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The Final OOXML Update: Part I
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| I suppose this is "global" in a sense, in the same way one could
| stage an "International Food Festival" and then have
| McDonalds show up and contribute a Big Mac from the U.S., a
| Big Mac from Germany, a Big Mac from the Ivory Coast, a Big
| Mac from Finland and another Big Mac from Brazil and so on.
| Certainly, you could claim this was "international", but you
| would be laughed right out of the festival if you did.
| Evidently there is no one capable of fixing this. ISO says
| that domination by a single corporation is not their
| responsibility, because only NBs vote and each NB determines
| its own participation rules. But individual NBs also don't see
| a problem, because any single one of them only has one
| Microsoft employee at the meeting. So the NB itself is not
| necessary stuffed (although that does happens occasionally as
| well). So by placing Microsoft employees in many NB
| delegations and putting the overflow into the Ecma delegation,
| Microsoft can still dominate the ISO committee and not trigger
| a rule violation in ISO or in any NB.
| This is essentially how Microsoft hacked ISO. Now that the
| flaw has been demonstrated, any large international
| corporation with sufficient funds and interest can exploit it
| as well. So long as the rules remain as they are, ISO is
| vulnerable. ISO defends this criticism by pointing out what
| good work they've done in the past, and how they rarely have
| problems of this kind before. But this shows little
| appreciation for the nature of the problem which have been
| demonstrated. It is like arguing that a newly discovered
| (though long latent) security flaw in an operating system is
| insignificant because you've never had an attack before now.
| Of course, this misses the point entirely. Once the
| vulnerability is known and publicly exploited, you're living
| on borrowed time until you can secure the system. Today ISO is
| living on borrowed time and is very close to becoming a
| Microsoft-infested zombie server.
Has OOXML Broken the British Standards Institution?
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| That the BSI, long the quintessence of standards in this country, should see
| itself dragged through the courts over something as apparently minor as a
| document standard, is truly an extraordinary development. But of course it is
| not a minor issue: at stake is the question of how something as central to
| technology and business as standards should be decided. Unless people have
| complete confidence in the process, the end-result will be deemed worthless â
| truly, little more than a ârubber-stampingâ.
| A good start along the road of bolstering confidence would be making the
| standards-setting process completely open, which currently it is not. The
| practice of voting on an open standard behind closed doors borders is simply
| not justifiable in the age of the Internet and of increasing openness in
| general. And as the UK government loves to remind us: if you have nothing to
| hide, you have nothing to fear....
UK standards body taken to court over OOXML
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| The British Standards Institution has been taken to court by a group of Unix
| users in an attempt to get the standards body to recant its approval of
| Microsoft's Office Open XML document format.
| The UK Unix & Open Systems User Group (UKUUG) said on Thursday that the
| British Standards Institution's (BSI's) controversial decision to vote for
| approval of OOXML in a recent International Organization for Standardization
| (ISO) ballot followed a flawed decision-making process.
BSI faces High Court challenge over OOXML U-turn
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| OSC director Mark Taylor told The Register that the UKUUG and chums
| were "very confident that the BSI has a case to answer". He claimed
| that "they havenât followed procedures and we want them to explain their
| controversial actions".
| However, even if legal action against the BSI leads to the UK standards body
| being forced, in the form of mandatory orders, to withdraw its vote to the
| ISO, its impact could be muted.
| Taylor agreed: "Should the BSI be asked to remove its vote, that in itself
| probably wonât change the outcome."
| He added that the group hopes to see individuals in other countries mount
| similar challenges against national standards bodies in order to force the
| ISO to "sit up and take notice".
EC probes OOXML standards-setting process
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| A spokesman for the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, told
| The Register that regulators were continuing to scrutinise interoperability
| issues related to Microsoftâs products following complaints from the
| Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) group.
| As part of that process, the EC formally contacted a number of national
| standards bodies, including the Norwegian Standards Institute (NSI),
| requesting more details about possible irregularities in the OOXML
| standardisation process.
| âIt must be stressed that it is not the Commission's intention to influence
| the outcome of this process, but the Commission considers it essential to
| ensure that European competition law is not violated in the course of the
| standard setting process,â he said in an email to El Reg.
| In January the EC began formal anti-trust probes against Microsoft in two
| cases where it was alleged that the multinational firm had abused its strong
| market position. As part of the investigation into the first case, the
| Commission said that it would scrutinise OOXML on the grounds that the
| specification doesn't work with those of competitors.
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