After all the mud slinging (disclosure: I did some of the throwing) in ODF vs OOXML in the period leading up to OOXML accepted as ISO Standard, things dies down as expected. I was hoping the argument will now shift to the technical merits of the two competing standards, but no. We have people still trying to make politics the front page.
First up, Rick Jelliffe. He attacked ODF openness by saying that people attending ODF meetings are 90% vendors. I do not think that is unusual. In fact, I am not surprised it is not higher. Standards are only useful for people who need it and joe public, who makes up the vast majority of users, could not be bothered. While slinging mud at ODF committee, I need to ask the question why Jelliffe had not attended the meeting himself? May be he is like me, i.e. cannot find someone to pay for the trip and the trip is too expensive to fork out from my own pocket.
An expose by Rick Jelliffe Mr Brown? I don’t really think so. ODF controlled by a “single big vendor”? Check out WG4 first. Every committee will benefit from being well-rounded, but virtually all committees are not. WG4 getting there? Me not that sure mate.
What I will agree with Mr Brown is that there should be scope for private conversation at Standard committee. Going all public like ODF means there are participants who want to discuss things in private simply bypass the committee by direct mailing. But I think OASIS knows this. It says everything has to be public to encourage transparency and encourage participants to open up.
As for WG5 (interoperability), just because you set it up does not mean ODF and OOXML camp will meet and participate. Quite frankly I do not see any need for such a committee as we all should just switch to ODF. OOXML is not open enough in terms of available implementations. We have implementations in Windows platform, but for others, the implementation is simply not good enough, i.e. read but no write. WG5 benefits OOXML by allows OOXML to “overcome” this problem by saying user simply convert to ODF as need be. This is to the detriment of ODF so why should ODF surrender the advantage of cross-platform implementation by participating in WG5?
From the ODF camp, I think this criticism of OOXML is a bit over the top. Mistakes happens. Moreover, every standard has defects so having problems with font specification is not something really unexpected.