CyberTech Rambler

November 29, 2005

Politics and OpenDocumentFormat

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 10:54 am

Yup, I know, this is old news now:

In this article, Senator Pacheco, the chair person of the committee that grilled Peter Quinn and Linda Hamel in Senate Hill said:

“If you have a product that’s going to be accepted in the international community, and they still exclude it here, then it’s really about restricting Microsoft and not about open standards,”

If there is any doubt whether Senator Pacheco is influenced by Microsoft, this clinch it.

Should we call Senator Pacheco clueless on what really matters in a open format? NO. Absolutely not. Unless one is in the industry, it is difficult to know that it is the small little details about published standards that actually matters.

However, the hearing he chaired show him to be totally clueless about the issue. For example, he cannot even differentiate between OpenDocumentFormat and OpenOffice. One would had thought that since he is the one who took the lead and make a fuss of the issue, he will first bother to get his fact straight. No chance there. That is my beef with him. Not that he has a different opinion from me, but he did not do his homework. The sad thing is, he may be the first, but he will not be the only one.

Peter Quinn and Linda Hamel may not be politically savvy, but when it comes to technology, they are very thorough. As long as they judge Microsoft’s XML schema with to the same evaluation criteria they spell out when selecting OpenOfficeFormat, and come out with a fair reason for rejecting/accepting Microsoft’s XML schema as open, we have to give them the benefit of doubt. Of course, their decision is going to be made more difficult with this move by Microsoft to submit their office format to ECMA.

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