Standards, Business and Growth.

Posted on: September 1, 2007 - 22:02 By: carl

Strange as it may seem, once upon a time IBM sold scales and other useful things a retailer might want to have. Over the years the focus of the company changed to adopt new technologies, including large computers. A problem soon arose in that each version of the hardware used it's own unique software and nothing was really reusable. This affected not only IBM but all the other players in that market. IBM then took a punt... they decided to standardise and generalise the systems and offer a range that to all intents and purposes would be interchangeable.

Letter from Standards NZ Chief Operating Officer

Before this decision came out I had been saying how much I appreciated the process that SNZ were going through and how whatever the outcome there could be no cause for complaint from any quarter. I think this letter from Grant Thomas is an indication of just how seriously they take their role.

The COO of Standards NZ sent the following letter to stakeholders explaining their "No" vote. For me the most interesting comment was this one:

Standards New Zealand - Can we have the envelope please...

Posted on: August 30, 2007 - 14:23 By: carl

And the New Zealand vote is... "No, with comments".

This is an excellent result and reflects the hard work and dedication of both the NZOSS team and other local industry players. Hopefully the other standards bodies around the world will vote in a similar fashion and we can then get on with the task of ensuring that ECMA-376 or it's successor truly becomes an open standard worthy of the ISO stamp of approval.

Linux Foundation Statement on OOXML (ECMA-376)

Posted on: August 30, 2007 - 08:56 By: carl

The Linux Foundation have issued a statement outlining their response to the ECMA-376 (OOXML) fast track/vote process. They are recommending that the various National Standards Bodies vote "No, with comments" as that it the only guaranteed way to get this proposal into any valid, usable form that will benefit all of society.

  • Abstention will not fix this issue.
  • Voting yes will not fix this issue.
  • Voting "No, with comments" is the only way to fix this broken standard.

Andy Updegrove has more background on his Standards Blog.

FUD - OOXML Protection of Old Word Documents

There has been a lot of commentary over the last few days about whether or not OOXML is a vehicle for ensuring a whole lot of old binary formatted documents will be protected. In other words, whether we will be able to accurately represent our historical archives in the future because OOXML is/is not a standard.

Let's be very clear about this. OOXML does not provide this capability. Indeed, if this were Microsoft's key concern there would be much better ways of achieving that goal.

Notes from the Standards NZ meeting about OOXML

Posted on: August 27, 2007 - 16:42 By: Matthew

Hi folks, these began as my personal notes from the Standards NZ meeting. I've now fleshed them out with references and links to make them easier to follow.
Each heading is about a topic or question we had, with some background and my suggested action for Standards NZ.
They may not make sense without knowing the context of the meeting and/or what we talked about. If you have any questions please ask and I'll try to post an explanation and update the article with corrections.

GNUs and Wildebeests

Colin Jackson as a transcript of his National Radio appearance last week. In it he explains the workings of the GNU Public Licence - GPL.

It is very good, and worth quoting if you need to counter uncertainty in your organisation about using software licenced under the GPL.

The Wildebest in my headline is supposed to be a witty reference to BSD style licences. My very finger in the air comparison of the two goes something like this:

1. They are both about freedom.

Patent threat looms large over OOXML

The New Zealand Open Source Society (NZOSS) has grave concerns about the draft Office Open XML (OOXML) standard currently being 'fast tracked' through the ISO.

"If OOXML goes through as an ISO standard, the IT industry, government and business will encumbered with a 6000-page specification peppered with potential patent liabilities" said NZOSS President Don Christie.

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