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...

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)

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

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.

Opening the Mobile World

The Neo 1973 from OpenMoko is a phone that is not only using Linux as its operating system, but embracing freedom at every level. The development of the phone itself is open to the wider community, with development versions of the phone available now. With GSM, GPRS, GPS, Touch Sensitive screen and WiFi, all open to use by developers this phone platform looks like it has a solid future.