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Unix Group Takes UK Standards Body To Court Over OOXML 229

superglaze writes "Halfway through the two-month window of opportunity during which OOXML's ISO standardization can be derailed by a formal objection from a national standards body, the UK Unix Users Group is trying to force the British Standards Institution to do just that. According to the Unix Users Group, the BSI used a flawed decision-making process when they chose to approve OOXML in the ISO vote. 'The UKUUG is also folding in many other complaints about Office Open XML (OOXML), such as unresolved patent issues and a lack of completion in the specification's documentation, and is calling for the High Court of Justice to force a judicial review of the BSI's decision.' This is not the first time a country's ISO vote has been challenged."
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Unix Group Takes UK Standards Body To Court Over OOXML

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  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @10:09PM (#23270368)
    Props UK, boo others.
  • Not really give a shit about OOXML? I mean just reading the wikipedia page makes me sleepy. Countries are actually arguing over this? This has to be last on my list of things that need sorted out.
    • by grcumb ( 781340 )

      Not really give a shit about OOXML? I mean just reading the wikipedia page makes me sleepy. Countries are actually arguing over this? This has to be last on my list of things that need sorted out.

      That's nice, dear. Why don't you go look at some nice kittens [cuteoverload.com]?

      Now if you don't mind, those of us who do give a shit would like to discuss this latest development.

      • So far it sounds about as efficient as the UN. Wake me when all the member countries stop bickering and all agree on something.
    • Re:Anyone else (Score:5, Insightful)

      by edalytical ( 671270 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @11:58PM (#23270894)

      Because those of us that have and are sent Word documents in email give a shit.

      Because those of us that go to school and are told to type our papers in Word and to turn in .doc files give a shit.

      Because those of us who take online classes and have to download Word documents give a shit.

      Because those of us that work in governments and want to be able to exchange information with other agencies give a shit.

      Because libraries that believe in open and easily accessible information give a shit.

      Because those of us that don't want to use MS Word give a shit.

      Because those of us that can't afford MS Word give a shit.

      Because makers of other office suites give a shit.

      Because those of use that use FOSS give a shit.

      Because historians don't want to rely on a MS rosetta stone give a shit.

      Because I give a shit.

      • Forgot to type 'jobs' for the first sentence. It should be:

        Because those of us that have jobs and are sent Word documents in email give a shit.

        Forgive the reply to self...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rtb61 ( 674572 )
        You also left out the single most important issue because of the importance of international standards in providing standards by which the quality of goods and services can be measured and quantified to ensure reasonable quality and safe use.

        The blatant visible corruption of the international standards will only lead to substantially increased costs to validate goods and services across international borders as ISO would have to be abandoned due to the fear that any nonsense standard to be used as B$ mark

      • Serious question: Do you think MS-Office's essential world domination will go away if OOXML takes it in the pants?

        I don't. It's got to die eventually, but I doubt this will have anything significant to do with it.
        • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 )

          This is massively significant.There are rivals to MS Office products that would take market share away from them very quickly and the only thing really preventing that is if they can keep the standard file formats something that only they control. If OOXML doesn't get approved as a standard, it's really going to hurt MS. That's why the enormous pressure and attempted corruption. The stakes are actually pretty high for MS.
          • OpenOffice (and others) have had a pretty darn good Microsoft Office compatibility for quite a few years before OOXML came around. Although it would be nice to have a formal and proper standard rather than a moving black box, I don't think it would cause a mass migration away from Microsoft Office. Why? Outlook for one. Outlook is the only real client for exchange which many businesses/schools/governments happen to use for email and calendaring. Another reason is sharepoint which is also becoming increasin
          • There are rivals to MS Office products that would take market share away from them very quickly and the only thing really preventing that is if they can keep the standard file formats something that only they control.

            We'll agree to disagree there. File format compatability isn't really a bar to adopting OpenOffice today; the OpenOffice developers have done a pretty fantastic job on that front.

            Death of OOXML = death of MS-Office is more something people would like to be true than something that is actually
        • Serious question: Do you think MS-Office's essential world domination will go away if OOXML takes it in the pants?

          Ah, but this is not all about Microsoft. It's about having standards that are actually fit for purpose, and about not having the international standardisation process corrupted to serve the short term purposes of a single corporate entity at the expense of everyone else.

          Microsoft like to frame the argument as a plot to destroy the Redmond giant because then they can go telling everyone how

      • Sounds like you're not complaining because OOXML is a bad standard, but because Microsoft has achieved ubiquity.

        So, instead of allowing a documented standard to go through and let you open these documents with any implemented standard, you're standing tall and obstructing something that could actually solve pretty much everything you've complained about.

        Good job, sport.
  • And do you think Microsoft can't convince some country's group to object if theirs gets booted and the other one gets chosen?
  • Where are the mods? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quinn_Inuit ( 760445 ) <Quinn_Inuit&yahoo,com> on Thursday May 01, 2008 @11:43PM (#23270838)
    I've got some karma to burn, so here's something blatantly off-topic. Where are the mods? I've hardly seen any comments above a 2 for the last several stories. Is nobody moderating anymore? Do I have my preferences set wrong? Feel free to reply as AC so you don't lose karma answering me. I'm just curious here.
    • I usually get mod points about once a week or two and haven't seen any come my way in about the past three weeks. It's kind of weird, but it didn't occur to me that the same might be happening to other people until you mentioned the relatively low level of moderation lately.
    • Thank $DEITY, I'm not the only one. I thought I was going crazy or switched on some horrible ignore moderation mode.
    • Who gives a crap about karma anyways? I can't believe anyone (myself included) even bothers to commenting here anymore, although somehow it keeps happening.
    • by Zarhan ( 415465 )
      I got 10 mod points about a week ago (I've used to get batches of 5), but since then I've observed same thing as you - scores of >3 are very rare, so there must be too few mod points going around.
    • I had some recently, but frankly nowadays I have trouble finding posts worth modding up. There's always plenty to mod down, but really there aren't enough mod points in the world for that. Plus modding down always seems kind of a waste of mod points.

    • The irony of this is that your post will never receive the editors' attention because they browse at +5.
    • The mods have overdosed on jingoism and xenophobia, and are in a coma as a result
    • Something's (more) broken than usual. Currently the drop-down for this story says 6 comments with score 3, but if you select it, only 1 comment appears.

      The years-old bug of not showing the correct number of comments at lower scores is still there too (e.g. currently reading at score 3 and the drop-down claims there's 6 comments for *all* scores 3 and under).
    • I have five mod points, I'd bump you up but I here I am posting. Whoops.
  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Friday May 02, 2008 @02:11AM (#23271606) Homepage
    If the people over at the ISO have any level of logic left within their collective, they would have some respect for ODF and the people who worked on it and drop it. It is impossible for ODF to exist favorably in the face of of MS-OOXML for several, non-technical reasons
  • Because only MS can implement it. Which means, nothing will change and your ooxml documents will still be hostage to MS, which will still force you on the upgrade treadmill.

    And even if you completely accept you fate and buy upgrade after upgrade, your old documents may still not be time-proof. For example, MS decided that I should not be able to open my thesis files anymore.
  • As many other people who are posting have suggested. This whole situation is getting rather tiresome. The time spent campaigning to get ISO to change would be better spent coming up with APIs and utilities to enable developers to more easily create OOXML files. Neither format is going to go out of usage because of ISO's decision so the best solution for everyone is to support both formats as best as possible.

    As for this civil action. I don't think they have a leg to stand on. What I know of the BSI (who
    • As many other people who are posting have suggested. This whole situation is getting rather tiresome

      I expect it's past your bedtime. Why don't you go have a nap in the corner? The grownups will carry on without you.

      What I know of the BSI (who are very well respected) is that they don't come to decisions lightly. There's no real evidence their process was flawed.

      The issue of evidence is for the courts to determine, don't you think? I mean that's what the legal process is for.

      As to the BSI, they a

      • These same grown ups who've been whining "it's not fair" and stamping their feet whenever something didn't go their way? They certainly didn't wait for the courts to determine if it was above board or not.

        The BSI deal with huge, rich multinationals on a daily basis. I've never heard of them being done for corruption in the past and they've had a pretty long history of being under public scrutiny. For them to throw their reputation away for this one thing seems unlikely.

        The UK Unix Users Group may be r
        • These same grown ups who've been whining "it's not fair" and stamping their feet whenever something didn't go their way? They certainly didn't wait for the courts to determine if it was above board or not.

          Talking about the UK UUG? I haven't seen them whining or stamping their feet. They do have a position on whether or not the process was correctly followed in this case, which I believe is allowed. And they are indeed waiting for the courts to make a ruling. It's difficult to see what else they could do,

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