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Novell, ODF and Castles in the Sand

Things are changing very fast in the ODF landscape right now: Last week, Corel announced it would provide limited support by mid-2007 for ODF (open, view and edit of text only – but not save), and greater support for OOXML – presentations and spreadsheets as well as text.  Yesterday, Carol Sliwa at ComputerWorld released a detailed story on Microsoft's anti-ODF lobbying in Massachusetts.  Later this week, Ecma will formally vote to adopt OOXML and submit it to ISO for consideration (expect things to pick up on a number of fronts when that happens).  And now we have the Novell announcement. What, as they say, does it all mean?

ComputerWorld Documents Microsoft's Lobbying in Massachusetts

Carol Sliwa at ComputerWorld has posted an excellent story today on ODF in Massachusetts, based on over 300 emails secured under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (the local analogue of the Federal Freedom of Information Act). The sotry focuses on Microsoft's lobbying efforts in Massachusetts, and confirms, as I reported last week, that Microsoft lobbyist Brian Burke was spearheading an effort to bring pressure on the state's Information Technology Division (ITD) by promoting an amendment that would have taken away much of the ITD's power to make technology policy.

Corel Announces "Have it Your Way" Format Strategy

In an announcement that many would have expected to have been made over a year ago, Corel announced this morning that it will provide "open, view and edit support for ODF" - and for Office OpenXML (OOXML), the format submitted to Ecma for adoption, as well. The announcement states that the new functionality will be just a "first step towards a comprehensive set of functionality for both formats," but does not specify what actions might follow, or when.

MA Governor-Elect Names MS Anti-ODF Lobbyist to Technology Advisory Group

Massachusetts Governor-elect Deval Patrick last week announced 15 transition team working groups, including one intended to advise the governor on the technology needs of the state government. Seven appointees on this group make sense. And then there's the Microsoft lobbyist that has been working to defeat ODF for the last two years.

More on China's Open Source Format (and much more)

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Nov 22, 2006 5:14 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The slides are now available for the Chinese standards/open source conference I wrote about on November 8. The most interesting news I learned there was that China has been activelyl developing its own open document specification, which it calls Uniform Office Format. You can now see the full presentation of WU Zhi-gang here.

The Happy State of (ODF implementation in) Massachusetts

Last week I wrote about the sorry state of IT funding in Massachusetts, so to even out the picture, I'm writing this time about the happy fact that ODF funding is unaffected, and that I've been told that all is proceeding on schedule. I also have a second reason for spreading the news, which comes from the other side of the globe.

The Sorry State of Massachusetts

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Nov 16, 2006 12:14 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
I'm remiss in blogging on the transition in Massachusetts as Louis Gutierrez leaves his position as State CIO (Gutierrez announced that he would resign a month ago), and as Mitt Romney wraps up his single term as governor and looks forward, he hopes, to bigger political games than our small state can offer.

The ITU and ICANN: a Game of Internet Cat and Mouse

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Nov 13, 2006 7:16 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups:
Once upon a time, there was something new called "the Internet," and it was an unknown quantity. While some guessed what it could become, most did not. Famously, Mark Andreessen - of Mosaic, and later Netscape fame - and Tim Berners-Lee did, while Bill Gates did not. Less publicly, those that helped to create something that came to be called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - or ICANN - did, and the standards analogue of Bill Gates - the International Telecommunications Union - or ITU - did not.

A New Open Document Standard: This time from China

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Nov 8, 2006 11:28 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
For over a year, ODF has been duking it out with Microsoft's OpenOfficeXML. Now there's a new kid on the block from China: the Uniform Open Format, with GUI, format and API specifications for work processing, spreadsheet and presentation modules, and plans for "related standards, such as physical storage format, application integration, etc."

The Wikipedia and the Death of Archaeology

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Oct 31, 2006 6:51 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Humor
For more than 200 years, moderns have sought to divine the life stories of the ancients through the practice of archaeology. Through such efforts, we can learn something about the everyday existence of not only those prehistorians that left no written descriptions of their daily lives at all, but also of our more recent forebears, who rarely saw fit to tell us what they ate for breakfast or which penny dreadfuls and broadsheets they liked to read.

Oracle Joins Free Standards Group at the Highest Level

Oracle's announcement yesterday of its "Unbreakable Linux 2.0" program, aimed squarely at Red Hat, understandably overshadowed another announcement Larry Ellison made in the same speech. That announcement revealed that Oracle has joined the Free Standards Group (FSG), at the highest level of membership. despite being active in Linux for many years, Oracle had not previously been a member of the FSG at any level.

The Unicode Standard 5.0: An Appreciation

  • ConsortiuimInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Oct 18, 2006 1:50 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups:
Chances are you haven't heard a lot about the Unicode, or those that created it, and that's a shame. Unicode 5.0 has just been released, and believe it or not, it's a fascinating read.

Final Office Open XML Draft 1.0 Posted at Ecma Site

The final version of the Office Open XML 1.0 draft was posted an hour or so ago at the Ecma site. It is this specification that Microsoft hopes will be adopted, not only by Ecma, but by global standards body ISO/IEC as well, in an effort to slow the adoption of OpenDocument Format (ODF) by government users, among others.

Final OpenXML Approval Draft May be Postedd by Ecma on Monday

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Oct 6, 2006 6:06 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
According to a short "Tech Informer" article just posted at CIO.com, Ecma, the European IT standards organization on Monday may post "as early as Monday," the final approval draft of OpenXML, the document format specification contributed to Ecma by Microsoft in an effort to counter the momentum behind the OASIS and ISO adopted ODF.

Louis Gutierrez Resigns: Deja Vu on Beacon Hill

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Oct 4, 2006 11:52 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
In a case of deja vu that is becoming bad news for Massachusetts residents in particular, and ODF supporters in general, another Massachusetts CIO has resigned in protest. This time it is Peter Quinn's successor, State CIO Louis Gutierrez.

Online Journalism at Internet Speed

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Sep 27, 2006 1:59 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Yesterday, the New York Times broke a story that suggested that IBM would put its entire patent portfolio on line, would post all of its patent applications as well, and finally, would call for an end to all "business method" patents. The only problem is, none of those things turned out to be true.

IBM Ups the IPR Ante; Adopts Open Patent Policy

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Sep 26, 2006 12:08 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: IBM
The New York Times reports that IBM will announce a new patent policy later today under which it will significantly change the way it deals with its patent portfolio. According to the Times, IBM hopes to move the industry in the same direction by its example.

[Go IBM! This editor certainly encourages other businesses to consider what they can do to join IBM in working toward patent reform here in the US. - dcparris]

Google Sulks in Wake of Belgian Court Decision

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Sep 24, 2006 6:15 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
In what seems to be a petty display of childishness, Google at first refused to post at its own Websites in Belgium the news of a recent defeat it suffered in a Belgian courtroom - at the cost of paying a $640,000 per day fine. A day later, it caved, saying it would appeal instead.

Google, the Associated Press, and the Fair Use Doctrine

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Sep 20, 2006 1:08 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
How much use is "fair use" when it comes to Web-based content? That's a question that I expected would receive more attention in the blogosphere when Google announced last month that it had reached a deal with the Associated Press that would permit it to continue to link to AP stories at the Google Website – for a price.

OASIS Launches OpenDocument XML.org

  • ConsortiumInfo.org Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Sep 13, 2006 11:59 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
OASIS announced yesterday in Lyons, France, that it has launched a public Website "designed to serve as the official community gathering place and information resource for the OpenDocument Format (ODF)" sponsored by IBM, Sun Microsystems and, interestingly, Intel as well.

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