Singapore and OOXML – the inconvenient truth?

Singapore: The Inconvenient Truth from on Vimeo.

Not directly related to ooxml, but something that I think means a lot for us as Singaporeans. As a nation, we have shown that we will take the hard decisions that could piss off people. Catherine Lim does a great job in explaining a lot of what the psyche is of a Singapore and the pulpable fear of the population [a transcript is available here]. I think that element is also evident in the various national bodies around the world where they are fearful of “offending MS if OOXML is voted down”.

So let’s look at some scenarios if ooxml fails in Singapore. Will MS suddenly pull out of Singapore? Pull what out? A bunch of marketing and CD production folks? No ms r&d happens here. Funnily, ms r&d happens in India and China and they both have voted no to ooxml. Will ms pull out of India or China? They could, but they wouldn’t. Similarly here.

What if ooxml wins here? Life will go on. I will be very disappointed because the positive vote would have been done without any technical oversight; it would have be done because of the “fear”. MS will pop champagne; some KPIs would have been met. The rest of the country would not know what happened and would not care.


    • Re: Is this becoming a standard – oh my god?
      I think congratulations are due to Microsoft – clap, clap, clap. They have masterfully executed a global campaign to subvert people and processes. They have bought their way – there’s plenty of proof all over the world and the EU has already initiated an investigation on this. Microsoft is now morally bankrupt and the passage of ooxml is the pinnacle of that.
      The ISO needs to be reformed. There cannot be a category of “Class A Liaison” that can propose anything to be a standard like the ECMA has done. If the ECMA was a PAS Submitter like the OASIS and the Free Standards Group, this would not have happened. The ooxml would have been well and fully documented before the fast track.
      ISO’s good name has been sullied by corporate greed via ECMA “standards@internet speed” and Microsoft.
      I am not sure emailing the CEO and CTO of IDA to ask them why this passed or even emailing the minister in-charge of IDA (the 2nd minister of MICA) would work. Those of us who are not in favour of the ooxml in it’s current form should not be seen as sour grapes. But then again, we have a right to ask given the documented way Microsoft has roped in their partners in Singapore to write form letters – 60 of them – (which some of those companies could not even do a simple edit) as well as letters of support from supposedly industry groups who could not even get the dis numbers correct. One had DIS 29500 and 29600 used into two places on the same letter of support and another used DIS 29600 exclusively. Both entities had their text written for them by Microsoft who could not even do a simple proof editing.
      Do write to the press – yes, they will follow the MS party line, but there might be some independent thinkers. Don’t expect any clever replies – there will be stock brainless replies as is so typical of stuff from officialdom lately.
      Alas some KPIs have been met – or at least the ones for MS Singapore. Well done. Enjoy.

      • Re: Is this becoming a standard – oh my god?
        This is a sad day for us in Asia. Japan, Korea, Philipines all have turned their vote to “YES”.
        We were hoping that atleast in Singapore and Malaysia we could do the reverse. From yk and your blogs it is clear that we could not do that, but the behemoth has been successful.
        What we are surprised that inspite of Singapore’s clean record and no corruptin M$ was successful. Do you have any evidence that Partners or Customers being arm-twisted or paid to get those 60 letters? We would like to lodge a formal compliant with CC. Fyi all our previous mails to CC on ooxml have not even been ackowledged.

      • Re: Is this becoming a standard – oh my god?
        The votes that count are from countries that are P members (participating). Of those in Asia, it is India, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and NZ. Of these thus far, Singapore and Korea have said yes. Korea went from No to Yes.
        Partners have written stupid form letters – see these. The letters sent to us were verbatim and included the place holders for the partners to put their names, but since they are so clueless, it did not happen.
        Send a note to the CC and perhaps copy it to the Prime Minister. Escalate this to the highest level because nothing is coming back. Work within the system to make this happen. We must not stoop to the levels of how MS has done this.

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