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RE: Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

  • From: Gause_Brian@e...
  • To: <jonathan.robie@r...>, <len.bullard@u...>
  • Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 15:55:07 -0400

RE:  Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

I disagree that Len is arguing against the idea of one vote per company.
This does not follow. As I read his text, I thought it was a cynical dig
at MS, not a conclusion regarding "the way it should be".

I also disagree that Len is "implying that the proper remedy is for
every other company to try to stuff the ballot box..." What I see in
Len's text is a rhetorical question. He could be implying that the
standards committee needs to institute a membership policy barring
one-day-old members from voting. To say that he's implying one
particular solution is a mistake that simply doesn't follow from his

For my part, I believe these standards committees should have membership
policies to prevent such clear attempts to push through such decisions.
But does it really matter? MS has found their solution...be prepared for
this sort of behavior over and over again... 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Robie [mailto:jonathan.robie@r...] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 12:30 PM
To: Len Bullard
Cc: xml-dev@l...
Subject: Re:  Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

Len Bullard wrote:
> Of course MS partners vote for MS
> submissions.  That's practical business.  Did MS gather them up?  I
> say and neither can you nor can the author of that article.  They
> did.  Are Google, Sun and IBM not doing that as well?  If not, they
are not
> being very smart. 

You seem to be arguing against the idea of one vote per company, saying 
that whoever is best able to create large lobbies should win in the 
standardization process.

> No.  I think it rather weird that everyone else shows up late in
> numbers.   Do Sun, Red Hat, IBM and Google have so few partners they
> afford to join?

I honestly don't know whether Red Hat has been voting on this standard 
at all - I haven't been involved in ODF, OOXML, or ISO standards, but 
you seem to be implying that the proper remedy is for every other 
company to try to stuff the ballot box by enlisting their own partners, 
and whoever does this best should win.

>> 4. There is not widespread adoption of OOXML outside of Microsoft.
>> of the OOXML implementations are from partners of Microsoft who have 
>> contractual agreements to implement OOXML software.
> So the partners of Microsoft are inside Microsoft and the partners of
> Hat are outside Red Hat?  Are you the Red Queen?  That's really bogus.

This is one of the traditional ways to measure whether a standard is 
implementable - compatibility among multiple independent 
implementations. That's the approach we take in the W3C, where I've been

on standards groups for 10 years. I think Google is implying that there 
are not multiple independent implementations for OOXML.

I have no idea what a Red Queen is, but I'm certainly not speaking for 
Red Hat in anything I say, I don't know what our position is on OOXML, 
and the quote above comes from Google's position paper, not from me.

>> I guess I should express my own views too. I think OOXML is a good 
>> thing, and I'm very glad Microsoft produced it. I don't think it
>> be a standard, because it is designed precisely to represent one 
>> vendor's office documents, not as a general purpose office document 
>> format created by a group of vendors.
> That is a MUCH better deal than if it isn't a standard.  Because of
> political gerrymandering, if it isn't a standard, the legal conditions
> such that very large customers have to switch and thee me and the rest
> the taxpayers foot the bill.  Where will that money go?  Well... to
Red Hat,
> Sun, IBM, and indirectly, to Google.    
> So the bottom line is their customers pay you to free them from
Microsoft by
> taking the same information and making it less informative?  Huh?

So should there be a standard for each vendor's proprietary formats, or 
just for Microsoft's? In an ideal world, there would be one standard 
format, and all vendors would support it, eliminating the cost of 
proprietary conversions.



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