Nothing like a bit of palm greasing to change a few minds.
The British Standards Institute (BSI) looks set to reverse its position on Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) file format by approving it as an international standard. A source close to the matter told The Register today that the technical group chaired by Francis Cave and assigned to make recommendations to the policy making …
There must be something fishy there. BSI had the most comprehensive list of comments on OOXML. Surely, they can't have dismissed all of them?
Shame I'm away from home, I would have gone and knocked on their door to know why as I go past their offices virtually every day (they are located above Gunnersbury tube station in Chiswick, West London for those who were wondering).
If the vote was 5-1 to Approve, which implies outstanding issues were resolved, how does the *six* voting members correlate to the statement by Richard Taylor, head of market development for the ICT and electronic sectors at the BSI, in Setember 2007 after the initial vote, where he mentioned a 30-member technical panel?
"We set up the technical panel with wide industry representation, and we had no latecomers to that. We had 30 technical experts from government, industry, and academia. We put out invitations, then people applied through us to become a member. Everyone who applied was given a place. In the end there has been sufficient time for us to pull together comments and give [the specification] a rigorous review,"
It's about time this supposed 'British' national standards body were open about both its decisions, make-up of the panels (since obviously Microsoft knows the panel members), and the process. If they won't or don't, then they certainly don't represent my part of Britain.
From your comment:
"Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) file format"
"why the group has had an apparent change of heart after disapproving the Office 2007 format "
Plus, it's not only IBM's application using ODF. Sun produces an office suite that uses ODF (Open Office. You may have heard of it >-) ).
Already found bugs in that "standard", ranging from copy-paste without updating identifier names in the Reference (Part4), all the way to an obvious bug in presetShapeDefinitions.xml - check out the "leftArrow" shape - uses "dy" variable without defining it in dgLst - it was meant to be "dy1"
No, it's no standard
That would be a dubious decision - there is no need for the Microsoft formats to be declared international standards for people to carry on using them, and it is abundantly clear that what MS are presenting is nothing like a standard, or the documentation required for a standard.
Such a decision would merit close scrutiny of the people and organisations involved, which is quite fashionable nowadays, extending even to the expenses and allowances of members of parliament.
There are really only two possible attitudes to DIS 29500. The first is to judge it on its technical merits - I thought that BSI had made a thorough job of this the first time round. The second is to totally ignore its technical merits and make a judgment purely on the basis of an anticipated personal pecuniary advantage.
Perhaps the wankers at the BSI will publish a specification for this abortion of a "standard", describing how it works - something which the "standard" its self notably fails to do. I doubt they will though - I don't suppose they have access to that sort of M$ "trade secret" themselves!
As I say, wankers.
True Open Standards such as ODF which is already an ISO standard are all we need.
No vendor lock in and long term document support makes it a winner.
The UK is not flying the flag, only those with hidden agendas.
Anyone who can be bothered to read up on ODF/OOXML will understand.
All I can say is that I am disappointed.
It is one thing for the late-coming P members to vote yes, but for a standards body which has previously taken some kind of interest in the technical content of the proposed standard to vote for approval after the apparently farcical BRM boggles the mind.
I can only infer some manifestation of Stockholm syndrome at work, unless there might be some other rea$on.
*crossing fingers that the rumour is false*
This is just a rumour, so keep that salt pot at hand, but if it turns out to be true, there's a pretty straightforward explanation.
The UK government is heavily invested in MS technology. They're very much in bed with the company. Workers in, for instance, the NHS, get "sweet deals" from Microsoft (like home licenses) in exchange for not allowing any of its potential competitors to participate (the GP surgery I worked for while this deal was made were forced to get rid of their UNIX server, and in doing so had to upgrade the hardware and sacrifice about half of the capabilities it provided).
This whole standardisation nonsense is due to people making noises about "future-proof" office formats, we all know the story. Well, Microsoft's eagerness to get this as a standard could easily be said to mirror that of the govt: they don't want to have to spend a load of money training people to use some other office productivity suite, and MS knows how to chat decision-makers up.
Unfortunately for them, Office 2007+ IS another office suite, and WILL require a whole load of training. But as anyone who follows the UK govt knows, giving ones decisions more than about five minutes of consideration is just out of the question.
Bill in a halo, for the lulz.
IF OOXML becomes a standard MIcrsosft will be REQUIRED to:
a] document it properly.
b] ensure that their software fully complies with the standard.
This would probably be a GOOD THING - It then becomes a trivial mater for OpenOffice.org, et al to open OOXML documents natively, and save them out as ODF. :)
Of course, it'll mean that we have not one, but TWO standards for the same file type. Which kind of defeats the whole object of having a standard...
I still tell people "If you to do business then send me a proper document"
If you cant someone else will. 2Seconds later a .doc You still get those few sending you a link to install support for the file. Sadly they wonder why their sales are dropping. I aint installing....!
I can't believe this is true. Although my period as a member of IST/41 (the BSI panel that is reviewing the fast-track document) was short, there was an air of intellectual honesty that gave me some modest pride being a part of it.
I really find it incomprehensible that the BSI panel might have changed its recommendation. The draft standard is truly, truly, appalling.
I will be fascinated to see if the rumor of a 5-1 change of mind is really true. If so, there will be a lot of explaining to do.
And I'd point out to anyone reading this that the panel is only advisory. If you feel that they have made a mistake, give the BSI a call on +44 (0)20 8996 9001 or email them at email@example.com
The ICT/-/1 (that's really its name) committee that actually decides the UK vote is only advised by IST/41, it doesn't have to abide by what they say. The BSI is supposed to work on consensus. If enough people call or contact it to tell it that it's made a mistake, it is supposed to do something about it.
If you care, get off your backside and tell them. I have already. Their vote is due in on the 29th. You have essentially one day only to influence them.
One think is crystal clear, the BSI doesn't give a rat's patootie about British business! Heck, I'm an a American and I'm disgusted. Maybe the European Union will start digging about, I sure hope so. Something is rotten in Denmark!
Yeah right, Microsoft all the sudden started caring about openness and interoperability just 60 days or so ago. Gee, what a coincidence. Shame, shame, shame on the BSI for even considering a one way vendor convicted monopolist lock-in full of hidden dependencies on windows, DRM, Sharepoint tags, and numerous other undocumented tidbits.
Is the BSI anti HTML too? That's an open standard. All companies get to use it, including British ones. Never mind. Just answered my own question.
"This is just a rumour but if it turns out to be true, there's a pretty straightforward explanation.
The UK government is heavily invested in MS technology. They're very much in bed with the company."
The problem is one set up by New Labour when Tory B liar was angling for votes. It sounds like Sir William Gates the Third was a party supporter.
All the government computers I have had pointed at me were Windows 2000 machines. I believe that it would cost an arm and a leg to undo everything that went wrong with those early party bribes.
As for the BSI fiasco...
From the article (which seems to have had a deep throated source, no comment from the BSI and no more news on Google News, except the Register's scoop) it seems thatthe committee was padded in the later stages after the dupes in charge invited any interested parties along for the ride.
Leet a deed thy nose.
Since there can only be one ISO standard for a given use, and since there already is a standard for exchange of editable documents, it would be interesting to know what the scope of OOXML will be. Is it supposed to be the ISO standard for interworking with Microsoft systems?
this is just utterly abysmal and horrific
the only legitimate word in the expansion of OOXML is 'office'
it is bif12 (binary interchange format, 12th attempt to get it right)
it is proprietary
it is closed
it is NOT XML
adoption of a proprieatry, closed, not XML data format as an 'open', 'XML' *standard* is just SO WRONG wrong wrong
If you agree, please, please register your complaint with BSI by email at firstname.lastname@example.org - TODAY!!!
>So will there be a new sign at Heathrow?
>By Morely Dotes
>Posted Wednesday 26th March 2008 22:43 GMT
"Welcome to the United Kingdom (A wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft)"
Can't mate - we're already owned by the rest of the world! No manufacturing left, virtually no motorcycle industry, almost no car plants left - Jag off to India, there's almost nothing we produce ourselves - successive governments have seen to that. Now Gordon's sold us out to Europe so we won't even own ourselves any more! So M$ won't get a lookin.
It doesn't matter who defines a standard as long as everyone agrees to use it and it does become A STANDARD, not standard A used by this company and standard B used by that company. As long as everyone is provided the standards information and sticks to it, there really is no problem.
Getting so sick of the whole 'it's MS so it must be evil' bullshit
And yes, I have looked at both ODF and OOXML, and from what I can see, OOXML does have some advantages over ODF
You want an evil proprietary company, have a really good look at Apple and you will find they are a hell of a lot worse
For a start, it comes from Microsoft. Therefore, its a NON-standard.
And there is ALREADY a proper standard, one that Microsoft's non-standard bears no relation to.
Somebody, somewhere, is NOT doing their job properly if they haven't understood the above.
It also puts BSI in the same "untrustworthy" kettle as the US Patent Office.
Have a look at the table in this blog.
Using a simple line of left to right text shows up the horror of OOXML and MS software engineering.
OOXML text: <w:jc w:val="right"/>
OOXML sheet: <alignment horizontal="right"/>
OOXML presentation: <a:pPr algn="r"/>
ODF text: <style:paragraph-properties fo:text-align="end" />
ODF sheet: <style:paragraph-properties fo:text-align="end" />
ODF presentation: <style:paragraph-properties fo:text-align="end" />
> Getting so sick of the whole 'it's MS so it must be evil' bullshit
And I'm thoroughly sick of those who think that this is all there is to it.
If you would care to READ Microsoft's "standard" definition you would find that it is full of gaping, undefined and proprietary holes - any of which would make this "standard" utterly impossible to implement.
It's not the company, it's the MESS proposed as a standard.
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