"Paranoid linux geek" explains OOXML

Tenth (aka Quincy Dave aka the guy who brought the Wii to my going-away party) recently posted an excellent take on the OOXML “standard,” and I wanted to share. His explanation as to why it’s terrible is informed, well-written and snarky to boot. I tend to ignore things about the ISO and standards battles when I see them, and so I wasn’t up-to-date on this issue. I just knew that Microsoft was not playing nicely. (What’s new there?)

Anyway, tenth quickly provides the context & background if you’re not up to speed on this–and it is something that librarians should be at least peripherally aware of–and then explains why I put standard in quotes up above:

Which brings us to the OOXML issue. That ugly acronym is Microsoft’s response to the demand for “open standards”, and in their new style of choosing the most generically offical sounding name possible, stands for “Open Office XML”. Especially funny when you consider that one of their biggest competitors in the office software arena is called “OpenOffice”.

And, inexplicably, the ISO has chosen to approve the OOXML standard, proving that they do not understand the word “open”, and also that they seem to have temporarily misplaced the concept of a “standard”. There has been a great deal of protest and manly geek-tears shed over this debate, and the internets have not been kind to their decision.

Go read the whole thing. An informed opinion from a nerd is always worth the time, especially in this case.

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