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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

By Bruce Byfield on November 23, 2007 (11:00:00 PM)

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The GNOME Foundation has issued a statement in response to recent accusations that it has been supporting the acceptance of Microsoft's Office Open XML format (OOXML) as an ECMA standard at the expense of the Open Document Format (ODF), the open standard used by OpenOffice.org, KOffice and other free software office applications. However, whether the statement's attempt at logical rebuttal will do anything to reduce the emotions or altruism behind the criticisms is anybody's guess.

The core issue is simple enough. It arose because Jody Goldberg, the lead maintainer for the Gnumeric spreadsheet, asked the Foundation to support his continued work on TC45-M, the EMCA technical committee that was working to improve the proposal for the ECMA 376 standard for OOXML -- work that is also widely seen as increasing OOXML's chances of becoming an ISO/IEC standard, which it failed to do in September. Goldberg had previously been representing Novell on the committee, and, after he left the company, the GNOME Foundation had agreed to make him its representative on the committee.

What complicates the issue is the circumstantial evidence that makes the Foundation appear to be supporting OOXML as a standard while marginalizing ODF. Despite the fact that GNOME founder Miguel de Icaza does not currently sit on the Foundation board, his work on bringing Microsoft technologies such as .NET and Silverlight to GNU/Linux is often regarded as the Foundation's policy rather his personal opinion. Consequently, when de Icaza referred to OOXML last September as a "superb standard" that was the victim of hostile propaganda, many members of the free software community regarded his comments as a sell-out by GNOME itself.

Similarly, in the wake of last year's Microsoft-Novell agreement, the fact that Goldberg had represented Novell is also regarded as suspicious in some quarters. Nor did many soften their views when Goldberg blogged that implementing ODF support in Gnumeric was "significantly more difficult" than adding OOXML support.

In context, Goldberg was talking only in technical terms, and, considering that compatibility with MS Excel has always been a goal for Gnumeric, the relative ease of OOXML support is probably not surprising. However, taken out of context, and added to the revelation in the same blog entry that Goldberg was in touch with Brian Jones, a Microsoft employer heavily involved in the promotion of OOXML, was enough to damn Goldberg in many people's eyes.

The controversy emerged last month on the Open Document Fellowship mailing list. When Russell Ossendryver of Worldlabel.com, best known in the community for his sponsorship last year of an OpenOffice.org template competition, wrote an open letter to the GNOME Foundation in his blog about what seemed to be happening, it was rapidly Slashdotted under the title "GNOME Foundation Helping OOXML?."

Jeff Waugh, the press officer on the GNOME Foundation Board, replied to the Slashdot story in the accompanying comments, but, in the past month, the issue has continued to simmer. In private correspondence, Ossendryver quotes both Andy Updegrove, the well-known standards expert and blogger, and Alberto Barrionuevo of Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, who has been active on ISO committees, as expressing concerns about the Foundation's actions.

Other responses range from Roy Schestowitz's comment on the Boycott Novell site that "It seems that Gnome is becoming Microsoft’s catspaw to damage and slow down open source and open standards" to Richard Stallman's suggestion on the Foundation mailing list that GNOME should imitate KDE, and "make an announcement equally unhelpful to Microsoft's promotion of OOXML." In addition, Stallman recently urged the Foundation not to delay its statement, prompting an explanation from Waugh that the delay was due to his personal illness.

Meanwhile, the negative reactions caused Goldberg to tell Linux.com, "It has been disheartening to take friendly fire from the FLOSS community who did not bother to contact me to find out what was actually happening. This entire episode seems like a self inflicted wound. The community is so busy worrying that MS will mis-represent my participation in ECMA, that it is doing it for them."

The GNOME Foundation's position

However, the Foundation news release is not quite the repudiation of OOXML that Stallman seems to have expected. Admittedly, Waugh, writing on behalf of the board, states that "We believe that ODF delivers the best opportunity for industry and government to collaborate on an open document standard, to drive unprecedented innovation, productivity and public transparency." The release goes on to say that "Jody [Goldberg]'s participation in TC45-M does not indicate endorsement for, or contribution to, ISO standardisation of the Microsoft Office Open XML formats." During the standards process, Waugh writes, Microsoft has behaved in an "abusive manner of an unreformed, convicted monopolist with no passion for true industry collaboration."

In addition, the release also warns the community against taking a "black and white" approach to standards, arguing that to do so could result in restrictions on innovation as serious as those caused by patents. Already, Waugh suggests, the lobbying process for both OOXML and ODF threatens to create an "erosion of trust" in the standards process.

Much of the release is devoted to a defense of Goldberg and his involvement. According to the release, in the past, Goldberg "has raised hundreds of issues with the documentation of the format, which will demonstrate a significant, material, on-going benefit to FLOSS implementations of OOXML and as a result, to users of FLOSS products that require such interoperability."

Goldberg himself gives a similar justification of his involvement when he tells Linux.com, "I advocate that the FLOSS community, and especially [OpenOffice.org] developers take part in ECMA's TC45 when it re-opens for comments. Whether ECMA-376 becomes an ISO standard or not, it is a major format, and clearer the specification, the easier it will be to free the data previously locked in MS Office."

Implied but not stated in either the Foundation's nor Goldberg's comments is the conviction that OOXML will either eventually become an official standard because of the resources that Microsoft can bring to bear on this goal, or become an unofficial standard because of the numbers who use its office products. By participating in the official effort, the argument seems to be, the free software community has a stronger chance of being able to support OOXML to the benefit of users.

A resolution or a confirmation?

Looked at by itself, the GNOME Foundation's position sounds rational and pragmatic. However, whether the issue is a matter for reason or practicality is debatable. For one thing, although the Foundation understands the paranoia in the free software community about anything to do with Microsoft, clearly it failed to understand the uncertainty generated by its own actions and the activities of those peripherally associated with it.

Just as clearly, for those who raised their concerns in the first place, the issue is not concerned with logic but emotional allegiances and ethics. Although you can build a strong case that free software projects only harm themselves when supporting Microsoft, and that OOXML will likely be a moving target that is changed whenever Microsoft chooses, many of those who object to GNOME's actions will not be arguing in those terms.

Instead, I suspect that many in the community would agree with Ossendryver's statement on his blog that "The participation of GNOME in ECMA TC45’s apparent subversion of the standards process is a major disservice to FOSS and all in the community who have worked so hard for open platforms and open standards." From this position, what matters is loyalty -- and that, for many, seems to mean support only for ODF and a complete boycott of any efforts to make OOXML a standard. Far from clarifying matters, the Foundation's statement may very well serve only to confirm this position and to justify the paranoia about its motives.

Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist who writes regularly for Linux.com.

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on GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

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Why waste time on this storm in a teacup?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.192.250.149] on November 24, 2007 05:53 AM

The Gnome Foundation is a responsible organization. Its position statement is not only reasonable, but probably represents as close to a consensus in the community as it is possible to get:
<a href="http://www.gnome.org/press/releases/ecma-tc45-statement.html">http://www.gnome.org/press/releases/ecma-tc45-statement.html</a> . You did everybody a disservice by quoting from it instead of telling your readers to go and read it for themselves. (Yes, you linked to it but most people don't click on links in articles.)


Your article will create confusion because many people will associate the Gnome Foundation with the "OpenDocument Foundation", a completely different, much smaller (total membership estimated to be 3 people), outfit notable more for its publicity-seeking than anything else.

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Re: Why waste time on this storm in a teacup?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.108.103.172] on November 24, 2007 10:23 AM
"represents as close to a consensus in the community"
eh? What exactly do you mean ... if gnome would provide such a huge consensus then
it wouldnt irritate and alienate so many people right? Unless you claim all criticism comes from
outside, which I neither believe, nor think would be a good way (because people who ALWAYS
think they make the right decision WITHOUT taking input from the "outside" world,
will eventually fall over the cliff one day)

But anyway, the community is very heterogenous. I for example am not so much interested
about the Gnome as I felt more at home with the KDE community. I just cant help myself to
smile whenever Gnome defends decisions based on economic and tactical advantages
such as embracing Mono, while also bitching at Trolltech for SO LONG ... =)

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Re(1): Why waste time on this storm in a teacup?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.10.110] on November 24, 2007 02:05 PM
Neither the GNOME community or the GNOME Foundation has actively defended or supported Mono *at all*.

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Re: Why waste time on this storm in a teacup?

Posted by: Thomas Zander on November 24, 2007 02:27 PM
I think you do a disservice to yourself and other readers by stating things like that people read articles and even go so far as saying two differently named foundations may be the same thing.

In other words, don't assume linux.com readers are morons, please.

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Re: Why waste time on this storm in a teacup?

Posted by: nanday on November 24, 2007 09:17 PM
What's a link, but an invitation to go read for yourself? You're right that some readers won't, and that's why I quote from it. Unless I misrepresented the news release, or left out some important points, I don't consider quoting is a dis-service. -- Bruce Byfield (nanday)

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Infected with MSSPEAK

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.189.101.126] on November 24, 2007 11:25 AM
Some of the Gnome responses sound like they are infected already, and they may not even realize it.

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 124.24.196.240] on November 24, 2007 12:12 PM
Gnome, Ximian, Icaza, Mono,Novell, all of this shit is getting patents isues with Microsoft, Microsoft owns all this shit. FSF and all Opensource and Free comunity have to drop that ball that can bring the Linux ecosystem to the disaster. I told many times that Icaza sold his ass to redmond long time ago.

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Re: GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.233.200.138] on November 25, 2007 10:12 PM
Why to use Gnome? This is a desktop for GAYS

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Re(1): GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.158.34.76] on November 26, 2007 02:03 PM
Wow...I don't think that "Gay" part should be in your reply as being Gay has nothing to do with MS trying to destroy Linux and Open Source. I for one think that Gnome is a great desktop and I would hate to see it go the way of Novell, because it would mean I will have to start using KDE.

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OOXML is part of MS's strategy for continued Monopoly via Patents, etc, ...= a Monopoly Revenue Stre

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.69.85.120] on November 24, 2007 12:54 PM
OOXML is part of MS's strategy for continued Monopoly via Patents, and their own private standards. Microsoft can only own the world by controlling standards. AND IF THEY ARE ALLOWED TO DO THIS then there never will be freedom of speech in a digital world... as someone, in Microsoft's eyes, needs to own the foundation to the digital world that people depend on in order to communicate in democratic societies. Microsoft (and maybe Novell, and Novell employees) vision of the world of freedom of digital speech is wrong... in their eyes there is only a world of license fees and profit on the backs of the common man's need to simply communicate freely.

These low life folks that were or are working for Novell (and Microsoft) obviously, they are drinking from the same electric KoolAid garbage can. They are indeed true bottom feeders! They seem to want to have Interoperability "Microsoft/Novell Style" with a full endorsement of Microsoft, at every turn controlling all the shots, vs standing up for what is right, and what is TRUE and what is FREE (as in speech) in the first place. The support for just ODF, well it is 100%l about free speech (something that Microsoft does not want as they want to charge people for the right to speak, Microsoft wants make people PAY THEM before anyone can communicate by document exchange (by making them either PAY to use OOXML, or make folks PAY to use something that someone needs a license from MS that costs money, in order to use their "invention"... Anyone who supports any direction toward OOXML is not for free speech, and anyone who supports OOXML is not for the poor child who goes to school anywhere in the world to learn. I know of folks that can't pay for their next mortgage or rent bill, and they deserve something like the freedom that ODF insures. What these folks without means don't need is another "forever changing MS format" that forces them into becoming a SERF in a world of Microsof't's vision of a "FEUDAL SYSTEM where everone (who they consider "their" peasants) owes their existance to Microsoft.

We peasants in order to talk to our neighbors, should not 1st consider ourselves to be "subjects" of any tyrant power such as Microsoft, in order to do so...!

ODF is the only road to freedom.... anything less is... as it is NOT FREE.

OOXML should never be allowed to be a "standard" not ever. As doing so would make the standard's bodies simply a proprietary, and feudal JOKE.
Everyone can be bought by Microsoft's money? I just wish that some folks would instead focus on doing what is RIGHT.

ODF is the only standard that is not only the right thing to do, it is the only thing to do.

Long live freedom and free speech.


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Gnome is fighting a useless battle

Posted by: Thomas Zander on November 24, 2007 02:46 PM

Bottom line for me is that all the arguments Gnome (etc) made in favor of working with Ecma sound hollow or simply uninformed. Publishing a semi-informed position statement makes me understand they are making a consious and informed decision. So, yes, this statement makes me think more people should consider to distance themselves from the gnome foundation.


To avoid being a troll, here is my take on the matter.

Ecma has as its basic charter to make a companies standard an official standard with minimal alterations. And we saw that to be the case when Ecma approved OOXML a year ago. It had near zero alterations, compare that to the thousands of comments ISO is now facing. You don't have to be paranoid to understand that one open source person does not stand a whole lot of chance of significantly improving the 6000+ pages spec.


MS wants their fileformat to be an ISO standard because ODF is an ISO standard. Until that day comes governments are obligated by law to prefer ODF over OOXML. After governments upgrade to office2007 (assuming OOXML becomes an ISO standard) the incentive to keep on using the open standard without extentions or whatever falls away and gnumeric again can't support MS Office files.


If OOXML does not become an ISO standard the only possible outcome is that ODF will eventually be supported by MS Office (purely due to market requirement) and OOXML will be an old and silly standard


Last point I'll make today; even if Gnome makes OOXML significantly better (a big assumption) it will still be near impossible for gnumeric to support it in such a way that it can fluently communicate with excel. The standard is all but transparent and modifyable! And it will take years of open source developer time to fully support it.

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Partisan reporter

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.251.195.1] on November 24, 2007 06:17 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Byfield

Only articles on openoffice.org. Guess the press release was spot on.

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Re: Partisan reporter

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.121.128.211] on November 24, 2007 06:39 PM
Well Bruce does not write about MS Office for certain reasons hopefully you would understand and also did not make those entries in Wikipedia. If you take your time to look, you will see that Bruce writes on a huge variety of topics, probably OO.o is only 1 out of every 20.

Perhaps you should read what Bruce is staying, and realize that the actions of Gnome is diametric to every other group in FOSS and for that matter many commercial companies like Sun, IBM, Google, Oracle..so there are reasons for concern

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Re: Partisan reporter

Posted by: nanday on November 24, 2007 09:22 PM
More to the point, is there anything in the article that suggests bias? If so, I would be interesting in hearing about it, so I can report more fairly later on. - Bruce Byfield (nanday)

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Re(1): Partisan reporter

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.10.110] on November 24, 2007 09:29 PM
I don't think your article was "partisan", Bruce. I just wish we had some time to discuss it. :-) -- Jeff Waugh

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Re(2): Partisan reporter

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.158.34.76] on November 26, 2007 03:13 PM
Discuss what, from what I have read from this guy here (http://www.murrayc.com/blog/permalink/2007/11/26/gnome-board-2007-candidates-the-bad/) you seem to be public enemy number one buddy!

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Partisan or not...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 142.179.60.24] on November 24, 2007 07:19 PM
The reality remains the same. Certain people within the GNOME project have a fascination with many things Microsoft and closed source in spite of their loudly proclaimed allegiance to open source.

Oh, and if anyone wants to boycott the money behind GNOME, I'd suggest the main bankroller who isn't Novell but Red Hat.

ttfn

John

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.71.43.190] on November 24, 2007 07:38 PM
So let me get this right, the GF reckons we need to participate in the OOXML standardisation process purely so that it makes it easier for us to interoperate with Office in the future? But MS have admitted that they will never implement OOXML as defined in the standard in Office. So what good will it really be? It's only a smokescreen for MS to hide behind when governments start asking the hard questions about openness and durability, and we shouldn't be contributing to their lies and deceptions in this way.

John.

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Re: GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.10.110] on November 24, 2007 08:26 PM
No, the GNOME Foundation have been involved in the ECMA process (*NOT* the ISO process) in order to glean better documentation of the format out of Microsoft. Whether or not it becomes an ISO standard, we're going to be stuck implementing the thing for interoperability's sake -- ensuring we hold Microsoft to account on the documentation of it will benefit all FLOSS implementations. -- Jeff Waugh

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Re(1): GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Thomas Zander on November 25, 2007 11:01 AM
And how has that effort being going for you so far? How many changes have there been made in the official document since you joined?

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Re: GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.158.34.76] on November 26, 2007 03:14 PM
I could not agree more, well put sir.

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Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.81.37.189] on November 24, 2007 07:40 PM
First, I have to say that this article does a disservice by wallowing in the misdirection of de-facto standards and 'technical issues'. ODF vs OOXML is part of a larger issue, and following along as certain players try to frame the discussion in terms most favorable to themselves does not add anything to the debate. Bruce, if you really want to show some journalism, try stepping back and writing about the big picture, which is document preservation and archiving, and the associated costs, for the forseeable future. Proprietary lock-in formats, with their single platform/application non-interoperability and legacy incompatiblities threaten the viability of long term information retrieval, both public and private.



Now, about the article, Jody and the Gnome Foundation...



It is disingenuous to complain about taking "...friendly fire from the FLOSS community who did not bother to contact me to find out what was actually happening." There has been a very loud and very constant call from the community, ever since Miguel started on Mono, to know what's going on. It got louder after the Massachusetts debacle, notched up again with the ECMA rubberstamp, again with the Novell 'IP' agreement, and boiled over with the ISO ballet stuffing. Consider that your contact, Jody, and your answers and Miguel's have been far from reassuring.

Yes, as Waugh suggests, there is an "erosion of trust" in the standards process. But pointing at "...both OOXML and ODF..." is weaselspeak; anyone following that process in regards to OOXML knows that it is one side specifically that has abused the process. And the scope of that abuse illustrates just how important the issue is to a certain mega-corp trying to maintain its illegally gained 95% market share.

And speaking out against such abuse and it's perpetrators is not "...paranoia in the free software community about anything to do with Microsoft...", it's just common sense.

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Re: Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.10.110] on November 24, 2007 08:14 PM
Miguel, Mono and Novell have very little to do with GNOME.

-- Jeff Waugh

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Re(1): Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 203.23.238.47] on November 24, 2007 09:12 PM
Like it or not, it seems that Miguel, Mono and Novell have a lot to do with GNOME.
This is one of the reasons why I never used GNOME, and have a great suspicion
towards anything Miguel does.

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Re(2): Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.10.110] on November 24, 2007 09:28 PM
Miguel founded GNOME, but is no longer involved. Novell hackers contribute to many different aspects of GNOME, not just Mono-based stuff. Mono is not a GNOME project and has not been embraced by the broader GNOME community, and continues to be an extremely controversial topic among GNOME contributors. The relationships just don't add up to the kind of conspiracy theorising going on in some areas of the community (usually in anonymous comments) -- Jeff Waugh

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Re(1): Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 142.179.60.24] on November 24, 2007 09:38 PM
If that is true (of course Red Hat was and is your banker) then it's time to distance yourself from Miguel loudly and permanently.

If we look back at the seriously dumbed down GNOME people contend with which seems more patterned on MS dis"ease of use" and this involvement with OOXML and the the continued defense of it as "interoperabiltiy", the same word Novell and MS use to defend their agreement are you at all suprised at the response from the larger community?

If you're using the same words then you're automatically in bed with the word merchants who are also using it.

And just what in the name of all that is reasonable, historical and holy makes you think that The GNOME Foundation or the open source movement as a whole can hold Microsoft's feet to the fire on anything much less the half baked "standard" you're defending when IBM couldn't on the Windows/OS2 split?

Bottom line is the rationale behind continuing the involvement does sound a lot like weaselspeak when we all know that neither you or the entire open source movement or IBM or Apple or the (caved in) EU hold MIcrosoft to anything at all? So we all keep going back to Miguel and Jody and their worship of all things MS. At least they're making sense.

To think that GNOME got started because there were serious objections to the then closed QT libraries. You're either for open standards and open source or you're not. The GNOME Foundation needs to make the choice. Clearly and loudly. Continued involvement in OOXML says you're not.

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Re(2): Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 142.179.60.24] on November 24, 2007 09:39 PM
Oh yeah to get away from the anonymous crack. Name is John Wilson.

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Re(2): Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.10.110] on November 24, 2007 09:43 PM
GNOME is not "involved in OOXML". Jody is present on TC45-M to hold Microsoft's feet to the fire and suck as much documentation out of them as possible, to ensure we have as much information as we can get to better develop FLOSS implementations of the XML *and* binary versions of the Microsoft office formats. He's not involved in the OOXML ISO issue resolution process. That's totally not interesting to us, for obvious reasons.

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Re(3): Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.10.110] on November 24, 2007 09:43 PM
Oops, forgot to sign off on the above comment. -- Jeff Waugh

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Re(3): Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 142.179.60.24] on November 24, 2007 10:11 PM
Sorry, jeff but you seem to be missimng the point.



As long as Jody in on the ECMA TC45-M group GNOME is involved, like it or not. As you can see from the posts you are also seen as a supporter of OOXML, and I'm sure MS sees GNOME the same way. The road to hell is paved with the best of intentions. If I was you I'd get off that road before you arrive there.



John

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Re(4): Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.10.110] on November 24, 2007 11:06 PM
Microsoft have tried to use the fledgling Gnumeric implementation of DOCX support in their favour, and were very widely rebuffed. They can't use GNOME's participation in ECMA TC45-M as support for OOXML because we'll bring a tonne of pain into their world as a result. The only group that has made this an issue of "GNOME supporting OOXML" is a particularly noisy and ill-informed subsection of the community. That's disappointing, and in itself does more to help Microsoft than anything GNOME has done. But that's okay, we're still rocking. :-) -- Jeff Waugh

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Re: Disingenuous weaselspeak

Posted by: nanday on November 24, 2007 09:29 PM
When I can say something about the big picture that is not a rehash of what has already been said very well by others, I may well do so. Meanwhile, I like to think that the community should hear what all sides of an issue have to say. Whether I or anyone else thinks the issue should or shouldn't be framed in terms of standards or technical issues is besides the point -- that is how the GNOME Foundation presented the issue, so naturally in reporting its response, that's what I'm going to mention. - Bruce Byfield (nanday)
[Modified by: nanday on November 24, 2007 04:15 PM]

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How many standards do you need

Posted by: Imtiaz Rahi on November 24, 2007 09:19 PM
Microsoft needs OOXML to control the world, just as previous post say
"OOXML is part of MS's strategy for continued Monopoly via Patents".


ODF as document standard should not be a problem or limiting. If current ODF standard is limiting then work can be done to create a improved standard. not a problem at all. Innovation plays well by improving a current standard, not a radical and separate standard. Otherwise, you fragment the market.


Its the implementation that matters. If microsoft does not want to monopolize though a new standard. It could have made a fantastic implementation of ODF, which looks and works better with MS Office. But thats not their intention and thats why they need OOXML.


How many HTML standard we have for web. Only one. We have different versions of HTML standard (4.0, 4.1 and etc.). We don't have MSHTML, NSHTML, SUNHTML standards. Then the standardization will fail.


Its a high stake game MS is playing and I fear lots of FOSS gurus are also being played on (knowingly or unknowingly).

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Very good article

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.86.232.182] on November 25, 2007 02:22 AM
I'd like to see more of this kind on this website.

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.132.155.137] on November 25, 2007 04:29 AM
Some very interesting comments on the entire issue but the Gnome Foundation may be right because everyone seems to have forgoten the EU. If the standard is approved with full documentation and MS breaks compatibility by abusing the standard, then would not the EU nail their hides to a wall instead of the slap on a wrist given by the U.S. D.O.J? As Ben Grim of the Fantastic Four would say "It's clobbering time!".

Now to my way of thinking, this is simply a matter of giving MS enough rope to hang themselves, instead of shooting ourselves in the foot even though we've seen some movement towards open standards by many governments I feel that until all government implement a totally royalty and patent free standard of document exchange it doesn't really matter because not enough of them will be using them in spite of any laws passed.

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Re: GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 142.179.60.24] on November 25, 2007 07:57 AM
Sadly the EU caved on it's anti-trust action against MS so I'd not go looking for any help there.



GNOME wants to believe that MS will take them seriously in holding MS's feet to the fire on a "standard" that isn't even approved yet and, if public comments from MS are any indication the next generation of MS Office apps won't even use.



So let them go and do it.

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Look at what Jody does not what "community" pundits say.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 58.109.111.222] on November 25, 2007 04:30 AM
Frankly Jody Golberg knows an order of magnitude more about these issues than all trivial pump-up pundits who want to declaim their own self worth. Who was out their spending endless unpiad nights decyphering xls?

Jody was. None of these worthless pundits. I feel a lot more comfortable having Jody is protecting our interests.

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Re: Look at what Jody does not what "community" pundits say.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.121.128.211] on November 25, 2007 04:50 AM
Frankly Jody supports OOXML as an ISO and has already aided in it becoming a Standard and him being the representative for GNOME at ECMA, an organization only interested in making OOXML a Standard would seem like a terrible conflict. And Jody repeatedly praising OOXML at ODF expense makes him suspect. At http://www.linux.com/feature/119847 just a few months ago he sounded like a Microsoft representative preaching support for OOXML. GNOME getting involved in the this highly political process was a stupid mistake to begin with. It is hard to understand how they could make that decision unless there are other motives. But Gnome continues with thier charade like saying they requesting clarification, constructive criticism, feedback and helping develop a specification to make it easier to implement/adopt is not supporting it.

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Re(1): Look at what Jody does not what "community" pundits say.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.250.50.6] on November 25, 2007 11:10 PM
Let me put it this way. Without OOXML support the free software communities efforts to enhance their products and grab market share will be substantially eroded.

By FAR the easiest way to obtain OOXML support is to have it fully and correctly documented. Unlike all the people commenting on this, Jody actually HAS to make OOXML support work for Gnumeric.

You're 100% wrong if you think for one moment Jody isn't completely loyal to free software and all it stands for.

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Re(1): Look at what Jody does not what "community" pundits say.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 99.227.67.8] on November 28, 2007 05:52 PM
You didn't attend Jody's presentation mentioned in this article, did you?
I did and I can say that those two sentences doesn't represent it correctly.

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Re: Look at what Jody does not what "community" pundits say.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 202.175.108.98] on November 26, 2007 02:07 AM
A specification is not the same as an open standard. Clearly what he wants is the specification and OOXML is indeed a specification. So, good for him. However, he should not be promoting it as an open standard which it is not due to the lack of an open process/participation.

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 32.147.239.5] on November 25, 2007 04:41 AM
It is hard to take an article seriously that quotes a paranoid spammer who sees vast conspiracies around every corner. When I read articles at a site like this, I want to see REAL sources, not cites to rumour sites like boycottnovell.com. Please at least try to apply some actual journalistic standards to your work, even though this is just a website, not a newspaper.

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: nanday on November 25, 2007 05:56 PM
Referring to a site indicates neither approval nor disapproval. And here, the purpose is to indicate the range of reactions to the issue. Like it or not, Boycott Novell represents one of the extremes in that range, so mentioning it is appropriate. --Bruce Byfield (nanday)

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: RJDohnert on November 25, 2007 06:27 PM
http://rjdohnert.wordpress.com/2007/11/25/gnome-foundation-endorses-ms-openxml/

My own opinion but basically what I think is that the GNOME Foundation needs to participate and they need to contribute, if they dont participate or contribute they shouldnt be allowed to be involved in the process

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.121.128.211] on November 25, 2007 07:14 PM
Of cource you would rjdohnert, you push MS technology where every you can and you blog on msdn, you are in away with MS. How you can say OOXML as a standard will ever create an even playing field is ridiculous. MS is a member of OASIS and had every chance to create and "even playing field". MS decided not to and went on to rampage the process. MS is simply forcing people to upgrade, If you a kid in Central America with limited access to the internet and recieve a .docx file, what do you do? Buy Office 2007.... OOXML simply put by your fellow Doug Mahugh of MS in Maylasia at Microsoft Tech Ed 2007: OpenXML said it best, his response was very frank:
"Office is a USD$10 billion revenue generator for the company. When ODF was made an ISO standard, Microsoft had to react quickly as certain governments have procurement policies which prefer ISO standards. Ecma and OASIS are "international standards", but ISO is the international "Gold Standard". Microsoft therefore had to rush this standard through. Its a simple matter of commercial interests!"

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thanks from www.sernak.com

Posted by: sernak plywood on November 29, 2007 03:01 PM
<a href="http://www.sernak.com/"> Sernak Plywood </a>

<a href="http://www.argplywood.com/"> ARGE Yapi </a>

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KICK GNOME sorry goodbye GNOME I LOVE KDE 4

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 172.21.3.215] on November 30, 2007 09:03 PM
AFTER YEARS NO MORE GNOME MY MACHINE NO MORE

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.181.200.196] on December 08, 2007 10:29 AM
Interesting that the DOJ, the European Court, Sun, old-era Novell, Corell, several United States State prosecutors, and God knows how many rich companies have tried to "hold Microsoft's feet to the fire" and make them produce interoperable code and standards over the years, only to have been soundly and utterly squashed.

What arrogance and egotism makes Jeff, Jody, and the GNOME Foundation think they can?

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.140.17.110] on December 19, 2007 10:58 PM
Good! Oh God! .....and I will not use anymore GNOME. UP WITH KDE4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 58.110.68.76] on January 24, 2008 03:03 PM
Banish Gnome from the Linux land..

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