SC 34 Meetings, Prague, Days 2, 3 & 4

by Alex Brown 9. April 2009 09:12
What a Difference a Day Makes
MURATA Makoto, WG 4 convenor,
seems pleased with progress on the maintenance of OOXML

I had been intending to write a day-by-day account of these meetings but as it turned out there simply was not time for blogging (tweeting, on the other hand …). Another activity which suffered was photography: I had wanted to take a load of pictures of über-photogenic Prague – but somehow the work seemed to expand into all my notionally free time too. What I did manage to snap is here. And it is also well worth checking out Doug Mahugh’s photos for more.

WG 1 met again on Tuesday to finish its business (you can read the meeting report here) and then my attention mostly turned mostly to the activities in WG 4 (for OOXML maintenance) and WG 5 (which is for OOXML / ODF interop).

OOXML One Year On

Overall, WG 4 is making excellent progress. To date, 169 defects have been collected for OOXML (check out the defect log) and the majority of these have either been closed, or a resolution agreed. Amendments were started for 3 of the 4 parts of OOXML to allow a bunch of small corrections to be put in place, and the even-more-minor problems will be fixed by publishing technical corrigenda. Overall, I think stakeholders in OOXML can feel pretty confident that the Standard is being sensibly and efficiently maintained.

I was personally very pleased to see National Bodies well-represented (the minutes are here) – to the extent that I’d now ideally like to see some more big vendors coming to the table so their views can be heard. Microsoft (of course) was; but where (for example) are Apple, Oracle and the other vendors who participated in Ecma TC 45 while OOXML was being drafted? To them – and to anybody who wants to get involved in this important work – I say: participate!

Over at Rick Jelliffe’s blog Rick has been carrying out something of an exposé of the unfortunate imbalance in the stakeholders represented in the maintenance of ODF at OASIS (something which will become even more acute if Sun is, in the end, snapped-up by IBM). Personally I think Rick is right that it is vitally important to have a good mix of voices at the standardisation table: big vendors, small vendors, altruistic experts, users, government representatives, etc. WG 4 is getting there, but it too has some way to go.

Tougher Issues

Some more controversial topics were however not resolved during the meeting, and I think it may be worth exploring these in more detail:

The Namespace Problem

One issue in particular has proved thorny: whether to changes Namespaces in the OOXML schemas. This topic took a good slice of Tuesday, and then segued into a bar session afterwards; this then carried on over supper and by the time we broke it was midnight. And still no conclusion has been reached. WG 4 has issued a document outlining the state of discussions to date …

I have already expressed my own views on this; but during these Prague meetings some important new considerations were brought to bear. Go over to Jesper Lund Stocholm’s blog to get the thorny details

Personally, I think the “strict” format is a new format, and that changing the Namespace is only part of the solution. I would like to see the media type changes and for OOXML to recommend a new file extension (.dociso anyone?) to reduce the chances that users suffer the (to me) unacceptable fate of silent data loss that Jesper highlights.

Whither Transitional?

Another hot topic of discussion is what the “transitional” version of OOXML is really for. One interesting and slightly surprising fact that emerged after the BRM is that the strict schemas are a true subset of the transitional schemas. Should this nice link be preserved? Microsoft are keen for new features introduced in the “strict” version of OOXML to be mirrored in the “transitional” version – presumably, in part, because Office 14 will use transitional features.

Openness

When the maintenance of OOXML was being planned, one of the principles agreed on by the National Bodies was that the process should be as open as possible, consistent with JTC 1 rules. One aspect of this is the question of whether WG 4’s mailing list archive should be open to the public. Some NBs were a little nervous of this for the reason that their committee members might be less free to post candid comments if they were open to public scrutiny, and possible repercussions with their boss and/or the tinfoil brigade in the blogosphere. There was also the troubling precedent of the mailing list of the U.S. INCITS V1 committee, which opened its archive to public view during the DIS 29500 balloting period, only to see it die completely as contributors refused to post in public view.

The issue will now be put to public ballot, and I am hopeful that mechanisms have been put in place which will allow NBs to support opening of the archive. With public standards, public meeting reports, public discussion documents and a public mailing list archive I think WG 4 will demonstrate that an excellent degree of openness is indeed possible even within the constraints of the current JTC 1 Directives.

Overturning BRM decisions

The UK proposed an interesting new defect during the Prague meetings, which centred on one of the decisions made at the BRM.

Nature of the Defect:

As a result of changes made at the BRM, a number of existing Ecma-376 documents were unintentionally made invalid against the IS29500 transitional schema. It was strongly expressed as an opinion at the BRM by many countries that the transitional schema should accurately reflect the existing Ecma-376 documents.

However, at the BRM, the ST_OnOff type was changed from supporting 0, 1, On, Off, True, False to supporting only 0, 1, True, False (i.e. the xs:boolean type). Although this fits with the detail of the amendments made at the BRM, it is against the spirit of the desired changes for many countries, and we believe that due to time limitations at the BRM, this change was made without sufficient examination of the consequences, was made in error by the BRM (in which error the UK played a part), and should be fixed.

Solution Proposed by the Submitter

Change the ST_OnOff type to support 0, 1, On, Off, True and False in the Transitional schemas only.

The result of the BRM decision being addressed here was apparent in a blog entry I wrote last year, which attracted rather a lot of attention.

Simply put, the UK is now suggesting the BRM made a mistake here, and things should be rectified so that existing MS Office documents “snap back” into being in conformance with 29500 transitional.

This proposal caused some angst. Who were we (some asked) to overturn decisions made at the BRM? My own view is less cautious: this was an obvious blunder, the BRM got it wrong (as it did many things, I think). So let’s fix it.

Whither WG 5?

In parallel with WG 4, WG 5 (the group responsible for ODF/OOXML interoperability) also met. One of the substantive things it achieved was to water down the title of the ongoing report being prepared on this topic, changing it from:

OpenDocument Format (ISO/IEC 26300) / Office Open XML (ISO/IEC 29500) Translation

to:

OpenDocument Format (ISO/IEC 26300) / Office Open XML (ISO/IEC 29500) Translation Guidelines

Adding the word “guidelines” to the title should make it clear to anybody noticing this project that it is not an “answer” to ODF/OOXML interoperability, merely a discursive document. For myself, I have doubts about the ultimate usefulness of such a document.

It is disappointing to see the poor rate of progress on meaningful interoperability and harmonisation work. Of course these things are motherhood and apple pie in discussion – but when the time comes to find volunteers to actually help, few hands go up. In my view, the only hope of achieving any meaningful harmonisation work is to get Another Big Vendor interested in backing it, and I know some behind-the-scenes work will be taking place to beat the undergrowth and see if just such a vendor can be found.

Comments

4/9/2009 2:39:31 PM #

AndréR

"Over at Rick Jelliffe’s blog Rick has been carrying out something of an exposé of the unfortunate imbalance in the stakeholders represented in the maintenance of ODF at OASIS (something which will become even more acute if Sun is, in the end, snapped-up by IBM). Personally I think Rick is right that it is vitally important to have a good mix of voices at the standardisation table: big vendors, small vendors, altruistic experts, users, government representatives, etc. WG 4 is getting there, but it too has some way to go."

--> Like in your ISO Committee? I see.

"It is disappointing to see the poor rate of progress on meaningful interoperability and harmonisation work. Of course these things are motherhood and apple pie in discussion – but when the time comes to find volunteers to actually help, few hands go up. In my view, the only hope of achieving any meaningful harmonisation work is to get Another Big Vendor interested in backing it, and I know some behind-the-scenes work will be taking place to beat the undergrowth and see if just such a vendor can be found."

--> No idea: "Another Big Vendor". Get me a hint please.

From my perspective the best involvement would emerge from government users who understand that control over document formats is a matter of national security and soverenity. An involvement would usually come from those who have massive free and sustainable capacity, for instance the army, NATO etc. or the foreign office. However, these users would naturally show very little interest in a takeoff of Open XML. Their involvement would guarantee that we move towards an open situation, not an opec one.

AndréR Germany |

4/9/2009 3:35:30 PM #

Gareth Horton

@Andre That's a new one on me, I had not considered that "control over document formats is a matter of national security"

I'm very interested in learning a bit more about this premise, could you expound a bit more on it?

I'm thinking something got lost in translation regarding sovereignty, since the whole ISO thing is er, international.  Are you suggesting each country should have their own national-level formats, moving away from the international model of standardization?

Thanks in advance

Gareth

Gareth Horton United Kingdom |

4/9/2009 6:23:47 PM #

Ian Easson

A Brazilian member of the ODF TC has just published a blog posting which takes a very different (and, in my opinion, uninformed) tack on these same matters.

The title of his blog post is "For the skeptical, the final proof: The OpenXML wasn’t (and isn’t) ready".  The flavour of the blog posting is expressed in the last sentence: "Who is responsible for all this, and how he will pay?".

For those who wish to see the whole post, here is the URL:

homembit.com/.../...nxml-wasnt-and-isnt-ready.html

Ian Easson Canada |

4/9/2009 6:42:48 PM #

Alan Bell

Well I don't think I would go as far as calling it a national security matter neccesarily, seems standard practice with secret documents is to print them out and wave them at photographers. I don't know of any document format which would counter that. It is of national strategic and economic interest to move to open standards that can be implemented in safety with Free Software. It seems that a lot of people don't even want to be in the same room as an OOXML discussion. I think there is a fear that at some point down the line the authors of OOXML will pull a TomTom.

Alan Bell |

4/9/2009 8:17:20 PM #

Ian Easson

Alan,

Now you're trying to link "Free Software" (I guess you mean open source) with "national strategic and economic interest".

Come off it, that's totally ridiculous and laughable.

Ian Easson Canada |

4/9/2009 8:40:26 PM #

orcmid

Interesting.  The On-Off business stood out like a sore thumb when I saw that result from the BRM.  I couldn't understand why an appropriate transitional arrangement wasn't made.  The proposed remedy sounds like the right thing to do.

Not being a stakeholder in this game, it is easy for me to say that OOXML should be aligned with MCE (which hinges on namespaces, not some version value).  If ECMA 676 1st edition is not subsumable, then there needs to be some sort of namespace change.  

orcmid United States |

4/9/2009 9:11:01 PM #

Alan Bell

@Ian Easson
yes, I am. I don't think it is a good idea that lots of money goes offshore to a company that does not even pay tax in the UK. The money could stay in the economy. This applies to personal and commercial use as well as the public sector. It is a non-trivial amount of money we are talking about here, hence the national economic interest.
When I talk about Free software I am talking about software that gives you freedom, which is roughly the same as Open Source, but stresses the freedom aspects a bit more. Currently the public sector in the UK is using a lot of software that they do not have the freedom to redeploy in different areas and they don't have the freedom to inspect it or improve it. This applies to more than just office productivity applications, I don't mean to single out any particular product or solution. The public sector not having this freedom is I think a matter of national strategic interest.
It isn't just wacky idealists who have this point of view, the government CIO council are feeling like victims and have set out a policy and an action plan to address this problem. www.cio.gov.uk/.../090224opensource.pdf

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/9/2009 9:23:19 PM #

Alan Bell

sorry, posted a broken link here is the new location www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/.../open_source.aspx

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/10/2009 1:57:49 AM #

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4/10/2009 3:23:20 PM #

Alex

Update:

I have added a link to the WG 4 minutes:

http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/open/1199.pdf

Alex United Kingdom |

4/10/2009 3:33:15 PM #

Alex

@André

I not sure I fully understand your first comment. I thought I made it plain I thought WG 4 could improve its diversity of members. As for "my" committee (or the one I convene), WG 1 has a good mix.

As to the vendor, a few obvious names have been mentioned but we are all still at a speculative stage with this.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/10/2009 3:54:50 PM #

Alex

@Ian

Jomar Silva's blog entry is as partial as ever, though I think he has a point that ITTF were never going to be able to verify that the BRM decisions were all implemented correctly.

On that point, the UK BSI committee responsible has painstakingly been through every one of the UK's 600+ comments verifying each and every one was processed correctly (ironically, using Google Docs to manage the list). We generated a few dozen errors, but only 3 were technical (substantive). For a spec of this size, this shows Ecma/MS did a pretty good job of applying the BRM decisions. That does not mean, of course, that there still aren't plenty of things that need fixing in the OOXML spec; there are.

There are also plenty of things that need fixing in the ODF spec. I sometimes think that if some members of the ODF TC put as much effort into hard technical graft as they did into blogging against OOXML, then ODF wouldn't be in quite the half-baked state it currently is.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/10/2009 4:23:14 PM #

Alex

@Alan

The Minister's document is interesting, though I (skeptical me) see this as more about politics than real policy. For now.

There's no doubt UK govt needs to get more serious about using standards, and take a far more diligent look at FOSS when procuring. Too often our public servants are sold short with poor commercial offerings when excellent free alternatives exist. This does not mean, of course, that FOSS will always win.

If you haven't already, you might like to take a look at Andy Updegrove's latest blog entry (http://is.gd/rMCn) in which he asks "How Open a Platform does 'Open Government' Need?" Personally I think this question is obtuse: what I'm looking for from govt is effectiveness and value; and while open data is certainly needed I see squabbles about 'platform' as being purely ideological and/or vendor-fuelled.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/10/2009 5:21:45 PM #

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4/10/2009 7:34:26 PM #

Ian Easson

Alex,

I saw Andy's latest, and considered putting in some sort of smart-ass snide comment to the effect that the only thing wrong with the phrase "open standard" was the redundant word "open".  But, I'm too busy finishing off a project (a book) to engage in extended skirmishes at the moment.

Ian Easson Canada |

4/11/2009 2:13:06 PM #

Jesper Lund Stocholm

... and here you go ...

Loosing data:

idippedut.dk/.../...-silent-way-ISO8601-dates.aspx

Prague pictures:

picasaweb.google.com/.../Prague2009

Smile

Jesper Lund Stocholm Denmark |

4/11/2009 3:12:31 PM #

Alex

Lovely stuff, Jesper. Where did you get that line about the kittens?

... article updated accordingly.

- Alex.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/11/2009 3:18:21 PM #

Jesper Lund Stocholm

Alex,

Well, I actually used that line a couple of times during the discussions around the paper about various ways to deal with namespace change.

In my world, old working software doesn't get updated unless kittens are killed.

... same thing with the transitional schemas of IS29500.

(and I just found out I need to finish the other articles and the one about MCE before the phone conference on Thursday)

Smile

Jesper Lund Stocholm Denmark |

4/12/2009 2:07:26 AM #

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4/12/2009 5:35:04 PM #

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4/12/2009 7:36:49 PM #

AndréR

Two years ago the perception might have been it was about corporate standard warfare as usual. Now we see an ISO process and committee overtaken by agents from a dominant US company, so any outcomes are taken with a grain of salt as Gaddafi's human rights panel at the UN. But sure the governments are part of the struggle and watch the process. Open XML is felt as a hostile assault on the attempt of our nations to overcome a dependency. The better news is that it is a late and defensive move, and we will see some more concessions over the next years.

National Security. Well, when you go to the armed services you swear an oath to defend the nation from foreign perpertation. Certainly the dependency of markets on particular products in data processing from the US may be a slight concern for national security and threaten the development of our ICT markets. The most often quoted case is that of Lotus Notes in 1997. Svenska Dagbladet wrote about it, the EP held discussions, others digged deeper: www.cypherspace.org/adam/hacks/lotus-nsa-key.html
The cyber security attacks in the Baltics raised the alarm bells. I got some information from my Baltic sources that a Microsoft campaign is underway for OOXML promotion and ODf defamation. So they are thinking of counter-measures. In these nations the impression of the soviet occupation is still strong and they tend to be a bit paranoid. Ironically in this case the Russians do the same.

It is not a simple standard geek thing anymore or a communication campaign. It is not that I would believe good OpenXML is dead OpenXML. The best situation would be a neutral committee. And to make that happen more public officials are an option. Right now the attention of them is on a different level of the OOXML process, the national adoption, not the committee work.

@ian: Well, actually open standards means standards+.

AndréR Germany |

4/12/2009 11:25:38 PM #

Gareth Horton

Come now Andre,

A fleeting scan over your response reveals your predeliction for drama and belief that you somehow inhabit the pages of a John le Carre novel:

"corporate standard warfare"
"overtaken by agents"
"foreign perpertation" (sic)
"my Baltic sources"
"counter-measures"
"soviet occupation"

Could you please regale us with more of your fascinating Walter Mitty-esque flights of fancy, although I think the elevation of document formats to a national security issue was a masterstroke that you will find hard to top.

Gareth

Gareth Horton United Kingdom |

4/14/2009 1:40:50 PM #

AndréR

@Gareth

- corporate standard warfare: It is common to speak about "standard war". It is how a chronical writer would probably describe the commercial conflict over open xml standardization.
- agents: I was looking for a neutral phrase for employees, contractors and "friends".
- sorry for any spelling inconvenience. I am more fluent in other languages.
- my Baltic sources: standard and government people from the Baltic states who continue to share information about standard policy.
- counter-measures: ways to respond in an organised fashion
- soviet occupation: as you know Baltic states were russified under Soviet rule.  Still a problem today. They also have severe resource conflicts with the Russians. Also the Russian still occupy a part of East Prussia as a Russian enclave, so they have them from two sides. And then Belarus is a neighbor. Fortunately all these states are part of the EU. As of the attack on Baltic communication infrastracture this is taken very serious. For current EU initiatives cf.
ec.europa.eu/.../index_en.htm
www.eubusiness.com/.../
http://www.baltlantis.com/?id=11137
www.nato.int/docu/update/2008/05-may/e0514a.html

ecc.

AndréR Germany |

4/14/2009 3:36:11 PM #

AndréR

Just read the excellent article at Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_Baltic_states

I also got myself informed about who John le Carre is because I didn't knew.
http://www.johnlecarre.com/
These are not the kind of books I read.

I also had no idea who Walter Mitty is, a fictional character:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Mitty

Nice try. Don't challenge me to get into details. I just describe the situation. I am sure the general public may find out a bit more soon.



AndréR Germany |

4/15/2009 9:47:41 AM #

Gareth Horton

Andre,

Are you sure you don't read Le Carre?  Maybe Len Deighton, Robert Ludlum? Graham Greene possibly? I really think you would enjoy them.

Yes, you are correct, "war" is usually appended to "standards" by drama queens trying to mix up a storm in a teacup. You have me there.

Details are exactly what need to be discussed, not overwrought bluster, devoid of facts. Please come back, armed with details, I await your return with bated breath.

I do think you may have overestimated the intense interest you think the 'general public' have in this issue.  I assure you that the population of people who actually care at all about file formats is staggeringly miniscule, as a proportion of the 'general public'.

Gareth

Gareth Horton United Kingdom |

4/16/2009 1:57:55 PM #

AndréR

"Are you sure you don't read Le Carre? Maybe Len Deighton, Robert Ludlum? Graham Greene possibly? I really think you would enjoy them."

The last belletristic book from an English language author I read was Tristram Shandy of Laurence Sterne. I usually read less EN language books because I don't like the American type setting and font styles. Once I read A farewell to the Arms (?) from Hemingway and it was literary kitsch. Other English language writer were not better: Roald Dahl, boring. I am sure the authors you quote are translated and better. They write crime stories?

My personal taste is a bit eccentric but sure I will remember the authors and follow your recommendations. I don't watch television anymore but I watch the European Parliament internet streams and find that entertaining. I usually read all ICT related EU documents, directive proposals, report and so on. I am currently reading scientific literature about patents and legal philosophy and a lot of documents online. Yesterday I found a new document of the ECIS industry zealots "Microsoft - A History of Anticompetitive Behavior and Consumer Harm": www.ecis.eu/.../...version_Consumerchoicepaper.pdf
Maybe topical here. Something must be wrong with a business when competitors fabricate documents like these.

www.thebricktestament.com/.../mt21_33a.html

A book I recommend my friends is Il deserto dei Tartari by Dino Buzzati. I am sure there are translations. It it from the fourties and hardly known. A great book. Ah, here, no idea about the quality of the translation: www.amazon.com/.../1567923046

Coming back to your "facts". You may be surprised but many persons do care for document formats. The strongest community (with a language barrier) people-wise during DIS 29500 came from Russia.

It does not matter what the 'general public' believes or thinks. This applies for campaigning. This applies for political decision-making as well. The purpose of elections is to get a representative and diverse set of professionals who peer review law and control the public institutions as intermediaries. Democracy does not mean that The People have to vote on everything or politicians have to understand what they table in parliament for you.

In other words, if you get amendments tabled that make it an issue of national security, it becomes an issue of national security. And when someone tries to kill it he will only blow it up. Could be fun to try but there is no need for activities of myself.

Was surprised a few days ago that now the APRIL guys are actually campaigning for preferential treatment of open source and standards: http://www.freesoftwarepact.eu/

"Encourage all administrations, all public or local services to prefer Free Software and open standards in their choices, purchases and own developments;"

AndréR Germany |

4/16/2009 8:12:44 PM #

Gareth Horton

Andre,

The authors I mention are espionage/intrigue writers, with the exception of Greene, who only wrote in that genre in the later part of his career.

Does ECIS have a similar document on IBM's business practices, past and present, especially in the mainframe market? I would be most interested in that.  
I am assuming that ECIS is a balanced and equitable organisation, so you have people working on that as we speak?

As you say, "it does not matter what the 'general public' believes or thinks" Far better to mandate technology from the top down through quangoes and political chicanery than market forces, in your opinion.

I am afraid that we must differ in our approach to software, I believe that one should be paid for the extremely complex, time-consuming and intellectual capital-intensive process of creating it, not just for the support and services.

I am looking forward to the inevitable announcement of the open-sourcing of DB2, Tivoli, Cognos, Content Manager On Demand and the other crown jewels in the IBM software stable, as well as free mainframes all round to run the free open source software on zOS, which will of course, also be open source.

I am wondering how an entirely open-source software world will be funded though - any ideas on that?  Oh, and don't forget the free mainframes and PCs all round - why should I pay for hardware if I don't have to pay for software, right?

Maybe via taxes which the government can redistribute fairly and equally amongst all the hardware and software vendors?

Anyway, looking forward to that IBM critique from ECIS.

Gareth

Gareth Horton United Kingdom |

4/16/2009 11:50:44 PM #

AndréR

You probably know that ECIS was founded as an anti-IBM organisation. So maybe you want to phone Vinje to look in his basement. I am no member and just participated in a single meeting last year because I happened to be in Brussels. I am no lawyer.  I also found no merits to join the recent IE case. I don't believe in evil corporations or competitors. As a supporter of Freiburg economics I see the main role of government economic policy in the enforcement of competition. The situation on the EU level is different, competition policy is weak. You have a far too strong focus on wasteful promotional policies where consultants help the government find out what we need. Apparently the opponents of competition policy and intervention are usually the first to ask for state aid and contracts.

But if your are really looking for IBM-is-evil stories you maybe better contact the CCIA (http://www.ccianet.org/) from the States. I once read a book about IBM's history and the sales storytelling of its cultist founder. The book was very old. Insofar an insightful meta-anecdote, humour in wikipedia:
"One day my dad [Thomas J. Watson] went into a roadside saloon to celebrate a sale and had too much to drink. When the bar closed, he found that his entire rig — horse, buggy, and samples — had been stolen. Wheeler and Wilcox fired him and dunned him for the lost property. Word got around, of course, and it took Dad more than a year to find another steady job." Watson would later enforce strict rules at IBM against alcohol consumption, even off the job. According to Tom Jr., "This anecdote never made it into IBM lore, which is too bad, because it would have helped explain Father to the tens of thousands of people who had to follow his rules." And I noticed Black campaigning against IBM because they delivered Hollerith machines to the Reich. Oh, well.

Antitrust complaint against IBM mainframes, a silly case. Mainframes are dead. Yes, I worked with old machines. Quite unusual for my generation I once manually mounted magnetic tapes. That was in a highly security sensitive area. I don't believe in espionage because I don't believe in smart governments and institutions. If it is secret there is no scrutiny, so it is safe to assume that people do nothing effective and manage themselves.

Although I use open source software as a matter of life I don't believe in that model as a panacea. It could be worth a try to reduce dependencies by strategic investments in a software portfolio. Code disclosure can also be helpful. The problem with business intelligence tools is that they don't follow the way users actually operate. I worked with BI tools as Cognos products but in this field we face interoperability problems, regardless which vendor you use in a mixed software environment. Microsoft Multidimensional Expressions, great but what about interconnectivity. Simplicity. I was interested how to extract semantic information out of data cube or how to get more self-awareness of the systems. The the best BI tool is Google, email etc. An your wiki with tag clouds.

I am afraid that we must differ in our approach to software, I believe that one should be paid for the extremely complex, time-consuming and intellectual capital-intensive process of creating it, not just for the support and services.

Procurement policy is not about "fair compensation". From the procurement side I want to get paid for using your products. If you can get me the source code why not demand it? Under market conditions the price for commodity software converges against zero. FLOSS is the software model that meets these market efficiency goals, also enables self-selection and better labour&skill allocation, friction-less development, less over-head. That is the good story: efficiency.

You are right that the Open Source based business models fail to generate revenue in many consumer markets for the people who generate the works. Could also be lack of development concerning consumer oriented business models. For consumers most software is shareware today. But apparently there was no open shareware concept developed. Similar to Creative Commons. You can't get a simple and reasonable worldwide podcast license from the collective societies for a song. So you take "royalty-free" CC music instead. So either your aspiring artist has no access to the market or gets no direct compensation. Nothing in between? The greatest advantage of Open Source software is that you have a few standard licenses where you think you know what you get or can do. Patent licensing: Rand or RF, but where is the worldwide applicable standard licensing/indemnification model?

To overcome strategic dependencies I am sure public institutions would contract companies and persons to "code for more competition".  The libertarian counter-argument is unfounded in the light of the regular government ICT spending. It is a simple matter of rational strategy and consideration of national security concerns. It is all viewed from a procurement strategy perspective where your interest are opposite to sales. Software development is actually quite cheap as opposed to other infrastructure provision as public highways.

AndréR Germany |

4/17/2009 1:18:10 AM #

Anonymous Insider

I've read some notes at Groklaw.

It seems as Pamela Jones isn't exactly the poster child of OSS.

Kenneth R. Saborio has made a research on Pamela Jones at www.krsaborio.net/.../groklaw.htm and a company named Medabiliti Software at www.krsaborio.net/.../medabiliti_software.htm

Saborio has made a connection in between Pamela Jones of Groklaw to a Pamela Jones, public affairs director, of Medabiliti Software. The connection was made through a Web page still available at http://radio.weblogs.com/0120124/2003/05/22.html.

Some background...

MedAbiliti Software announced in 2003 "Exemplar International Chooses MedAbiliti for HIPAA Compliance". A press release mentioned Pamela Jones as director for public affairs at MedAbiliti.

MedAbiliti sold its major product named XM Network to Exemplar International, Inc. XM Network run on Linux and was written on open source software. Exemplar International is known today as Examinetics.

Groklaw preaches about open source values, yet its parent company MedAbiliti Software in 2003-2004 didn't share XM Network with the community.

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/17/2009 9:41:21 AM #

Alan Bell

well Anonymous Insider, that has to be one of the weakest smears I have ever seen. Who is your "parent company"? Even if you are accurate I struggle to see even a hint of impropriety. Why did you copy and paste this to lots of other comment threads in blogs and news sites around the world?

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/17/2009 4:23:00 PM #

Anonymous Insider

Alan, thank you, it's nice to see a face in connection to your pro Pamela Jones comment.

I'll leave the 'hint of impropriety' to Examinetics, formerly Exemplar International, to analyze.

In regard to my 'parent company', I'll leave that to your imagination.

About my motive, a few months ago I read the article "Lawyers Flock to Mystery Web Site's Coverage of SCO-IBM Suit" as published at www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1126170313067 . It bother me the naivety in people.

The recent public attack on Alan Brown made me visit his Web site to let him know about Pamela Jones.

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/17/2009 4:24:56 PM #

Anonymous Insider

Please excuse me, I meant Mr. Alex Brown instead of Alan Brown.

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/19/2009 11:49:29 AM #

Gareth Horton

Hi Andre

Some good points there, but you completely let yourself down as a principled fighter for government efficiency, holding vendors to account etc, by referring to the mainframe anti-trust investigation as 'silly'. It is no sillier than anything Microsoft have been investigated for.  

I had no idea that ECIS was founded as an anti-IBM association.  I did try and find some examples of ECIS attacking IBM on the web, but came up empty.  I did find many thousands of articles about them attacking Microsoft though. I would have thought that Microsoft would have been a founder member of an organisation set up to attack IBM, but apparently not.  Were they a member, then left after IBM joined and started running the show?  Was IBM actually a founder member of an association dedicated to their own destruction?  The ECIS history page is a bit sparse on detail, unsurprisingly.

In addition, with the current anti-trust investigation into IBM, they are obviously no longer members of ECIS, given the membership requirements

"In order to be admitted as a member, the applicant must show that it shares ECIS' philosophic views and aims, and that its conduct reflects this fact"

Anyway, let me know a bit more on the fascinating twists and turns of the history of ECIS, it sounds like quite a potboiler.

As regards mainframes being dead, I would like even a very small proportion of that 'dead' market please!  IBM seem quite keen on investing in it.  Maybe you could say that mainframes are dead, but the funeral is going to be held in 30 years.

You open source guys just get more scary by the day, I thought Stallman was bad enough, with his "what's mine is mine, what's yours is mine" ethos, but now us commercial vendors actually have to pay customers to use our software????

"Procurement policy is not about "fair compensation". From the procurement side I want to get paid for using your products."

It sounds like "paying t'mill owner for permission to come to work" from Monty Python's Four Yorkshirement sketch!

Gareth


Gareth

Gareth Horton United Kingdom |

4/19/2009 5:38:01 PM #

Alex

@Anonymous Insider

I'm really not interested in "Pamela Jones" as a person, and (if what you say is true) I don't see working for any particular company as worthy of objection. Any personal attacks on PJ, or on anybody else involved in that site, would not be welcome on this site.

Allowing oneself to get drawn into thoughts about "PJ" plays the game of personalisation that so many have been so keen to play through this standardization saga, and which I think all of us should battle to resist. For myself, I managed to avoid being targetted until after the BRM. Because that event was not felt to have gone as some anti-OOXML activits wanted I found myself on the wrong side of what Patrick Durusau refers to as "the Blog Collective".

We should instead focus on the content on the Groklaw site and its basis as an entity.

(Oh and when it comes to content, I am only interested in the OOXML stuff; I know and care precisely zero about the SCO case or other stuff Groklaw runs editorials on.)

So, for example, here's a simple question: where does the money come from?

I'd have thought Groklaw's readers might have cared about that -- though it is of course a source of endless wonderment to many, that the so-called supporters of openness that are found on Groklaw are so happy to cheer on an anonymously-fronted, heavily-censored site who funding is (so far as I can see) completely opaque!

- Alex.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/19/2009 8:12:31 PM #

Anonymous Insider

Alex, fair enough.

Indeed, it seems as Groklaw readers don't care where the money comes from.

Nevertheless, now you have a better idea of where the money came from in the years 2003 and 2004.

And where did the money come from in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008? From Groklaw readers themselves of course!

Thanks for your response.

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/20/2009 8:07:59 AM #

Alan Bell

Groklaw is hosted by ibiblio which itself has fairly transparent funding paths. the other costs are occasional court documents which are met by donations. There really isn't much money on the cost side so there isn't much to look for on the revenue side. The main resource is people's time which is given freely, much like that of the people who give their time to standardisation work.
Why is someone with a name so often accused of being anonymous? This I don't understand.

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/20/2009 3:05:55 PM #

pingback

Pingback from nonaka.eu

Novità importanti per OOXML – IS29500 – nonaka

nonaka.eu |

4/20/2009 6:20:30 PM #

Gareth Horton

@Alan Bell

Hi Alan, the existence of a name does not equate to the existence of a person.

An attempt to serve a subpoena on PJ in the SCO case was unsuccessful, I'm not sure whether that is because she doesn't actually exist, or whether she chose to ignore it.  Any argument that she, of all people, didn't know about it is obviously laughable.

www.forbes.com/.../...ech-enter-cz_dl_0213sco.html

Not really a respecter of the law, it seems.

Gareth

Gareth Horton United Kingdom |

4/20/2009 6:54:39 PM #

Alan Bell

The existence of a name may or may not imply the existence of a person, however the existence of a name does directly cause a lack of anonymity. I don't really know much about subpoenas but I think they have to be correctly served and if they are not it isn't up to the proposed recipient to sort it out. I very much doubt any laws were breached. Can we get back to the issues now please?

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/20/2009 7:53:17 PM #

Amade Upperson

Alan, which issues were you referring to?

"lots of money goes offshore to a company that does not even pay tax in the UK"

Are we back to you knocking Google for not paying tax in the UK? Not sure how that is relevant.

www.theregister.co.uk/.../

Or did you mean Microsoft Wink

Gareth



Amade Upperson |

4/20/2009 8:24:30 PM #

Alan Bell

That wasn't the issue I had in mind. Quite a lot of big companies have sharp tax practices. Actually to correct my previous statement, Microsoft reports about 500 million in services turnover in the UK, from which they make about 55 million profit and pay about 17 million in tax. All the product sales are channeled through Ireland though, I don't know what they would be worth in tax if they were reported here. To be honest the money side of things is really not that interesting to me, it is about Software Freedom, not money.
The issue I had in mind was actually relating to XML representation of documents and the interesting tradeoffs relating to versioning and forwards compatibility, which applies as much to ODF as it does to OOXML. Maybe if there is harmonisation work done to bring the two standards together (a goal some people have, I am unsure how realistic it is) then a versioning scheme that would support such a convergence and merger would be an interesting consideration at this point.

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/22/2009 5:42:08 AM #

Anonymous Insider

Found the latest post from Groklaw on the issue:

Hmmm... About last week's OOXML thread?

Authored by: PJ on Tuesday, April 21 2009 @ 09:09 PM EDT
I'm convinced they knew about it already, although
it's only a guess, but given the dates, and the fact
that Microsoft would have received a copy, I'd assume,
it's a fairly good guess.

But what this reminded me about, and it's the most
likely reason, is the EU Commission investigation into
the OOXML saga. Both Mahugh and Brown would be
implicated in that investigation, I would think, and
it would be only natural that they'd be nervous about
it, and therefor a bit testy. Not to mention they'd
have an interest in making sure Groklaw's reputation was
damaged, so no one would pay any attention to all the
facts we brought to light, thanks to all of you.

Link:

http://tinyurl.com/dzjryl

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/22/2009 7:57:55 AM #

Alex

@Anonymous Insider

It's a mindset that can only see things in terms of conspiracy, and which views all arguments in terms of personal motivation, rather than the substance of what is being said.

I don't believe there is an EC investigation into OOXML standardisation (though some people have told me that a form letter went out to the Euro NBs last year, and that the NBs responded that everything was fine). So far as I can see, all the reports of an EC "investigation" are sourced to one vague article in the WSJ from last February.

I rather wished there was an investigation though - I certainly thought there *would* be one. It would be a good chance to vindicate what happened (as was the case in the UK courts, when UKUUG's legal challenge was exposed for the twaddle it was). Of course at that point, the tinfoil brigade will claim the EC investigators had been corrupted by MS, and we'd move on to the next level of craziness.

- Alex.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/22/2009 5:03:18 PM #

Anonymous Insider

"Of course at that point, the tinfoil brigade will claim the EC investigators had been corrupted by MS, and we'd move on to the next level of craziness."

Of course at that point, the tinfoil brigade will claim the EC investigators had been corrupted by MS, and we'd move on to the next level of NOISE.

And that's what Groklaw is best at, the dissemination of NOISE.

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/22/2009 8:44:12 PM #

Doug Mahugh

Alan, since you seem to have taken on the role of Groklaw defender here, can you help me understand why they delete so many comments? I've posted there many times, usually to add facts and clarification to threads that speculate about Microsoft's actions or intentions, and the majority of my comments have been deleted.

On a related note, why does a site that alleges to be dedicated to openness and transparency need moderation at all?  Would it really be so bad if viewers could see what other viewers have to say about the topics under discussion?

Looking at the sheer number of misstatements in threads there, it would be nice if they allowed more facts to creep into discussions.  As one of many examples from recent days, when people are still claiming, in 2009, that AutoSpaceLikeWord95 isn't documented (and those same people seem unaware of conceptually identical settings in ODF documents which are truly not documented), I think any reasonable observer would have to conclude that the cause of truth is not being served very well.  Is this really the best they can do?

- Doug

Doug Mahugh |

4/22/2009 10:55:46 PM #

Alan Bell

Doug, I am not a Groklaw insider by any means, but I have been following PJs articles since the beginning (since pre-SCO days). I don't think I have had any of my comments deleted and I don't think I have ever noticed a non-spam comment being deleted. Technically I believe when comments are deleted they are hidden from everyone but the IP address that made them, a cunning trick to avoid spam comments being reposted. I am frankly astonished that you have had any comments deleted, unless you were cursing, or threatening, which I don't think is your style. The only other thing I can think of is that you may have been posting anonymously and (quite reasonably) claiming to be Doug Mahugh and you were incorrectly assumed to be an imposter, although PJ and the other moderators are pretty good at figuring these things out.
I think the AutoSpaceLikeWord95 issue is that it just feels a bit wrong to stuff a product name in an international standard, documented or otherwise. If there are similar things in ODF then they would feel wrong too. Sometimes "backwards compatibility" acts against "doing it properly". Hopefully the implementation of ODF in the service pack 2 will work nicely and we can forget about OOXML and move on with one standard for document formats which we can all make better together.

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 12:20:37 AM #

Anonymous Insider

Please excuse me for getting involved in Doug's and Alan's discussion.

"... can you help me understand why they delete so many comments?..."

This has ocurred since the early days of Groklaw at http://radio.weblogs.com/0120124/ .

The archive at radio.weblogs.com/.../scoArchives.html leads to different posts titled 'Problem With Comments' (2003-06-19), 'Comments Vanishing' (2003-07-27), 'Disappearing Comments' (2003-08-27), etc.

"...why does a site that alleges to be dedicated to openness and transparency need moderation at all?"

Groklaw is Pamela Jones and it doesn't matter if the are a few hundred posters. Groklaw is Pamela Jones.

To understand Groklaw, you need to undertand the individual behind the publication.

However, Alex Brown already wrote "I'm really not interested in "Pamela Jones" as a person..."

It's impossible to understand Groklaw's agenda if you don't know who is the individual.

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 12:26:41 AM #

Doug Mahugh

Well, it sounds like our mileage has varied.  I've had many comments deleted.  I'm not sure why anonymity would matter, since a very large percentage of Groklaw's comments are anonymous, but in any case I've had comments deleted when I post anonymously, and also when I post under my name, so that doesn't seem to explain it.

The pattern that I've noticed is that any comment which undercuts the core premise being used to agitate the masses gets deleted.  For example, last week a few people suggested that our ODF support in SP2 will include lots of extensions or not be as conformant as other implementations, so I posted this comment, which was deleted:

www.mahugh.com/GroklawDeletions/20090417a.png

It showed up from my IP address (but not others) for a couple of days, and now it's just gone from any and all IP addresses.  Since this has happened so many times, and always on comments along the lines of this one, I have a hard time believing it's random technical glitches that are the cause.  Perhaps I could get Groklaw to restore it, but the deed has been done: by removing this comment, and leaving all of the anonymous comments alleging our non-conformance intact, they made the tone exactly what they wanted during the time period when many eyes were on the thread.  Restoring the comment now wouldn't change that, so I don't think it's worth pursuing.

By the way, as you can see from the content of that comment, I look forward to discussing these issues in more detail after SP2 is released.

Doug Mahugh |

4/23/2009 1:56:11 AM #

Anonymous Insider

"I have a hard time believing it's random technical glitches that are the cause."

That was the excuse in 2003. Now Groklaw takes pride on its deletions.

"The pattern that I've noticed is that any comment which undercuts the core premise being used to agitate the masses gets deleted."

Indeed, that's the main reason for deletions in Groklaw.

It's a waste of time to discuss opposing views in Groklaw. There's only one truth in Groklaw, and the truth is the one preached by its publisher.

Honestly, I wouldn't bother to participate in Groklaw. Find alternative vehicles to transmit your message.

The Windows platform has more than 80% market share on the desktop. Most of the installed base use Windows for work or leisure. A very small percentage use the platform to agitate masses.

That's quite the opposite in the Linux platform and its the reason there's so much NOISE on the Web.

If a rather small percentange of the overall 80% dedicate a similar time as those in the Linux platform to transmit contra arguments, the overall effect on the Web could be overwhelming.

Now, is that necessary? I think not.

The Linux platform is already pretty much fragmented starting at the top with opposing agendas by Stallman and Torvalds. The fragmentation is enhanced by different and incompatible kernels. The confusion reaches very high levels with so many incompatible distros.

Nevertheless, it causes frustration to read about disruptive agendas on the Web. If the frustration reached high levels, think about the fragmentation on their side.

Cheers!

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 7:06:08 AM #

Alan Bell

Doug, on the face of it I can't see much wrong with that comment.
There is nothing wrong with being anonymous, but if some random idiot posted stuff anonymously and signed it with your name you would not like that very much, so it would be deleted for you. To illustrate my point lets say for example you posted something to Groklaw stating that the next version of MS Office will be GPL licensed and you signed it with your name. They would consider it so unlikely to be a comment from the real Doug that it would be deleted. This doesn't explain the screenshot, just trying to clarify my point about imposters.
Is the parent comment you were responding to still visible? If that got deleted then I guess yours could have been collateral damage.

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 9:38:22 AM #

Alex

I wonder if there's a gap in the market for an "Open Groklaw". One could legitimately reproduce the articles (under their CC licence), and then allow a genuinely open comment framework alongside them, which was free of prejudicial censorship. And one could use something better than that awful, awful geeklog software ...

Another interesting thing is Diigo (http://www.diigo.com/). I've been using that recently to make meta-comments on things (in the "Document Wars" group) - it is wonderfully subversive and could be a game-changer in removing censorship powers from publishers like groklaw. Shame it's still a bit clunky ...

Throughout the whole OOXML process I have - apart from link spam - only has to remove *one* comment (which was borderline racist).

- Alex.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 9:43:32 AM #

Alex

... actually, come to think of it, I also deleted a couple of comments which were personal attacks on Roy Schestowitz; you've no idea how smug that made me feel! Wink

Alex United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 1:40:49 PM #

AndréR

@Gareth:
You open source guys just get more scary by the day, I thought Stallman was bad enough, with his "what's mine is mine, what's yours is mine" ethos, but now us commercial vendors actually have to pay customers to use our software????

I am no open source (or free software) guy. As everyone else I use FLOSS in my productive environment. As an OS indifferent person I use Windows Vista and on the other machine I run Ubuntu with LXDE. But let me explain you the rationale of a market system where sellers and buyers negotiate. Buyers want to pay the lowest price. Sure that price may become negative.

"Procurement policy is not about "fair compensation". From the procurement side I want to get paid for using your products."

It sounds like "paying t'mill owner for permission to come to work" from Monty Python's Four Yorkshirement sketch!


Tom Sawyer is enough.
www.pbs.org/marktwain/learnmore/writings_tom.html

It is all about procurement negotiations. And you are probably aware of the incident that AOL was paid by Microsoft for not using the Gecko engine of its Mozilla project. Great payoff. Companies need a stronger focus on strategic procurement. The netbook companies understood it.

So for document formats Microsoft works so hard to keep its lock-in while its customers have an interest to break free and move towards genuine open document formats. From a government perspective all strategic dependencies of their economy are a national security threat and need to get lowered. In terms of opec we first played nice, later we sent our cruise missiles. You don't need many specialists to develop an office productivity suite.

I also think that calls for massive floss support policies are a good means to negotiate more reasonable offerings. When you have open source on the agenda you will get open standards offered for free. My colleagues from APRIL and APSL just came up with this: http://www.freesoftwarepact.eu/

btw: An association where I happen to be in the board got RMS involved recently for some public buzz. He described the European patent office as a "malicious" and "corrupt" organisation. Wink I wonder what he would have suggested in the ISO context?

@Alex: Everyone should be free to attack or hug Roy Schestowitz.

AndréR Germany |

4/23/2009 1:49:45 PM #

Anonymous Insider

"I wonder if there's a gap in the market for an "Open Groklaw". One could legitimately reproduce the articles..."

Probably not:

The Sound And The Fury

BYTE

February 1996

Just before the demise of Commodore, a marketing executive for the company summarized what he thought led to the Amiga's failure to capture significant market share. He minced no words: "The fanatical element among our customer base hasn't done us any favors."

The similarities between the Amiga camp and Linux users are striking. If a journalist writes an article about, say, printers, he or she may get several flaming letters from Amigoids complaining that mention of the Amiga was excluded from the review. Not only is the Amiga the best desktop publishing system on the market, they'd say, but you'd be an idiot to run anything else. And by the way, I know where you live.

Linux fanatics display similar zeal when they slam MS-DOS (MS-DOG), Windows (Windoze), Windows NT, and the people who use them. Never mind that your PC must be running MS-DOS before you can install Linux. Also, never mind that DOSEMU and Wine, DOS and Windows emulators, are among the most touted achievements of Linux developers. Flames erupt frequently on the Usenet when a heretic suggests there's another OS worth running. Heated respondents pen pages of incendiary prose in reply.

The uncivil behavior of these few loudmouths threatens to hold Linux back from the stature it deserves. As with the Amiga, many people who could benefit from trying Linux are put off enough by these displays to take their interest elsewhere. Some journalists refuse to take Linux seriously because of the regular Usenet rants, letters to editors, and angry calls to computer talk shows. Linux techno-troopers may not realize that their irrational activism plays a significant role in keeping them a minority.

We should see a taming of the rhetoric as commercial players get involved. Red Hat Linux is a publicized commercial release. Considering they cost vendors nothing, we should see Linux releases covered by proper documentation, support, and even licensed additions (e.g., OSF/Motif) while maintaining a consumer-friendly price.

Copyright © 1996 CMP Media LLC

More at www.krsaborio.net/research/linux/advocacy.htm

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 2:14:15 PM #

Anonymous Insider

Did you know about this (comment at the end of the article):

IBM Is Offering Workers Prizes to Hawk OS/2

Paul B. Carroll, Staff Reporter
The Wall Street Journal

March 27, 1992

International Business Machines Corp.'s sales force is already bigger than many armies, but as IBM prepares to start shipping its much-maligned OS/2 operating system, it has decided it needs reinforcements.

So IBM is about to launch a program that will attempt to turn all its 344,000 employees into salesmen for the personal-computer software, which is in a fight for its life against Microsoft Corp.'s Windows juggernaut.

IBM will offer employees incentives ranging from medals to IBM software or hardware to cash, depending on how much effort they put into OS/2. In return, says Lucy Baney, an IBM marketing executive, the company will ask employees to approach their neighbors, their dentists, their schoolboards. Armed with brochures and talking points, the IBMers will sing the praises of OS/2 as the solution to people's personal-computing needs.

IBM is pulling out most of the stops in advertising and pricing, too, as it prepares for one of the stiffest marketing battles the personal-computer industry has seen. IBM must not only overcome Microsoft's considerable momentum but must also face a Microsoft marketing effort that, while very different and more low-key, is just as intense in support of Microsoft's latest version of Windows. In fact, the situation here is the reverse of the one IBM normally sees; Microsoft is the entrenched power and IBM the struggling competitor attempting to dislodge it.

"There's a very serious commitment to energize the whole company behind the product," says Fernand Sarrat, the top OS/2 marketing executive.

Although he declines to be specific on IBM's advertising plans, he says that "there isn't an IBM U.S. ad campaign that will receive anywhere near the dollars that OS/2 does" this year. That easily puts OS/2 advertising spending into the tens of millions of dollars, not counting the money IBM will spend on extensive international ads.

Mr. Sarrat says the campaign will be informational rather than the sort of macho advertising that has been rumored in the trade press; one slogan that was reportedly considered was "Curtains for Windows." But Mr. Sarrat adds: "It's not that we'll be namby-pamby. That's for damn sure."

The campaign will really start rolling next month. IBM's new version of OS/2 will be available to corporate customers next week, meeting IBM's commitment to deliver it by the end of March, but it won't be widely available in retail outlets until the second half of April. So even though Microsoft has already begun its campaign, in advance of its April 6 introduction of Windows 3.1, Mr. Sarrat says IBM has decided to wait a bit.

On pricing, he says that people who have the latest version of OS/2 will get the new version free. Many users of Microsoft's Windows and DOS will also get huge discounts off the list price of $195, but Mr. Sarrat declines to be specific, lest he tip his hand to Microsoft. (Windows 3.1 will have a list price of $150.)

IBM's pricing plan means it will be taking losses on many of its initial OS/2 sales. Software securities analysts have estimated that IBM must pay Microsoft a royalty of about $20 on each copy of OS/2, because it contains Windows software. They have said it also costs $30 or more to produce each copy of OS/2. And those figures don't include any of IBM's marketing expenses, any of the corporate overhead that eats up more than 30% of IBM's revenue or any of the OS/2 development expenses that have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars.

"This is a long-term war," Mr. Sarrat says.

He predicts that IBM will sell millions of copies of OS/2 this year, even though it has sold something less than one million copies in the five years since OS/2's introduction. Mr. Sarrat even goes so far as to predict that within a few years OS/2 will be outselling Windows, which Rick Sherlund, a securities analyst at Goldman Sachs, predicts will sell 11 million to 12 million copies in the fiscal year ending June 30 and 17 million copies the following year.

"It won't happen this year or next year," Mr. Sarrat says, "but after next year it's fair game."

In contrast to IBM, Microsoft will spend most of its effort "making sure people have a good experience" with its new version of Windows, says Steve Ballmer, a Microsoft executive vice president.

Microsoft will spend plenty of money on advertising, including its first television campaign. Mr. Ballmer says a published estimate of a $31 million marketing effort "is probably low even as a U.S. number." Microsoft will also be aggressive on pricing, offering upgrades to the new version for $50 initially.

But Mr. Ballmer says most of Microsoft's effort will go into a huge program to train computer dealers, to offer workshops to heavy Windows users and to help people get information on how to use the product. Patty Stonesifer, a Microsoft vice president in charge of customer support, says that Microsoft has 500 people available to answer telephone callers' questions on Windows, up from 70 when the prior version of Windows came out in May 1990. She says Microsoft has also invested heavily in an electronic bulletin board to keep users up to date on problems that surface with the software and to provide the latest tips on how to use Windows better.

"Making Windows easier to use will be a demand generator in itself," she says.

Microsoft has also mounted an aggressive public-relations campaign in recent weeks, having executives do waves of interviews to address OS/2. The executives have argued, in particular, that while OS/2 may make sense for IBM's traditional corporate users, it is too complex and requires too much memory to attract the broad mass of users who have been drawn to Windows.

Still, Mr. Ballmer acknowledges that many people in the computer industry and many users "are rooting for some healthy competition. People want a healthy, knockdown, drag-out fight. But we haven't shipped, and IBM hasn't shipped. In the next few weeks, we'll see what happens."

Copyright Dow Jones & Company Inc

Comment: As you can see, IBM workers got training on disseminating noise in their neighborhoods. They were busy in the early 90s disseminationg noise on OS/2 and then they moved to Linux. Are the few that are left concentrating now on ODF?

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 2:33:56 PM #

Doug Mahugh

Alan, I assume you realize that the rationale "I can't verify this is Doug Mahugh so I'll delete the comment to be safe," when offered in defense of a site that allows thousands of other comments through without any mechanism for verifying their origin, is a line of reasoning most people would find more entertaining than compelling.

As for collateral damage from a deleted parent comment, the comment I responded to is still there, and prompted a variety of responses in the 24 hours before I tried to comment:

www.groklaw.net/comment.php%27s+try+to+be+fair+here&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=751306#c751552

I see that my comment appears again now this morning, from my PC.  Here's what I see at the moment:

www.mahugh.com/.../20090417a-Thread20090423.png

Is it just me?  In any event, restoring the comment today, 6 days after it was posted, is not an absence of censorship but rather a particular form of it.  The mission of preventing my comment from appearing in the day-to-day activity on that thread has been accomplished.

Alex, your thoughts on an "Open Groklaw" are  intriguing.

Doug Mahugh |

4/23/2009 2:55:12 PM #

Alex

@Anonymous Insider

That was 16 years ago!

I don't see anything particularly wrong with making an entire workforce a salesforce (it may be dumb -- but that's another matter).

And what has this to do with Groklaw? are you alleging some kind of IBM/Groklaw link? Of course I am aware there have been such allegations in the past, and some have noticed that Groklaw does not run stories about mainframe monopolies, but does run puff pieces on IBM tech. Still, these allegations of a link have been denied. And, emerging from the OOXML saga I'm aware allegations are cheap; but evidence is all ...

- Alex.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 2:59:24 PM #

chs

I would like to comment back on the ECIS. As it happens I have some information on this group. It seems they indeed changed from their first goals and targets and it's quite surprising to see where they are headed now. To be sure: it's twisting a lot of heads too. The ECIS now has some considerable power given how little publicity they get even in Europe.

It is also a very secretive entity. I was once invited there, and by there, I mean that was a heck of a strange place. Their office are located in Brussels, but we made several laps on the highways around the city before reaching that place. Inside, the care they had taken at making sure you would not know exactly who you were talking to was fascinating. Of course, I was not blindfolded, but the people were all talking to you and not declining their names to you even when you were asking them. And they had always these odd gestures and embraces when one was meeting with another.

I had the rare priviledge to talk with them and they told me they had a war chest that was full. Then they told me that their actions against Microsoft were really just the beginning of some much larger strategy. The strategy seems to be led by an odd combination of Oracle executives and high-flying european commission members. I cannot really say what they have in mind but I know some people who stumbled upon Larry Ellison  several times in the street of Brussels in the morning, walking with a very assured pace. I can't really say much more, and to tell the truth, I am scared.

chs France |

4/23/2009 3:12:18 PM #

Anonymous Insider

"Alex, your thoughts on an 'Open Groklaw' are intriguing."

I would recommend to define a URL for that. The OLDER, the better. Then, get all your acquaintances to link to it from their homepages with anchor text "Open Groklaw" (can you use the name Groklaw in it?). I know some people that can make some pretty good links to it for free!

"And what has this to do with Groklaw?"

First, you have a precedent:

"IBM will offer employees incentives ranging from medals to IBM software or hardware to cash, depending on how much effort they put into..."

Then, you had a willingness to talk:

"I didn't think too many people would ever read it (Groklaw), except I thought maybe IBM might find my research and it'd help them. Or someone out there would read it and realize he or she had meaningful evidence and would contact IBM or FSF." From http://www.linux.org/people/pj_groklaw.html

Then, you needed an audience. Guess where many posters come from...

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 3:14:44 PM #

Alex

Well, blow me - I find my comments have been deleted on Groklaw now:

http://www.adjb.net/page/Censored-By-Groklaw.aspx

The second one, objecting to a nasty comment was removed (along with the nasty comment itself). I can see a rationale for that.

But the first, I which I criticised a couple of particularly moronic debating tricks on PJ's part have been removed, leaving the moronic original intact and uncriticised.

Looks to me like Groklaw can dish it out, but can't take it (as with all bullies).

- Alex.


Alex United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 3:18:58 PM #

Alex

@Anonymous Insider

Open Groklaw it's only a whim - on reflection there are more gainful things to do that picking a fight with Groklaw ...

As an older and wiser standards colleague has recently advised me: "The only way to win is not to play" ...

- Alex.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 3:20:07 PM #

Anonymous Insider

"I can't really say much more, and to tell the truth, I am scared."

Linux is today too, too much fragmented. Much more fragmented that Unix was in the late 80s:

"With so many different versions, said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., 'There's always been Tower of Babel sort of bickering inside Unix, but this is the most extreme form ever. . . . This means at least several years of confusion.'"

www.krsaborio.net/research/1980s/88/880518.htm

Just let the other side continue their disruptive agendas. The agendas will backfire.

Don't worry, be happy!

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 3:25:46 PM #

Anonymous Insider

"As an older and wiser standards colleague has recently advised me: 'The only way to win is not to play'"

Exactly, that's why I posted the note "The Sound And The Fury".

Let me repeat a key paragraph:

"Just before the demise of Commodore, a marketing executive for the company summarized what he thought led to the Amiga's failure to capture significant market share. He minced no words: 'The fanatical element among our customer base hasn't done us any favors.'"

Indeed, the only way to win is not to play!

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 4:20:44 PM #

AndréR

@chs
Of course ECIS activities are shielded by them. It is a matter of professionalism and easily understood. As of Oracle you are probably aware that they fund Jonathan Zuck's ACT, too. I still don't get why these guys leaked the ESS drafts from their WG. To blow up the work of the Commission on an open source strategy? They rather should be pleased that the Commission lets them as Americans participate in a European Software Strategy. Oracle participates on all sides and I think that is a very smart strategy. ECIS groupies as ACT have to learn (and play according to) the rules of the game:
blog.actonline.org/.../...-in-ec-browser-case.html

Else you run into the trouble that was found in afnor where the French army was reportedly insulted. Good for odf, bad for ooxml.

@alex: Then why do you post anonymously and insult Groklaw as a "hate site"?

It is a bit like: So you are for unprecedented openness, then why are you against wire-tapping?

@anonymous insider: I don't really care who Pamela Jones is, I guess it is a group of former spies who read the whole day long bad Novells and SCOpadive on their mainframe and sail the web. You may conclude from the writing style that it is not a pseudonyme of Roy Schestowitz, here with an interview of pj:

itmanagement.earthweb.com/.../...or-of-Groklaw.htm

Great picture but I am afraid of Roy, not of Pamela.

The other night I got the bad dream the great EU-Antitrust investigation into IBM's mainframe practices, that it will be followed by Carmen Sandiego's blog, a paralegal from Madrid. I asked my Oracle about that. It told me to buy a Zune and meditate. So I went to amazon.de and searched for zune. The first relevant entry was Apple iPod Classic Tragbarer MP3-Player 120 GB schwarz (NEU) von Apple and the second Creative Zen Tragbarer MP3-Player 8 GB schwarz von Creative.  I don't get what my Oracle wanted to tell me but the ZEN coincidence seems to indicate that Creative is behind everything, no?

AndréR Germany |

4/23/2009 4:44:36 PM #

Alex

@Doug

I (just now) see the thread differently to you:

www.adjb.net/.../...ahugh-censored-by-groklaw.aspx

As you see, your comment is absent from the end of it.

- Alex.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 5:14:42 PM #

chs

@ AndréR

Indeed Oracle has invested into both ACT and ECIS in order to divide and conquer. That's their plan. The theory that links J. Zuck to the leaking of the ESS documents to the public makes sense if you apply the theory of the weak signals: I was part of the ESS WG on Open Source and when the news broke out there was this sense of witch-hunting the "Open Source and Stallmannist fanatics".
I often said the following, and today's news make my word much more relevant: it's not because you're a Democrat that you cannot protect your country effectively. The tune Republicans have sung all along the past eight years proved to be exactly like what their leaders were: morally bankrupt and unable to exercise an effective international policy with a real exit strategy.

Now going back to J. Zuck: He was the only U.S. citizen on the call and was pretending to influence European politics: what may have happen is that when he found out the ESS was not going all his way he leaked the documents. That being said, I could be wrong. Oracle is also a US based company, and so is MS. They have ties with the Federal government. There's no conspiracy here: All I'm saying here is that we should realize the respective political demands of the U.S. and Europe. Once this is done, you come to realize that 1) a solution for Europe's digital future has to be European 2) Open Standards and Free Software, because of their proper specificities will be essential to this project.

Oracle cannot play on two levels and expect to win. Microsoft cannot expect to kill Free Software and be done with it. It just does not work like this. By the way: this comment system does not work with Konqueror. I see it's made with a .NET technology. Is that the Microsoft conspiracy?

chs France |

4/23/2009 5:28:02 PM #

Alex

@chs

Wow - when you guys start talking about European-level standards politics it kind of makes me glad we in the UK are out of all that -- no; wait, we aren't Wink

As for this blog, it's http://www.dotnetblogengine.net/ Works great. And no, it's not a conspiracy: I chose it to run in parallel with my old PHP based blog (at http://www.adjb.net/index.php ), keeping all the URLs from that blog "as is".

This new blog purports to be serving XHTML 1.1. Does Konqueror support that?

- Alex.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 6:10:30 PM #

Gareth Horton

@Andre

You mention that "When you have open source on the agenda you will get open standards offered for free." Are you alluding to the fact that the open, free, OOXML would not exist were it not for Open Source?

There may be some truth in that, but more important was the vast amount of cash that IBM sunk into lobbying that an open document standard was actually important and should be mandated in local and national procurement policy.

I think you got the tense wrong on this bit:

"So for document formats Microsoft works so hard to keep its lock-in"  I think you meant "worked" - past tense.

The net effect, is that it is a good thing.  Open XML is infinitely better than what we had to work with before.

I am afraid that we won't be charging any negative prices for our software, if you are angling for me to pay you to use a copy of Monarch.

<joke>
Maybe if you could use your considerable lobbying skills to mandate its purchase by all european local and national governments, the price could become negative, so to speak Wink
</joke>

Gareth

Gareth Horton United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 6:29:21 PM #

Anonymous Insider

See what I mean:

www.groklaw.net/comment.php%27s+OOXML+thread%3F+Maybe+something+else+could+slip+loose...&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=752280#c752358

At least the poster is honest with his signature!

See the above note 'IBM Is Offering Workers Prizes to Hawk OS/2'.

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 6:32:36 PM #

Anonymous Insider

Here is a tiny url...

http://alturl.com/4w9z

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 6:37:01 PM #

Anonymous Insider

Some people still can't let go OS/2

LOL!

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 7:47:29 PM #

Alex

Hmm,

Following our conversation above, my censored Groklaw comments resurfaced, and PJ asked me a question about when I would prefer OOXML over ODF. I duly replied. But now my reply has been removed! Incredible!

Can anybody here suggest why this comment was worthy of deletion?

www.adjb.net/.../...red-By-Groklaw-2009-04-23.aspx

Alex United Kingdom |

4/23/2009 8:29:26 PM #

Anonymous Insider

"Can anybody here suggest why this comment was worthy of deletion?"

Hmmm, PJ might be having a bad day!

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/23/2009 8:54:10 PM #

AndréR

@gareth

You mention that "When you have open source on the agenda you will get open standards offered for free." Are you alluding to the fact that the open, free, OOXML would not exist were it not for Open Source?

I mean that the provisions are subject to negotiations and a matter of procurement power distribution. OOXML is so to speak the response to ODF and the high quality of binary support by competitors. What I was concerned about are patents. We also see that it is not well designed but that is more an aestetic consideration.

There may be some truth in that, but more important was the vast amount of cash that IBM sunk into lobbying that an open document standard was actually important and should be mandated in local and national procurement policy.

Really? Cool, there are enough projects I could sell them that would achieve that.

AndréR Germany |

4/23/2009 10:59:30 PM #

AndréR

@chs: I am curious what has been the agenda of Thales in the process of WG7? I am not so much informed about the French defense industry. "Red" is Zuck, right? What I heard about the WG report were references to the quote: "Regarding the “Europe Digital Independence” our group thinks it is, in general, not an issue. But that is not from Zuck but the rapporteur?

@alexbrown: Sending this with Chrome i.e. Webkit which is based on Konqueror's Khtml. Very slow editing and orthocheck broken. But the engine is nice. I get below the note: "Powered by Blogegine.NET 1.4.5.0"

When will the full report be published?

Commissioner Reding on the ESS objectives:ec.europa.eu/.../brussels_20071119.pdf

"Firstly, it means that the ability to produce software is a strategic economic capability. Without the ability to produce software Europe will not be able to function let alone compete in the global market place."..."I believe that these are the necessary preconditions for the European software industry to ride the rising wave of on-line software. But, the essential point is that this shift to on-line software will change the way the software business is done. It will place a new emphasis on open and interoperable systems that can be upgraded and joined together in networks with other systems. And, although there will always be a role for proprietary systems, I believe that the on-line world will see a shift towards open standards and indeed open source software in order to respond to this new paradigm." and so on.

Indeed, some may find notion of 'national security interest' over the top but it is basically about European access and platform control, that is what policy makers discuss in Brussels. Which also means they don't care for Stallmanesque tunes and those who still sell "software as a product". Is the openness industry lobby in Brussels pushing for that? I don't think that these American companies are suicidal. You have this strong administrative push for digital independence now across Europe and the quote "Regarding the “Europe Digital Independence” our group thinks it is, in general, not an issue" is just brilliant to illustrate the gravitation.

AndréR Germany |

4/24/2009 11:45:53 AM #

chs

@ AndréR: Thales missed an opportunity to make a clear stance on French national interests. Consensus and career-oriented personal agendas are destroying France. Added pressure by some multinationals emasculate Europe. Anyway back to Thales: they were rightly unhappy with the leak: It was the most foolish thing I've seen in Brussels for some time, a blatant display of incompetence. This time the leak really came out as an insult to the Thales who was in charge of the WG, and did a good management job, even if I have strong reserves on the content of the document and the general way anti-european interests invited themselves in the process.
J. Zuck lost an opportunity to play nice with Europe. Too bad.

@ Alex: Indeed, the UK is part of Europe. But it's a truly participative system, where each member is on equal footage with the others. So you get to define how you want to engage with the others. It's called democracy. Now to your blog engine, it seems that there's an issue with Webkit. Aside of that Konqueror tends to suck big time...

chs France |

4/24/2009 1:27:47 PM #

AndréR

@chs: as far as I understand the whole ESS process just keeps us in the lobby busy. Eventually it does not matter because there is no prize to gain in the essay competition. It is a bit stupid to leave it to the old bulls to define the "future" but that is the way these EU procedures are about. I actually like it when Zuck gets involved and they made a nice proposal for a mediation mechanism for Euro-EPLA patent infringements. He does his job and is a real personality.  He always gets the green horns totally outraged. To add on the openness aspect (eating out own dogfood). Maybe all these collaborative documents like ESS should be better edited in the open. Do you know the French tool Co-ment: http://www.co-ment.net/ Pretty cool. AGPL btw. for the license zealots. I guess you know who is behind Smile The classic hypocrisy is still the GPLv3 discussion process and their own commenting tool. http://code.softwarefreedom.org/projects/stet/ Free as is "free to leave". Even they recommend Co-ment now because Co-ment does better. In the OOXML debate I was quite surprised what could be achieved with wordpress to review the comments.

I proposed without success in my ESS WG to use Google Docs (Adobe Buzzword is better but too beta) for editing and - I didn't know that - this is what drives Microsoft participants absolutely crazy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLO-RA7mNqE Try it next time, it is fun. I wasn't aware of this before. These guys probably have work contracts to use Live search all day long and Google is the enemy. For my current report project we use a SVN repository. Holy crap! That is what you get when you hang around with those software guys. Are OpenOffice.org contributors permitted to use Google Docs?

Google by the way: aren't the French even developing their own EU search engine out of national interest? In Germany we just have the mostly harmless suma-ev club. http://www.suma-ev.de They are concerned about the Google monopoly. Mario who is involved with them pointed me to Serchilo, Serchilo shows that search engines can even become better: http://fr.serchilo.net My candidate for a google replacement, just a prove of concept with the yahoo api by someone from Romania but it shows the potential.

Are there streams or recordings from today's conference?

AndréR Germany |

4/24/2009 5:55:25 PM #

Gareth Horton

@Alex @Doug

Looks like the comment policy is nothing new.

http://linux-blog.org/Groklaw-and-Censorship/

linux-blog.org/disagreements-groklaw-deletion/

http://www.thejemreport.com/content/view/359/

http://www.thejemreport.com/content/view/361/79/

http://scofacts.org/groklaw.html

Seems like Geeklog has a special PJ feature they put in for her, the one that Doug found himself at the sharp end of.

From Geeklog developer:

"I'm finished some additions to Geeklog that are may be useful for a larger installation of Geeklog. Some of these additions are running already on Groklaw and some are scheduled to be added to Groklaw in the nearby future.

... 3) The ability for selected moderators to hide comments from public view. ... the comments will be kept visible to the user who posted the comment ... "

Sounds familiar.

I also note that any references that PJ doesn't like on Wikipedia are quickly excised - re Dan Lyons, editor of Forbes  "they list Dan Lyons' vicious article about me. Can someone get rid of that junk?"

www.groklaw.net/comment.php%20someone%20please%20fix%20this%3F&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=648388#c648423

Dan Lyons has accordingly been reduced to a footnote.

It is difficult to respect a person/site that exhibits this type of behaviour.  The articles and the analysis they write should be able to stand on their own merits (which they possibly can in many cases) without having to resort to this.  

They have let themselves and their audience down.

Gareth

Gareth Horton United Kingdom |

4/27/2009 9:53:31 PM #

Alan Bell

@alex I pointed out to PJ your moderated response to her question, and it was restored with a reply and an explanation of why it was moderated (you have been too naughty to be permitted to post without pre-moderation it seems) and it seems to have formed part of a new article. www.groklaw.net/article.php

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/28/2009 7:29:52 AM #

Alex

@Alan

Well for Groklaw, as it says above, the only way to win is not to play. So I'm out.

PJ is complaining I didn't answer her "real question", yet if you look at the timestamps you'll see this was posted *after* my answer. It's all a con.

- Alex.

Alex United Kingdom |

4/28/2009 9:37:29 AM #

Jesper Lund Stocholm

Alex,

Well for Groklaw, as it says above, the only way to win is not to play. So I'm out.

Well, I'm in again ... it reminds me so much of the good times pre-September 2007

http://bit.ly/aN8Jj

Smile

Jesper Lund Stocholm Denmark |

4/28/2009 4:42:53 PM #

Anonymous Insider

Is Groklaw trying to make the open source community happy for its 2003-2006 misdeeds with XM Network?

Not a single line of code was shared back to the community:

www.exintl.com/.../2004-04-19-patent.pdf
www.exintl.com/.../2006-01-03.htm
www.exintl.com/.../2006-01-03-1.htm

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/28/2009 9:36:31 PM #

Alan Bell

"Is Groklaw trying to make the open source community happy for its 2003-2006 misdeeds with XM Network? "
what on earth are you talking about? Sorry, these people on adjb.net just make no sense at all. Seems the only way to win is not to play. I'm out.
For now.

Alan Bell United Kingdom |

4/28/2009 9:50:45 PM #

Anonymous Insider

"Sorry, these people on adjb.net just make no sense at all."

Some people do understand.

Anonymous Insider United States |

4/29/2009 2:02:30 PM #

pingback

Pingback from ctrambler.wordpress.com

What OOXML is for? « CyberTech Rambler

ctrambler.wordpress.com |

4/30/2009 1:34:53 AM #

Anonymous Insider

Groklaw could have pleased the open source community when it had the opportunity. Some XM Network code could have been of real value to developers.

Instead, Groklaw publishes things like "Alex Brown: OOXML Revealed "JTC1 Procedures Were Rubbish" -- Sure Enough, Problems Surface", "Open Invention Network Is Looking For Prior Art -- 2 Ways To Help Out", etc.

The "Eminence Rouge of Groklaw" [ http://tinyurl.com/djsegd ] hasn't helped out the open source community with things that matter, code.

Groklaw, please tell us where's the XM Network code?

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/2/2009 1:54:54 AM #

Anonymous Insider

"The 5th annual Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards will be hosted at OSCON 2009 in San Jose, CA. The awards recognize individual contributors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, and collaboration in the development of Open Source Software. Past recipients for 2005-2008 include Angela Byron, Karl Fogel, Pamela Jones, Gerv Markham, Chris Messina, David Recordon, Doc Searls, and Andrew Tridgell."

radar.oreilly.com/.../...s-for-google-oreilly.html

Groklaw should put the money where its mouth is: surrender some XM Network code!

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/2/2009 6:45:41 PM #

Anonymous Insider

FOR THE RECORD:

Jailbreaking Showdown

To jailbreak or not to jailbreak the iPhone. That was the heated topic of discussion late Friday between Apple’s iPhone marketing czar Greg Joswiak, Fred von Lohmann, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s copyright genius, Copyright Office officials including registrar Marybeth Peters, the record labels, movie studios and software industry.

Apple vigorously opposed authorizing jailbreaking, saying copyright protections is what gave birth to the iPhone, the 1 billion app sales, 50,000 app developers and 35,000 apps. The EFF vigorously urged the Copyright Office to authorize jailbreaking, which in this case is hacking the phone’s OS, and hence allowing consumers to run any app on the phone they want, including those not authorized by Apple. “It is my automobile at the end of the day,” von Lohmann said, a reference that iPhone users should be allowed to do what they want with their phones, just like car owners do.

[PJ: It may be your automobile; but it's Apple's business, associated with the apps, not the gadget alone, and it's Apple's brand. Brand matters, and brand is built on quality. If, for example, someone passed a law that everyone could put whatever they wish on Groklaw and I lost control over that, I'd shut Groklaw down rather than see it ruined. From dealing with spammers, I know exactly how ruined it would quickly be. Apple says they block bandwidth hog apps and porn and other things they don't want to be associated with, like Baby Shaker. I'd want to be able to do that too, because it affects the brand, not just the business model. At the end of the day, this will be decided on the basis of the legal issues the EFF has raised, but common sense tells me that Apple won't sell certain gadgets that people really love if this exemption is approved. This is part of the periodic review of the DMCA, and the article has a link to the 9 proposed exemptions being considered now.] - David Kravetz, Wired

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/2/2009 6:59:32 PM #

Anonymous Insider

A screenshot is always helpful:

anonymous-insider.blogspot.com/.../...pective.html

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/2/2009 10:46:09 PM #

Anonymous Insider

"PJ using a Mac?

"Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 02 2005 @ 08:01 PM EDT

"Why does the link to the attorney's reply end in "client=safari"?"

Link: www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200505021223170

The above comment is one of many in Groklaw's article Mo' MOG Mistakes & Larry Rosen on Daniel Wallace's Anti-GPL Lawsuit: "It's Bunk."

'Anonymous' noticed the link within the text's article: "Just for history's sake, here is one attorney's answer to a Daniel Wallace..."

See the link on the words 'attorney's answer. The link is http://www.linuxbusinessweek.com/story/43614.htm+%22Daniel+Wallace%22+GPL&hl=en&start=12&client=safari

So the article was written on a Mac.

Another Groklaw reader with the user name Nick wrote:

"PJ using a Mac?

"Authored by: Nick on Monday, May 02 2005 @ 11:01 PM EDT

"She has said on several occasions that she has multiple computers with various
OS on them."

Nevertheless, this article wasn't written on a Linux based computer.

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/2/2009 11:02:15 PM #

Anonymous Insider

@Alex

You wrote: "So, for example, here's a simple question: where does the money come from?"

In case of the latest ODF propaganda, I'll venture to say Groklaw could be receiving some donations from Apple for each anti OOXML article.

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/3/2009 1:21:33 AM #

AndréR

@anonymous: I think it is very funny what you write here. Because basically all the Groklaw bashing is baseless. Groklaw is credible as a source while its opponents are not.

--

Imagine that! In Prague I was sitting next to Microsoft's A. Marasco but only found out later the evening at the gala in the castle. What a pity! The person of the EU-Commission, very inspiring, presented a standard nihilist view. He said it was better when businesses rule because then its all about money while lawyers tend to argue over principles. I wonder whether he shares the same attitude towards his own profession as a public servant. That would explain a lot. He is among other issues responsible for standard policy at his part of the Commission. He is an Austrian with a worker chamber background, so no need to expect an ethos.

---

For any given event that may be explained by either incompetence or corruption, one of them will always be the correct explanation

AndréR Germany |

5/3/2009 1:56:41 AM #

Anonymous Insider

@AndréR, you wrote:

"Groklaw is credible as a source while its opponents are not."

If Groklaw is so credible, why its main publisher has never shown his-her face?

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/4/2009 4:29:35 PM #

Anonymous Insider

Rob Weir wrote yesterday an analysis titled 'Update on ODF Spreadsheet Interoperability'. It's found at www.robweir.com/.../update-on-odf-spreadsheet.html

My response to Rob...

First, let's consider OS usage statistics:

2001-06 Linux 1%, Mac 4%, Windows 9x 65%, Windows NT 25%
2001-08 Linux 1%, Mac 4%, Windows 9x 64%, Windows NT 27%
2001-11 Linux 1%, Mac 4%, Windows 9x 61%, Windows NT 26%, Windows XP 4%
2002-03 Linux 1%, Mac 4%, Windows 9x 54%, Windows NT 24%, Windows XP 12%
2002-06 Linux 1%, Mac 4%, Windows 9x 49%, Windows NT 26%, Windows XP 16%
2002-09 Linux 1%, Mac 5%, Windows 9x 46%, Windows NT 26%, Windows XP 20%
2002-12 Linux 1%, Mac 4%, Windows 9x 41%, Windows NT 26%, Windows XP 25%
2003-03 Linux 1%, Mac 4%, Windows 9x 37%, Windows NT 25%, Windows XP 29%
2003-06 Linux 1%, Mac 3%, Windows 9x 34%, Windows NT 25%, Windows XP 33%
2003-09 Linux 1%, Mac 3%, Windows 9x 30%, Windows NT 23%, Windows XP 38%
2003-11 Linux 1%, Mac 3%, Windows 9x 28%, Windows NT 22%, Windows XP 42%
2004-03 Linux 1%, Mac 4%, Windows 9x 23%, Windows NT 21%, Windows XP 47%
2004-06 Linux 1%, Mac 3%, Windows 9x 17%, Windows NT 20%, Windows XP 51%

See www.krsaborio.net/research/linux/usage_stats.htm

And more recently:

Linux clients break 1% web usage share, see http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=4286

I think there's still time for Microsoft to provide MS Office with better compatibility with other office packages.

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/5/2009 6:46:14 AM #

Anonymous Insider

Rob Weir should keep better track of OS usage statistics...

"As always, I asked Massimo about Linux, since Acer had been gung-ho about it when the Aspire One was launched. Of course, netbook manufacturers never actually tell you, because it's regarded as competitive information. Still, I asked: 'What proportion of your netbooks now ship with Linux?'

"'Now? It's very very minimal,' he said.

"'Less than 10%?'

"'Very very minimal…'

"'Less than 5%?'

"'Very very minimal…'

"'Less than…' I was going to say 2% but at that point he decided to do something more interesting. But he was nodding as he left.

"Among the problems: too many versions of Linux, too many driver and driver installation problems for too many types of mobile dongle, qualifying all of them for 24 of the world's top 25 telcos, and the telcos' general unwillingness to support Linux."

www.guardian.co.uk/.../netbooks-acer-aspire-one

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/5/2009 1:21:38 PM #

AndréR

Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards will be hosted at OSCON 2009

--> I once participated in a Friends of O'Reilly conference in the Netherlands. 2004 or so. Excellent conference, great people. Whatever comes from O'Reilly is great. I wonder why he lets blog Rick J.

If Groklaw is so credible, why its main publisher has never shown his-her face?

--> Maybe it is a consortium of insiders. The credibility of the source is work-immanent.

AndréR Germany |

5/5/2009 4:36:17 PM #

Anonymous Insider

@AndréR

Not good enough for me.

Groklaw, no face, not credible.

Anonymous Insider United States |

5/7/2009 5:49:39 PM #

djs

So, Anonymous Insider, with no name, no face and no history, by your own argument you do, I take it, accept that you  have absolutely no credibility at all?

djs United Kingdom |

5/7/2009 6:46:35 PM #

anonymous-insider

It's ironic, isn't it?

Nevertheless, I haven't inspired people to write articles such as  www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1126170313067 or www.forbes.com/forbes/2005/1114/128sidebara.html .

My agenda is simple, provide smart hints where to find information to establish an identity and an early agenda for Groklaw.

Groklaw, no face, not credible.

anonymous-insider United States |

5/12/2009 4:36:45 AM #

AndréR

"Groklaw, no face, not credible." -- anonymous-insider

I see.

Historians have the most elaborated evaluation of sources. For most sources you don't have a face, and even these sources are not first hand. You have third party reports etc. Groklaw is a website with great access to information. This is why you feel the need to debunk it. Groklaw also regularly publishes primary sources, documents.

Interesting enough I never comment on groklaw and don't read most of their articles. The main reason is that I don't like their theme.  Here is a new one: www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2009050712493241

1% Desktop Linux? Right. But the desktop is getting obsolete. We find interesting challenges in the Netbook market. How much investment does it take to turn it into a desktop ready product?

AndréR Germany |

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