Archive for April, 2008

UserFriendly nails it again.

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American Civil Liberties Union has filed a brief about free speech issues of an application for an abstract patent. FFII says hi; it’s great to see a major civil rights organization to bring this up in the patents sphere. With enough exposure, hopefully the insanity of business and software patents may come to an end some day…

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OOXML use cases

ISO has now rendered a decision, and the fight over OOXML could be over soon. Specifically, while there have been no reported irregularities, countries have available another two months to raise concerns. Apparently e.g. Norway has already done so, but I’m sure that misunderstanding will be cleared out shortly.

In any case, there are many good things about OOXML that I don’t know where to start. (I need to double-check the exact meaning of “open” and “XML”, but at least the “Office” part seems clear to me, which suggests a high quality work here.) Indeed, one of my favourite aspects of this standard is its simplicity. For instance, one can safely focus on its two major use cases, namely when:

  • you own Microsoft, or
  • Microsoft owns you.

Actually, this is a rather strong statement, since it has yet to be proven that anyone is currently using or implementing any version of OOXML – especially Microsoft themselves, who apparently are a bit slow on that. No worries though – it’s a standard now, so surely it’s not that important.

I wish ISO and Microsoft best of luck with all the upcoming, exciting standards projects. Clearly, we can expect even better processes that provide for a modernized approach with honest and high fidelity works. We can all thank ourselves for being part of this proud and happy family. 🙂

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