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RE: the OOXML issue and Meeting PSQCA

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  • Fouad Riaz Bajwa
    Dear Faraz, Jehan and All, Long message but its very important! I hope you all have already learnt a great deal about the issues relevant to the OOXML and how
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 22, 2007
      Dear Faraz, Jehan and All,

      Long message but its very important!

      I hope you all have already learnt a great deal about the issues relevant to
      the OOXML and how most countries of the world took a decision against it,
      even our neighboring countries but we fell pray to the proprietary software
      forces backing the initiative and technical lacking of information on what
      OOXML actually was is a big issue!

      This ISO pro OOXML global lobbying campaign has been clearly planned,
      coordinated and managed by very competent experts and its time to counter
      that with our experts! Even our committee that voted in its favor PSQCA,
      Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority has become a voting member
      fairly recently, and it may not have had sufficient time to review the 6,000
      page OOXML proposal. ISO needs consent of 2/3rd majority by the world
      countries to push OOXML as a standard. Pakistan has initially voted FOR
      OOXML (The meeting was held hush-hush by the PSQCA and on the board were 4
      Microsoft Gold members!!

      If you go through the http://www.noooxml.org website which documents the
      technical issues with OOXML and the documents attached with this message,
      all refer to why OOXML is not culturally adaptable to Muslim countries. The
      enclosed attachments highlight many other technical and legal issues that
      need resolution. In light of these issues, I would request members and
      bodies to vote "No with Comments" as this is the only way of ensuring that
      the problems in OOXML are resolved. South Africa, Brazil, China and other
      developing countries voted "No with Comments" against OOXML. Our neighbor
      also decided to vote "No with Comments" and as I have learnt that the
      committee decided this and the committee unanimously agreed that none of the
      answers submitted by Microsoft on the 181 issues raised by the committee
      were satisfactory.

      I would like to announce the No OOXML Campaign under Foundation for a Free
      Information Infrastructure (FFII Pakistan Chapter) for taking forward the No
      OOXML campaign in the region that I was a member of globally
      http://www.noooxml.org/petition and that will now be supporting our
      activities in the region but once again, all of you as members can help us
      all move forward in helping the concerned institutions realize what is wrong
      and what will go wrong if and uninformed and wrong decision is taken! I will
      be announcing the website for Pakistan shortly! All of you people in the
      team here are already members of this group now!

      Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure
      The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a non-profit
      organisation dedicated to establishing a free market in information
      technology, by the removal of barriers to competition. The FFII was largely
      responsible for the rejection of the EU software patent directive in July
      2005, working closely with the European Parliament and many partners from
      industry and civil society. CNET awarded the FFII the Outstanding
      contribution to software development award for this work, which was the
      result of years of research, policy, and action. Today we continue to defend
      your right to a free and competitive software market by working towards sane
      patent systems and open standards. Website: http://ffii.org

      Faraz is already bringing forward a group comprised of
      1. Emergen Consulting
      2. Ibn-e-Khaldun Systems
      3. Ping Systems
      4. Convergence Systems Islamabad

      and to the best of our knowledge, presence of experts from these companies
      will provide an expert view of view of why the entire world thinks OOXML is
      evil. The meeting of the Sectional Committee for "Information technology" is
      scheduled to be held on Wednesday, the 28 th November, 2007 at 10:00 A.M. in
      the Conference Room of Standards Development Centre, 2nd Floor, Mubarak
      Manzil, 39 – Garden Road , Saddar, Karachi-74400. (Ph. (021) 5440036). As
      Faraz is leading the first initiative and Heading the Committee on OOXML for
      us, he will step up and represent the first set of statements against OOXML!

      FFII Pakistan's First Stance for the committee to participate under Faraz
      Khan of Emergen Consulting in the first meeting including comments from the
      attached documents:

      Ask the national members of ISO to vote "NO" in the ballot of ISO DIS 29500
      (Office OpenXML or OOXML format) for the following reasons:

      1. There is already a standard ISO26300 named Open Document Format (ODF): a
      dual standard adds costs, uncertainty and confusion to industry, government
      and citizens;

      2. There is no provable implementation of the OOXML specification: Microsoft
      Office 2007 produces a special version of OOXML, not a file format which
      complies with the OOXML specification;

      3. There is information missing from the specification document, for example
      how to do a autoSpaceLikeWord95 or useWord97LineBreakRules;

      4. More than 10% of the examples mentioned in the proposed standard do not
      validate as XML;

      5. There is no guarantee that anybody can write software that fully or
      partially implements the OOXML specification without being liable to patent
      lawsuits or patent license fees by Microsoft;

      6. This format conflicts with existing ISO standards, such as ISO 8601
      (Representation of dates and times), ISO 639 (Codes for the Representation
      of Names and Languages) or ISO/IEC 10118-3 (cryptographic hash);

      7. There is a bug in the spreadsheet file format which forbids any date
      before the year 1900: such bugs affect the OOXML specification as well as
      software applications like Microsoft Excel 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007.

      8. This standard proposal was not created by bringing together the
      experience and expertise of all interested parties (such as the producers,
      sellers, buyers, users and regulators), but by Microsoft alone.

      9. Download Ecma376 - http://www.noooxml.org/ecma376
      The standard documents for ECMA376 which are the basis for ISO OOXML
      standardisation can be found on their site:
      Comments in the ISO national standard committees will largely be based on
      these standard documents.

      I am looking forward to everyone's comments!


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Faraz Khan [mailto:faraz.khan@...]
      Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 9:10 AM
      To: sami@...; asad.alim@...; wasim@...;
      Cc: fouadbajwa@...
      Subject: the OOXML issue and Meeting PSQCA

      Dear All,
      I'm sending this to you as I know that everybody on this list cares
      about the local and international IT policies of the government which
      affect all of us. I do not know if you are aware but there is a huge
      battle going on worldwide regarding the OOXML issue. To read up on
      this please check out:


      OOXML is a office document standard microsoft is proposing which is
      pending ISO standardization for office document files. There is too
      much corruption going on in the world and some corrupt governments
      which are run by microsoft (including ours) are voting FOR OOXML.
      ODF. OOXML is firstly not a proper standard and secondly leaves too
      much gaping holes for microsoft to 'close' it in the future. This
      cannot be allowed to happen. The standard of the future is ODF and
      Microsoft should not be let to run the worlds future through corruption.

      ISO needs consent of 2/3rd majority by the world countries to push
      OOXML as a standard. Pakistan has initially voted FOR OOXML (The
      meeting was held hush-hush by the PSQCA and on the board were 4
      Microsoft Gold members!! FSF India (Free sofware foundation India)
      has moved the local government to say a unanimous NO to the OOXML
      issue (half the countries in the world have voted AGAINST it,
      countries where corruption is high have voted FOR it)

      Involvement from your side in this meeting to vote AGAINST OOXML can
      help force the country's decision. If you wish to help, please
      acknowledge. Fouad Bajwa is copied on this email who is organizing a
      'movement' against OOXML and making a case to the government in the
      next meeting.

      Faraz R Khan
      Chief Architect
      Emergen Consulting Pvt Ltd
      + x200
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