Archive for corruption

ooxml, the April fools’ standard

I was reading /. to find out those juicy April Fools’ news and I read this article [0] that says that ooxml was approved by ISO. I wasn’t 100% sure it was just /. trying to be funny, but I didn’t believe it at first. Then I read another article in KDE Dot News [1] saying that KDE had voted “yes” on ooxml after receiving an anonimous donation. That allowed me to breath again: the ooxml article in /. __had__ to be a joke!

Well, I woke up this morning to face the sad reality: ooxml had, indeed, been approved by ISO.

I read the official ISO press release [2], I read the report article that appeared in nooxml [3] which called ooxml the banana standard and had nice logos that say ‘MISOSOFT’ and ‘ISO, A division of Microsoft’ (I would put the images here, but I try to adhere as much as I can to the semi-official, semi-serious ascii ribbon campaign against gratuitous graphics on the web [4]).

I even read the comment by Idiot de Icaza on his personal weblog [5] where he acclaimed ooxml (not surprising, after he called it a “superb format” [6]).

Some people would say that ooxml turning into a standard doesn’t change anything for free software, but it does. ISO and all its standards have been discredited: if we complain about this new standard then we lose, because then all of our standards mean nothing (ODF); if we don’t complain, then we lose, because ooxml has no opposition.

I wish I could use ODF at all times, but I still have to exchange documents with people that don’t even know what ODF is and since M$ Office doesn’t work with ODF, I’m forced to save as .doc (which I hate doing, not only because I hate .doc, but also because I don’t like OO.o a whole lot; I’m a KDE guy, I’m all about KOffice).

So, yeah, ooxml is a standard now, even after all the corruption involved in its voting. The Free Software lovers should start a bigger campaign to promote OO.o, along with Sun, then people may not even use ooxml, regardless of its standarization.

[0] http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/04/01/2229207
[1] http://dot.kde.org/1207000153/
[2] http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1123
[3] http://www.noooxml.org/
[4] http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~ghelman/ascii.html
[5] http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2008/Apr-02.html
[6] http://groups.google.com/group/tiraniaorg-blog-comments/browse_thread/thread/2a07b8b50038d8c8/d582162af2d63d57

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