Following the rules in Portugal


There has been a lot of discussion of the Portugal technical committee (TC173) in the last week, and Jason Matusow has a blog post that explains the details of what happened there. Many people are using the Portugal situation as an opportunity to repeat their usual talking points, but Jason's post looks at the actual rules involved and the actions of TC173 to date.


Comments (7)

  1. RuiSeabra says:

    Too bad Jason Matusow *wasn’t* there but I was.

    Now tell me, if I speak of what happened there and Jason reports what he was told to report, who is using talking points?

  2. hAl says:

    Actually I read your posting on Groklaw with the meeting remarks but it was hardly the view of an objective commenter. I read in you comment that you were very disappointed because the new influx of 12 new members to the TC was equally for and against ooxml because you wanted a no vote.

    Also you identified several organisations as Ms proxy and did not state other organisations affliations allthough it is far more likely that a company with a connection to Microsoft is to have a genuine interest in OOXML where it seem that most opponents votes were based in their support for ODF.

    ISO Fasttracking is a method to get ISO standardisation for an industry standard which would mean that a proposed format standard has to be of use to the software industry and allthough the free software and OSS software are part of the software industry it seems they are were actually well represented compared to their size in the software industry itself.

  3. RuiSeabra says:

    «Actually I read your posting on Groklaw with the meeting remarks but it was hardly the view of an objective commenter. I read in you comment that you were very disappointed because the new influx of 12 new members to the TC was equally for and against ooxml because you wanted a no vote.»

    The TC wasn’t representative in the first meeting, and had 7 for Microsoft, and 1 from ODF Alliance.

    If 6 from each side enter, and then more people was refused, the objective was clearly to maintain the clear majority in favour of Microsoft.

    «Also you identified several organisations as Ms proxy»

    A proxy is what you are when you act in favour of the interest of some particular person who wants to create the impression of grass roots support.

    The ODF Alliance has quite different objectives from ANSOL. While ANSOL wants to make sure it is possible to have a Free Software complete implementation of OOXML, ODF Alliance doesn’t like to see a software monopolist destroy the effort of years of work with many entities to have an interoperable standard for document exchange.

    ANSOL doesn’t have the aim of profit loss due to support issues like Intraneia and Angulo Solido have.

    ANSOL doesn’t have the same aim as ACIDI.

    «and did not state other organisations affliations allthough it is far more likely that a company with a connection to Microsoft is to have a genuine interest in OOXML where it seem that most opponents votes were based in their support for ODF.»

    What genuine interest can a small company have of implementing over 6 thousand pages? None.

    «ISO Fasttracking is a method to get ISO standardisation for an industry standard which would mean that a proposed format standard has to be of use to the software industry and allthough the free software and OSS software are part of the software industry it seems they are were actually well represented compared to their size in the software industry itself.»

    Software isn’t an industry. One can surely make business with software, but software is neither business nor an industry. ANSOL is worried about 4 software freedoms of all users, those described by the Free Software Definition. OOXML is impossible to implement like that.

    Moreover, the Free Software community has well over 500.000 developers. Can you substantiate your claims of "small"?

  4. Anonymous says:

    It seems that Portugal has decided yesterday to vote YES with comments on Open XML! This is great news and one more step towards approving OpenXML as an ISO standard.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Rui, I don’t follow your reasoning. Why do you think entities like  ACIDI should be able to vote while the Cascais and Santarém municipalities should not? Are you saying that these two city councils are MS proxies?

    I’m also curious to know why in your opinion companies that provide Linux services like Intraneia or Angulo Solido should be able to vote while companies that are Microsoft partners should not.

    You lost the argument and you lost the vote. Stop with your ridiculous accusations.

    "ANSOL wants to make sure it is possible to have a Free Software complete implementation of OOXML"

    ANSOL should know it better then. It is perfectly possible to have a "free software" implementation of Open XML, and in fact at least one already exists (http://notes2self.net/archive/2007/07/25/gnumeric-and-openxml.aspx) and more will follow.

    "Software isn’t an industry."

    I’m sorry to break the news to you, my friend, but it is. People earn their livings developing, selling and supporting software. You can live your "four software freedoms" fantasy as long as you want, but don’t try to impose it on everyone.

  6. Mauricio Ordonez says:

    Rui,

    In the document formats debate, I fail to understand the fear that ODF proponents such as yourself have towards Open XML becoming an ISO standard in parity with ODF, PDF, HTML/CSS, etc.

    <i>"… ODF Alliance doesn’t like to see a software monopolist destroy the effort of years of work with many entities to have an interoperable standard for document exchange"</i>

    That’s odd.  I don’t recall ever reading that web developers worry about Open XML "destroying" adoption of HTML/CSS.

    Let’s make this clear, Open XML standardization does not destroy ODF. It does not prevent anyone from implementing the ODF spec. It does not prevent the ODF TC from improving the spec.  And it does not prevent anyone from downloading OpenOffice and begin writing ODF documents.  

    Open XML standardization gives customers control of the contents of their Open XML documents, the freedom to do with it as them as they will and assurance that an international standards body will maintain the specification. Your position is essentially to deny those users that freedom.

    Your dream of having ODF become the predominant format for document exchange ought to be achieved solely on ODF having the best value proposition.  That is something ODF has to earn, not legislate.  

    It is up to the ODF community to figure out how to create a better customer value proposition than Open XML provides.  Here are some suggestions for how ODF can get ahead of the Open XML community. For starters, I suggest that you convince more of those 500.000 "free software" developers to start coding.  Or you can continue depending on IBM and Sun, stalwarts of the software <i>industry</i>, to grow their productivity suite business.  

    But whatever you do, don’t blame those that choose Open XML.

  7. hAl says:

    @Rui

    "software is neither business nor an industry"

    Are you serious ??

    We must be on a different planet or something.

    But let’s say I think there is a software industry and many people in it would like the possiblity to use both standards. Why are you bothering if there is no such thing as a software industry and try interfere with that ?

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