Saturday in New Haven

This Saturday I’ll be in New Haven at the Yale Law School Information Society Project Symposium on Reputation Economies in Cyberspace. I’ll be speaking on the last panel of the day: Panel IV: Ownership of Cyber-Reputation Moderator: Eddan Katz Panelists: John Clippinger, Eric Goldman, Bob Sutor, Mozelle Thompson, Rebecca Tushnet…

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Texas House of Representatives issues charge to study electronic documents

The Speaker of the House of Representatives in Texas has issued an official charge to the Committee on Government Reform: Research, investigate, and make recommendations on how electronic documents can be created, maintained, exchanged, and preserved by the state in a manner that encourages appropriate government control, access, choice, interoperability,…

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Standards: We need to talk

Last Friday I had the pleasure of speaking at Tsinghua University in Beijing at an IBM-sponsored conference attended by over 200 government officials, business leaders, and academicians to discuss the confluence of three important topics: open standards, innovation, and intellectual property policy. Below you’ll find the text of my address,…

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Wednesday: OECD in Ottawa

I’ll be speaking this Wednesday at the OECD-Canada Forum on the Participative Web: Strategies and Policies for the Future. There have been a few flavors of the title of my talk floating around, the latest is “Virtual worlds, web blogs, and collaborative spaces: Why interoperability matters more than ever”. The…

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On standards and quality

In the United States we have a magazine called Consumer Reports. Their mission is Consumer Reports® and ConsumerReports.org® are published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.…

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Malaysia move to ODF and open standards picks up speed

From ZDNet Asia “Malaysia formally embraces open doc format”: “These discussions centered on open formats, particularly as they relate to office documents, their importance for the current and future accessibility of government records, and the relative ‘openness’ of the format options available to us,” Nor Aliah explained. The study will…

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An “OOXML is a bad idea” blog entry compendium

I thought I would put together a list of some of my blog entries that touch on the OOXML issue now being considered in the JTC1 Fast Track Procedure. This isn’t everything I’ve ever written, but it includes most of the main points. I’ve also included a few related entries.…

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Top Ten blog entries and some stats

According to Google Analytics, the top ten most read blog entries in the last month in decreasing order of popularity are: “Why OOXML will not be an ISO/IEC standard in 2007” “No is no, to OOXML” “Interoperability Specifications Pledge” “Microsoft and ECMA: Together again, doing it again” “#9. My Second…

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Interoperability Specifications Pledge

This morning IBM announced a broad patent pledge that covers over 150 of the core software interoperability standards. These standards had all been previously given royalty free licenses, but from a variety of sources at a variety of times. This action simplifies and makes more consistent the intellectual property situation…

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Comment on Microsoft, ECMA, and XPS

In the last couple of weeks I’ve run a two entries (here and here) regarding Microsoft’s submission of its XPS specification to ECMA. I raised some questions along the line that this was the OOXML situation all over again, namely forcing a proprietary product spec through a vendor organization and…

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New ODF Alliance Newsletter available + info on fighting OOXML

The ODF Alliance has published its newsletter for June (PDF Format). Including is the following list of resources for helping you to vote against Microsoft’s OOXML product specification as they try to make it an ISO standard: Contact Your ISO/IEC National Standardization Body Today: Vote “No” on OOXML! Each member…

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Microsoft and ECMA: Together again, doing it again

If you loved OOXML and the way that ECMA did exactly what Microsoft wanted, you’ll love the new working group around XPS, Microsoft’s home grown competitor to PDF. The current link for the new program is up on the ECMA website. Here’s what it says: Scope: The goal of the…

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ODF is not open source, but it is an open standard

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this, but there’s been a curious conflation of the ideas of the open standard OpenDocument format (ODF) and the concept of open source. Now there has long been confusion between open standards and open source, and that’s why I wrote the four part series…

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#3. My virtual world requirements – World-to-world scenarios

In this series of entries (#1 and #2) I’ve been discussing my requirements for what I might consider the “ideal” virtual world for business, which I’ve mostly interpreted as “making Second Life better by adding or stealing features.” The purloined features, if you will, would come from other virtual worlds…

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Why OOXML is not an open standard according to Microsoft

As is well known, the 6000+ page OOXML spec was shoved through ECMA at a furious pace (12 months), had to be compatible with Microsoft’s own products no matter what the group might want to do; is an XMLized version of Microsoft’s own product specifications; did not have open, transparent…

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Microsoft works to kill open document standards in Florida?

See the Linux.com article “Microsoft’s ‘Men in Black’ kill Florida open standards legislation.” Sounds like a well orchestrated and well financed program to fight against ODF and open standards. What do open standards do? Promote interoperability among products made by different vendors and software providers. Drive competition in the marketplace…

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Learning more about ODF

In the last two years, there has been a wealth of material on the web about the OpenDocument Format (ODF), an OASIS and ISO open standard for document interchange that was designed for interoperability among systems independently developed to run on multiple operating platforms. In short, ODF levels the document…

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Open standards and open source

It’s really quite amusing sometimes to hear how the “enemies of open” categorize the whole open source and open standards discussion. One of the tactics, which has the properties of being both wrong and misleading, is that we are confusing the two on purpose in order to break down proprietary…

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#16. My Second Life: From the grid to a universe

As a reminder, this blog entry contains my personal opinions and does not necessarily represent the ideas of my employer IBM regarding virtual worlds in general or Second Life in particular. The rise in popularity of online multiplayer games and 3D interaction environments like Second Life naturally brings into question…

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What business are we in?

Earlier today I was listening in on a meeting where one of our executives was making the point that people should stop thinking of themselves as being in the “open source software business” but rather just the “software business.” I want to riff on this a bit, but I want…

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#3. Contradicting Microsoft Office Open XML – Groklaw

Hot on the heels of Andy Updegrove’s piece about the inherent problems with Microsoft’s Office Open XML spec as it hopes to get ISO standardization, we have an extensive piece on the same subject over at Groklaw: “Searching for Openness in Microsoft’s OOXML and Finding Contradictions.” This is quite a…

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#1. Contradicting Microsoft Office Open XML

Microsoft and ECMA are now running the Microsoft Office Open XML specification through the ISO process and the first thing up is the contradiction period. This is the time when objections to the specification can be presented and then resolved, if possible. Here are two links to help you understand…

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We have proprietary extensions to Microsoft Office Open XML already

See Rob Weir’s blog entry “The Formats of Excel 2007.” Here’s an idea of how things are already reverting to the same old behavior, right when Microsoft is trying to convince the ISO how wonderful for interoperability their spec is supposed to be. Here’s a sample of what Rob says:…

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#3. My Favorites from 2006 – July through September

This is the third part of some reminiscences of my blogging experience from 2006. See the bottom for links to all four parts. “Adjusting to a more open world: Understanding and overcoming resistance to open technologies” Saturday, July 8th, 2006 This was, I think, a fairly good attempt at drawing…

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On blog serialization

Attentive readers of this space will notice that I’ve slowed down the blogging for the end-of-year holidays and vacation. Tomorrow is Christmas, and preparation for that has been taking up a lot of our family time. William and I went to see Eragon yesterday and we enjoyed it. He and…

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I’m a document guy

Occasionally I get asked why I really care about all the issues around OpenDocument Format (ODF), related standards in this area, office suites, and the shift to Office 2.0. I give the reasons that long time readers of this blog have seen before about real interoperability, innovation from community developed…

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