a 'mooh' point

clearly an IBM drone

IBM: Thumbs up for OOXML!

Today news broke that ANSI (the US national standardisation guys) recently voted on the subject of approving OOXML as an "American National Standard".

The text of the ballot was:

Approval to Adopt the International Standards listed below as American National Standards:

  • ISO/IEC 29500-1:2008 (...) Part 1: Fundamentals and Markup Language Reference
  • ISO/IEC 29500-2:2008 (...) Part 2: Open Packaging Conventions
  • ISO/IEC 29500-3:2008 (...) Part 3: Markup Compatibility and Extensibility
  • ISO/IEC 29500-4:2008 (...) Part 4: Transitional Migration Features

A total of 20 organisations/entities voted and the result was

  • Approve: 12
  • No: 0
  • Abstain: 2
  • Not voted: 2

The details are here:

DateOrganizationYesNoAbstainNot Yet
TOTAL 12 0 2 4
03/16/2009 Adobe Systems       X
04/13/2009 Apple Inc X      
04/15/2009 Department of Homeland Security X      
03/16/2009 DMTF       X
04/09/2009 Electronic Industries Alliance X      
03/16/2009 EMC X      
03/16/2009 Farance, Incorporated       X
03/16/2009 Google       X
04/15/2009 GS1 US     X   Comments
04/13/2009 Hewlett Packard Co X      
03/24/2009 IBM Corp X      
04/15/2009 IEEE     X   Comments
04/08/2009 Intel X      
03/18/2009 Lexmark International X      
03/17/2009 Microsoft X      
03/16/2009 NIST X      
03/19/2009 Oracle X      
03/16/2009 US Department of Defense X      

An interesting vote here is naturally the vote of "International Business Machines Corp", otherwise known as IBM. It seems they now support OOXML - good for them.

I think it is an extremely positive move from IBM and I salute them for finally getting their act together and supporting OOXML. I also hope IBM will tread in the footsteps of Microsoft in terms of TC-participation and join us in SC34/WG4 to contribute to the work we do. I think it is positive for the industry that Microsoft finally joined OASIS ODF TC last summer, and I hope IBM will do the same with SC34/WG4 - we need other vendors besides Microsoft at the table. I also hope this means that IBM will speed up support for OOXML in either Lotus Symphony or OpenOffice.org. The support for OOXML in other applications than Microsoft Office 2007 is ridiculously low.

Thank you, IBM - you really made my day.


PS: I appologize for the colors of the table above


Censored by Big Blue-hoo?

Today I posted a comment on Arnaud Lehors'  blog - I wanted to share my thoughts on his article about what JTC1's Fast-Track process was designed for. Arnaud moderated his blog and he has been critized for moderating his blog too rigid and not allowing posts that dissagree with him (check out the comment section of my previous article about IBM's trench war) and Doug Mahugs article Similar accusations have been made at the other two of "the three stooges", Bob Sutor and Rob Weir.

I don't know where Arnaud lives (presumably in US), so he might have been at sleep when I posted my comment, but it took a few hours before my comment appeared on his blog. In the mean time I couldn't help thinking about whether or not I had been moderated to death as well ... or if it was all a storm in a tea-cup.

So on my way home from work I thought I'd help out a little with straightning out the confusion. I don't moderate my blog (and never will) so I hereby put forward, as a service to you all, the option of using the comment section of this entry as a "Big Blue Comment censorship archive".

So if you are about to post a comment on one of IBM's blogs, feel free to also post it here with a link to the blog post you would expect it to appear in.

I think this would be a win/win situation for us all. It will provide means to say and claim, that IBM is really censoring their blogs ... and if IBM stops moderating so aggressively, they will be able to claim that we were all wrong.

I will cast the first stone.


IBM is now fighting from the trenches

After the BRM it seems to be more the rule than the exception to be denied "speech" on the blogs of the front-runners of the IBM bloggers. First it happened to me on Robs blog (where I commented on his patronizing tone towards a Czech delegate at the BRM and now it happened to me on Bob Sutors blog as well. Actually I thought it was just my point of view that was really stupid (so that Bob was essentially doing me a favour in not approving my comment), but today in the newsgroup comp.os.linux.advocacy I heard that Bob had completely disabled comments to this particular post and a post routing more of the, ahem, "balanced" views of the ODF Alliance. It seems to me that IBM has given up debating the issues at hand and are now using their blogs as mere portals with no user-interaction ... at least not interaction of the people opposing their views.

Well, to the amusement of you all - here is what I wrote:

Hi Bob,

I am a bit confused to why the lawyers of the Software Freedom Law Center has not compared the OSP of Microsoft to IBMs Interoperability Specifications Pledge at http://www-03.ibm.com/linux/opensource/isplist.shtml .

They seem to focus on two sentences from the OSP, but similar ones are present in IBMs ISP:

New versions of previously covered specifications will be separately considered for addition to the list.

IBM will evaluate new versions or additional specifications for inclusion based on their consistency with the objectives of this pledge which is to support widespread adoption of open specifications that enable software interoperability for our customers, and may, from time to time, make additional pledges.

The OSP does not apply to any work that you do beyond the scope of the covered specification(s).

IBM irrevocably covenants to you that it will not assert any Necessary Claims against you for your making, using, importing, selling, or offering for sale  Covered Implementations [...]. Covered Implementations" are those specific portions of a product (hardware, software, services or combinations thereof) that implement and comply with a Covered Specification and are included in a fully compliant implementation of that Covered Specification.

By decuction, shouldn't OSS-developers avoid ODF too?

I won't repeat Bobs response to me, since it was in a private email, but Bob, please feel free to comment here.