Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

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Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:08 pm

Someone on the mailing list gave the links to 2 articles dealing with the ISO ballot about OOXML (MS Office 2007) for ISO standardization. Here they are :
- EU Initiates Investigation Against Microsoft OOXML Push
- EU to probe Microsoft's ISO claim over Office software file format - report

Update (Apr. 5, 2010): see that article, after 2 years. Microsoft Fails the Standards Test.

For those who had missed the story, you can start here: http://www.noooxml.org/ and sign the petition (more than 81,000 signatures today).

On 2 September 2007, ISO national bodies voted on Ecma 376, "OOXML". The ISO secretariat has decided to move forward with a Ballot Resolution Meeting in February 2008 to make the final decision.

Microsoft got to pass with 19 "difficulties" round one (fast-track OOXML) and lost round two (vote on OOXML), and now the fight moves to round three, the definitive one.

From February 25 to 29, 2008, national boards will meet in Geneva to discuss OOXML. The final vote is scheduled for end-March 2007, 30 days after the BRM. All countries that voted in the September ballot will be eligible to vote in March.

NB: ODF (native format for OOo) is an ISO standard since 2006 (OpenDocument standardization).
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby squenson » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:37 pm

I am a strong opponent to OOXML. Not because it is coming from Microsoft, but because it is buggy, unclear and there is already a valid standard for documents called ODF. And I do not think that the world needs another standard in this area.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:45 am

Right. Let's precise that this site went alive not to fight Microsoft but to point out what the bugs are in OOXML, hence why it couldn't be accepted as a standard.

Even if all the bugs were fixed, the remaining question would be: why 2 standards for the same purpose?
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:02 pm

For the record, see this disconcerting article (just some excerpts here):
On March, 29th. Groklaw wrote:OOXML Vote: Irregularities in Germany & Croatia and a Call for an Investigation of Norway

If Microsoft gets this OOXML format "approved", it will be by irregularities in the voting, it seems. Here's more on what happened in Germany and a report on what is being called a scandal in Norway. And another odd process in Croatia.

(...) when they went to vote, they [German members] were not allowed to vote disapprove, so the choice was to approve or to abstain. It was a tie, 6:6, which means no consensus. So under the rules I've read, that would have meant that they should send a vote of Abstain.

But surprise, surprise!! A solution helpful to Microsoft: the representative from DIN decided to cast a vote, which isn't the process.

Norway's at least as bad. (...) The article says there should be an investigation of the irregularities there, because while there were only two votes to approve, from Microsoft and a business partner, Statoilhydro, and all the others voted no, 21 votes, they approved anyway. Here's how they shuffled the deck in Norway. So they put everyone out of the room, and Standards Norway, three people were left in the room, and they usurped the decision and made it their business to decide to approve anyway.

(...)

Here's an account regarding Croatia from the oddparity blog. They voted Yes with comments in September. When they wanted to vote again after the BRM, Microsoft refused to participate, claiming no revote after the BRM was mandatory. The result was overwhelming rejection, 14 to 3, but one vote short of being able to overturn their September Yes vote, if you calculate that not enough votes were cast, which is the claim. There are 35 members, but only 17 showed up to vote. One thought, according to the account, is that some didn't show up, thinking the vote was not supposed to happen, thanks to Microsoft. So Croatia stays, kicking and screaming or wondering how did it happen, in the Approve column, despite clearly wishing not to be there

(...)
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby TheGurkha » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:16 pm

The outcome is going to be revealed on Wed 2nd April 2008, apparently.

http://www.reuters.com/article/technolo ... 8720080331
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Hit them with their own weapons

Postby morbe » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:53 am

At the current state where they most likely get the ISO stamp i would propose the following:
Native readling of OOXML files should be implemented into OpenOffice.org as soon as ever possible.
However, native writing of files should be restricted to ODF (or PDF for static files) and only M$ legacy formats.
Native writing of OOXML shall be implemented via plugin.

According to M$ rules this plugin schould be hard to find for download and difficult to install.

best regards, Germain
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby squenson » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:36 pm

According to Reuters, OOXML has been adopted as an ISO standard. I do not think this is an April 1st "foul day" joke, unfortunately.
http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUKL0180031920080401?rpc=44
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:57 pm

Let's see. [Groklaw]OOXML Vote: Irregularities in Germany & Croatia and a Call for an Investigation of Norway

If that bloated and faulty "standard" succeeds, OOo 3 could be delivered with OOXML as default file format. Nobody will want to save anything as ODF anymore.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:28 pm

Sadly, it's done:
http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2008/04/01/ooxml-dis29500-result-approved/.

As an engineer, that's a big big blow to ISO and AFNOR (French national body) credibility for me.
$ power.
Shame shame shame.

Why OOo 3.0 should be delivered with OOXML by default? :shock:
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:53 pm

Why OOo 3.0 should be delivered with OOXML by default? :shock:

Because it will be the most requested file format. There won't be obvious reasons in favour of ODF over OOXML. Fortunately, many developers are currently involved in OOXML filters for OOo. I will uninstall OOo as soon as 1900 is a leap year.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:58 pm

Villeroy wrote:it will be the most requested file format.

I'm not so sure, but let's see what happens.

Villeroy wrote:I will uninstall OOo as soon as 1900 is a leap year.

:lol:
You may still be around for a while then.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby suguruhirahara » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:49 pm

Hi, first post here (though I'm a user of Ooo since several years ;).

From the series of processes I got the same impression which I had felt in these months from the battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. It's the users who have the damage, you see. But this case must be even more problematic, because some governments had already choose to adopt to OOo, whose default format ODF is.

Then which format is 'the standard' anyway? And is there no way to integrate them, keeping a new one absolute open?
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:55 pm

suguruhirahara wrote:And is there no way to integrate them, keeping a new one absolute open?

Well, it could be a way for the ISO committee to save the face: remove all the bugged items from OOXML and merge both formats. Who knows?
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Weatherlawyer » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:41 pm

Ooksmell: Microsoft Office Open eXtensible Markup Language has a not unfavourable write up in Wikipedia. I wonder why, in lieu of all the dissatisfaction I have read about it.

What I was looking for is some sign that it is designed to allow Microsoft to incorporate some of the work that the free code writers have put into Open Office or one of its earlier incarnations. I don't know if that is possible. They couldn't incorporate code directly without posting the code somewhere in accord with the various licences.

But if the OOXML stuff -which is yet to be written as far as I can make out, is capable of using some of the work, it would explain the investment Microsoft has put into getting it past the board. It doesn't make sense otherwise.

Proving a committee is corrupt, weakens the possibility of a company making use of that corruption later on. Of course, it also identifies who to get on the next rounds. Governments are the last people to make moves towards cleaning up their houses.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:21 pm

MS published the specs of their old binary formats, which indicates that the binary formats are considered to be worthless now. Whatever ISO decides to do with the new shit, I take it for granted that Microsoft will introduce "extensions" to the ISO standard as soon as OOo comes too close. In any case the new "leading standard" will do the same as the closed binary format used to do during the last 15 years. It will focus thousands of developers on how Microsoft processes office documents.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby EdH » Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:10 pm

On the 1st of April KDE approved OOXML:
http://dot.kde.org/1207000153/

:roll:

Thankfully actually they didn't but Gnome do seem to be working on OOXML support, despite it going against their feature anhililation policy:
http://www.linux.com/feature/121930

Miguel de Icaza wrote:OOXML is a superb standard and yet, it has been
FUDed so badly by its competitors that serious people believe that
there is something fundamentally wrong with it. This is at a time when
OOXML as a spec is in much better shape than any other spec on that
space.

http://groups.google.com/group/tiraniao ... 2af2d63d57

Silly Miguel.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:36 pm

Miguel de Icaza wrote:OOXML is a superb standard and yet, it has been
FUDed[*] so badly by its competitors that serious people believe that
there is something fundamentally wrong with it. This is at a time when
OOXML as a spec is in much better shape than any other spec on that
space.

* FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, Disinformation
There is not a single trace of FUD in this article about the conceptual flaws in OOXML Microsoft Office XML formats? Defective by design
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Office 2007 fails OOXML conformance test

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:18 pm

Less than 3 weeks after the OOXML certification, MS Office is already not compliant with its own format :roll:
On April 21, 2008, Peter Judge from CNET News.com wrote:Office 2007 fails OOXML conformance test

Word documents generated by today's version of Microsoft Office 2007 do not conform to the Office Open XML standard under development by the International Organization for Standardization, according to tests run by a document standards specialist.

(...)

Commentators, including Tim Bray, the inventor of XML, have suggested that Microsoft is unlikely to bother to keep conformant with the OOXML standard as it develops within ISO, but Brown was more optimistic.

...

And in addition, the real story of the Norway vote for certification:
The Norway Vote - What really happened by the former Chairman of the Norwegian ISO committee, who resigned two weeks ago in protest against his country's vote of Yes to OOXML.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby keme » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:04 am

In retrospect, this article, stating the main subject "Electronic document format exchange" (sic!), shows clear indications of forces at work in the norwegian standards body.

Some notable differences in perspective/attitude in the article:
OASIS "suggested to ISO that ODF be an international standard", while ECMA "chooses to propose its standard for ISO approval".
The section under subheading "Open Document format" doesn't mention XML once although it is XML based, while the section "XML-standard" is about OOXML exclusively and doesn't mention ODF.
The number of [ ODF ] supporting applications is small, but growing vs. there should be no trouble finding applications supporting the [ OOXML ] standard
OASIS is referred to as a "group", while ECMA is referred to as "ISO's collaborative partner".

I wrote comments on that article and sent them to Standard Norge in early 2007, but being a layman in this respect I wasn't surprised that I didn't get any response. Still, the article stands uncommented to this day, which has been somewhat surprising to me until I read Steve Peppers letter to ISO and blog entry. Thanks for that link, Hagar. It was really enlightening (though disconcerting).
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Phil » Wed May 07, 2008 3:53 pm

The UK Unix & Open Systems User Group (UKUUG) has taken the British Standards Institution to court in an attempt to get the standards body to recant its approval of OOXML according to a ZDNet UK article.

There is also a follow-up on The Norway Vote - What really happened providing more background information.

Maybe there is still some hope?

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Office 2007 won't support ISO's OOXML

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed May 21, 2008 10:41 pm

Hagar de l'Est wrote:Less than 3 weeks after the OOXML certification, MS Office is already not compliant with its own format :roll:

Here we are: MS Office won't use that file format at all!
On May 21, 2008, David Worthington from SDTimes wrote:Office 2007 won't support ISO's OOXML

(...) the company is not quick to embrace its own creation. Mahugh stated that Microsoft would not implement the final ISO version of OOXML until Office 14 ships at an unstated date in the future. This variant of OOXML was designated ISO/IEC 29500 at the time it was certified as an ISO International standard in April.

(...)

ODF support was a priority for Microsoft, Mahugh noted, adding that “real world” customers say that there is a pressing need for PDF support. “At this point there are no products using [ISO/IEC 29500] in the marketplace.”

...
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun May 25, 2008 12:11 am

Some additional links given in the OOo mailing list:
- South Africa Files Official Appeal Re OOXML - OOXML in Limbo Now. Could explain why Microsoft to support ODF? If they want to have any ISO tag to sell on their box (better have at least the ODF one than nothing at all).
- File Format: Hidden traps in OpenDocument (or any other open standard) and how to avoid them.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Phil » Mon May 26, 2008 1:34 pm

I think the article Microsoft will support Open Document Format (ODF) at heise online UK is quite informative.

KR, phil
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby EdH » Mon May 26, 2008 11:07 pm

If MS support fully support ODF for both read and write and ODFSVN gets a fair amount further by that time, I'll start a project for VBA addon for MS Office giving it access to proper version control via ODFSVN. It would not work with OOXML at all so would greatly encourage people to use ODF rather than OOXML, even if they do still want to stick to MS software. That would be interesting.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Weatherlawyer » Wed May 28, 2008 8:57 pm

The Danish government has only just got around to selecting a committee tolook into the whole business. I wonder if they will have time to put a complaint in before the ISO becomes de facto. They still have 4 hours left to do so.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:41 am

Brazil and India lodge appeal against ISO standardisation of OOXML
Two more great nations! This seems to become a roll-back movement.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Phil » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:50 pm

And one more great Nation: Venezuela Joins Line Appealing OOXML Standard Approval

It is really a pity that the European nations behave that badly...

Villeroy wrote:This seems to become a roll-back movement.

Yes, indeed! :) That really lets me find new hope...

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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:00 pm

Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby EdH » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:08 pm

Microsoft's standards bid stalled
It even has a screenshot of the OOo webpage at the head of the article.
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Re: Say NO to the new MS Office OOXML format as ISO standard

Postby Villeroy » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:55 pm

ODF (Open Document Format) has benefited from the two-year battle over the ratification of Microsoft's rival OOXML (Open Office XML) standard, which is native to its Office 2007 suite, Microsoft's national technology officer said Thursday during a panel discussion at the Red Hat Summit in Boston.
"ODF has clearly won," said Stuart McKee, referring to Microsoft's recent announcement that it would begin natively supporting ODF in Office next year and join the technical committee overseeing the next version of the format.

http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/06/ ... tle_1.html
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