IBM really send non-technical staff to these meetings to discuss Rob Weir’s points?  I could see it happening once or twice, but I’d have expected those people reciting Rob’s gripes to be helpful penguinistas trying to "stick it to the M$."  


    I have to thank you personally for nearly single-handedly making an otherwise humdrum standards battle into an entertaining epic tragedy. Sure, others have participated in the NO-OOXML campaign and even scored commendable valor, but you are the hero; without you the fight would have been over before it even started.  

  26. Last spring, we saw some positive developments in the file format world. We started to reach a critical

  27. Unmarc says:


    "Just 3 years ago no-one would have believed we would open the formats like this. Now we’ve done it, and it completely caught the compatition off guard. They’ve been scrambling ever since to find ways to spin it as a negative."

    So, but Open XML was published for standardization in 2005. No one was very much excited. Open XML is just a follow-up of the previous formats that were also XML. Microsoft should support the international standard instead of getting its own double standard.

    We have an open standard and get a shared standard, that is a very bad deal you are trying to force on us. Your patent tricks clearly show how Microsoft values open standards.

    Negative is the way your company abused the international standard process. You dont have the right to attack anyone, esp. not a sound standard expert as Rob.

  28. Brian,

    it’s not about involvment, it’s about decisionmaking. The proposal as-is says that Ecma develops the subsequent versions and submits them to ISO for rubber-stamping them (much like you tried to to this time). That’s not what you promised to the public. You said development would be handed over to ISO, which implied that changes would be discussed in some technical commitee at ISO and it would be decided there what direction OOXML should take.

    If you don’t see a world of difference between those promises and the proposal your company is making then there really is no point in discussing this further since we have fundamentally different perceptions of reality.

    And by the way: IBM and the ODF community were the *working on and helping* OOXML (instead of just rubberstamping it): they made tremendous contributions, wading through 6,000 pages of documentation and giving invaluable feedback and bug reports. What have you done in all those months since that information became available? You published a first batch of errata that specified units for some values and defined the charset of a string in a platform-dependent and unclear manner. Bravo.

    I could even understand if you said "We cannot really change OOXML 1.0 that much since Office 2007 is already shipping, but here is our Alpha draft of OOXML 1.1 which fixes the stupid date definitions, makes it a really platform- and application-neutral standard and basically is what OOXML 1.0 should have been (and could have been if we didn’t fasttrack it)". But no such thing has happened.

    So the responsible thing to do is *be negative*. You are saying people just want to hurt you; I’m saying people are fighting against a vendor/product specification being approved as an international standard (the hurting part is just collateral damage). So far there is a whole lot of proof for my theory and really no proof for yours. Just look at what you did with the string charset – an international standard would have said "this string is UTF8, let the application deal with whatever it wants to use as internal charset". You could have given me (and many others) a really hard time by publishing a draft of a sane OOXML spec. But by now it seems that that never was your intention.

  29. marc says:

    >Just 3 years ago no-one would have

    >believed we would open the formats like this

    just 3 years ago, no-one in Microsoft would have believed that the openness requeriment ( Massachussets, etc ) would be so strong in governments levels. But this was to late for Microsoft, your reaction was:

    – well, we have OOXML, is all we have at this moment ( an Office 2007 is near to be finished ), so, send it to ECMA to rubberstamp it, and then push ISO until get the ISO stamp.

    The alternative: start with a true open format: reusing standards, implementable, completely defined, simpler, elegant, compact, XML friendly, etc ).

    But you are Microsoft, you don’t like standards and you don’t like be truly open. For now… with time you will learn what people is asking you.

  30. @marc: exactly right. That’s the main issue I see with most Microsoft bloggers: their cognitive dissonance. Microsoft reacted at the last possible moment. They dodged a bullet, they changed their plans about OOXML at the last minute to be in compliance with the Massachusetts requirements (and similar governmental requirements emerging in other countries, e.g. France and South Korea).

    But Brian writes about ingenious strategic moves that caught the competition "off guard". The truth is that the competition thought "oh my god, I’m going to have to implement this mess?" And I think he believes what he’s writing. He’s genuinely appalled that Rob Weir would criticize their OOXML stewardship document. He just blocks out the promises he himself and other Microsofties gave to the community. That is no small feat.

    He says he’s an engineer, engineers build and don’t destroy. But actually engineers tear down unsafe buildings. Engineers discard work if it is proven not to be up to par. That’s the hard part of the job. Producing something is not what an engineer does. Quality is key. Make no mistake: Brian is not interested in "working together", he is interested in getting OOXML approved. Just read his past entries about why those horrible, horrible mistakes in OOXML really have to stay in there. (Hint: they don’t want to waste programmers on fixing MS Office, so you implement all that hogwash in your application.)

  31. Mike Brown says:


    >> That’s convenient Rob given that you guys

    >>[IBM] are the ones who’ve gummed up the system.

    Hmmm… the outgoing ISO Convenor, Martin Bryan points the finger at Microsoft and its stooges, rather than IBM, as the ones that have screwed the ISO system:

    "This year WG1 have had another major development that has made it almost impossible to continue with our work within ISO. The influx of P members whose only interest is the fast-tracking of ECMA 376 as ISO 29500 has led to the failure of a number of key ballots."

    I also have to admire the sheer chutzpah of your trying claiming that OOXML "completely caught the compatition (sic) off guard", when in fact, the reverse is true.  It’s ODF that caught Microsoft "off guard".  Microsoft ignored ODF when it was in OASIS and then when it went through ISO, because the company was too big and arrogant to see the new standard as a threat to its Office monopoly.  Only the Massachusetts decision snapped Microsoft out of its complacency, and led to the attempted ramming of a rushed, technically flawed "standard" that is OOXML.

    And why exactly should IBM have helped you out at the ECMA stage of OOXML?  If you’d done jobs on the spec properly in the first place, you wouldn’t need such help anyway.  


    – Mike

  32. Bruce says:

    Miguel: you’re absolutely right for dinging Apple, and in noting that MS documenting OOXML and putting it through a standards process is on the whole a good thing. I’ve never really had a problem with that. ISO, OTOH, is another matter.

    I’m not going to get into the totality of this debate again. See Gavin Beckett’s comments on a <a href="">more recent post</a> are really spot on; much more eloquent and balanced than anybody I’ve read so far on this issue; including me!