The Results of the Vote

After many allegations of corruption, vote rigging, ballot stuffing and rule changing the votes have been cast and all that remains is the counting. The official results are arriving in dribs and drabs, prompting more suspicions of irregularities. It seemed neck and neck at first, but then as more results are announced it seems that the the efforts of the community to preserve the last shreds of democratic process may not have been enough. The stakes are high and the world media is watching closely, or as closely as they can since they are barred from entry. Freedom is at stake here, and the future of an entity with $28 billion turnover.

Hang on, world media? But that can’t be OOXML? And why $28 billion? Wikipedia puts Microsoft’s turnover at $51.12 billion.

No, the $28 billion is the GDP of Zimbabwe, who, just for the record, abstained on the OOXML vote. I hope Microsoft are happy they seem to be doing even better than Mugabe. They seem likely to be the proud owners of the worst international standard money can buy. Not sure how Zimbabwe is going to turn out, but I suspect it won’t be peaceful.

When campaigning against a planning decision about a local supermarket people march about with hand painted banners. When campaigning against a new road people build tree houses and don’t wash. When campaigning against animal testing it is traditional to handcuff yourself to the laboratory gates and be dragged away screaming. When campaigning against a redundant and commercially motivated market distorting international standard we wrote words. We held a conference. We wore suits. We handed out information to people who asked for it. Some people waved a few flags. We got branded as disorganised and unprofessional.

I hope that Microsoft won’t lobby governments to use OOXML.

I hope Governments won’t send OOXML documents to their citizens, effectively mandating the purchase of Microsoft software.

I hope the OLPC XO laptop and other Linux based pervasive low cost, low footprint computing devices won’t find themselves locked out of markets where they just don’t have the computing muscle and storage to support OOXML.

I hope that Microsoft won’t exploit the fact that their software is a definitive implementation of the standard (not a reference implementation, because it is closed and you can’t refer to it).

I hope that the Open Source community won’t divert too much effort into supporting this standard.

I hope that Microsoft actually write ODF filters to allow their software to load and save ODF documents demonstrating their belief in “choice in standards”.

I hope the Fast Track process never happens again.

I hope ISO survives, the world needs good standards and an impartial curator of them.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>