Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 18:40 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Eric S. Raymond writes on his blog: "There's been a lot of debate in the community about how OSI should properly handle Microsoft's planned submission of some of its licenses for OSD certification. That debate has been been going on within OSI, too. OSI's official position, from the beginning, which I helped formulate and have expressed to any number of reporters and analysts, is that OSI will treat any licenses submitted to Microsoft strictly on their merits, without fear or favor. That remains OSI's position. But I find that my resolve is being sorely tested."
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Nice.
by dylansmrjones on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:01 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

I've been waiting for ESR to wake up. Nice to see it happening.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Nice.
by butters on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 00:29 UTC in reply to "Nice."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Nah, he's just softening up the ground so that the left side of the community doesn't get furious when the OSI approves Microsoft's licenses. This is politics. This is what politicians say when they're about to vote against popular opinion. This is how they pander to the masses while siding with the few. It works really well.

The OSI has to approve Microsoft's licenses. Otherwise they wouldn't be neutral, right? But hasn't Microsoft lost the right to neutrality yet? Between years of anti-competitive behavior and their continued manipulation of oversight and standards organizations, you'd think they'd have worn out their welcome by now.

They make unsubstantiated threats about patent infringement, scaring vendors and users into paying protection money, and they still deserve a neutral assessment and endorsement of their licenses? Man, are we suckers or what?!

But two wrongs don't make a right. The OSI can't say that Microsoft's licenses don't comply with the OSD. That would be intellectually dishonest, and that's not what we're all about. We prefer to rise above the fray and take our lickings like a man, or at least like a brave little boy.

No, what I've learned from politics is that you never allow a vote you know you can't win. You never ask a question unless you already know the answer. You never accept the premise. You never accept the inevitable. Not if there's any other option. It's time to open up the old obstructionist playbook.

Let's stonewall the sons of bitches. Filibuster. Pocket veto. Executive privilege. Just don't respond. When they ask about it, tell them these are complex issues, and we're working on it. I'm sorry, it seems we can't reach a consensus either way. No cloture. No up or down vote. It's a procedural thing, bylaws and such. We've got a busy schedule, and we have to move on to more pressing issues.

Thanks anyway!

There. We come out with our dignity and most of our honesty. If the media wants to report that Microsoft was rejected, that's fine. The OSI isn't on the record saying anything about whether or not the licenses comply with the OSD. Microsoft can create their own standards body. That's really what they want, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, when considered in a vacuum, these licenses are a sign of progress from Microsoft. But this is a little glimmer of progress amongst a massive display of sustained confrontationalism. If this was part of a general trend toward good behavior, then we should reward them. But it's not. It really, really isn't.

Edited 2007-09-03 00:33

Reply Score: 13

RE[2]: Nice.
by wakeupneo on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 06:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice."
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

"When they ask about it, tell them these are complex issues, and we're working on it. I'm sorry, it seems we can't reach a consensus either way. No cloture. No up or down vote. It's a procedural thing, bylaws and such. We've got a busy schedule, and we have to move on to more pressing issues."

"Creative Inertia" - Sir Humphrey would be smiling ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nice.
by marafaka on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 08:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice."
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

Your score must have wrapped, it was 62 couple minutes ago ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nice.
by backdoc on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice."
backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

I think you are a genius ;) .

Reply Score: 1

Good post
by SReilly on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:09 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

Microsoft, in an attempt to preserve its Office monopoly, is making a determined effort to destroy that value.

I don't think I have ever heard a better argument against the standardization of OOXML.

I'm glad Raymond is having second thoughts on OSI approving MS licenses. If they let MS paint itself friendly, they would be doing themselves more harm than good.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Good post
by sbergman27 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:18 UTC in reply to "Good post"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I don't really consider this as a matter of Eric having second thoughts.

And I *really* don't think that we can treat licenses differently based upon who presented them. Just the content, please. Just the facts, ma'am.

I dislike Microsoft. It's a secondary effect of them being in the way of what I have recognized, over the years, as superior solutions.

But their licenses need to be given the same consideration as are any others which are presented.

Raymond is still an arrogant ass. And I'll tell you that whether I am agreeing or disagreeing with him. ;-)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Good post
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Good post"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

And I *really* don't think that we can treat licenses differently based upon who presented them. Just the content, please. Just the facts, ma'am.

It was bound to happen one day, but I agree with you.

I don't care if Hannibal Lecter himself submitted the license - it ought not influence whether or not said license is approved by the OSI. Last time I checked, the OSI is not the Moral Police Corps. Just handle the license as it is presented to you, and disregard who submitted it.

Let the moral judgement be done by users (developers, in this case).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good post
by sbergman27 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Thom,

I'm pleased to be in agreement. But you are simply FUDing Hanible Lecter, and that is all there is to it. ;-)

Seriously, though, I can't believe that we FOSS advocates, who so often claim the moral high ground, even have to discuss the matter.

Of *course* we need to treat each license that is offered in an objective fashion. If license proliferation is a concern, that concern needs to be applied equally to all licenses which are submitted. (I mention that since it seems to be a preferred rationalization for dismissing MS's licenses.)

Anyway. I don't think that we actually disagree on all that much, Thom. We just make a bigger thing over it when we do. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good post
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good post"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Don't get me wrong, I think from a strictly legal point of view, the OSI should look at the licenses purely on their own merit...but perhaps they should qualify them, i.e. "the license respects the letter of the OSD, however we must advise against using it considering the hostile nature of Microsoft against FOSS", or something like that.

I don't know, I'm as conflicted as ESR is on this issue (and yes, I do believe he's an arrogant SOB as well, but I agree with his sentiments here).

MS undermining something as vital as the ISO should be of concern to *everyone* in the industry.

Edited 2007-09-02 19:45

Reply Score: 8

RE[5]: Good post
by ssa2204 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good post"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

"Don't get me wrong, I think from a strictly legal point of view, the OSI should look at the licenses purely on their own merit...but perhaps they should qualify them, i.e. "the license respects the letter of the OSD, however we must advise against using it considering the hostile nature of Microsoft against FOSS"

But by making this kind of statement, OSI no longer becomes an independent review board, but merely a PR agency for FOSS. Can you imagine what kind of media campaign to discredit OSS licenses could be used, and rightly so. The OSI's job is to evaluate based on merit. They are not to make judgment's based upon personal likes or dislikes of any company. In short, this should be evaluated just as if any OTHER company had submitted a proposal.

Finally I would like to say something about license proliferation...so what. Since when did having more options and freedom of choice become a bad thing. Yes I am sure there is a line somewhere, but just not now. People should just have the freedom to chose the license they feel best works for them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Good post
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good post"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

They are not to make judgment's based upon personal likes or dislikes of any company.


It's not a question of personal likes or dislikes, it's about the dilemma of giving fair treatment to a company that clearly does not play fair.

Again, I think the OSI should judge the licenses on their own merit, but at the same time I understand why ESR would feel conflicted. And while I don't think the OSI should use license certification as a political tool, as an organism that promotes FOSS and open standards, it is legitimate for them to condemn Microsoft's perversion of the ISO certification process.

OSI may be independent, but that doesn't mean that it can't denounce those who would try to undermine FOSS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Good post
by sbergman27 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good post"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Finally I would like to say something about license proliferation...so what.
"""

ssa2004,

The term "license proliferation" is a bit too generic.

I should state, ahead of time, that I am a copyleft supporter. But I'm perfectly OK with permissive licenses, as well. So this is not a GPL vs BSD thing. (Isn't it sad that I have to say that here?)

License proliferation is a problem for more restrictive licenses. The more restrictive the license, the more of a problem such proliferation becomes.

Permissive licenses play much better with each other.

It's an imperfect world we live in. I guess that's a good thing, in a weird sort of way. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Good post
by sbergman27 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good post"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Archie,

I am now *really* getting concerned about this issue. Not because of what Microsoft is doing. But because of how we are responding.

I would not have expected the response that I have seen. Microsoft has figured out our Achilles heel. I fear that "Divide and conquer" is the strategy that will work against our community.

I spent *months* debating whether I should "hate" Novell regarding their patent deal. I finally decided, for what I considered to be good reasons, to become anti-Novell.

But now, the very foundations of our community seem like they might be erroding under our feet.

This is serious. Our original principles got us to where we are today. We need to stick to them. Even when they are inconvenient.

And yes, the manipulation of ISO makes me nauseous.

Reply Score: 7

RE[6]: Good post
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good post"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Actually, we're not all that divided. I do agree that the OSI should judge the licenses based on their merit (and this is the third time I've stated it in this thread). On the other hand, I clearly understand why ESR is conflicted about it. As he says, his resolve is being tested, but he hasn't given in to MS' provocation. I hope he remains true to his original philosophy (i.e. not to let politics affect how a license is judged).

However, that doesn't mean that MS shouldn't be decried for what it's doing. That's why an "approval with comments" could be considered, or at least a statement by the OSI released once the licenses are approved (if they are approved, that is). MS' underhanded tactics here should not go unchallenged in the court of public opinion (nor in real courts, though it does seem that they haven't done anything illegal - yet).

The FOSS world needs to step up its campaign against OOXML, and bring pressure upon MS to stop perverting the ISO certification process.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Good post
by sbergman27 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good post"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

Actually, we're not all that divided.

"""

We're more divided than I expected to see. That's scary enough. I've posted before that sometimes a defeat can be a victory in disguise. That when you make your opponent do something that they don't want to do, you've actually achieved a victory, even if it is not as big a victory as we might have wanted.

That works both ways. If we are forced to do something that we don't want to do... maybe our "victory" could end up being their real one.

Please understand that I am not necessarily disagreeing with your position. I'm just... uneasy. We're a different kind of competitor than MS has faced before. But we are not invulnerable. History is replete with competitors who thought they were different, and that MS would not figure out a way to kill them.

Edited 2007-09-02 20:22

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good post
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Okay, then what do you propose should be done about the unethical (if not technically illegal) behavior displayed by MS as it tries to stack the committees to push OOXML as an ISO standard? What happened in Sweden recently is a fine example of how you can bend the rules if you've got enough money and power.

With its latest shenanigans involving OOXML, it's clear that MS has not abandoned its shady practices of the past. This is not a purely technical discussion anymore; whether you like it or not, MS's actions have made this a political issue, one that is starting to make waves too (witness India and Brazil's rejection of OOXML). People may not want to take sides, saying that they are only interested in the technical aspect, but in this situation - as is so often the case - choosing to remain neutral *is* taking sides.

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: Good post
by Marcellus on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 06:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good post"
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

What happened in Sweden recently is a fine example of how you can bend the rules if you've got enough money and power.

I hope you are aware of the fact that IBM contacted the same companies and tried to make them vote against MS.

And even before that, they made sure that others would join for the single purpose of voting against.

You don't see people complain about that. Because it happens to be in their own interest to prevent MS from doing anything at all.

IBM turned it all into a political/economical issue before MS could start anything similar, and not as a reaction to anything MS did.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Good post
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 07:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good post"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I hope you are aware of the fact that IBM contacted the same companies and tried to make them vote against MS.


If this is a "fact", then you won't have any problems providing some source for it, won't you?

Typical of MS apologists - always point the finger at IBM. Well, it's not IBM who has kept a stranglehold on office file formats for a decade, and who now seeks to keep it, is it?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good post
by Soulbender on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 07:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good post"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Okay, then what do you propose should be done about the unethical (if not technically illegal) behavior displayed by MS as it tries to stack the committees to push OOXML as an ISO standard?"

What has this got to do with their proposed OSS license?
Nothing. Either their license is suitable or it isn't. It has nothing to do with who MS are or how they otherwise behaves.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Good post
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 07:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good post"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

What has this got to do with their proposed OSS license?


It has to do with the fact that OSI members are apparently pissed off by MS's behavior, and whether or not they will let that affect how they treat Microsoft's submissions.

Most people here agree that they shouldn't let their judgment be clouded by it - however, that doesn't mean that they can't otherwise decry MS's actions (or, as some people here have suggested, take their good time to "process" the submissions).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good post
by dylansmrjones on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

OSI decides whether or not it can accept a license. The moral and legal judgement is solely OSI's since the trademark belongs to OSI.

The rest of us can then decide whether we agree with OSI or not.

But OSI has EVERY moral and legal right to make moral and legal judgements on any license submitted. And ESR have seconds thoughts due to Microsofts possibly illegal actions in regard to ISO.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Good post
by Oliver on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good post"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

OSI, OSI. If OSI is about *community, ESR is refering to, then community rules.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good post
by segedunum on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Just handle the license as it is presented to you, and disregard who submitted it.

It doesn't work like that. Collaborative organisations such as the ISO, OSI and others are based on track record, what you have given and most of all, how you have manage to get along with your peers. That's the only way they can work effectively. You can't just wander on to a mailing list or a committee that you've never given the time of day to before and say "Here's our license, we believe it meets OSI's criteria so approve it".

They owe you nothing, and the OSI should have that attitude with every vendor who wanders in out of nowhere on to the list with a new license. It's not just Microsoft. Other vendors such as CA have done it to claim that they're an open source company.

Edited 2007-09-02 21:32

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Good post
by porcel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

To disregard Microsoft's past and ongoing behavior and to help them shoot the whole open source movement down by allowing them to claim that even OSI stands behind its license choices is foolhardy.

Any organization needs to have strategic objectives and to assess those when it deals with other organizations such as Microsoft. Let Microsoft establish itself as a bona-fide partner of the open source community by submitting encumbered and really open networking protocols for file servers and office formats and then we'll talk.

As long as Microsoft continues to use lock-in as part of its business strategy, OSI should refuse this or any license submitted by Microsoft. You want OSI's seal of approval. Meet both the printed letter of our licenses, but more importantly their spirit.

I mean, one minute, they are talking about how Linux infringes on their patents and making "SCOesque" claims about intellectual property, the next minute you actually tell me that open source licenses are useful and that you want to join our club.

Start by showing some respect and picking one of the existing licenses would be a good way to do it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Good post
by porcel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good post"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Of course, I meant unencumbered file and wire protocols.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Good post
by kaiwai on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 01:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't care if Hannibal Lecter himself submitted the license - it ought not influence whether or not said license is approved by the OSI. Last time I checked, the OSI is not the Moral Police Corps. Just handle the license as it is presented to you, and disregard who submitted it.

Let the moral judgement be done by users (developers, in this case).


But at the end of the day people do decide whether or not the licence is classed as opensource. It doesn't matter how much the source of judgement protests, its going to be influenced by bias. That is what Raymond is pointing out, it is going to be incredibly hard to take a unbiased moral high ground given the current state of affairs.

Bias appears everywhere, look in politics, for example - an election that might been seen as by the UN as absolutely flawed could be used by a certain super power as an example of progress. Same will occur here. Submitting to a standards body is as much to do about the facts as it is to do with the any possible relationship which Microsoft might have with those who are in the standardisation process.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good post
by marafaka on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 08:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

You will realize one day that the intellect is not consistent. If somebody is willing to spin you in a loop or two, you will surely loose every but the simplest of intellectual battles.

It is the end result that matters. Closed software makes people criminals, takes away their rights to learn and cooperate. Yes, it is an ethical issue, it is a financial battle and I bet it looks like a religion to the uninitiated.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good post
by Laurence on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 11:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"I don't care if Hannibal Lecter himself submitted the license - it ought not influence whether or not said license is approved by the OSI. Last time I checked, the OSI is not the Moral Police Corps. Just handle the license as it is presented to you, and disregard who submitted it.

Let the moral judgement be done by users (developers, in this case)."


MS have never been shy of breaking the rules to achieve their goals so why should we play ball with them the one time they work to our system?

Personally I don't trust users and/or developers to be the moral judges. Most users don't give a toss what system they use so long as it's packaged nicely and a lot (not all or even most - but a sizable number none-the-less) can be influenced by big bucks. So I'm all for an impartial 3rd party organisation taking the moral high ground.

Principles are all very good and well, but you donít win a war by principle alone.

Just my 2c anyway.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Good post
by SReilly on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Good post"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I don't have much time for Raymond either and agree with your assessment of him being an arrogant ass. But I do think that the FLOSS community needs to make a stand when it comes to stuff like this.

If MS wants to use they're own license for they're own projects, fine but trying to get OSI approval for these licenses is like getting slapped in the face. Furthermore, license proliferation is already an issue, we don't need MS to muddy the water even more.

I agree with Raymond on this one. Watching MS make a mockery of the ISO is already hard enough. Letting them off without some form of retribution would be far to hard to deal with.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Good post
by sbergman27 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I should say right now that the "arrogant ass thing" is off-topic. I brought it into the thread. But I'd hate to have it dominate. I retract it now.

Now, as to making a stand. I don't think we can. And I don't think we should. If we are a meritocracy, we cannot simply stop being a meritocracy when it seems convenient for us, or when someone whom we don't like, or we distrust, offers up a license.

Remember, this is a license. It can be used by others against MS as much as it could be used by MS against others. Now, if there *is* a hidden land mine in the license, or licenses... let's work hard to find that, expose it, and reject the license based upon that *real* reason.

But if it meets the OS definition, it needs to be approved. Or that definition needs to be changed.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good post
by dylansmrjones on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good post"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Aaawwwhh... I didn't even get a chance to defend him. Evil you ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good post
by Soulbender on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 07:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good post"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I retract it now.

Meh, why? It's true ;)
I guess it's like mentioning Theo deRaadt though, it gets the freaks out of the woodwork.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good post
by Soulbender on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 07:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"If MS wants to use they're own license for they're own projects, fine but trying to get OSI approval for these licenses is like getting slapped in the face"

Funny how no-one complained when Sun and IBM got their licenses OSI approved. Of course, Sun and IBM is everyone's darling these days and their dirty past easily forgotten.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Good post
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 07:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good post"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Of course, Sun and IBM is everyone's darling these days and their dirty past easily forgotten.


Maybe that's because they've changed their ways, while MS hasn't.

You can't deny that IBM and Sun have been particularly FOSS-friendly over the past couple of years. Also, they recognize the need for a truly open file format unencumbered with legacy cruft and patent issues.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Good post
by Soulbender on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 07:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good post"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Maybe that's because they've changed their ways, while MS hasn't. "

And if they change back tomorrow will OSI remove their licenses?

"Also, they recognize the need for a truly open file format unencumbered with legacy cruft and patent issues."

Uh yeah, because that will benefit *them*. You don't seriously think they're being OSS friendly for some ethical reason, do you.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Good post
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good post"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

And if they change back tomorrow will OSI remove their licenses?


I'm not interested in hypotheticals.

Uh yeah, because that will benefit *them*. You don't seriously think they're being OSS friendly for some ethical reason, do you.


Of course not. What exactly are you trying to say? Because it's really not clear.

MS is acting in a predatory manner towards FOSS. IBM and Sun are not. End of story.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Good post
by Soulbender on Tue 4th Sep 2007 02:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good post"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"MS is acting in a predatory manner towards FOSS. IBM and Sun are not. End of story."

Well, you could argue that MS is being honest about their intentions while Sun and IBM are faking it in order to benefit from OSS and the community.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good post
by Oliver on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Good post"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

He is the only one who really cares about open source. A loud voice indeed, but a brilliant mind.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good post
by sbergman27 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good post"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
He is the only one who really cares about open source. A loud voice indeed, but a brilliant mind.
"""

Oliver,

If you care to, please elaborate. I'm interested.

-Steve

Reply Score: 1

The article in short
by Almafeta on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:46 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

The article in short: A license morally the equivalent to the BSD, and a license morally the equivalent to the GPL, are having a hard time being 'legitimized' by an arbitrary-selected committee (the OSI). The reason they're having a hard time is because their author is Microsoft, who is finally succumbing to the open-source bandwagon. In defense for this hard time, the OSI state 'monopolism,' despite the fact that Microsoft is virtually handing their most profitable business (office suites) over to the open-source movement (in the form of OOXML).

The article in short-short: Microsoft is holding out the requisite pound of flesh, the OSI is holding out for more.

Reply Score: 0

RE: The article in short
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:52 UTC in reply to "The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

despite the fact that Microsoft is virtually handing their most profitable business (office suites) over to the open-source movement (in the form of OOXML).


They are not. If MS was genuinely interested in open-source, they would have included ODF support into Office and wouldn't be bending the rules in order to ram OOXML through the ISO certification process.

If OOXML was really an honest effort to move to open file formats, do you think the FOSS world would be so hostile against it?

Not only is the file format not truly open, it is not technically up to par with ODF. Check this blog for more info:

http://ooxmlisdefectivebydesign.blogspot.com/

(Cue MollyC butting in with her pro-OOXML PR in 3...2...1...)

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: The article in short
by Almafeta on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE: The article in short"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

If MS was genuinely interested in open-source, they would have included ODF support into Office and wouldn't be bending the rules in order to ram OOXML through the ISO certification process.


That's like saying "If FreeBSD was genuinely interested in open-source, they'd be using Linux." Don't confuse the technology with the politics.

If OOXML was really an honest effort to move to open file formats, do you think the FOSS world would be so hostile against it?


This is Microsoft we're talking about. Microsoft could save children from a burning building and the OSS community would be hostile to it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: The article in short
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

That's like saying "If FreeBSD was genuinely interested in open-source, they'd be using Linux." Don't confuse the technology with the politics.


No, it's not like saying that at all. Don't confuse empty rhetoric with actual arguments.

There is an open standard which was elaborated by OASIS, which has the support every FOSS-friendly organization and corporation out there. Microsoft, as a member of OASIS, even gave it tacit support. That file format is ODF. If MS was really interested in becoming open-source friendly, it would have included ODF support in its Office product.

Now, can you actually offer a counter-argument for this, instead of an half-assed, inappropriate analogy?

This is Microsoft we're talking about. Microsoft could save children from a burning building and the OSS community would be hostile to it.


Again, that is not a logical argument, but rather an ad hominem attack against the OSS community, which in your view is incapable of rational thinking when dealing with MS. The fact of the matter is that OOXML is designed to further MS's file format monopoly, and that is why the FOSS community is against it, especially since there is a truly open alternative, ODF, which *already* has been approved by the ISO.

Stop trying to paint MS as the poor victim who is rejected by all even though it tries to make friends. It's not true, and you know it.

Reply Score: 11

RE[3]: The article in short
by niemau on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The article in short"
niemau Member since:
2007-06-28

This is Microsoft we're talking about. Microsoft could save children from a burning building and the OSS community would be hostile to it.

microsoft is not saving children from a burning building. they're trying to give the impression that they're a-ok with OSS, and all the while undermining open standards.

corporations don't deserve second chance after second chance after second chance. there is a point at which they should just be ignored. and, as far as i'm concerned, OSI should reject any MS submissions and decline to comment. we're at a point where we have to be biased against MS. history has shown time and time again that trying to treat them like everyone else has gotten us nowhere. and there's a good reason for that. they're NOT like everyone else. previous antitrust shenanigans have illustrated that beautifully.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: The article in short
by MollyC on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:39 UTC in reply to "RE: The article in short"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"If OOXML was really an honest effort to move to open file formats, do you think the FOSS world would be so hostile against it? "

The only reason MS wants OOXML to have the ISO impramature is to undercut IBM's lobbying effort to governments that their document archives' long term security depends on a publicly recognized file format specification, and ODF is the only way to do that, so all other formats must be banned for government use.

And that's why the FOSS community doesn't like OOXML, because it undercuts that grand strategy to get governments to ban MS Office and/or codify into law a format that lacks certain MS Office features, thus making those extra features quasi-illegal to use by governments, making those extra features a dis-advantage, which makes it easier for alternatives to compete.

That's a long version of what I've said before. OO.o et al couldn't compete with MS Office on features, so they said "Use us because we have a public format". MS, to the OO.o group's surprise, provided their own public spec, which brings the competition back to a features battle, which OO.o knows they can't win, so IBM and the like are fighting tooth and nail to not let OOXML be an ISO standard (despite MS not raising a fuss over ODF being recognized as such, indeed voting for ISO an ANSI approval of ODF, and not lobbying governments to ban use of ODF or any other format).

(I still find it amusing that people demand that every other app must jump through hoops (altering their code, forcefeeding their needs into ODF) to use a format built for an office suite with < 5% usage.)

If I were running Microsoft, I would terminate the OOXML fast-track process and go through the long process. The main reason being that an MS guy in Sweden tried to bribe two companies to vote for OOXML approval there, which destroys credibility of the process. Supposedly MS proactively reported this infraction to SIS (Sweden's organization that is considering OOXML approval) themselves, but the damage is still done, and MS should go the extra mile to restore credibility to the process by going through the long slow track rather than the fast track. (Although, technically, its up to ECMA, as they own OOXML, not MS, and ECMA was the group that submitted OOXML to ISO for fast-track approval.)

They don't want to do that for two reasons: 1.) ODF went through the fast-track process, in fact being virtually rubberstamped (largely because most governments didn't pay attention as they didn't care about ODF to begin with), despite huge shortcomings, so it doesn't seem fair that other formats go through the high scrutiny that ODF was not subject to; 2.) It would give more time for IBM to argue that ODF is the only format that meets government needs, so governments should mandate exclusive use of ODF.

There are some things that mitigate those two items, however.
For example, ISO ODF 1.0 is no longer current. It's already obsolete. ODF 1.1 is being made to address the many shortcomings, and it will have to go through ISO process itself. ODF 1.1 will undergo much higher scrutiny than did ODF 1.0 because people won't want to rubberstamp another deficient version of ODF, and ODF has higher public awareness now, so governments will actually pay attention this time.

Two, if OOXML goes through the slow rather than fast track, it's shortcomings will be addressed and will have all the more credibility at the end. It will be better for it, and won't need the 1.1 rush job the ODF is doing now.


--------------
"Not only is the file format not truly open, it is not technically up to par with ODF. Check this blog for more info:

http://ooxmlisdefectivebydesign.blogspot.com/

(Cue MollyC butting in with her pro-OOXML PR in 3...2...1...)"

--------------

hehe :-)
Yes, that's a very cute attempt to pre-emptively dismiss my arguments (easier to do that than to address them directly), but you're not in any position to call someone out for posting PR when you link to an obvious propaganda hit piece.

I'm well aware of Stephen Rodriguez' writings. He regularly trolls OOXML lead Brian Jones' blog, using all kinds of personal insults against him. It's said that he runs a business maintaining excel documents and OOXML threatens his business. Whatever.

BTW, the main argument Stephen Rodriguez puts forth is that because a user changing a piece of the XML text of an Excel document, must make corresponding changes in other parts of the file in order for the file to remain consistent with itself, then its not true XML, and therefore OOXML is a "fraud" (this is his basic summary of his piece, which he posted to Brian Jones' blog). That argument is one of the most absurd arguments ever. Even you would have to admit as much. Just because a format is stored as XML text doesn't mean a user can blithely alter any portion of that XML text without regard to how it might affect the rest of the file.

As for this and his other complaints that Stephen described in his blog, Miguel (of Mono fame) completely destroys nearly every one of his arguments here:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=279895&cid=20363627


All this has nothing to do with OSI. OSI is a self-appointed group that takes it upon itself to decide what constitutes an open source license. They have no *inherent* credibility or authority; what credibility they do have depends on the perecption that they impartially weigh wether a license meets their criteria. If they want to start playing favorites or being moral police then they need to publicly change their mission statement accordingly.

Edited 2007-09-02 20:55

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The article in short
by dylansmrjones on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The article in short"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Well, Dansk Standard just voted no with comments to OOXML (despite some attempted cheating from Microsoft) because of the many unspecified elements in OOXML making it impossible for anyone but Microsoft to create a full implementation of OOXML.

Dansk Standard is more credible to me than Slashdot.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: The article in short
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The article in short"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

They also included elements in their comments that are factually incorrect (OOXML does not specify the ZIP file formats that it uses... even though it does) and they include comments such as "OOXML must support such and such a feature merely because ODF does." One gem is that "OOXML must not support OLE linking because it's a Windows-dependent technology" (ODF supports OLE). Clearly their comments were not sufficiently vetted by the actual NB, so I don't know why you need to have any trust in them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The article in short
by dylansmrjones on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 20:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The article in short"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It doesn't say that OOXML cannot support Windows OLE. Dansk Standard says that OOXML should contain support other OLE-techniques, like KParts and Bonobo. It does not say that OOXML cannot or must not support Windows OLE.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: The article in short
by MollyC on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The article in short"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"It doesn't say that OOXML cannot support Windows OLE. Dansk Standard says that OOXML should contain support other OLE-techniques, like KParts and Bonobo. It does not say that OOXML cannot or must not support Windows OLE."

Huh? Seems like weird reason to reject a format. Denmark had no problem with ODF lacking spreadsheet formulas, yet they do raise a fuss over OOXML lacking KParts and Bonobo? :p

Or how about, "We reject ANSI-standardization of C standardization because C lacks closures and continuations".

BTW, Mac Office supports OLE, so it's not like it's impossible to grock the OLE formats on non-Windows platforms. Meaning, the the OLE file format isn't "Windows OLE", just "OLE".

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: The article in short
by dylansmrjones on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The article in short"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Well, considering your poor denial of who you are, I consider your actions more important.

You still work as a PR-consultant for Microsoft, right?

Your statements about ODF and spreadsheet formulas are pure FUD.

http://www.robweir.com/blog/2007/07/formula-for-failure.html

Besides that ODF does support spreadsheet formulas through OLE.

What Mac Office supports is irrelevant in this context.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: The article in short
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

That's very cute, but your not in any position to call someone out for posting PR when you link to an obvious propaganda hit piece.


Well, Ms. Cieslinski, the difference is that I'm not employed by a PR company that counts MS as one of its clients.

As far as "competing on features" goes, ODF is extensible, and new features can be added. There's *no* reason to believe that it can't compete. So there goes 90% of your argument.

The Rodriguez piece is only one particular criticism of OOXML - there are others. But the crux of the matter is in fact something that you admit yourself: that governments want open standards for their archives. That is a legitimate issue, and *nothing* is preventing MS from making Office ODF-compatible. Therefore, it is a bold-faced lie (the staple of PR professionnals, might I add) that IBM wants government to "ban MS Office". Rather, it is MS itself that is voluntarily excluding itself through its purely strategic refusal to support ODF and its anti-competitive push for OOXML, perverting the ISO certification standard in the process (something which you tacitly admit when you say that MS should abandon its fast-track efforts).

The issue is really very simple. MS could have supported ODF, but it chose not to simply because it wants to keep the advantage as far as file formats go. After all, and even Bill Gates admitted this in past memos, file formats are the angular stone to Microsoft's near-monopoly.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: The article in short
by Almafeta on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The article in short"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Well, the difference is that I'm not employed by a PR company that counts MS as one of its clients.


A personal attack in your first line...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: The article in short
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

It's not a personal attack. It's a statement of fact (or at least MollyC has never denied that she is the same MollyC who words for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide).

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: The article in short
by psychicist on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 21:53 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The article in short"
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

I have always found that there were some people here that unconditionally favoured Microsoft and their oftentimes inferior technologies.

Your posts have given me a lot more insight into who these people are and what their motives may be. In the past there was also NotParker but I don't know where he's hiding nowadays.

Now there is Ms MollyC who is employed as a PR person to put all things related to Microsoft in a positive light. This means I should be very wary of the positions that people take.

These could very well be politically or monetarily influenced instead of technically. My allegiance is with technical matters and I also have a healthy interest in software freedom as defined by various OSI licenses.

I won't hide that I have a bias towards free operating systems and open standards and if you want to know my name you can send me a personal message.

What I have a problem with is PR people wasting their time coming to forums such as these and holding positions regardless of technical merits. It has me guessing who is more pathetic, the persons coming here to post or their employers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: The article in short
by MollyC on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The article in short"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Now there is Ms MollyC who is employed as a PR person to put all things related to Microsoft in a positive light. This means I should be very wary of the positions that people take. "

Um, no. Sorry, but Archie has misinformed you. ;)


"What I have a problem with is PR people wasting their time coming to forums such as these and holding positions regardless of technical merits. It has me guessing who is more pathetic, the persons coming here to post or their employers."

That's exactly what *I* think! A real PR person would not waste time posting to this site. That's what makes ArchieSteel's accusations all the more ridiculous. Seriously people, THINK before making accusations like this. Besides, would a real PR person who wished to remain anonymous, user his/her real email address as a username? Come on, people, THINK!!

This is way off topic, but for future reference, if anyone want to see my explicit denial of being "Molly Cielenski", read the beginning and end of my post here:
http://osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=18555&comment_id=268004

Edited 2007-09-02 22:25

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: The article in short
by MollyC on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The article in short"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"It's a statement of fact (or at least MollyC has never denied that she is the same MollyC who words for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide)."

LOL
I'm sorry, I must've missed earlier posts where you were accusing me of being "Molly Cielsinski" (whatever). Anyway, see my above post regarding this matter.
I find it hilarious that you actually tried to find out who I am. I mean, it never even occurred to me to find out who "Archie Steel" might be. I just know that he's someone I enjoy arguing with. Someone with whom I enjoy the give and take of debate (despite your penchant to come at me on a personal level at times). ;) I enjoy debating with you. But I don't know, it seems that you may be obsessed with me. ;)

Anyway, please do see my previous post (both the beginning and the "Edit:" part I added at the end.)
http://osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=18555&comment_id=268004

Edited 2007-09-02 22:21

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: The article in short
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Again, I accept your statement that you are not that MollyC. There was only one way to find out, and that was confronting you about it. Sorry you missed it in the previous threads.

Anyway, don't construe this as anything personal against you - and it's not too hard to find out who I am, there aren't that many Archie Steels around...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The article in short
by dylansmrjones on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The article in short"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Since when has it been a personal attack to point out the fact that someone is employed by a PR company?

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: The article in short
by sbergman27 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 21:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The article in short"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Well, Ms. Cieslinski, the difference is that I'm not employed by a PR company that counts MS as one of its clients.
"""

I really, really wish that Molly would answer one way or the other on this. Either she is Molly Cieslinski, or she is not. I've asked directly. No response.

Either her job, and the reason she receives paychecks, is to promote Microsoft... or it is not.

Now I'm asking point blank. Is it? Or isn't it.

If I am in error, I apologize in advance.

I'm serious. Are you. Or are you not?

Edited 2007-09-02 21:34

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The article in short
by MollyC on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The article in short"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"I really, really wish that Molly would answer one way or the other on this. Either she is Molly Cieslinski, or she is not. I've asked directly. No response.

Either her job, and the reason she receives paychecks, is to promote Microsoft... or it is not.

Now I'm asking point blank. Is it? Or isn't it.

If I am in error, I apologize in advance.

I'm serious. Are you. Or are you not? "


----------------------

I'm sorry, sbergman27, I missed all of this "Molly Cielinski" stuff until today. I assume it was posted in threads that I had "quit", or maybe I just missed it.

See my denial here (both beginning and end of the post):
http://osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=18555&comment_id=268004


But I might owe archiesteel an apology, as I've been having a bit of fun on this matter at his expense, as I assumed it was he who started this thing (it would fit with his pattern, as he has a long history of "shill" accusations, so it wouldn't surprise me if he went so far as to try to prove such a thing). So can you tell me who begat the "Molly Cieslinski" accusations? Was it he, or was it you, or someone else? (Please say it was archiesteel! ;) )

I'm sorry if I'm being too jocular and/or glib. I just find the whole thing tremendously funny! ;)

But that's it! I don't want to derail the thread any further. Good thing we don't still have karma points, all of these off-topic posts would hurt me big-time!

Edited 2007-09-02 22:37

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: The article in short
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

So can you tell me who begat the "Molly Cieslinski" accusations? Was it he, or was it you, or someone else? (Please say it was archiesteel! ;) )


I made the allegation first, and I've been waiting for a denial ever since. Now that you've officially denied being *that* MollyC, I won't make it again (though in my mind you still act like a pro-MS PR hack).

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: The article in short
by sbergman27 on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The article in short"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Thank you Molly. I apologized in advance. But I'll apologize again. Because I was apparently wrong.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: The article in short
by MollyC on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The article in short"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

sbergman27, I accept your apology, but it's no big deal. Even though we've been on opposite sides of issues at times, we've been on friendly terms. Seems you were just led astray by archie. ;)

Cheers!

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: The article in short
by MollyC on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 21:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The article in short"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Well, Ms. Cieslinski, the difference is that I'm not employed by a PR company that counts MS as one of its clients.

Huh? Who's Ms. Cieslinksi?
I don't know who Cieslinski is, but if you think it's me, you're barking up the wrong tree. LOL Anyway, I'm not employed by a PR company, I don't know why you continue to imply such, other than that it's a cheap way to dismiss my arguments, or you're hopelessly confused that I'm this "Cieleniski" character. I'm literally laughing out loud right now. LOL

Wait, it just occurred to me. Have I gotten under your skin so much, that you decided to try to do a background check on me? That's hilarious!! And you concluded that I'm "Cielsinski"? You'll never get work as a detective. ;)

I'll ignore your personal attack. It seems to be a common trait amongst your ilk, but "what can you do".


"The Rodriguez piece is only one particular criticism of OOXML - there are others. "

Hey, you cited Rodriguez piece, so you can either stand by it or not. But if you do decide to stand by it, make sure that you first read Miguel's slashdot post that completely destroys it.


MS could have supported ODF, ...

But WHY? I posted about this in the iWork Pages thread too, where your ilk are up in arms that Apple's not supporting ODF. ODF is based on OO.o XML 1.0. It is built for OO.o. For an app to adopt ODF as its native format is for that app to adopt as its native format, a format of an office suite with < 5% share. There is no logical reason to do that.

Microsoft didn't participate in development of ODF because they never intended to use it. It doesn't meet their needs, and forcing their needs into OO.o's format makes less sense than simply opening up their own format. Same goes for Pages.

Also, check out this blog:
http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2007/07/09/open-xml-timel...

It's main point is that it shows that OOXML was under development concurrently with ODF, but it includes a reference to a blog by Gary Edwards, one of the ODF 1.0 leads (one of the two members of the OASIS committee that attended 75% of the meetings), where Edwards himself admits that Sun blocked attempts to include features in ODF that would make it more compatible with MS Office.

BTW, Sun actively blocked attempts to include features in ODF to make it more compatible with MS Office.
"Everyone on that first TC group supported full interoperability with Microsoft applications and documents, except for one company - Sun.

There are three areas of "interoperability" that Sun opposed then, and continues to oppose today. The only difference being that after their 2004 deal with Microsoft, Sun has been uncompromisingly determined to block the interoperability the marketplace demands.

Ö

If Micrsoft were to join the OASIS ODF TC today, seeking to adapt ODF to meet the legacy document-MSOffice features-line of business integration needs of their monopoly base, the TC would have to deal with the exact same issues as they have summarily rejected with current compatibility-interoeprability-convergence disussions!

There is no possible way anyone can claim that today's OASIS ODF TC would welcome Microsoft and make accomodating changes to the specification! No way! And the proof of this hostility can be seen in the actual disussions and rejections of Micrsoft specific interoperability proposals. "



Edit: OK, I did a Google for "Molly Cieslinksi", and found two references:
http://netzoomuniversal.com/about/index.php?mid=433

http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/E/B/6EB7AE64-FA6D-4CCA-8EC...

I didn't read the second link (it's a Word document that appears to talk about Visio's file format), but I skimmed the first, and Molly Cielinski does seem to be employed by a PR firm that does work for Microsoft, and here email is, get this, "mollyc@wagged.com".
Molly Cieslinski, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000, mollyc@wagged.com

LOL That's just too funny. I can see where people might jump to conclusions, but that ain't me! But what's more funny is that people tried to find out who I am (I guess for the purpose of discreditting my arguments, but maybe there's some other reason). Actually, the funniest thing about this is that someone would think that a real PR person would spend time posting here at all. I enjoy this site for entertainment value (and even the occassional technical insight), but were I a PR person, I'd think this site would not be worth spending any of my "PR" time on. I guess I should feel flattered that some have mistaken me for a real life PR person. ;)

Edited 2007-09-02 21:53

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: The article in short
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

All right, I'll accept your statement that you are not the MollyC that works for a PR firm having Microsoft as one of its client. That doesn't mean I necessarily believe you, but at least we have you on record as denying it.

As for the rest of your argument, it's more of the same. MS, with all its expertise, couldn't possibly add the missing features to ODF (a file format which it had tacitly approved as part of OASIS), so it just decided to develop an *entirely new* file format instead. Yes, that makes *lots* of sense.

BTW, Sun actively blocked attempts to include features in ODF to make it more compatible with MS Office.


Hogwash. Sun opposed attempts to make ODF more compatible with *legacy* Office document. From the link you gave:

"Gary Edwards, who played a big role in the ODF 1.0 standard and was one of only two people who participated in more than 75% of the meetings leading up to the completion of ODF 1.0 explains how interoperability with the legacy base of Office documents was actually blocked during ODF's development."


That is actually a very sensible decision by Sun: you don't want to introduce a new file format that includes all types of legacy exceptions - that is what MS tried to do with OOXML, and the reason why the document is such a labyrinthine mess of 6000 pages.

What you do is that you make import filters for applications so they can convert legacy formats into new, streamlined and portable formats.

Brian Jones is being incredibly biased towards MS in his interpretation (probably following some strategic memo about this issue), and you are being disningenuous for misrepresenting not supporting legacy Office formats as "blocking MS Office", when in reality this would not have prevented MS from offering ODF support in Office at all (at most, it makes import filters for legacy documents a bit more complicated).

You may claim not to be a PR hack, but you certainly distort the truth like one.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: The article in short
by segedunum on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 00:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The article in short"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

ODF is based on OO.o XML 1.0. It is built for OO.o.

NO IT ISN'T!

How many more times are we going to get this utter crap repeated without any backup whatsoever? KOffice implements ODF. Lotus Workspace implements ODF. Corel implements ODF. Open Office and Star Office implement ODF. GoogleDocs implements it. Stop trying to paint Open Office as IBM's evil proprietary application or something, with ODF as it's evil proprietary format (which is ironic, since that's what Microsoft Office and OOXML actually are for Microsoft ;-)).

Despite what Microsoft may have told you, it doesn't gain any more truth the more times you repeat it.

Microsoft didn't participate in development of ODF because they never intended to use it. It doesn't meet their needs, and forcing their needs into OO.o's format...

No one else has any trouble with it, and it is not Open Office's format. I'm wondering when you and Microsoft are going to stop with this stupidity where you try and claim that Open Office is a closed source application where ODF is it's own proprietary format. It's absolutely ludicrous.

BTW, Sun actively blocked attempts to include features in ODF to make it more compatible with MS Office.

NO THEY DIDN'T. Making ODF more compatible with OOXML would have meant either crippling ODF or adding more to OOXML - which is Microsoft's responsibility. I'd already explained this:

http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=18483&comment_id=264743

Which you didn't reply to. There. I even went and damn well found it for you. Repeating the same stuff over and over isn't going to work.

LOL That's just too funny. I can see where people might jump to conclusions, but that ain't me!

I don't really care who you are. Your credibility is still less than zero. Repeating the same stuff over, and over, and over is a well worked tactic that people like Rick Jelliffe and others have used consistently and it simply doesn't work.

There seems to be a really bizarre belief that repeating the same things over and over and not reading or responding to people who have pointed out why it is crap is going to somehow make it all magically come true, and make all the 'zealots' go away and make everyone believe it. Alas, it only makes you look like idiots.

Edited 2007-09-03 00:08

Reply Score: 11

RE[6]: The article in short
by MollyC on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 01:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The article in short"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"ODF is based on OO.o XML 1.0. It is built for OO.o.

NO IT ISN'T! "


YES IT IS!!! ;)

It's sad that you keep making me drag out the proof that ODF is based on OO.o XML 1.0, but as long as you deny it (and imply that I'm lying about this), I'll keep doing it.

First, here's what wikipedia has to say:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument
"[ODF] is based upon the XML format originally created and implemented by the OpenOffice.org office suite."

And this is straight from OO.o's own site as of December 2006:
http://xml.openoffice.org/" rel="nofollow">http://web.archive.org/web/20061205013726/http://xml.openoffice.org...

"OpenOffice.org XML file format:
The OpenOffice.org XML file format is the native file format of OpenOffice.org 1.0. It has been replaced by the OASIS OpenDocument file format in OpenOffice.org 2.0."


"OASIS OpenDocument file format
The OASIS OpenDocument file format is the native file format of OpenOffice.org 2.0. It is developed by a Technical Committee (TC) at OASIS. The OpenDocument format is based on the OpenOffice.org XML file format."


Sorry to break it to you, but ODF is based on OO.o 1.0's XML format, just as OOXML is based on previous MS Office XML formats. Neither are from the ground up app-nuetral uber-formats. But ODF-advocates like to pretend otherwise (or maybe they're just ignorant of the history of the format that they're trying to get governments to mandate exclusive use of).

Now you can either believe me, or you can believe wikipedia, or you can believe OO.o's own site, or you can bury your head in the sand and play "let's pretend".

So, having yet again established that ODF is indeed based on OO.o 1.0 XML, those demanding that Microsoft should have participated in ODF's development and adopt ODF as their native format, are in essence, demanding that Microsoft adopt, not an app-nuetral format, but a format based on a competitor with a comparatively tiny userbase. I've yet to see a credible answer as to why Microsoft should do that or be expected to do it, rather than make their own public spec.

Besides which, OOXML was already underdevelopment concurrently with ODF:
http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2007/07/09/open-xml-timel...


Now, you listed a bunch of implementations of ODF. I never said that there weren't multiple implementations. I have said that since the format is based on OO.o's featureset and code structure, and is even based on OO.o 1.0 XML, that OO.o had the least amount of work to do to comply with ODF. Are you going to deny that? OOXML is no better in this regard, in that Microsoft has the least work to do to comply with OOXML. Neither format is an uber-format or app-neutral. But ODF-advocates like to pretend otherwise.

And the level of compliance of those various ODF implementations is not 100%, nor are they fully compatible with each other, but I'm sure that will improver over time.
http://develop.opendocumentfellowship.org/testsuite/summary.html

As for "nobody else had trouble with [implementing ODF]", those others had incentive to do so, Microsoft did not. Those others are trying to use ODF implementation as an argument to displace use of MS Office. And those others don't have nearly as many documents in the field, so they don't mind as much about adopting a format that's not fully compatible with their old formats.

Anyway, Apple imlemented OOXML support in their latest iWork apps, not ODF. Guess they suck too, right? ODF has lots of implementations, but OOXML is getting there too. Here's a list of 15 or so implementations, including some of the apps you mentioned as supporting ODF, such as WordPerfect.
http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2007/08/07/iwork-08-suppo...
Are these implementations "perfect"? No. But neither are ODF's. Just like hardly any browser has 100% perfect support for the various web standards, etc, etc.


"I don't really care who you are."

Believe me, the feeling is mutual.


"Your credibility is still less than zero. "

While your word is to be taken as Gospel, right?

As for not responding to your posts, I normally just skip over them, because I find your posts to be among the most insulting on this site. Just a lot of adhominen attacks and yelling. Maybe if you stop with all the name-calling and cyber-yelling, I'd read your posts thoroughly enough to care to respond to them. As it is, I usually just skim your posts if I read them at all.

Edited 2007-09-03 02:14

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: The article in short
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The article in short"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I've yet to see a credible answer as to why Microsoft should do that or be expected to do it, rather than make their own public spec.


I've yet to see a credible answer as to why Microsoft could not simply take the consensus ODF specification as developed by OASIS and write a filter that would read and write that format to disk directly from MS Office internal mmemory. The end-user should be able to make such a filter as the default files save format if they so wish.

Microsoft's own engineers off the record are reported to have estimated that this would take Microsoft no more than two weeks effort.

There is absolutely no credible technical reason why Microsoft would not make MS Office have a highly-desirable extra feature (from an end-user perspective) as full support for ODF. This feature would provide MS Office with "future proofing", it would make MS Office suitable as a tool for generating electronic records that are meant to have a long storage lifetime, it would provide MS Office with a true interoperability capability, it would make MS Office the ideal tool for converting legacy documents into an acceptable modern open XML format and it would remove any question if MS Office was suitable or not for government use.

Rather than provide all of those highly-desirable extra capabilities for MS Office, Microsoft instead choose to pretend that there is some sort of deficiency of ODF (that Microsoft are somehow never able to actually describe) and also "make their own spec" which "regretably" ends up being dependent on Windows.

Microsoft would rather extend their lock-in than provide a feature that end-users really want. That says it all.

Don't use OOXML (and especially docx) for your documents ... you will later regret it immensely.

As for "nobody else had trouble with [implementing ODF]", those others had incentive to do so, Microsoft did not.


Microsoft were making a transition form legacy binary documents to an XML format. Opdendocument was well along and it was specifically designed to deliver the main benefit of going to an XML format ... interoperability and platform-independence. Going with Opendocument (and simply saying what features Microsoft wanted in the format) would have saved Microsoft a huge amount of effort. Microsoft could have had their modern XML format in just two weeks worth of coding, and other parties would have done all the work specifying it and documenting it for them. It would have saved a fortune in development costs, and in PR costs and in lobbying costs if Microsoft had just gone with the industry consensus.

It is still not too late. I am absolutely positive Microsoft has in fact done that two weeks worth of work, and it already has the ability to supply a patch for Office 2007 that would provide full native support for ODF. If Microsoft would just drop the OOXML charade, and just simply properly support ODF ... I'm absolutely sure Microsoft's Office 2007 product would take off and become a roaring success.

Edited 2007-09-03 03:17

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: The article in short
by segedunum on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 09:45 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The article in short"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

YES IT IS!!! ;)

It's sad that you keep making me drag out the proof that ODF is based on OO.o XML 1.0


Nice bit of sleight of hand with the word 'based', but we'll get to that later.

NO IT ISN'T because you haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about. You're trying to make it sound as if ODF is Open Office's format, and Open Office alone.

The original ODF was based on Open Office's (that open source application) XML format about six years ago, and since then it has evolved in a committee called OASIS, which Microsoft is a part of, into a completely different format for the purposes of different applications.

First, here's what wikipedia has to say:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument
"[ODF] is based upon the XML format originally created and implemented by the OpenOffice.org office suite."


You do know what originally and based means, right?

So what if it is originally based on this format? WHAT IS YOUR POINT HERE?

The OASIS OpenDocument file format is the native file format of OpenOffice.org 2.0.

Yer, and? ODF is also the native file format of KOffice and presumably apps like Lotus Workspace as well. So what?

Sorry to break it to you, but ODF is based on OO.o 1.0's XML format, just as OOXML is based on previous MS Office XML formats.

Ahhhhh, now the warped, twisted and quite frankly, Alice in Wonderland, logic comes out. You think that you can claim that a format that was originally based on the format of that of an open source application, which was then developed within the OASIS committee for about four or five years and submitted to ISO where it is now the native format of many different applications, is somehow the same as a closed format derived from a closed source application, shoved through ECMA in matter of months and where no one has contributed anything to it apart from Microsoft?

This whole 'ODF is really just Open Office's format' tac that you see on dozens of MSDN blogs all over seems to have many angles, but the above seems to be the most prevalent one. It's usually used as a justification for OOXML being entirely based on Microsoft Office's previous formats (where they previously tried to claim that it wasn't), or it's usually used in some bizarre attempt to claim that an open format used by lots of applications is really tied to Open Office, which isn't an open source application at all but is really closed and part of some evil IBM master plot.

I hope you like that fast spin sweetheart, because you're being taken to the cleaners again.

Besides which, OOXML was already underdevelopment concurrently with ODF

Nope. ODF has been developed and mapped out within OASIS since 2001/2002, years before it was ISO ratified and years before OOXML appeared at the ECMA, and no amount of creative history and stretching out Microsoft's closed formats as open ones back to 1998 on a MSDN blog is going to change that.

My, we do seem to be able to wheel out the MSDN blogs and Slashdot comments on tap, don't we? :-) There must be some nice private coordination mailing list for this stuff.

Now, you listed a bunch of implementations of ODF. I never said that there weren't multiple implementations. I have said that since the format is based on OO.o's featureset and code structure, and is even based on OO.o 1.0 XML, that OO.o had the least amount of work to do to comply with ODF. Are you going to deny that?

So what (and no, ODF has now become something altogether different since that first base format all those years ago)? I'm most curious about this knife-twisting tac that you're applying on Open Office. Can you tell me what the exact point of it is?

And the level of compliance of those various ODF implementations is not 100%, nor are they fully compatible with each other, but I'm sure that will improver over time.

I'm sure it will. Most of them are quite compatible and are reporting no problems or roadblocks in getting there. That's how open source applications are developed.

And those others don't have nearly as many documents in the field, so they don't mind as much about adopting a format that's not fully compatible with their old formats.

Sorry, but you don't get away with that 'billions of documents' crap that Microsoft comes out with on a consistent basis. I debunked this with Rick Jelliffe once. When you create a new format, converting to the new format is a job for the converter and the application, not the new format itself. How can a new and incompatible format be backwards compatible with an old one?

Anyway, Apple imlemented OOXML support in their latest iWork apps, not ODF. Guess they suck too, right?

Can you verify the completeness with which Apple has implemented OOXML and its compatibility, and can you point us to a nice graphic which tells us Apple's progress on this as you have quoted regarding Open Office and KOffice?

Can Apple's iWorks apps deal with embedded VML converted via Microsoft Office to OOXML from older MS Office documents, will it know what to do with tags like autoSpaceLikeWord95 converted via Microsoft to OOXML from older MS documents, will it know what to do with encrypted OOXML files stored as OLE and will it know what to do with embedded ActiveX and will it know that values stored in OOXML spreadsheets cannot be taken as-is and have to be shoved through an execution environment?

What? Was that a no? Is there no chance at all? Well, not unless we get complete documentation on implementing VML and various other undocumented tags, and until they are dropped from the spec and Microsoft drops them themselves.

Are these implementations "perfect"? No. But neither are ODF's.

Yer, but what chance have Apple got of getting complete compatibility given what cannot be implemented? Not a chance in hell.

While your word is to be taken as Gospel, right?

Given that you're quoting the Microsoft party line right from the handbook, with a stunning ability to wheel out the MSDN blogs, Slashdot comments and exactly the same arguments that others have used on a consistent basis, and that you haven't responded when I've debunked quotes such as those by Gary Edwards that you don't understand anywa, sorry, but I feel compelled to question your credibility.

As for not responding to your posts, I normally just skip over them, because I find your posts to be among the most insulting on this site.

Sorry sweetheart, but it's because you haven't got the faintest idea how to reply to them when you've been debunked, and it tends to be the same with people like Rick Jelliffe either. There can only be so much drivel one person can regurgitate it seems.

Maybe if you stop with all the name-calling and cyber-yelling

People like Rick Jelliffe use the same argument. Oh, you're all being so nasty and calling me names! Would this be the name calling where I debunked your Gary Edwards reference, debunked your reference to Miguel's comment on Slashdot and debunked all your other feeble arguments?

Edited 2007-09-03 10:04

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: The article in short
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 07:53 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The article in short"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

If you know something to be true and people keep saying things that are untrue repeatedly, the response will seem a little repetitive, no?

If people keep saying stupid things about OOXML (always with the attached tagline that Office should support ODF) when ODF suffers from flaws that are identical or worse, then what response do you expect? I'm going to come out and say it: some sections of ODF are over-simplified and not well-designed for making a high performance Office suite (cf. the proposed standards for spreadsheet formulae). Too many things are left out of the base standard (e.g. line formatting rules) and included in app-specific configuration tags. ODF as standardized by the ISO is not sufficient to implement MSOffice's functionality and extending it to support the necessary functions would just break the format and make it into an under-specified form of OOXML (why do you suspect that Microsoft would have to document their extensions to ODF... the doc is "ISO-ODF" as long as it supports the base format... even if all the really useful data is stored in extension fields).

Watching anti-Microsoft commentators attack is really frustrating because they show that internet culture has brought us once again to the days of Witch Hunting based on irrational beliefs. People ascribe all sorts of actions and motives to Microsoft as if they are some gigantic monolith that acts with the sole purpose of doing something evil. If something positive towards Open Source comes out of Redmond (e.g. the open-source code which they produce) it is mocked and derided as just more "platform lock-in." If they produce an exciting product, it is automatically either useless or "done before." If Microsoft decides to keep their formats as a hard-to-parse binary that is strongly related to OLE structured storage, they are evil for "binary lock-in." If they try to open up and document their formats and, at the encouragement of the European Commission, try to get it ISO standardized, they are evil for "making a standard just to continue their lock-in."

And, of course, "OOXML is riddled with technical flaws and is completely unimplementable," is a really often-spouted talking point. This is invariably stated by a person who hasn't implemented any significant piece of software and who has no deep (or even shallow) understanding of the particular techincal flaws which they cite. For example, the bitmasks used in the font signatures are actually part of a unicode standard for resolving which font to use for runs of text in multiple languages (i.e. the current font does not support some character that's right next to it). Much raging has occurred due to the 1900 date fiasco, though few people actually investigate enough to realize that there's a pretty easy work around for someone producing a spreadsheet (there's a date1904 function that gives the correct behavior). Fewer people still realize that this is only an issue when doing calculations involving the first 60 days of 1900 (not any time before or after that).

Please, people, stick to the facts and to reasonable interpretations. I know it's the cool thing to do on campus to flame Microsoft from your dorm rooms for any and every flaw you find in their software or public outlook. But it really is pretty meaningless and I, for one, don't have any respect for those people who are so unbalanced, even as they have have yet to do anything significant with their own lives.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: The article in short
by segedunum on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 11:31 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The article in short"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

If you know something to be true and people keep saying things that are untrue repeatedly, the response will seem a little repetitive, no?

That's about the size of it, yer ;-).

If people keep saying stupid things about OOXML (always with the attached tagline that Office should support ODF) when ODF suffers from flaws that are identical or worse...

Have you got a list so we can have a sensible adult discussion, or is this just something undefinable that you've come up with proving your first sentence above true?

Watching anti-Microsoft commentators attack is really frustrating because they show that internet culture has brought us once again to the days of Witch Hunting based on irrational beliefs. People ascribe all sorts of actions and motives to Microsoft....

What has this got to do with the specifics of what I wrote? If you have an issue with them, by all means itemise them and let's have an adult discussion.

If Microsoft decides to keep their formats as a hard-to-parse binary that is strongly related to OLE structured storage.......If they try to open up and document their formats and, at the encouragement of the European Commission, try to get it ISO standardized, they are evil for "making a standard just to continue their lock-in."

Errr, they aren't opening anything, because if you'd cared to read anything quoted, including Stephane Rodriguez's article, you'd realise that the BIFF format is still very much a part of OOXML if you want to do anything with it.

Trying to get it ISO standardised is not symptomatic of anything. What's in the format and how it works is far more important than the act of getting it standardised.

For example, the bitmasks used in the font signatures are actually part of a unicode standard for resolving which font to use for runs of text in multiple languages

They're actually used for more than that, but Rick Jelliffe came up with a similar sort of feeble argument. The simple fact is that is is not correct XML because a XML parser will have to do something extra to discern its meaning. Bitmasks have no place in XML (it's hard enough as it is). Although you could conceivably do something with them, that misses the entire point of using XML. Extra processing and code is required that shouldn't be necessary.

Much raging has occurred due to the 1900 date fiasco, though few people actually investigate enough to realize that there's a pretty easy work around

You miss the point. In a new format there is no place for application specific bugs, and no one should have to handle them. Is Microsoft going to do anything to fix this as a result of the ISO comments?

Fewer people still realize that this is only an issue when doing calculations involving the first 60 days of 1900 (not any time before or after that).

Oh, well that's a relief when handling documents with historical dates, isn't it? At least this behaviour is so completely logical that it can be easily handled, and won't be prone to bugs ;-).

Please, people, stick to the facts and to reasonable interpretations.

Have a read of what people have written, quote parts of it and say why it is wrong. I think I read that in a manual somewhere. What you've written here is simply laughable.

I know it's the cool thing to do on campus to flame Microsoft from your dorm rooms for any and every flaw you find in their software or public outlook. But it really is pretty meaningless...

Memo from Microsoft when handling OOXML criticism:

When all else has failed, tell everyone that this is an anti-Microsoft tactic and that everyone hates us. It's really all we have left.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: The article in short
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

And, of course, "OOXML is riddled with technical flaws and is completely unimplementable," is a really often-spouted talking point. This is invariably stated by a person who hasn't implemented any significant piece of software


Eric S. Raymond has not implemented any significant piece of software?

Then again, what nonsense should we expect from someone called "PlatformAgnostic", but who invariably takes Microsoft's side.

"People who keep saying things that are untrue repeatedly" indeed...except they're OOXML's supporters, not ODF's.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: The article in short
by sappyvcv on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The article in short"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

There's *no* reason to believe that it can't compete.

Ok, then do it. Compete on features.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: The article in short
by segedunum on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The article in short"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Ok, then do it. Compete on features.

When it comes to file formats compete is the wrong word because the whole point of a standard format (and any kind of standard in any industry) is that applications can compete on features and price. When it comes to that, the free one will nearly always win though, and Microsoft probably knows that.

Microsoft really wants to perpetuate the myth (and it has been really trying) that competition means competition between formats rather than applications, and that mandating one format means a lack of competition. It is the exact opposite however, because we can't get any less competition between office suites and applications than we have now.

Edited 2007-09-03 13:41

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: The article in short
by sappyvcv on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The article in short"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

That's what I mean. Compete on features. Compete at the application level.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: The article in short
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 16:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Actually, you misunderstood me: it should be up to Microsoft to compete *using* ODF.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: The article in short
by sappyvcv on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The article in short"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Should be according to... what? Law? FOSS advocates?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: The article in short
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The article in short"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

They should be doing that because it's the right thing to do. Or perhaps you don't believe that open standards that don't give an unfair advantage to one of the parties is a good thing?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The article in short
by wirespot on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The article in short"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

And that's why the FOSS community doesn't like OOXML, because it undercuts that grand strategy to get governments to ban MS Office and/or codify into law a format that lacks certain MS Office features, thus making those extra features quasi-illegal to use by governments, making those extra features a dis-advantage, which makes it easier for alternatives to compete.

Are you serious? ;) This is a bunch of nonsense. Nobody is trying to ban Microsoft Office or require governments to legalise ways of throwing it out of the competition. Not that we don't want to. God, if only it were that easy for little people to get the gov's of the world to do something.

The only thing we want is a document format that is completely open. Complete openness has multiple advantages. Among them, gives all software products a level playing ground, allowing them to compete on fair criteria, such as price and features. It also makes it impossible for documents to become unusable if the software they were created with dissapears.

The OpenOffice team invented such a format. OASIS took it and refined it. ISO and IEC accepted it as a standard (for real).

Why didn't Microsoft get up first and invented such a format? Because they don't want to, that's why. They like people and governments having to buy MS Office and depend on it.

And now, since there's already an established open format, the logical thing to do would be to add full support for it into MS Office. But nooo. Can't have that, can we? That would allow people to convert all their MS Office documents and escape. Instead, let's create a mockery of a spec, call it a confusing name (Office Open XML) and play ISO into saying it's also a standard. Once that happens, those fools in the governments won't know the difference anyway.

Well, excuse us if we want to fight against that.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: The article in short
by porcel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The article in short"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Ad-hominem attacks on those you disagree with (OSI is a self-appointed group), vagaries, empty words, promoting a point time and time again in the face of all evidence and disregarding any evidence that doesn't support your point and you expect us to believe that you have no vested interest in the positions you take.

You just happen to love OOXML and Microsoft. What a joke!

By the way, the fact that Gnumeric, Koffice, Abiword, Lotus, GoogleDocs and more are all able to add support for ODF should tell you a lot about how hard it is for any office suite to support it.

What's also striking about these code bases adding support for ODF is that they have very different origins, are written in different languages and yet they are all making great strides in reaching full support for ODF.

And you have the gall to tell me that Microsoft wants to compete on features. Most people are more than happy with Openoffice, the only occasional complain is about dealing with their legacy documents and it's been literally over a year since I have heard that.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: The article in short
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The article in short"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

By the way, the fact that Gnumeric, Koffice, Abiword, Lotus, GoogleDocs and more are all able to add support for ODF should tell you a lot about how hard it is for any office suite to support it.

What's also striking about these code bases adding support for ODF is that they have very different origins, are written in different languages and yet they are all making great strides in reaching full support for ODF.


Well, ODF is after all designed from the ground up to be platform-independent and OS-independent.

It shouldn't take Microsoft barely any effort at all to support ODF fully and natively in MS Office. Microsoft engineers (ie not MS managers and not MS PR people) have apparently been quoted off the record (in discussions with Massachusetts officials) as assesing that the task of adding full native support for ODF in MS Office would take about two weeks of effort.

And you have the gall to tell me that Microsoft wants to compete on features.


Precisely. Where is Microsoft's effort to compete on the "native support for ODF" feature? We (the public, the end-users) have been waiting for quite a while now for that feature. It doesn't make sense that Microsoft can't compete on that much-desired feature ... so the only conclusion to reach is that Microsoft has made a political (not technical) decision to forbid full support of ODF by MS Office.

It would seem that the feature Microsoft is keenest to support in its products are the plentiful "lock-in" features, the "requires a Windows platform" features and the "screw the customer" features. One finds these features at their greatest concentration in MS Office.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: The article in short
by segedunum on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The article in short"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The only reason MS wants OOXML to have the ISO impramature is to undercut IBM's lobbying effort...

Is this the lobbying effort that is flooding ISO's international committees with new members in order to get its format approved come what may? Oh sorry, that's Microsoft.............

And that's why the FOSS community doesn't like OOXML, because it undercuts that grand strategy to get governments to ban MS Office and/or codify into law a format that lacks certain MS Office features...

No one needs to ban Microsoft Office (which created this unfair trade, monopoly situation in the first place). If it conforms to an internationally recognised standard that everybody can implement, no problem! That's Microsoft's problem, no one elses'.

Many standards are mandated worldwide that companies in many industries have to conform to, and they all can equally. I know of no company that has whined at an internationally recognised and implementable standard, there to promote equality and fair trade that everyone can implement, because they couldn't go off and invent their own. The childishness and foot stamping is beyond belief.

They don't want to do that for two reasons: 1.) ODF went through the fast-track process, in fact being virtually rubberstamped...

ODF was around within the OASIS committee for four years before it got near the ISO. Track record is everything, and OOXML just doesn't have that.

Two, if OOXML goes through the slow rather than fast track, it's shortcomings will be addressed and will have all the more credibility at the end.

Wishful thinking. Microsoft will not address any concerns with OOXML because:

1. It is out in the world as part of Office 2007.

2. Microsoft is flooding ISO committees all over the world in order to make sure that the comments are glossed over, giving it an apparent air of credibility.

3. Technically, many of the shortcomings cannot be solved unless large parts of the standard are junked and started again.

Yes, that's a very cute attempt to pre-emptively dismiss my arguments (easier to do that than to address them directly)

I have done, and you've never addressed mine because you've been taken to the cleaners every time. So has Rick Jelliffe, but I admire you both for soldiering on - no matter how much you've been paid. Can't be easy ;-).

I'm well aware of Stephen Rodriguez' writings. He regularly trolls OOXML lead Brian Jones' blog, using all kinds of personal insults against him.

Rick Jelliffe uses the same tactic. When you have no arguments left, wheel out the personal insults and attacks card. Can Microsoft's strategy department not give you anything better?

Just because a format is stored as XML text doesn't mean a user can blithely alter any portion of that XML text without regard to how it might affect the rest of the file.

Sweetheart, the whole point of XML (supposedly) is that it is human readable and editable text. It should be editable and parsable by other applications. If Microsoft Office throws a wobbler because you've put in what should be a valid element then you've got a problem.

Miguel (of Mono fame) completely destroys nearly every one of his arguments here

Ahhhh, Miguel. His credibility just keeps diving through the floor. First of all he dismisses the exploding spreadsheets point by saying that Stephane hasn't read the schema. However, all he has done is insert a value in a cell that is consistent with all the other XML for doing the same thing. They are not indexes to other parts, just regular data consistent with other XML elements in the same block.

He then tells us that entered versus stored values are different because of double format precision. That's great, apart from the fact that this is supposed to be a human readable format and shouldn't need to be shoved through an application to get the right value without the execution environment being described. What is a dumb XML parser supposed to do with this? It will take it as-is. Microsoft, and Miguel, just don't get this it seems.

Miguel then helpfully tells us that VML is deprecated, just as Rick Jelliffe tells us that the word95 elements are deprecated. Well thanks very much, but quite what deprecated elements are doing in a completely new format, I really have no idea. Presumably all those old Microsoft Office documents that get converted will be continuing to use these deprecated extensions, so Miguel is wrong, VML is very much still in use - which is kind of the point ;-).

OSI is a self-appointed group that takes it upon itself to decide what constitutes an open source license. They have no *inherent* credibility or authority

Microsoft doesn't seem to agree with you.

If they want to start playing favorites or being moral police then they need to publicly change their mission statement accordingly.

They are no different to any other collaborative group. You get along with your peers and contribute. If you don't then they owe you nothing Don't pull the moral or equality arguments, because they mean nothing in such organisations. It's about building your reputation within the group.

Reply Score: 8

RE: The article in short
by tomcat on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 05:03 UTC in reply to "The article in short"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Microsoft, who is finally succumbing to the open-source bandwagon

Microsoft isn't "succumbing to the open-source bandwagon". They're attempting to expand the definition of what "open-source" means. Which is fine. Open source means different things to different people, and it would be the height of hypocrisy for OSI to exclude MS simply because (a) it doesn't like MS or (b) MS's licensing model is different.

Microsoft is virtually handing their most profitable business (office suites) over to the open-source movement (in the form of OOXML).

Nonsense. I don't see many organizations moving away the binary formats. Microsoft is only doing this because certain customers (ie. governments) now require "open" file formats. But even the ones who called for these formats (ie. Massachusetts) are still using binary formats.

Reply Score: 0

Throw it out.
by systyrant on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 19:49 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

Although I don't really have a position on this I think that if Microsoft is trying to overly influence the committee then anything they have submitted should be thrown out until it can be fairly addressed.

A standard should be free for all to use and unencumbered by patents and copyrights. To me that means if something is submitted for standardization and the submitter owns a patent on the submitted technology then the patent holder should relinquish control of that patent.

I'm sure I'm missing much of the finer details, but over all I think that if Microsoft isn't stacking the odds in it's favor and it's submissions are valid and pass then all is good. That would go for any company. However, if they are known or suspicioned to be stacking the odds then what they submit should be rejected.

Reply Score: 2

v Credibility
by eggman on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:05 UTC
RE: Credibility
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:23 UTC in reply to "Credibility"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Are you really suggesting that FOSS advocates support the extermination of those who disagree with them?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Credibility
by wirespot on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Credibility"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

See, that's a tricky question. ;) I guess it's like ESR said: I know I have to grit my teeth, remain a professional, not stoop to their level, not become something I hate and so on. But boy are they trying our patience. So I can't help thinking how unbelievably sweet it would be to forget all that and kick Microsoft in the mouth, if only once.

PS: I know you were replying to something completely different, it just got me thinking I'd like to do some extermination myself sometimes. ;)

Edited 2007-09-02 22:25

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Credibility
by eggman on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Credibility"
RE[3]: Credibility
by archiesteel on Tue 4th Sep 2007 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Credibility"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

If by "truth" you mean "off-the-wall rants", then you might have a point.

Can you please give the source for RMS' comment, please? You know, so we can see the context?

By the way, "fasco-commies" is an oxymoron. Fascism and communism are at opposing poles of the political spectrum.

I think you're mostly being dugg down because you do not respect OSNews' terms or participating in these forums (and for Godwinning threads). But perhaps you just enjoy wasting time writing stuff that nobody will read...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Credibility
by MollyC on Tue 4th Sep 2007 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Credibility"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Can you please give the source for RMS' comment, please? You know, so we can see the context? "

From doing a web search, the articles regardign RMS's "crime against humanity" statement, seemed to be in response to a dev putting "timebombs" in his code to prevent it from being used by pirates:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman
"When Brian Reid in 1979 placed "time bombs" in Scribe to restrict unlicensed access to the software, Stallman proclaimed that "the prospect of charging money for software was a crime against humanity."[11]"


http://www.oreilly.com/openbook/freedom/ch06.html
"Brian Reid's 1979 decision to embed "time bombs" in Scribe, making it possible for Unilogic to limit unpaid user access to the software, was a dark omen to Stallman. "He considered it the most Nazi thing he ever saw in his life," recalls Reid. Despite going on to later Internet fame as the cocreator of the Usenet alt heirarchy, Reid says he still has yet to live down that 1979 decision, at least in Stallman's eyes. "He said that all software should be free and the prospect of charging money for software was a crime against humanity."8 "

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Credibility
by archiesteel on Tue 4th Sep 2007 00:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Credibility"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

From doing a web search, the articles regardign RMS's "crime against humanity" statement, seemed to be in response to a dev putting "timebombs" in his code to prevent it from being used by pirate


Right, however one has to realize that these are words ascribed to him by Reid. In any case, if accurate this was almost 30 years ago, in private conversation, and I don't see how this makes him particularly dangerous - or perhaps you subscribe to egghead's over-the-top mischaracterization of FOSS advocates? Please enlighten us.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Credibility
by MollyC on Tue 4th Sep 2007 01:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Credibility"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Right, however one has to realize that these are words ascribed to him by Reid.

But they are well-known and RMS hasn't seen fit to deny them over the last 30-years.


In any case, if accurate this was almost 30 years ago, in private conversation, and I don't see how this makes him particularly dangerous - or perhaps you subscribe to egghead's over-the-top mischaracterization of FOSS advocates? Please enlighten us."

Enlighten you about what? I don't speak for eggman, I merely answered a question you posed to him, for the benefit of the other readers. But looking at what he's posted, I don't see any supporting evidence of ESR supporting "genocide" or that ESR and RMS are "insane demagogues" (although, if you remove the "insane" part, I might agree with him. ;) ) I do think that RMS is a utopianist, and utopians rarely work in the long term. But that doesn't make him "insane".


OK, I take that back, wrt ESR. I just did a search for "ESR genocide" and found that he advocates "cultural genocide" (his words) against Muslims.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_S._Raymond
Raymond is a prolific writer of political and technical opinion pieces through his website and blog. Raymond is an avowed anarcho-capitalist and a supporter of the Libertarian Party. However, he supported the War on Iraq, and criticized the Libertarian party for perceived isolationism in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks;[20] he said that the Western world should embark on an "imperialist" military campaign to "civilize" the Muslim world. He acknowledged that some might call this plan "deliberate cultural genocide."[21]

Seems that he's a white-supremicist and homophobe, to boot:
"Other controversial opinions he has proffered include that African-Americans are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of crimes because they have lower IQs,[22], and that "pederasty has never been a marked or unusual behavior among homosexuals, and even advocates of outright pedophilia are not shunned in the homosexual-activist community".[23]"

This guy is one of your leaders???

Bill Gates, the most prolific philanthropist in history, is demonized by OSS advocates as "evil", but they hold up this racist, homophobe, and cultural-genocidist (if that's a word) as an icon of virtue? Wow.


To answer your question, "Do I subscribe to eggman's over-the-top mischaracterization of FOSS advocates?" No.

Here's a question to you: Do you subscribe to RMS's statement that charging for software is a "crime against humanity"? Or that closed source software is "unethical" by defintion? Because I think those are "over-the-top" remarks regarding closed-source commercial software makers.


And no I don't ascribe the wacky social theories of ESR to OSS advocates, but I'm very disappointed that they have not denounced his social theories and that they continue to pay heed to what this guy spouts. It's like giving a rip what David Duke's thoughts are on any particular matter.

And I'm sorry, but egghead is right with regard to ESR's "credibility". I dismissed eggman's "genocide" comment as empty rhetoric, and supported his being modded down on that basis. But I am literally shocked to see that it's true. This entire thread was started to discuss comments made by ESR, but after finding out what he's really about, I just have to shake my head and wonder why we've spent so much time discussing what this guy has to say. About anything.

Edited 2007-09-04 02:11

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: Credibility
by archiesteel on Tue 4th Sep 2007 02:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Credibility"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Okay, I'm popping back in just for a quick one.

This guy is one of your leaders???


No, he's not. I've known about ESR's over-the-top ways for a long time, and in my book he's more than a little nutty (he even threatened to shoot Bruce Perens, if memory serves right). His libertarian views can be quite extreme, so at least we agree on that. :-)

My beef with eggman's comment was that he insinuated that *all* FOSS advocates were like ESR, which is obviously very far from the truth.

Do you subscribe to RMS's statement that charging for software is a "crime against humanity"? Or that closed source software is "unethical" by defintion?


I do not share these views. As I've previously mentioned, I produced closed-source software products for a living (well, not right now - I'm on sabbatical leave). I do think that FOSS and proprietary software can coexist, though I do also believe that FOSS will keep increasing in popularity, and that one day proprietary code will be highly marginalized. Note that this is not something I want (necessarily), but rather something that I think is likely to happen.

I dismissed eggman's "genocide" comment as empty rhetoric, and supported his being modded down on that basis. But I am literally shocked to see that it's true.


The issue wasn't ESR's comment (his off-the-wall rants are well-known), but rather eggman's insulting insinuations that ESR is somehow representative of FOSS advocates. I'm happy to learn that you do not, in fact, share this ridiculous notion.

Edited 2007-09-04 02:44

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Credibility
by tpaws on Tue 4th Sep 2007 01:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Credibility"
tpaws Member since:
2006-06-02

"Some of them, yes. ESR is one such example, although so far he's only full-out supported genocide on the basis of race and religion."

What the h**l are you going on about. I was enjoying most of this thread until you showed up. Is this the writing of a racist?

http://catb.org/~esr/writings/racism.html

Reads a lot like something Bill Cosby would write. You also have not read anything by ESR, after all, how could you equate his discussions about "cultural-genocide" to actual genocide. You are in idiot.

Edited 2007-09-04 01:56

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Credibility
by MollyC on Tue 4th Sep 2007 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Credibility"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"What the h**l are you going on about. I was enjoying most of this thread until you showed up. Is this the writing of a racist?

http://catb.org/~esr/writings/racism.html

Reads a lot like something Bill Cosby would write. You also have not read anything by ESR, after all, how could you equate his discussions about "cultural-genocide" to actual genocide. You are in idiot. "



tpaws, I hate to say this, but it while it is something that a "personal-responsibility" African-American might write, it also sounds like something David Duke would write, in attempt to present his rasicm in a socially-acceptable manner.

Now, taken on its own, I don't have much problem with that article (other than the patronizing of African-Americans by the all-knowing "white man" tone). But couple that with what I read in wikipedia, which I cited in my previous post, and it does not paint a pretty picture for ESR.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Credibility
by dylansmrjones on Tue 4th Sep 2007 03:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Credibility"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

In terms of racism there is no reason to claim ESR is a racist.

A racist is a person who believes his/her own race is superior to other races on a genetic foundation.

The left tend to use the word "racist" whenever they need to shut down opposition, and cannot do that through logically correct argumentation.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Credibility
by archiesteel on Tue 4th Sep 2007 03:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Credibility"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Please, oh please, let's not turn this thread into a "right vs. left" thread. Let's just keep it a "FOSS vs. MS" one. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Credibility
by dylansmrjones on Tue 4th Sep 2007 03:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Credibility"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

What about the middle against the two extremes "Left" and "Right" ? ;)

If you want to keep this about MS and FOSS then stop your attacks on ESR on his personal views.

Apparently stooping to such low levels as personal attacks are the only thing you and MollyC can agree on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Credibility
by MollyC on Tue 4th Sep 2007 10:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Credibility"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"In terms of racism there is no reason to claim ESR is a racist.

A racist is a person who believes his/her own race is superior to other races on a genetic foundation. "


You're describing race-supremicism more than racism, and first word I used to describe ESR was "white-supremicist", based on his "African Americans ... have lower IQ" statement. He clearly believes he is of a superior race, so he fits the definition of a race-supremicist.

Later, I did use the word "racist" rather than white-supremicist, simply because it was shorter to write. ;) But that was sloppy language, because "racism" isn't just "bigotry", "race-supremicism", "predjudice", etc, it's rather, the act or policy of discriminating against someone on the basis of those things. I've not seen explicit examples of ESR advocating discrimination on the basis of his bigotry (though advocating an "imperialist military campaign to civilize the Muslim world" is close enough, as it smacks of "white man's burden" philosophy used to justify the European colonial empires of old; but "Muslim" isn't a "race", so the term "racism" wouldn't be accurate, but the underlying attitude is the same). But colloquially, people do use the term "racism" as shorthand to describe prejudice, bigotry, supremicism, hatred, etc, as well as the advocation of enacting policy based on those things.

Edited 2007-09-04 10:44

Reply Score: 0

RE[8]: Credibility
by segedunum on Tue 4th Sep 2007 12:40 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Credibility"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You're describing race-supremicism more than racism, and first word I used to describe ESR was "white-supremicist", based on his "African Americans ... have lower IQ" statement. He clearly believes he is of a superior race, so he fits the definition of a race-supremicist.

I'm sorry Molly. I was wrong about the last resort in the Microsoft PR handbook. It's not to tell everyone that they're anti-Microsoft, it's to go off on a massive tangent and insinuate that people involved with open source software are communists and racists. This is for when you really have to scrape the barrel. Is there some mailing list I can get on for this stuff, where you all sort of, congregate?

If indeed you are a Microsoft PR shill (and it's getting more likely with every comment), do you really think that's going to help Microsoft and the OSI get along?! ROTFL

As for the content of this supposed argument, I suggest you put yourself back through childhood, puberty and education if you don't know what you're writing about. I don't think you can be a PR shill really, because how can you be when this is just not good PR?

I would recommend people NOT reply to this drivel, because it's just another attempt to get a racist and communist thread going because she's been taken to the cleaners on everything else. The list of quotes and tacs to use in discussions obviously isn't complete enough.

Do you know what the letters F and O stand for Molly? There's another phrase used in that film that I'm sure you know, but I won't use ;-). You've gone as far off any topic as it's possible to get, you're talking about a ton of things you know nothing about and you have nothing left to write about that's remotely on topic. This little exercise has been a PR disaster because you're as transparent as air.

What did you seriously hope to achieve here, because no one here is listening, and you've also been taken through the car wash more times than I can count?

Edited 2007-09-04 12:43

Reply Score: 5

RE[8]: Credibility
by tpaws on Tue 4th Sep 2007 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Credibility"
tpaws Member since:
2006-06-02

Well MollyC, you have lost a lot of credibility with me. You continue our attempt to discredit ESR and OSI by passing judgement on your perceptions of ESR's political views based on simple quotes from Widipedia. It is apparent that you do not read beyond your simplistic references. Saying that he is a "racist" or "white-supremicist", or an "imperialist" is intelectually dishonest and completely untrue. If you want to think of him as "wacky" after actually reading his material you'll get no argument from me.

Lemur2 earlier in this thread threw down the gauntlet when you accused him of not reading his reference material discussing ODF, OOXML and formulas. Obviously he did read while you didn't, and apparently you are attempting to hide from the challenge your bomb throwing produced.

Reply Score: 4

RE[8]: Credibility
by cyclops on Wed 5th Sep 2007 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Credibility"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

MollyC the racist.

You have repeatedly made your racist stereotypes of Christians and Muslims well known.

I'm using your shorthand to describe you again as a racist.

I use this quote from you.

http://www.osnews.com/read_thread.php?news_id=18566&comment_id=2688...

"I see that smear tactics and character assassination are now the weapon of choice. That's a shame. "

Edited 2007-09-05 17:35

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Credibility
by tpaws on Tue 4th Sep 2007 04:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Credibility"
tpaws Member since:
2006-06-02

Relating to the article that spawned this thread, ESR struggling over the ethical complexity of his conundrum. This is an interesting intellectual point of discussion. This thread got way off track, but that too has been rather interesting.

What is really unfortunate is the presence of so much intellectual dishonesty. Attempting to discredit ESR by pointing to a couple of Wikipedia references is extremely weak. I doubt that "eggman" didn't even read those.

ESR is a Libertarian neopagan. There is nothing about his rants that is racist. He is definitely off the wall, hard to read, but certainly thought provoking. His diatribe "What good is IQ?" could be an excellent discussion topic in an appropriate pholosophical and/or scientific forum. It is interesting that while ESR attempts to build a premise for the banishment of racism, David Duke uses the same "studies" to support his undisguised racism.

I do not agree with much of ESR's political rants, but he does raise interesting points. I respect his positions on Freedom and Individual Responsibility. I respect his writing openly about his conundrum in the article of this thread, although I personally feel the decision is easy: Judge the license on its merits.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Credibility
by dylansmrjones on Tue 4th Sep 2007 03:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Credibility"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Any link to such a statement from ESR?

He has never supported any kind of genocide!
He's clearly anti-Left as all libertarians are, but he is equally anti-Right.

IMHO, there isn't a single controversial post in his blog, apart from clear support for software patents. Apart from that it's pretty uncontroversial (unless one belongs to the militant Left).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Credibility
by lemur2 on Tue 4th Sep 2007 03:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Credibility"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Any link to such a statement from ESR?

He has never supported any kind of genocide!


Well, I have to say, reading the link below certainly doesn't look good:

http://armedndangerous.blogspot.com/2002_09_15_armedndangerous_arch...

ESR:
that's what we're going to have to do -- civilize the barbarians at the point of a gun.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Credibility
by dylansmrjones on Tue 4th Sep 2007 04:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Credibility"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

That's not a call for genocide. That just means that ESR suggests using military means to implement democracy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Credibility
by lemur2 on Tue 4th Sep 2007 04:41 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Credibility"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

That just means that ESR suggests using military means to implement democracy.


Good grief.

"If they won't vote for our ideas, we should shoot them" ... is a means to "implement democracy"?

My irony meter is off the scale!

Does this "implementing democracy" scheme by any chance work like the old jokes?
"the whippings will continue until morale improves"
"hang him high, it will teach him a lesson"

Edited 2007-09-04 04:48

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Credibility
by dylansmrjones on Tue 4th Sep 2007 05:02 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Credibility"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Now now... I never said I supported the idea.

Besides that, you are misrepresenting the statement.

It doesn't mean that one should kill the opponents of your opinion. It means we are to fight the undemocratic forces, just like we fought nazism and fascism during 2nd World War.

It does not mean that people should be shot if they disagree. It means fighting for the right for them to disagree.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Credibility
by archiesteel on Tue 4th Sep 2007 04:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Credibility"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

That's not a call for genocide. That just means that ESR suggests using military means to implement democracy.


...which is an incredibly misguided idea. You can't impose democracy at the barrel of a gun. It doesn't work. Democracy has to be desired, fought for, and won by the people themselves.

And, yes, this is terribly off-topic.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Credibility
by dylansmrjones on Tue 4th Sep 2007 05:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Credibility"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually it does work - on occasion.

It doesn't always work, and a military solution shouldn't be given carté blanche.

But democracy was implemented that way in modern Germany. At the barrel of a gun. And it (mostly) works (given the flaws inherit in any system).

But yes. Very OT. Thanks to those hiding under the nick "eggman". And those quick to attack ESR for this and that. Incl. a certain *steel ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Credibility
by Soulbender on Tue 4th Sep 2007 05:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Credibility"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

there isn't a single controversial post in his blog


"think he is also right to say that our long-term objective must be to break, crush and eventually destroy this culture"

That's certainly offensive. Not to mention there's a lot of inaccurate bullshit (the majority of Muslims does not practice FGC, for example) in that post but that's pretty much par for the ESR course.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Credibility
by dylansmrjones on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 20:40 UTC in reply to "Credibility"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It's worth noting that ESR is a genocidal maniac who, via his blog and other publications, actively advocates the extermination of non-whites and non-Christians.


Now, that' s lie. He does not actively advocate such a thing. Nor does he passive advocate it. I thought you were gone for good.

I thought Thom had banned you for your comments back in 2006.

http://www4.osnews.com/permalink?177278
http://www4.osnews.com/permalink?177045
http://www4.osnews.com/permalink?177042
http://www4.osnews.com/permalink?176899
http://www4.osnews.com/permalink?170942
http://www4.osnews.com/permalink?170473
http://www4.osnews.com/permalink?170450
http://www4.osnews.com/permalink?170207

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: Credibility
by eggman on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Credibility"
RE[3]: Credibility
by dylansmrjones on Tue 4th Sep 2007 03:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Credibility"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I know his secondary blog and there is no racism on that. Considering your claim that scandinavian governments are controlled by neo-nazi parties, I don't give much for your opinion.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[4]: Credibility
by eggman on Fri 7th Sep 2007 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Credibility"
Star Trek TNG similarities
by KenJackson on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 21:09 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

This issue reminds me so much of a Star Trek TNG episode which I think was "The Ensigns of Command". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708796/

Microsoft is playing the role of the Sheliac. The treaty in this case it the OSI's published rules for what constitutes an acceptable license. And they aren't trying to shoo away settlers, but are trying to get a license accepted so they can replay the same episode with their own license as the treaty.

What ESR and OSI need to do is play Picard. Picard asked for a third party to negotiate that couldn't participate for six months--which gave them a tactical victory. It may be impossible with such a small set of rules, but ESR and OSI need to find some way to end-run Microsoft without violating their own position.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Star Trek TNG similarities
by archiesteel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 21:40 UTC in reply to "Star Trek TNG similarities"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

You mean deliberately delay the OSI approval? Actually that's not such a bad idea. They are not saying the license is valid or not, they simply move it down their (understandably busy) calendar.

Meanwhile, they can criticize MS for their abuse of the ISO certification process, in essence suggesting that as long as MS aggressively push OOXML, they will passively push the approval...

Reply Score: 5

Nothing and nobody is neutral
by porcel on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:09 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

People keep throwing the words neutral and independent around to justify their willingness to let this one slide in favor of Microsoft.

Licenses are not neutral and open source is not "neutral". Open source uses a set of licenses as tools to create a credo and ethos of sharing with the idea that software development and society itself improves by creating a culture of sharing.

This idea that one should not make value judgments is inane and ridiculous. Judges themselves do it all the time and it is a hugely important part of the legal process.

In criminal and civil matters, "intent" is hugely important. How do judges determine intent?

They do so by looking at an actor's pattern of behavior over time. No sane judge makes determinations based strictly on the letter of the law, but also on its spirit, the legislative context in which it was written and the goals it sought to achieve.

In the same vein, if the goal of OSI and its licenses is to create a healthy opensource ecosystem, it should reject these licenses until Microsoft proves that it really has changed its stripes.


Well, get this, the open source community cannot

Reply Score: 4

Father, son & the holy spirit
by da_Chicken on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 22:59 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

what good is it to conform to the letter of OSD if you're raping its spirit?

What's this "spirit of OSD" that ESR is referring to? Is it the Debian Free Software Guidelines, according to which the Open Source Definition was shaped, or is it the "spirit of GPL", which can be read from the preamble of the GPL?

So where can I read what this "spirit of OSD" consists of? Is the "spirit of OSD" explained somewhere in ESR's writings?

Edited 2007-09-02 23:01

Reply Score: 2

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

A bit of clarification to my previous post:
The general idea behind the Open Source ideology seems to be that ethical ideals, like the users' control of their own computers, should be irrelevant in software development. The Open Source ideal, as conceived by ESR, emphasizes an efficient method of developing software and it dismisses all ethical concerns. But now ESR suddenly seems to take an ethical stand against Microsoft's practices. And that prompts me to ask where this sudden ethical "spirit of OSD", that ESR talks about, comes from.

Reply Score: 3

Nothing to do with OSI
by whartung on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 23:20 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

This has nothing to do with OSI.

OSI's job is basically to approve whether the Microsoft license is "Open Source" or not. It is up to OSI whether the letters of the license meet the spririt of OSS, even if the company behind the license may not.

OSI needs to ensure that it too is not exploited or taken advantage of by an "unfair" player such as Microsoft, like the ISO is being now.

In the end, if the proposed licenses from MS pass OSI's muster, and they turn out to be strong and legitimate licenses, then everyone gains. Any blood we can squeeze from the MS stone is a good thing.

The issue with the ISO and OOXML is a seperate matter. We don't need evidence from this event to convince us one way or the other as too MS's sense of good will, it's "spirit vs letter", etc. There are volumes of evidence pointing to how MS plays in bad faith with the community, both historicially and currently.

OSI stands in the way of making sure that any license proposed by MS is a strong and binding license, regardless of MS's bad faith for spirit.

The ISO problem is the ISO's problem. MS is gaming the ISO, and the ISO is letting them.

You can look at the ISO as SMTP circa 1990, and MS as a new conniving spammer, looking for holes and mechanisms to exploit a long standing, well understood, and community based process.

MS and the ISO is the Tragedy of the Commons in action. If the ISO is unhappy how they're being played by MS, then the directors need to figure out some procedural way to end run around MS and cut them off before its too late.

It's obvious that MS won't let OOXML stand on it own merit (it's obvious that OOXML can't stand on it anyway), but they have a strong motivation to get it approved.

This should be obvious to the ISO, and it should be clear the ramifications of this. And it's up to the ISO to stop it.

Not OSI.

ISO has real problems. I've had the pain of working on the 3rd version of an ISO "standard" that was effectively impossible to implement, because it had in fact never been implemented, and the folks proposing the standard had no background in the technical aspects that the standard called for. Yet, that standard had survived three seperate revisions.

So, the ISO stamp doesn't mean a whole lot to me. I understand it means a lot to MS because they can head to court and say "See, it's a public standard by a public standard committee". They're looking for the ISO stamp simply as a legislative tool to get their software back in to government.

I've seen good and bad standards come out of ISO, so the fact that they might actually endorse a piece of junk like this doesn't surprise me.

But, again, this has nothing to do with OSI. OSI can do good work here, even when MS is party to it.

Reply Score: 3

uh
by meandean on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 23:26 UTC
meandean
Member since:
2007-09-02

MS is simply looking for something to use as marketing material and court arguments - to allow it to do so would be foolish IMO. I think MS also just wants to make a mockery out of the term "open source"! I am not a fan of ESR due to his 'compromise' attitude and in relation to that I figured he would happily compromise on this as well. Glad to see him taking a half-hearted stand at least.

Edited 2007-09-02 23:29

Reply Score: 2

no OOXML
by happycamper on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 03:16 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

I sometimes don't agree with ESR but on this I do. I'm for
OSS and i don't like the idea of having a format that depends on vendor's patents.

Edited 2007-09-03 03:17

Reply Score: 2

RE: no OOXML
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 03:27 UTC in reply to "no OOXML"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I sometimes don't agree with ESR but on this I do. I'm for OSS and i don't like the idea of having a format that depends on vendor's patents.


Precisely.

For governments, this in fact should be a purchasing requirement.

Everyone wants a truly open format ... everyone but Microsoft.

This leads one to the very strong suspicion that anyone supporting Microsoft's lock-in formats must be a Microsoft proxy.

Reply Score: 4

OSI moral judge ?
by trenchsol on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 10:05 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

Is OSI moral judge ? Do they say Right from Wrong, Good from Evil ? If OSI plans to remain relevant in IT, they should proceed according to their own rules, no matter what Microsoft does elsewhere, which is not their concern.

If they judge according to moral criteria, which heavily depend on persons viewpoint, then OSI will become a sectarian organization and a political instrument. No one in IT industry will care about them, except those whose interests are they serving.

Reply Score: 2

RE: OSI moral judge ?
by segedunum on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 10:22 UTC in reply to "OSI moral judge ?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Is OSI moral judge ? Do they say Right from Wrong, Good from Evil ? If OSI plans to remain relevant in IT, they should proceed according to their own rules, no matter what Microsoft does elsewhere, which is not their concern.

I see many people getting themselves into a tizzy over morals, judging things on their merits and what the OSI should or shouldn't do. It's all totally irrelevant.

The fact is, in any collaborative organisation like the OSI there are Ps and Qs to be minded, you have to have a track record and a reputation that carries weight with that organisation. That's how collaborative forums like the OSI, and more academic circles, actually work. You can't just wander on to a mailing list, or wander into a committee meeting, and say "We have this license that we think meets the criteria. Ratify it." when you have had no previous contact with that organisation, and have not supported what they do in any way shape or form.

What do you think the OS in OSI stands for? It is up to Microsoft to build that reputation to the point where they are accepted, and constructive dialogue can follow, as countless others have had to do with such organisations before them.

As you say, the OSI are not moral police, they do not police the gateway to the open source world and they are merely one organisation that sets criteria on open source licenses. They can't force any open source project to use a particular license. From that point of view, the OSI owes Microsoft, or any other company who wanders in out of the cold, absolutely nothing.

Personally, I believe that an awful lot of licenses submitted by an awful lot of companies should not have been OSI certified, mainly because they just duplicate things and also because a lot of those companies who've submitted have done very little, if anything, for open source software:

Licenses from companies such as Computer Associates, Sybase and Ricoh simply shouldn't be in there because they are just not companies that contribute anything much at all to open source software, and various licenses by IBM, Sun and Intel shouldn't be either. Even though those companies have contributed varying amounts to the wider open source world, their licenses just muddy the waters and add to confusion. License proliferation is not good for anyone, especially if most are variations on a theme.

Edited 2007-09-03 10:39

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: OSI moral judge ?
by trenchsol on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 10:52 UTC in reply to "RE: OSI moral judge ?"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

It is not that OSI owes anything to anybody else, but they owe to themselves. If they don't act according to their own criteria, they are hurting their reputation in the first place. And, yes, even I can submit a license to OSI, no matter that I had no previous contact with them.

Check http://www.opensource.org/approval
particularly point 8.

There are defined criteria, and no one has to "earn" approval based on "good behavior", "being distinguished member of X or Y" or "being faithful".

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: OSI moral judge ?
by segedunum on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 11:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OSI moral judge ?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

If they don't act according to their own criteria, they are hurting their reputation in the first place. And, yes, even I can submit a license to OSI, no matter that I had no previous contact with them.

That's just not the point. Many standards organisations, academic bodies and committees have such criteria, but if you haven't supported them previously and cannot get along with your peers then they simply aren't going to give you too much time in the day. Fact of life.

Check http://www.opensource.org/approval
particularly point 8.


Waving a committee's process procedure in their face as the only thing that matters is a sure fire way to get you thrown out, but by all means, read point 8:

Once we are assured that the license conforms to the Open Source Definition and has received thorough discussion on license-discuss or by other reviewers, and there are no remaining issues that we judge significant, we will notify you that the license has been approved, copy it to our website, and add it to the list below.

I would judge your attitude to the open source concept, the OSI as an organisation and the attitude to your fellow peers on the mailing list to be pretty significant, and so would any other collaborative organisation.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: OSI moral judge ?
by trenchsol on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: OSI moral judge ?"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Sounds like you (and Raymond) think they are doing a favor to somebody. As I understand issues are supposed to be related to a license, not to a general behavior of submitters. However, if you are right, then OSI is just a political instrument of some activist group. In that case I don't know why would Microsoft, or anyone else, bother with them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: OSI moral judge ?
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: OSI moral judge ?"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

You seem to suggest that Microsoft isn't engagin in politics by introducing these new licenses (when there were perfectly good licences for them to choose from)?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: OSI moral judge ?
by BrandonTurner on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: OSI moral judge ?"
BrandonTurner Member since:
2006-01-27

"when there were perfectly good licences for them to choose from"

So prefectly good the FSF had to make the GPLv3 to make more 'freedoms' and so good that kernel developers(BSD and Linux) can't even pick one because their 'freedoms' aren't the same type of 'freedoms'?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: OSI moral judge ?
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: OSI moral judge ?"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

So prefectly good the FSF had to make the GPLv3 to make more 'freedoms'


See my response above. The FSF is not the OSI.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: OSI moral judge ?
by trenchsol on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: OSI moral judge ?"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Well their licenses have some copyright and patent provisions, which is uncommon for other OS licenses. Those features might appeal to someone. Those licenses might invite developers from outside of FSF dominated and influenced circles, and those who generally distrust FSF, to share their code. I don't see anything wrong with that.

I think that motive is more commercial than political. MS server software (Sharepoint, Exchange) can be customized and scripted in a way that conforms to open standards, using SOAP and (Web)DAV. Having open source people developing useful additional features would increase value of their server software and their sales. Something similar to SugarCRM community.

Yes, I think that Microsoft is much less political then most of the people think. Steve Ballmer is a businessman in the first place. He has a simple goal: make more money.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: OSI moral judge ?
by archiesteel on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: OSI moral judge ?"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Well their licenses have some copyright and patent provisions, which is uncommon for other OS licenses.


*All* FOSS licenses are based on copyright law. As far as patents go, I know the GPL is against it (as are others), but I don't know how the BSD license treats the issue.

Those licenses might invite developers from outside of FSF dominated and influenced circles, and those who generally distrust FSF, to share their code.


You don't seem to realize that the OSI has *nothing* to do with the FSF. ESR and RMS apparently can't stand each other (well, that's what the story tells, anyway).

Yes, I think that Microsoft is much less political then most of the people think. Steve Ballmer is a businessman in the first place. He has a simple goal: make more money.


You also don't seem to understand how politics and money are deeply entertwined.

Politics pertains to power. One of the forms power takes is money. Therefore money and politics are deeply linked, and have been since the beginning of civilization.

MS trying to pervert the ISO certification process to fast-track OOXML is inherently political in nature, and they're using money to influence the outcome.

Reply Score: 2

naiv
by netpython on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 15:14 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Although in essence i don't allways necessarily disagree with Eric S Raymond. I do feel a rather naiv undertone coming to the surface. I doubt Mr Raymond is aware of where the real power of society lives.

The targeted dream world of Mr Raymond where everything is by the book doesn't exist. His blog contradicts with his earlier expressions about hackers, coding in generall.

Why should you trust institutes which are run by human beings if you don't trust the same people running whatever peace of code?

Reply Score: 2

RE: naiv
by trenchsol on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 22:25 UTC in reply to "naiv"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Mr. Raymond is libertarian, so what do you expect of him ? He is trying to be pro capitalistic, and in the same time feels offended when being told that.

Reply Score: 2

walterbyrd
Member since:
2005-12-31

singling out one specific vendor for different treatment.

There are other, much more sensible options, that can be taken to help eliminate such gaming.

Reply Score: 2

Isses wit OOXML
by Kokopelli on Tue 4th Sep 2007 03:58 UTC
Kokopelli
Member since:
2005-07-06

Ignoring the Mollyc debate (for which I have no opinion) and the ESR (whom I value for his contributions but not his political stance) I thought I might chime in on OOXML.

I find Microsoft's push to get OOXML approved through ISO to be disturbing and somewhat ill thought out. The point of a standard is to ensure interoperability and foster use. By review of many knowledgeable people in the field OOXML has a number of issues that should be resolved prior to its adoption as an ISO standard. MS, rather than taking this criticism and attempting to resolve the issues, seems to be using their influence and market share to push OOXML though as a standard. MollyC accuses IBM of stuffing the ballot against MS. Being familiar with IBM I would not be surprised if this were true. It does not change the fact that it is fairly obvious that MS has attempted with great vigour to push this through based on political and economic influence rather than merit.

I know only a limited amount about OOXML but the following things strike me as incorrect for a new standard:
1) Incorporation of "legacy tags" to connect the standard to a older, proprietary standard. This is a problem whether it is Word, Word Perfect, or OO.o. ODF, despite its own problems, does not tie the implementer to compatibility with OO.o specific features.
2) Date tags. This is a minor issue I grant but the is an ISO standard for date formatting. It seems only reasonable that it be used.

I only know only a little on the proposed standard (what I have read/researched in the last 3 days) but I do think any standard that get tens of thousands of comments on the responses for deficiencies should not have been put forth for a standard at all. It instead should have been refined and streamlined before being put forth.

But my main concern is less the deficiencies in the proposal than the fact that MS has made a not too subtle attempt at bypassing the ISO standardization procedure using their political and economic influence. Bill Gates calling influential members of the U.S. government, who are not technical experts in the subject, is an example. The debacle in Switzerland is another. Finally there seem to be a number of other countries where MS partners have joined at the last minute to "stuff the ballot." These actions speak of a company who has no respect for developing and getting a standard approved on merit.

Edited 2007-09-04 04:00

Reply Score: 2

RE: Isses wit OOXML
by sbergman27 on Tue 4th Sep 2007 04:12 UTC in reply to "Isses wit OOXML"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I agree. But I think that the guilty party was Sweden, not Switzerland. ;-)

Edited 2007-09-04 04:13

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Isses wit OOXML
by Kokopelli on Tue 4th Sep 2007 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Isses wit OOXML"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

Oops, well if that and spelling are the only two problems people point out I guess it could be worse. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

Nazi's
by gavin.mccord on Tue 4th Sep 2007 12:17 UTC
gavin.mccord
Member since:
2005-09-07

I'd like to invoke Godwin's law as this discussion seems to becoming increasingly irrelevant.

I'm too lazy to read all the posts, so if comparisons to Nazi's haven't already been made, I'm sure they will soon.

So, let's get back to OSNews and leave the flaming to Slashdotters.

Reply Score: 1