Re: OOXML [was Re: GNOME Foundation Board Meeting Minutes :: 7/6/07]

    > If that is the case, anyone who is represented on the ECMA committee
    > is helping to promote the ISO acceptance of OOXML

    The latter does not necessarily follow from the former.  Intentions
    do matter.

Intentions do matter, especially in influencing others.  But if you
don't state your intentions clearly, others will deduce them from your
actions.  Proponent of OOXML have imputed to the GNOME Foundation,
based on its participation in ECMA, a general support for OOXML and
its use, including support for its adoption by ISO.

This is why the GNOME Foundation should make a clear statement that it
has no wish to encourage the use of OOXML, and that it opposes
adoption of OOXML as an ISO standard.  Clearly stating these
intentions will make it harder to for others to make claims of
opposite intentions.

		Should I also be held accountable if organized crime
    uses Gnumeric to track [its] drug shipments ?

Addictive drugs are a good analogy with OOXML, since both tend to lead
people to develop a permanent dependency that is hard to throw off.

However, the rest of the situations are not analogous.  The ECMA
committee has explicitly undertaken to make OOXML an ISO standard.  If
Gnumeric had explicitly undertaken to facilitate the sale of addictive
drugs, that would be analogous.

    After all these years of educating people about the non-zero sum
    nature of software, the benefits of access to the source code.  Why
    are we suddenly preparing to impale ourselves on ODF.

I've spent 24 years teaching software users to demand the freedom to
share and change software.  I support use of ODF and oppose adoption
of OOXML because that is good for the cause of freedom.

Use of ODF tends to encourage use of OpenOffice, which is free
software.  Use of OOXML tends to encourage use of Microsoft's
proprietary software.  We can and should try to implement it in free
software, but we should also try to discourage people from using it at
all.  Even partial success at discouraging it aids our cause.

    > If this is accurate, then it is impossible for participation in ECMA
    > _today_ to serve the goal which has been presented here as the motive
    > for GNOME's membership.

    That is partially true,  Which is why I am not participating

Thank you.  If you make a public commitment to stay out of the
activity of satisfying ISO, and to stay inactive in the committee
while its focus is on satisfying ISO, that will show that you're
not helping the standardization of OOXML.

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