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Expert: Fast-track ISO bid for OOXML is fair

A European standards expert has defended the move to fast-track the ISO approval process for Microsoft's Open XML (OOXML) document standard, dismissing criticisms that the decision to do so is flawed and unfair. He advised governments against mandating just one document standard as it may run foul of polices set by the World Trade Organization (WTO), opening themselves to possible legal challenges. "One of the big concerns of the WTO is that you should not use standards as a barrier to trade," he said. "If a government enforces [the use of one standard], that would mean the whole country is not allowed to use OOXML. They could get into a very difficult legal situation as this could be challenged legally," noted van den Beld.

[Wow. So much FUD and it's only Tuesday morning. These are straight bald-faced lies. Expect a lot more OOXML news and FUD in the coming week. It's the last week until the ISO (re-)vote. - Sander]

My Visit to Sun

I was invited to speak at Sun a few weeks ago. They've started a new program to bring in outside luminaries to offer differing perspectives on topics important to Sun in an effort to avoid inside-the-beltway thinking (or, put more floridly, to avoid breathing their own exhaust). I was their first speaker in the program and something of a guinea pig.

Five (Bad) Reasons to Approve OOXML

Here are five (bad) reasons to approve OOXML that are often touted my OOXML proponents, and an explanation of why they are bad.

Open Source Software Made Developers Cool. Now It Can Make Them Rich

Last spring, marketer and blogger Hugh MacLeod posted a question on his site: If open source is such a phenomenon, where are all the open source billionaires? His audience wasn't amused. Open source software relies on a community of volunteer developers who tinker on, write for, or amend a program, then give it away free. MacLeod's site filled up with complaints that even to look for billionaires violated the spirit of the open source movement. "There have to be rewards," one commenter wrote, "but they don't have to be financial."

Apple’s dirty Safari installer wouldn't happen in open source

A lot has been said of late concerning the way Apple slipped in a brand-new Safari installer into the Apple Software Update used by many hundreds of thousands of iPod-wielding Windows users. Let me offer a new perspective, from the open source point of view - why what Apple did was bad, and why open source developers wouldn’t do it. I'll also cut through the FUD and deliver the truth about what the installer really does!

Click right on with RISC OS

  • drobe.co.uk; By Martin Hansen (Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Mar 25, 2008 12:57 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews
When asked what they most like about RISC OS, many enthusiasts are likely to mention the fluid, slick and intuitive manner with which user and computer interact. In other words, the graphical user interface, or the GUI as the geeks would have us call it. With RISC OS, the GUI encourages all applications to work in a similar way, and to have the same feel. Faced with new RISC OS software, a user already has a good idea of how to drive it and explore.

What CAN’T Linux do?

A few weeks ago a colleague of mine sent me a link to a story about a man who clustered together sixteen Playstation 3s using Linux to simulate black holes. I had forgotten about this until yesterday when I was thinking “What can’t Linux do?” I know, I know, you’re thinking: Alright fanboy, bring on your dogma. Not so. This isn’t one of those pie in the sky, wishful thinking blog entries where I am going to go on to spout that Linux will, in fact: Cure cancer, solve global warming, fix the US economic crisis, and release the world from its dependency on oil (Although it might help in those arenas.)

Novell aims SLES 11 at Sun and Red Hat

The next version of Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server will focus on migration technologies and virtualization, in order to entice users from Unix and take market share from Red Hat, according to a roadmap announced at the company's BrainShare meeting in Salt Lake City.

Microsoft's Latest Patent Deal FUD

Microsoft is continuing to spread FUD about Linux and scare manufacturers into paying them to use Linux. The latest company to fall into Microsoft's demands is Onkyo.

Running Linux on PS3: More than a Toy

  • IBM/developerWorks; By Peter Seebach (Posted by IdaAshley on Mar 24, 2008 8:44 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux
The Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) runs Linux, but getting it to run well requires some tweaking. This first article, Part 1, introduces the features and benefits of PS3 Linux, shows you how to use them effectively, and suggests the kind of trickery that might get improved performance or a more usable display.

Embedded Linux Conference courts developers

Developers thinking of using Linux as an embedded operating system won’t want to miss the annual Embedded Linux Conference coming to Silicon Valley next month. The event boasts enlightening keynote talks by embedded Linux luminaries Andrew Morton, Tim Bird, and Henry Kingman, plus numerous technical sessions.

Is Firefox 3 ready for prime time?

  • DesktopLinux.com; By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Mar 24, 2008 6:47 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups: Mozilla
Firefox 3 may still be a beta, Beta 4 to be exact, but in a recent Reuters news story, Mozilla Vice President of Engineering Mike Schroepfer said of the browser, "In many ways it is much more stable than anything else out there." Is Firefox 3 Beta 4 ready for prime time? The Firefox Beta 4 Web page still declared, as of March 24, that Mozilla does "not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download this beta release, as it is intended for testing purposes only."

Consultant hopes open source apps will "snap together" someday

DCPI, a technology consulting firm based in New York City, specializes in providing custom content management solutions. DCPI uses open source software and recommends it to clients who need powerful, flexible content management solutions, but face budget challenges in a belt-tightening economy. President and founder Joe Bachana says he discovered the merits of building a business on open source first through personal experience.

NComputing spreads I/O wealth

NComputing has sold more than 600,000 virtual desktops in the last three years, offering an innovative way to harness what it calls “the untapped power of existing PCs.” The 5-year-old NComputing provides the software that creates a virtual desktop environment on any Windows- or Linux-based computer. The NComputing solution differs from competitors Citrix Systems, Microsoft and VMware by also including a client device that improves I/O through a patented process.

ISO approval: A good process gone bad

ISO’s JTC-1 directives were designed to provide a fair, consensus-based way to design standards that are portable, interoperable, and adaptable to all languages and cultures. The OOXML proposal has suffered from two basic problems: (1) voting irregularities, and (2) the use of a fast-track process for a complex, new, large specification that has not received adequate industry review. The resulting specification was driven almost exclusively by one vendor, has not achieved industry consensus, and has had thousands of issues logged against it, largely due to issues involving implementability, portability, and interoperability.

Open Source Joomla Emerges as a Top CMS Tool

The Joomla website proclaims that, 'Joomla is one of the most powerful open source content management systems on the planet.' Sure, they're biased about their collaborative open source creation. But there's no arguing that Joomla is quickly becoming one of the top content management system platforms on the Internet.

Salasaga burns brightly at its start

One of the remaining gaps in the GNU/Linux desktop is an editor for producing Flash content. When viewing Flash files, users can limp along with Adobe's proprietary player or the still-incomplete although free Gnash player, but the best they can do for Flash creation is employ the limited ability of OpenOffice.org Draw to export to the format. Considering the often trivial uses to which Flash is put, this lack is not entirely lamentable, but the fact remains that nothing remotely comparable to Adobe's Flash CS3 Professional. Salasaga, which until recently was called the Flame Project, is an effort to fill this gap by providing the functionality of Adobe Captivate for producing Flash computer tutorials and animations.

This week at LWN: Still waiting for Flash

Those of us who were using Linux full-time around the turn of the century will remember that the state of web browsing on Linux was a little scary then. The only real option available was the binary-only Netscape 4 client; it was buggy and old. It really seemed like the web was going to move forward without Linux, and that there was not a whole lot we could do about it.

GPL v3 Has Reached 2000 Projects!!!

Our database now contains over 2000 projects that are using the GPL v3. This is a large milestone for the license, and seems to still be the beginning of wider adoption. Nine months have passed since the release of the controversial license and it has already gained 2k projects. At this rate the GPL v3 is being adopted by 1000 projects every 4-5 months, and if the trend continues, the license will be used by 5000 projects by the end of the year.

Google's Summer of Code 2008

"Google Summer of Code 2008 is on! Over the past three years, the program has brought together over 1500 students and 2000 mentors from 90 countries worldwide, all for the love of code. We look forward to welcoming more new contributors and projects this year," begins a page listing all the projects planning to participate in this year's GSoC. Among the numerous planned participtants there are many kernel projects, including DragonFly BSD, FreeBSD, Git, GNU/Hurd, Linux, Minix, and NetBSD.

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