WS-Evil, non-murder non-allegations, bullets and public knowledge

By Rick Jelliffe
August 21, 2008 | Comments: 1

Here's some links that struck my interest recently.

ODF editor Patrick Durusau has two new brief missives, with parallel content: You're not LISTENING TO ME and JTC1 Reform which begins Rob Weir (IBM) gets it right when he notes that the JTC 1 Directives are in serious need of repair.

XML Schema's editor Michael Sperberg-McQueen had a blog item a few months ago The OOXML debates (non-combatant's perspective).

Jesper Lund Stocholm's blog has been a must-read recently. Two recent items that caught my eye are Are document formats silver bullets and DII ODF workship - the good stuff (though his positive conclusions didn't seem to match his fairly negative findings, though I suppose there is no point being too despondent over beta software.)

Lars Marius Garshol has an entry Topic Maps, RDF, semantics, merging ... which has perspective. Topic maps have always made sense to me as something that belongs in the same universe as XML, and RDF has only ever made sense to me as a long-term academic exercise making technology that needs to be ready when some other, unknown technology or critical mass arrives (Steve Jobs used to say that he was just waiting for the next big thing to come along, rather than necessarily foreseeing it: "My goal has been to get Apple healthy enough so that if we do figure out the next big thing, we can seize the moment. ")

Mike Champion has moved to be more extreme than I would be on XSD: XSD is the root of WS-Evil?

Our exciting friends at NOOOXML.COM have an item HyprocrISO and Beyond which starts off with a convincing impersonation of rationality, We talked about "Standards War". Yet, no one has been killed in our Standards War although billions were at stake. and even a wry little joke about ISO standards for windows. But then we go into allegations about a murder and a death relating to OOXML, it seems.

Actually, it is a non-allegation of a non-murder and another apparently unsuspicious death: but the whole thing is very interesting rhetorically: if the reference to murder is an aside as a riff on the topic of Africa, then why is Africa mentioned at all, since the item is actually a complaint that MS staff have remained stumm? Then we get a boilerplate complaint about astroturfing followed immediately with references to Andy and Rob, without intended irony. (It didn't quite deserve a new item in by "Bribery Watch" series, but I do notice recently some of the nutters moving from speaking of Microsoft railroading or forcing to Microsoft intimidating (standards people.) Are there really people going around alleging that there have been murders? I guess those Nigerian committees must be rather tough. Ho hum. )

Finally, ANUs Ian Barnes tipped me off on a workshop in Sydney at the end of 2008, on the Public Knowledge Project.

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Any time I think the US Presidential elections are farcical, I check back in on the ODF/OOXML Bitter Butter Battle and realize the truth of the old saying about how little wisdom we are governed by.

If someone totaled the costs for this in manhours dedicated to mudslinging, I wonder what they would be and would we see them attributed to the entertainment accounts.

I'm chalking this one in the WGAFRA column. It's a bit like the race card in the American elections: every time it gets played, people care a little less about the issue itself. They are waiting for the crap to stop flying after which anyone who brings up the topic won't be asked to the next frag fest.

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