Fighting OOXML in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries


  1. Bob
    I am usually a fan but this is getting really odd, you have crossed the line from having a different opinion to stuffing ballot boxes. I mean, Trindad Tobago? Santa Lucia? Hot beds for any XML file format wars? I’ve read MSFT open letters to the market and now think they have a point. The ISO process should be free of nefarious behavior on your or any vendors part. The market decides, not vendors.

    What I don’t get is how you are against customers having a choice? if they like ODF on it’s merit’s they’ll use it. If they don’t like OXML b/c it’s microsoft, fine.

    But getting into rigged juries without giving a proper discourse for the standards discussion puts ALL STANDARDS in the future into peril. You are not helping the market overall, in many ways, you could be subverting the chances of IBM’s next great standards effort that could be easily blocked as well based on precedent?

  2. Tristan, we are fighting a huge uphill battle here. I’m pointing out work that people are doing to help others express their opinions on this important development. People can do something if they wish with this information, including ignore it. The process varies widely from country to country and is not generally known. If people at least understand that they have a voice and how they can use it, I’m fine.

    When all the details are made known about what the pro-OOXML folks are doing to secure victory, I suspect you won’t find these more grass roots efforts to be too much.

  3. Tristan,
    It’s not like Bob is paying us to send our opinions to the TCs like some people have ;)

    Anyone who believes that OOXML isn’t right for their country’s standard organisation to accept can join in, if not, fine, they don’t have to. This is Bob showing people something exists, (to paraphrase you) “offering choice”.

  4. I was looking at the “Which?” web site yesterday. It’s broadly the UK equivalent of Consumer Reports in the USA.

    They have a comparison of various “office productivity packages that might be used domestically”.

    Which? works by buying things anonymously at “retail”, reviewing them without fear or favour, and publishing. They are funded by member subscription, and guard their independence from vendors jealously.

    They were comparing Microsoft Office (Home and Student Edition), SUN StarOffice, Tesco Word Processor (Tesco is like Wal*Mart), and one or two others.

    Noticeably not IBM Lotus SmartSuite; hard to buy that one at retail, but will sell you one. Nor IBM Lotus Notes; buying just one is like having the first telephone in a phone system; but at a pinch it would do.

    They did show the price of to be ‘zero’; so I wonder which retailer sold it to them. Something with a price of zero is a ‘marketing novelty’.

    Their comparison was roughly along the lines that a Microsoft designer would design for; i.e. “How easily and quickly can someone get their document looking pretty on paper.” Unsurprisingly, Microsoft Office came out on top. OpenOffice fared not badly, though.

    However, they missed a number of points which I consider important.
    1) Interoperability. How easy is it to reuse the documents in other applications, particularly those from other vendors ? How easy to move between Windows, Apple, Linux, and Solaris ? All these can be used at ‘domestic’ prices nowadays.
    2) Price for a business to use. Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition cannot be used for any commercial purpose.
    3) Longevity of documents. What is the committed end date for support for your ability to access and revise your documents ? What do you do if that end date is not far enough in the future ?

    If we can persuade Consumer Reports that these are important review points too, then maybe we can get some fair reviews undertaken.

    The people have a right to know.

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