* Posts by BitTwister

253 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007


Microsoft spins standards defeat into victory


Good Riddance

Very pleased that sanity has prevailed and this dog's breakfast, this car crash, this unqualified MESS of a "standard" has received what it so richly deserved.

What needs to be seriously addressed now are the attempts made by a convicted monopolist to muscle in and force a 'yes' vote for what is supposed to be a carefully considered and immaculately defined world standard.

This 6,000-page pile of proprietary waffle is nothing more than an attempt to standardize Microsoft's ill-defined software kludges to suppress the already approved (and with zero 'no' votes) standard: ODF.

The Microsoft OOXML "specification" does give a toe-curling insight into their quality control which, as Windows users will know, simply doesn't exist.

How else could a "professional" company like MS include (amongst many, many others) little gems such as these:

=== [p740, 0xEE]

This value is said to signify “an Eastern European character set”. There is no such thing. First, “Eastern Europe” is not unambiguously delineated. Second, this region uses many character scripts, including Roman, Cyrillic, Arabic, Armenian, etc.

Proposed change: Explain what is meant by “an Eastern European character set”. [p740, 2]

The default character set is said to be “the ANSI character set”. But ANSI has standards for many character sets. Do you mean ANSI 209-1992 “Matrix Character Set for OCR”? Probably not. So a normative reference to a specific standard is required.

Proposed change: Provide normative reference for “the ANSI character set”. [p1378]

The “autoSpaceLikeWord95” element is defined in terms of mimicking a legacy application's behavior. The standard contains insufficient detail on how to replicate this behavior.

Proposed change: Define the intended behavior.

2.16.1 [p1487]

The production rule for field-switch-character is defined as: “field-switch-character: ! one or two Latin letters” However, “Latin letters” is not defined in this specification. Are we to take this literally as only allowing the letters used in Latin, i.e., capital letters A-Z excluding J, U and W? Or is meant the ISO 8859-1, the Latin-1 character set? Or is something else meant?

Proposed change: Provide a precise definition for this production rule.


{from http://www.xmlopen.org/ooxml-wiki/index.php/2._WordprocessingML_Reference_Material }

Remember folks; this standard "definition" is supposed to allow *everyone else* to unambiguously implement it and provide fully operational compatibility with it.

Methods are already standardized to allow certain extensions but MS chooses to completely ignore that route.

They can't even handle their own specification.

Here's what happens when an application - touted by (guess who) as a shining example of interoperability - is actually used:


Another rather embarrassing mess:


Nothing changes at Redmond except the audacity and level of bullying.

TV makers go ape for 100Hz LCDs



"I wonder how much more energy these things take? Presumably at least double the power for what sounds like a minute increase in quality."

I seriously doubt if the power consumption is related linearly to the number of frames displayed per second.

Germany floats Trojan for terror suspects


Even simpler

"Would-be terrorists need only use Ubuntu Linux to avoid the ploy."

Or just run *anything* except Windows.


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