FSFE ignoring OOXML?

Alex Hudson home at alexhudson.com
Thu Apr 26 08:02:26 UTC 2007


On Thu, 2007-04-26 at 00:50 +0200, Sean DALY wrote:
> It *will* help their monopoly -- that's why they are going to such
> lengths to slow ODF and push their format to ISO. Ask yourself
> this question: why, since 1987, has Microsoft never submitted
> their Rich Text Format pseudostandard to any standards body? Or
> Excel CSV?

I don't understand that point at all. Neither RTF or CSV are terribly
important, so whether or not they standardised them seems neither here
nor there: that's not what their monopoly is based on.

Yes, they are pushing to standardise their XML format. I just simply
don't believe it does much to help their monopoly. In the world of
office suites, their monopoly is basically total at this point: you
can't really improve on 100%. 

> ECMA is a rubberstamp organisation, and was chosen by Microsoft
> precisely to avoid the same level of ISO review ODF went through.
> It has been an effective shortcut; as ECMA is not a standards body
> but an association of major IT companies, no review or criticism
> took place.

OXML is getting the same level of review within ISO as OpenDocument
(actually, in a way, it's getting more - there was no "contradictions"
period for OpenDocument), the choice of Ecma has made no difference
there at all.

As for "no review or criticism", I rather suspect you didn't follow OXML
through Ecma. I did, and I saw how the format changed in response to
criticism, and can give you many examples of such (e.g., the
specification of the Excel formula syntax and vocabulary).

Personally, I'm not in favour of OXML being standardised at ISO, but I'm
willing to give Microsoft credit for properly standardising it so far.



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