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[News] Mark Shuttleworth Sees Bright Future for GNU/Linux, Slams ISO

Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu 8.04

,----[ Quote ]
| Cloud computing? "We will be the window into the cloud," he said.
| Virtualization? Native support for virtualization is built into Linux by 
| default. Ubuntu's products are optimized for virtualization. The company will 
| let others build the virtualization management tools with Ubuntu being a 
| modular, plug in.   
| A slowing economy? What could be more appealing in a slowing economy than a 
| product that is free? While the free model may be good for customers, how 
| about Ubuntu. "Will Mark's largesse based on past successes be the only 
| financial future for Ubuntu?" I asked.    


Ubuntu’s Shuttleworth blames ISO for OOXML’s win

,----[ Quote ]
| Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth said the approval of Microsoft’s Office Open 
| XML is a “sad” day for ISO and the computing public. 
| “I think it de-values the confidence people have in the standards setting 
| process,” Shuttleworth said in an interview just hours after the news was 
| leaked. The International Standards Organization (ISO) did not carry out its 
| responsibility, he claimed.   
| “It’s sad that the ISO was not willing to admit that its process was failing 
| horribly,” he said, noting that Microsoft intensely lobbied many countries 
| that traditionally have not participated in ISO and stacked technical 
| committees with Microsoft employees, solution providers and resellers 
| sympathetic to OOXML. “When you have a process built on trust and when that 
| trust is abused, [ISO] should halt the process.”     


What he doesn't seem to realise is that ISO was sort of hijacked after
Microsoft got rid of the 'unwanted' people there.


Project 29500

,----[ Quote ]
| The BRM can change whatever it wants can it? A briefing message from the 
| convenor of the BRM contributes to substancial irritation among the BRM 
| delegates that are not sacked yet.  
| ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


Fast Track versus PAS

,----[ Quote ]
| So you can see what great power Ecma has over JTC1 -- they can submit any 
| standard they want for Fast Track, and no one in JTC1 can stop them, or even 
| remove their right to submit Fast Tracks.  
| This may explain why Ecma is able to command such high membership fees. A 
| full voting membership in OASIS, which would allow a company to help produce 
| an OASIS Standard for later submission to JTC1 under PAS process, this costs 
| $1,100 for a small company. To join the US NB and be able to lobby for a Fast 
| Track submission from the US, this will cost you $9,500. But to join Ecma as 
| a voting member (what they call an "Ordinary Member") this will cost you 
| 70,000 Swiss Francs, or $64,000. That is what no-questions-asked Fast Track 
| service is worth. I think that, from Microsoft's perspective, the extra 
| $63,900 is money well spent. But what about from JTC1's perspective? They 
| don't get this extra money. So what's their excuse for having such permissive 
| Fast Track procedures that give Ecma such control?          


OOXML Questions Microsoft Cannot Answer in Geneva

,----[ Quote ]
| At Left: Highly respected Martin Bryan. As outgoing Conveyor of ISO/IEC 
| JTC1/SC34 WG1 he accused MS of stacking his group and said, “The days of open 
| standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are 
| getting ’standardization by corporation,’ something I have been fighting 
| against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees.”    
| The trend is that Microsoft is opening up the boring legacy bits of OOXML, in 
| stupefying detail, while neglecting to document the pieces actually needed 
| for interoperability at a competitive level, like macros, scripting, 
| encryption, etc. In essence, Microsoft is opening up and releasing the file 
| format information that competitors like OpenOffice.org have already figured 
| out on their own, while still at the same time restricting access to the 
| information needed to compete. And the more MS realizes it has to open up the 
| specification, deprecate and modernize OOXML, what do you get? You get XML. 
| XML is XML. Strip out the non-XML garbage from OOXML and you will have the 
| OpenDocument Format.         
| [...]
| We need for MICROSOFT TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS. Rather than hiding all the 
| information we need and trying to cloak OOXML as ODF, we ask Microsoft to 
| please get off the sinking ship, collaborate with the global community (which 
| will welcome Microsoft) and help develop one universal file format for all.   
| Long term, Microsoft can only benefit from cooperating with the market!


What Will and Won't Be Discussed at February's BRM on MSOOXML

,----[ Quote ]
| So if you had concerns about Microsoft's patent policy, forgeddaboudit. 
| It's been magically erased, and any comments are out of order.
| [...]
| They have chosen a room that can seat only 120 people for reasons unknown, so 
| there may not be room for all the delegates. Let me guess. The head of the  
| delegation is a Microsoft guy, and the ones who can't fit in the room are the 
| ones who have issues with the proposed format? You think? Hey, some of us 
| remember the games that were played already over rooms too small for IBM and 
| Sun.    
| This is starting to look really, really bad. At a minimum, you have to say 
| this is the very opposite of an open process. I can't help but notice too 
| that Brown lists Rick Jelliffe's as one of the "cool blogs" he recommends on 
| Brown's blog. I think that is what novelists would call foreshadowing.   


Portugal will send Microsoft to the BRM

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft, as president of the Portuguese Technical Committee, is already 
| controlling who will be at the BRM for Portugal. The Head of Delegation will 
| be... Microsoft!  


IBM is still locked out of the Portuguese OOXML meeting

,----[ Quote ]
| In spite of various communications, we [IBM] are still locked out and will 
| not be allowed to participate. Microsoft will be there, as well as a special 
| Microsoft guest, as will various Microsoft business partners, and others.  


Microsoft's Stephen McGibbon to represent Ireland at the BRM?

,----[ Quote ]
| There are rumors circulating in Ireland that Microsoft's Stephen McGibbon 
| might be part of the Irish delegation to attend the BRM in Geneva. Microsoft 
| is already controlling the Portuguese delegation, you can expect that they 
| will control half of the table at Geneva. O'MyGod!   


Opinion: Einstein's definition of insanity...

,----[ Quote ]
| But ISO standards have a much more political dimension to them than Internet 
| (IETF) or World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards. Every country can vote,  
| although not all chose to do so. Over the past few weeks, some strange and 
| rather irregular national positions have come to light. My favourites were 
| Cuba voting "Yes" to the fast-tracking of OOXML, even though Microsoft is 
| prohibited by the US Government from selling any software on the island that 
| might even be able to read and write the new format, and Azerbaijan's "Yes" 
| vote, even though OOXML as defined isn't able to express a Web URL address in 
| Azeri, their official language.       


Whither OOXML?

,----[ Quote ]
| Strangely, however, Microsoft appears to be soft-pedaling its own standard. 
| At GOSCON last week there was a panel on document formats, with reps from 
| IBM, Sun, Adobe, and Microsoft present. Each of the company representatives 
| got to speak for five minutes and present his company's perspective on 
| document formats.    
| In his presentation, Matusow appeared to be backing away from OOXML as a key 
| technology. If you look at the slide he presented... 
| ...you can see that the positioning now is that the tool is key, and the 
| document format secondary, which, to my mind, is a bizarre assertion, 
| although it's one that aligns with a positioning that, above all, must keep 
| Microsoft's tools in a predominate position.   
| It appears to me that, having realized that the force-feeding of OOXML into 
| an international standards body is problematic, Microsoft is now trying to 
| present a soft TCO story which emphasizes sunk costs and pre-existing product 
| versions as a reason to stay on the Microsoft path, along with an 
| incomprehensible assertion that two document standards would be a good thing 
| (this last is the most oddball position of all; how can anyone state with a 
| straight face that the world would be well-served by having two incompatible 
| editable file formats?).        


Corrupt countries were more likely to support the OOXML document format

,----[ Quote ]
| Is this just a random coincidence? The median of the CPI index of the above 
| mentioned 70 countries is 3.95. Of the most corrupted half (CPI index less 
| than 3.95) 23 or 77% voted for approval (approval or approval with comments) 
| and 7 or 23% for disapproval; 5 abstained. Of the least corrupted half (CPI 
| index more than 3.95) 13 or 54% voted for approval and 11 or 46% voted for 
| disapproval; 11 abstained - see the table below.      


Microsoft accused of more OOXML standards fiddling 

,----[ Quote ]
| However the 11 new countries are refusing to say how they will vote. These 
| include Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ecuador, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malta, Pakistan, 
| Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. Most people seem to think 
| that these have been put there by Vole to make sure the standard gets pushed 
| through.    


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