News of the Weird (April issue)

  • IBM votes for OOXML at the ANSI (the U.S. standards body) and the Microsoft-sponsored mob rejoices. The problem? Despite what it seems, the rules of the particular TC at the ANSI did not allow members to go against a previous ISO vote on the standard. In short, Jesper & Co are dancing over the body of a dead horse, or rather, continue to behave like some analysts who claim that Bernie Madoff’s business has a great future. Is OOXML a standardisation ponzi scheme? I think it is.
  • Oracle buys Sun. That is going to shuffle the cards a lot, and maybe ruffle some feathers. In any case, the competitive landscape is going to be changed for ever. What does it mean for I really don’t know, and not much can be said beyond the formal answer. Browsing through the different FAQs and press releases though makes me think that 1) ODF will be supported and carried forward 2) Although not a real open source player, Oracle takes open standards at heart. Stay tuned, it’s going to be interesting.
  • The Durban 2 conference in Geneva makes me think of a bizarre mashup of the first Durban conference and what I experienced at the OOXML BRM. On the one side you have outrageous antisemitic accusations going unpunished, dangerous sophistry enforcing the preeminence of religious fundamentalists over freethinkers, while on the other side, you have members of international organisations who claim everything is fine and is working out just fine. What would Alex Brown do?

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