Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User
Lost your password?
Welcome to ConsortiumInfo.org
Friday, July 03 2015 @ 06:45 PM CDT
Wednesday, April 02 2008 @ 12:01 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Yesterday, I sent out the latest issue of my eJournal, Standards Today. Not surprisingly, it focused on the OOXML process, and what can be learned from it. Below is the Editorial, and you can find the complete issue here. You can sign up for a free subscription here.
Updated: ISO has now issued its confirmatory press release. The full text (less biolerplate) is appended at the end of this entry. I note with some interest that the press release includes the following language:
Subject to there being no formal appeals from ISO/IEC national bodies in the next two months, the International Standard will accordingly proceed to publication.
The last issue of Standards Today was titled, ODF vs. OOXML on the Eve of the BRM. That issue focused on the Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM) about to be held in Geneva, Switzerland as the penultimate act in the Fast Track approval process of DIS 29500, the specification submitted by Ecma and based upon Microsoft's OfficeOpen XML document formats (OOXML).
My editorial in that issue was prophetically titled The Overwhelming of ISO/IEC JTC1, due to the fact that only one week had been allocated to resolving more than 1,100 separate comments (some 900 of them substantive) that had been registered by National Bodies from around the world during the voting period that failed to approve OOXML during the initial balloting period in mid-2007.
Without exception, every fear that I raised in that editorial was realized, and worse. Here is a sampling:
Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 03:35 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
1. I have now received confirmation from a second source that these results are accurate.
2. Microsoft has issued a press release announcing that OOXML "Appears to Win Approval" (text below)
3. (1:00 PM EDT) I have now received a copy of the ISO communication from a National Body source entitled to receive it, and can confirm the data below.
4. Ecma's press release confirming approval is here
Open Malaysia has posted a final update of their vote registry, based upon an email from the OpenDoc Society to which is attached what they say are the final numbers on the OOXML vote. The document looks authentic, and I should have an independent verification some time this morning. You can see the final totals reflected in the Open Malaysia chart, which can be found here. The summary in the document reads as follows:
Result of voting
P-Members voting: 24 in favour out of 32 = 75 % (requirement >= 66.66%)
(P-Members having abstained are not counted in this vote.)
Member bodies voting: 10 negative votes out of 71 = 14 % (requirement <= 25%)
Monday, March 31 2008 @ 11:47 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Updated 4/1: A press release has been issued by Standards Norge defending its decision. An English translation of that press release is posted at Steve McGibbon's blog, and can be found here. Geir Isene has posted a partial response here.
One of the things that most of us learn at our mother's knee is that you shouldn't rush things. If you do, you'll make silly mistakes. Mothers also tend to tell their children to play by the rules, but some apparently listen better than others to that advice as well.
The wisdom of the first truism was demonstrated most clearly during the Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva, although its effects had been evident throughout the entire Fast Track process. In the latest evidence of the other truism, the first formal protest has been filed with ISO over a National Body vote. The National Body in question is Norway, and the protest has been filed by...(wait for it)...Norway itself.
How can all of this be true in a country like Norway? Elections this flawed usually only occur in Florida.
The complete story has been developing at the blog of Geir Isene, who left a comment at my blog yesterday, pointing tohis account of what had transpired on Friday at a meeting of Standards Norge, the Norwegian Standards Intitute. That entry read in part as follows:
Saturday, March 29 2008 @ 07:14 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Updated: (8:45 AM EDT 4/1): OOXML has been adopted
Updated: (1:45 OM EDT 3/31): Reuters has just reported that ISO will not announce the results of the OOXML vote until Wednesday April 2
Updated (3:30 PM EDT 3/29): Unless thus-far unannounced votes that were formerly "approve" or "abstain" switch to "disapprove," it appears that OOXML will be approved. See details in the cumulative "updates" section below
Like many I'm sure, I'm trying to keep track of the votes on OOXML as they become known. I've set up a spreadsheet where I'm recording votes as they become known, whether they are formal and confirmed, or coming to light from other sources, and therefore to a greater or lesser extent possibly not accurate, what the sources are, and any associated comments (mostly from Pamela's articles at Groklaw, the most recent of which is being updated with new votes as news comes in to her). You'll find the most information about specific country voting there, and at several of her prior blog posts, including this one, this one, this one, and this one.
For the benefit of those that want to get a quick look throughout the weekend, I'll post the running tally here of which votes have switched, what the net change has been, now many votes have come to light, and how many remain to be announced. It is likely that it will not be possible to know the final vote until all votes are in, due to the complicated, double test way in which the vote is counted, which is complicated by the fact that the final number of abstentions, and whether they move from "yes" or "no" votes, can decrease the number of votes that need to switch to "yes" votes. For that reason, I also include an explanation of how the omplicated two-part test for approval will be calculated.
You may also want to read my last blog entry, which discusses the impact (or non-impact) of a vote to approve OOXML, called The Future of ODF and OOXML.
Friday, March 28 2008 @ 08:09 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Tomorrow is the last day that a National Body (NB) can change its vote on OOXML. Only a few NBs have announced what they have decided, and of those, not enough have changed their votes to reverse the outcome of last summer, in which DIS 29500 (a/k/a OOXML) failed to gain approval. It will not be until Monday that the final vote will be announced by ISO/IEC JTC1 (or become public through disclosure by an NB committee member, as the case may be).
Many journalists and others have asked me whether I have a prediction on what the outcome will be, and also what I think it will mean if OOXML is approved. I don’t have an answer to the first question, as there are too many countries involved, and too much may change until the last minute. But I do have an answer to the second question, and that answer is the same one that I have given every time that a new decision point has loomed in the ongoing quest for a useful format standard that can bring competition and innovation back to the desktop, as well as ensure that the history and creativity of today will remain accessible far into the future.
That answer is this: if anyone had asked me to predict in August of 2005 (the date of the initial Massachusetts decision that set the ODF ball rolling) how far ODF might go and what impact it might have, I would never have guessed that it would have gone so far, and had such impact, in so short a period of time. I think it’s safe to say that whatever happens with the OOXML vote is likely to have little true impact at all on the future success of ODF compliant products.
Here are ten reasons why I believe this prediction will be borne out.
Thursday, March 27 2008 @ 06:18 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
With fewer than 48 hours to go throughout most of the world, only a small percentage of the 87 countries that voted last summer on OOXML have announced whether they will stand by, or change, the votes that they cast during the original six month voting period. To my knowledge, only one National Body (NB) has formally announced a change of vote thus far (Czechia has changed from "disapprove" to "approve"). Pamela Jones earlier today posted an informal report that Kenya, a P member, has switched its vote from "approve" to "abstain." And Pamela also reported that Cuba has not only announced a "disapproval" vote, but that it's earlier vote to approve was incorrectly registered, placing it in a unique category of its own. In yet another category can be found reports that a committee has recommended one action or another, but is not itself the committee that is able to make the final decision for the NB (the United Kingdom is an example).
All other reports, official and informal, of which I am aware are to the effect that the prior vote will stand, including the United States (approve), Brazil and India (both disapprove). And I've now learned that Germany can be added to the "no change" category as well, although the vote was not only very close, but, as has become almost more the expected rather than the unusual, was also unique to the circumstances and decisions made within the NB committee about what options would be permitted in the vote. The following is the message that I received a few hours ago from a German expert that I know personally who sits on the relevant DIN (the German standards body) committee:
Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 05:11 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
As regular readers will have noticed, I haven’t blogged in awhile. This is in part because I’m on the road for most of six weeks, but also because the news about OOXML continues to be both more predictable as well as more intense. At some point, the single events of the day become less individually meaningful, because they are simply part of the same fractal pattern that has replicated itself over and over since September of 2005, when Massachusetts adopted ODF, putting document standards on many powerful companies’ strategic maps. Since then, that pattern has spread dramatically, engulfing more companies, affecting more National Bodies in more countries, and invoking more campaigning on both sides. Only rarely is something now written or said that cuts through this fog of war. A few days ago in South Africa, someone did just that, and that’s what I’ve written about today.
Sunday, March 09 2008 @ 05:45 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
On February 29, about an hour after the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting closed, I posted this blog entry, based on information available at the time. Corrections were made over the next two days to take further information into account as it became available; those corrections are duly noted in the text. Due to the extent and energy of the debate that has erupted around the BRM, I turned that blog entry into an ongoing resource page, adding first-hand accounts of many delegates to the BRM, the views of selected non-attendees, the text of public statements and press releases by ISO/IEC JTC1, Ecma, various National Bodies and other interested parties, and more.
In order to make that material easier to use, I've now moved that material to this new entry, reorganized it, and added the Table of Contents immediately below (the original blog entry, as corrected, now stands alone at the original date of posting, with a forward link to this resource page). You can also view the many press articles that continue to be written as I add them to the News Picks column to the right, as well as hundreds of additional articles from the past several years about ODF and OOXML, by bookmarking . You can therefore stay current on further developments and statements relating to the BRM by bookmarking this blog entry.
My thanks to all of you that have pointed me to much of the data that appears below. Please continue to send me links to information as you find it or provide it, and I'll add it below. NOTE: you must click through to the full text of this entry for some of the Table of Contents links to work
Table of Contents
I. Updated Blog Entry - As posted on February 29
II. Comments to Blog Entry - Includes an extensive exchange with BRM Convenor Alex Brown
III. Daily Updates - Supplemental notes on the materials as added
IV. BRM Accounts by Delegates (interested and neutral) - Blog postings and interviews of delegates with their details and perspectives
V. BRM Commentary by Others - Both interested and neutral; for press accounts, see the ODF/OOXML News folder
VI. Public Statements and Press Releases - ISO/IEC JTC1, Ecma, National Bodies, and more
Friday, February 29 2008 @ 05:53 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
I have now created a very extensive, indexed BRM Resource Page to hold the many links, press releases, delegate statements and other material that were originally found here. You can find that extra materials here.
A rather incredible week in Geneva has just ended, bringing to a close the Herculean task assumed by the over 100 delegates from 32 countries that attended the BRM. That challenge, of course, was how to productively resolve the more than 1,100 comments (after elimination of duplicates) registered by the 87 National Bodies that voted last summer with respect to a specification that itself exceeded 6,000 pages.
I have spent the week in Geneva, and have spoken with many delegates from many delegations on a daily basis. Each believed that a body that purports to issue "global open standards" should not impose an obligation of secrecy on how the standards that people must live with are approved on their behalf. It would be fair to say that, notwithstanding all of the charges and counter charges that have been made leading up to the BRM regarding how National Body votes were taken last summer, how delegations have been selected, and how they have been instructed to act and vote at the BRM, there has been a good faith effort by all to try to achieve a successful result. The same appears to have held true within delegations, even those that contained representatives of the most opposed parties.
There are two ways in which you may hear the results of the BRM summarized by those that issue statements and press releases in the days to come. Perhaps inevitably, they are diametrically opposed, as has so often happened in the ODF - OOXML saga to date. Those results are as follows:
98.4% of the OOXML Proposed Dispositions were approved by a three to two majority at the BRM, validating OOXML
The OOXML Proposed Dispositions were overwhelmingly rejected by the delegations in attendance at the BRM, indicating the inability of OOXML to be adequately addressed within the "Fast Track" process
[Paragraph updated] In this blog entry, I will explain why the following is the best characterization, and help you read the various press releases and statements that may be made with the benefit of the appropriate context:
Only a very small percentage of the proposed dispositions were discussed in detail, amended and approved by the delegations in attendance at the BRM, indicating the inability of OOXML to be adequately addressed within the "Fast Track" process
Sunday, February 24 2008 @ 02:34 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
This rather long essay is in one sense a reply to the open letter recently released by Patrick Durusau, in which he suggested that it was time to acknowledge progress made and adopt OOXML. But it is also an explanation of why I have for the first time in my career become personally involved in supporting a standard. The reason is that I believe that we are at a watershed in public standards policy, and that there is much more at stake than ODF and OOXML. In this essay, I explain why I think we need to recognize the existence and vital importance of what I call “Civil ICT Standards,” and why more than simple technical compromises are needed to create them in order to protect our “Civil ICT Rights.”
As I write this entry, hundreds of people from around the world are converging on Geneva, Switzerland. 120 will meet behind closed doors to hold the final collaborative discussions that will determine whether OOXML will become an ISO/IEC standard. When their work is complete, not everyone will be pleased with the changes agreed upon, but all will acknowledge that the specification that eventually emerges will be much improved from the version that was originally submitted to Ecma two years ago.
Most will also agree that Microsoft’s customers and independent software vendors (ISVs) will be far better off with OOXML publicly available than they would if Microsoft had not offered the specification up at all.
To reach this final draft, hundreds of standards professionals in many nations have spent a great deal of time and effort, including many at Microsoft. And while Microsoft, working with Ecma, has not agreed to all of the changes that have been requested, my impression is that it has agreed to many that will, if implemented by Microsoft, require a substantial amount of work and technical compromise on its part.
Quote of the Day
“Open standards are simply better for developers
-Professor William Webb, CEO of the Weightless SIG, announcing the SIG's first standard See all Quotes
Latest NewsRussia to replace proprietary software with open sourceAdrian OffermanEU Joinup
July 3, 2015 - The Russian Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications has announced a plan to replace proprietary software with open source and locally produced software. The plan is one of the measures aimed at promoting sustainable economic development and social stability announced earlier this year.
The plan consists of three parts, each containing key activities and stages for their implementation. The first section states a preference for Russian products when procuring software for government needs. Public agencies will specifically look for local solutions providing business applications, antivirus software, information security software and internet servers now deployed in business environments. The current draft decree will be submitted for consideration to the Government of the Russian Federation next month.
The second part of the plan calls for support for the joint development of software for which no Russian solution is available, i.e. client and mobile operating systems, server operating systems, database management systems, cloud and virtualisation software, and office productivity software. The Russian Linux distribution Alt Linux and the Windows-compatible operating system ReactOS have already been selected.
The Ministry, local IT companies and inter-branch organisations are working on a draft decree to set up an autonomous non-commercial agency that will be responsible for the joint development of software for which the Russian Federation is currently highly dependent on foreign countries....the Russian Federation aims to cooperate and share development costs with the other BRICS countries. According to the Ministry, Brazil, India, China and South-Africa have already expressed their support for this "demonopolisation" initiative.... ...Full Story
W3C MathML 3.0 Approved as ISO/IEC International Standard
ANSI Weekly News July 2, 2015 - The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), together with Joint Technical Committee JTC 1, Information Technology of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), have announced approval of the MathML Version 3.0 2nd Edition as an ISO/IEC International Standard (ISO/IEC 40314:2015).
MathML is the mark-up language used in software and development tools for statistical, engineering, scientific, computational, and academic expressions of math on the Web. The Mathematical Markup Language provides ways to describe in XML both the visual presentation of formulas (with mathematical symbols, built-up formulas, and font styles) and their semantics (with reference to different domains of mathematics). Its first version, MathML 1, was released in 1999.... ...Full Story
IT Innovators: OCP Aims To Create Common Standards For Software Containers
Cheryl J. Ajluni
WindowsITPro July 1, 2015 - ...industry leaders like Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, CoreOS, Docker, and others are joining forces to create an organization known as Open Container Project (OCP).
OCP’s charter is to establish common standards for software containers. To get the ball rolling, Docker—the original author and primary sponsor of the Docker open source project—will donate existing code for its software container image format and its runtime, along with all associated specifications. The technology donation will serve as the foundation on which the new open standards will be based. OCP hopes to publish a draft specification in the very near future....According to Docker, just in the past year alone, containers based on its image format have been downloaded more than 500 million times. There are also now more than 40,000 public projects based on the Docker format....According to Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, the organization that will house OCP, “With the Open Container Project, Docker is ensuring that fragmentation won’t destroy the promise of containers. Users, vendors and technologists of all kinds will now be able to collaborate and innovate with the assurance that neutral open governance provides.”... ...Full Story
Can LibreOffice successfully compete with Microsoft Office?
CIO July 1, 2015 - It's hard to imagine an open source project more likely to fail than one that attempts to go toe-to-toe with Microsoft's Office productivity suite.
That's because, as the de-facto standard used by businesses, educational establishments and government departments around the world, Office is a product that's exceptionally hard to compete against....Yet LibreOffice, sponsored by a nonprofit organization called The Document Foundation, aims to attract users with a free, open source alternative to Office with many of the features of Microsoft's offering. The project has been around for more than four years, and is a fork of OpenOffice.org,...Michael Meeks, a leading LibreOffice developer, says the open source suite is currently being used by about 20 million Linux users. (LibreOffice is included in many Linux distributions.) He adds that update requests are also regularly received from 120 million different IP addresses – with one million new ones appearing every week -- and suggests that in total there may be 80 million LibreOffice users around the globe.... ...Full Story
Please Welcome the R Consortium I'm pleased to highlight the latest consortium I helped the Linux Foundation structure and roll out. R Consortium is one of an ongoing stream of important projects that have chosen LF to host and support their activities.
Update: Google, Microsoft, Oracle back new R Consortium at Linux Foundation
ComputerWorld June 30, 2015 - As foreshadowed on Twitter yesterday, a new R Consortium of major vendors launched today aimed at "strengthen[ing] both the technical and user communities," according to a Linux Foundation announcement.
Founding members include Microsoft, Google, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, along with well-known R players such as RStudio, Tibco Software and Mango Solutions (Revolution Analytics is a member under the Microsoft umbrella). Alteryx and Ketchum Trading are also founding members.
The consortium's home at the Linux Foundation may ease some R users' worries that major vendors could disrupt the open and collaborative spirit that now exists throughout much of the R community.
"The R Consortium will complement the work of the R Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Austria that maintains the language," according to this morning's announcement.... ...Full Story
CEA, LONMARK Announce New Home & Building Automation Standards
CEA, LONMARK June 29, 2015 - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and LONMARK International today announced two new standards available for home and building automation. These standards provide multiple parties – including users, developers, vendors, integrators and specifiers of open building control systems – a mechanism to develop and deliver a higher level of device-to-device interoperability using any open control networking communication platform.... ...Full Story
China Lifts Restrictions on E-Commerce Foreign Investment
USITO.org Weekly June 26, 2015 - On June 19, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced that e-commerce online data processing and transaction processing businesses will be opened to 100 percent foreign ownership across China, effective immediately. According to the MIIT announcement, foreign-invested enterprises will now be able to apply for permission of to hold a 100 percent stake in e-commerce online data processing and transaction processing businesses in China, but are still subject to other requirements of approval conditions and procedures as regulated in the Management Rules of Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Companies (State Council Circular No. 534).... ...Full Story
ITU defines vision and roadmap for 5G mobile development
ITU-T June 25, 2015 - ITU has established the overall roadmap for the development of 5G mobile and defined the term it will apply to it as “IMT-2020”.
With the finalization of its work on the “Vision” for 5G systems at a meeting of ITU-R Working Party 5D in San Diego, California, ITU has now defined the overall goals, process and timeline for the development of 5G mobile systems. This process is now well underway within ITU, in close collaboration with governments and the global mobile industry.
The meeting also agreed that the work should be conducted under the name of IMT-2020, as an extension of the ITU’s existing family of global standards for International Mobile Telecommunication systems (IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced) which serve as the basis for all of today’s 3G and 4G mobile systems.... ...Full Story
The need for industry standards in the fight against cyber-crime
SC Magazine June 24, 2015 - In order to address the threat facing the financial services industry, the Bank of England (BofE) recently created the CBEST testing framework. This framework uses intelligence gathered from commercial and government sources, and can be tailored to the business model and operations of individual firms...This is clearly a strong step forward. Yet even though CBEST has robust certification requirements for testing companies, it does not provide a certification standard for the financial services institution itself....Making these assessments voluntary highlights an inherent weakness in the financial services industry outside of payment cards. It would be stronger to make the assessments compulsory, as is the case for PCI DSS.
It is time for us to develop a similar standard across our industry – a Financial Services Industry Data Security Standard. This standard could build on the foundations set by PCI DSS to cover the full scope of financial services cyber-security. By cooperating around such a standard, the industry will be able to deliver a stronger collective response to the cyber-crime threat than any single company could do alone.... ...Full Story
Open Standard Weightless-N IoT Network Goes Live In London
TechWeek Europe June 23, 2015 - An Internet of Things (IoT) network using the open ‘Weightless-N’ standard has gone live across London, with the government-backed Digital Catapult Centre in London lending its support to the project.
Weightless-N was published only last month and is pitched as a cheaper, more innovative alternative to proprietary standards, allowing for cheaper hardware as any manufacturer can create base stations or endpoints.
The Weightless Special Interest Group (SIG) claims a terminal device can be made for as little as $2 and a base station for less than $3,000 – less than other platforms that lock users into one ecosystem.This, the S IG claims, results in excellent signal reach of several kilometres, even in “challenging” urban areas like London, and allows for multiple networks in a single location....Weightless-N is one of two standards made available by the non-profit Weightless SIG, the other being Weightless-W, which uses white spaces – unused portions of TV broadcast spectrum.... ...Full Story