Fantasy Press Releases

by Rick Jelliffe

Here are the press releases I'd like to be reading...

ODF champion looks in dictionary

ODF champion Sam Hiser today withdrew many of his objections concerning Open XML. "Imagine our surprise when we looked in the dictionary and discovered that "optional" does not mean the same thing as "required". And yet this is the basis of most of my comments. Boy was my face red!"

Microsoft supports ISO formats

Redmond, Thursday. Microsoft XML Supremo Jean Paoli today announced that future versions of Office 2007 will come with support for all ISO standards out-of-the-box. "We are in love with standards and the whole fun process, we just can't get enough." Paoli wrote on his blog this week. "But I discovered that some newer ISO standards required optional plugins in Office. Boy was my face red!"

IBM open-sources its office suites

IBM XML Supremo Bob Sutor today announced that IBM would be open-sourcing Lotus and IBM's Workplace word processor. "After going around the country proclaiming the links between Open Source and ODF, imagine my embarrassment to discover that our products are closed-source. Boy was my face red!"

Grokdoc stops being agent of FUD

Groklaw's "Pamela Jones" announced today that the Groklaw site would remove or annotate statements that it knew to be misleading. "People respect the site because it tries to cut through FUD. But we found we had become a breeding ground for it. Boy was my face red! For example, the claim on Grokdoc that XML processing software cannot process bitmasks is clearly bizarre, crazy and Rick Jelliffe, who I am a big fan of, has even controbuted counter-examples in the discussion pages. Yet well-known people still repeat the claims. So we will remove or add annoations or warnings to material that is wrong: most of our readers don't have the time to trace through the various claims so it is quite important. "

Sock puppet comes clean

Mr X of Y today revealed that he or she is in fact "anonymous", the prolific commenter on websites. "One day, over a cup of T, while reading the Story of O, I realized that I was not being a gentleman or woman and in danger of being the slightest bit hypocritical in the eyes of my fellow paid shills. Boy was my F R! Also I am curtailing my sock puppetry on Wikipedia and passing off a corporate blog as my private one ." Mr X would only let his name and company be represented by initials for this interview.

Nations adopt Jelliffe-ism: beautiful future assured

New York, Friday. The United Nations today elected Rick Jelliffe king of the world and promised to follow his radical program for change, based on the revolutionary principle "Use the right tool for the job" under which both knives and forks may be used together, even though most experts believe that knives contradict forks. In his first speech, King Rick said "Go away. Don't you know what time it is here? King eh? Boy are your faces red!"


Josh Peters
2007-06-13 23:17:35
Why not "US/Iran Talks End In Discovery of Cancer Cure" while you're at it :-D
"Today at an historic summit in Paris the United States and Iran agreed to forgive and forget. All tension between the two nations has subsided into the annals of history. Presidents Bush and Ahmadinejad hugged as brothers today and decided to work together towards encouraging global goodwill, an end to race-driven propaganda, and a disarmament of all long-range missile systems, bombers, and many other weapons of mass destruction. During the summit the president of Iran discovered an interesting substance stuck to the back of Mr. Bush's suit coat that turned out to be the cure for all cancer in the world. Truly today has been one for the books."
2007-06-14 04:29:23
Very funny. Some true things. But also some untrue things. In general, your tone in all your writing makes it clear you think you are incredibly smart. Are you really?

For instance:

>>ODF champion Sam Hiser today withdrew many of his objections concerning Open XML. "Imagine my surprise when I looked in the dictionary and discovered that "optional" does not mean the same thing as "required". And yet this is the basis of most of my comments. Boy was my face red!"

Are you really that smart? It is so hard for you to understand that documents cannot be freely created using the "optional" features of OOXML (i.e. the propriatory Microsoft features), except by software that MS gives its blessing to? That such documents (after their creation) are quite likely not to be freely exchangable without errors between different kinds of office software? And yet those documents will be called OPEN Office XML documents?

Cut the bullshit. There is no "legacy" benefit to OOXML that cannot be easily included in ODF. There is just no valid argument for a second standard. If you care about "legacy" then let MS provide the legacy data in an open fashion, so that it can be used in a single standard. If they don't, then let them continue selling "legacy" support in their own closed products. Assuming the latter, I'm willing to bet people won't be buying them for too many more years. None of this is justification for a second, competing, not-truly-open, overlapping standard.

"Use the right tool for the job?" Purchase all the secondary tools you want with your own hard-earned money. But don't force your tools on others in the false garb of a second "open" standard. A fork is a fork, and a knife is a knife. You and MS apparently prefer knives, and you can use them if you want, but you have no ethical right to call them forks or spoons.

Bon Appetite!

Rick Jelliffe
2007-06-14 08:57:16
Aaron: Yes, jokes are for smarty pants. Some things are so serious they should never be joked about. I was in Manila last week, for example, and they use spoons and forks and no knives at all.
Rick Jelliffe
2007-06-14 09:23:34
Josh: :-) Perhaps Ahmadinejad could give Bush a new watch as a token of rapproachment!
2007-06-14 10:34:05
No knives, you say?!? Barbarous! Should we consider going over there and forcing them to do it right? That can't be natural!

The other stuff in your post I agree with, but this whole no-knife thing is really bothering me!
Rick Jelliffe
2007-06-14 10:39:16
Dork: I asked my Philippino contacts if it was a nation-wide anti-terrorist measure, like the ban on metal knives in airplanes, and they kindly tried to indulge me.
2007-06-16 00:40:00
Sam Hiser should understand that if his comments are remotly true then there is not a single application FULLY supporting ODF making the whole standard bogus. Even OOo en KOffice which seem to have the most support after having spent several years on incorperating ODF still lack quite a few features from within the ODF spec. I guess Sam Hiser thinks that OpenSource applications can choose whether to support certain features from ODF and whether not to support other features and that is fine but when they would try to implement OOXML Sam thinks you can only support all of the format.
Rick Jelliffe
2007-06-16 05:47:47
hAl: Yes, there does seem to be a bit of the pot calling the kettle black about it. (But I am going to edit the first one to replace "I" with "we" because no personal attack was intended.) Another example is the puzzling claim that Open XML should be accepted because there is no reference implemention: puzzling because ISO doesn't allow reference implementations formally, because Open XML clearly has an implementation, and because of what happens when the same test is applied to ODF (i.e. which implementations were complete at the time that ISO ODF was discussed?)

We will see more of the same attitude, I think, as the ISO process reveals more flaws in the Open XML spec; exposing flaws and seeing which ones can be resolved being the point of the process!

Anti-Open XML people will say "We found 10,000 typos, this is a sign of a terrible quality spec and of nameless lurking worse must be dumped!" while the Ecma side will say "We found 10,000 typos, this is a sign of careful and exhaustive review and just multiple examples of a handful of similar errors in a large spec nothing must be accepted!"

But I think most national body reviewers are pretty aware that they cannot reject a spec due to imaginary flaws, just as they should not accept it without any major real flaws being addressed. But the nature of the flaws addressable in the fast-track process is limited: take the case of ISO PDF for example: say a nation decided that PDF was inadeaquately internationalized because it used English keywords whereas French ones should be accepted too, it would be a futile objection even though they may be correct because the purpose of the ISO PDF standard is to define a (subset of) an existing technology. Anything that would require existing implementations to change would defeat the purpose of the standard by increasing variablility not reducing it.

The wildcard in the pack isn't that national bodies will parrot silly or unfounded claims, but probably that preipheral countries who cannot afford to send someone to the ballot resolution committee will have to vote "yes", "no" or "abstain" because the "no with comments" (which means "yes if you make these improvements") route is not available to them. (Actually, even this is not necessarily true: I have been asking whether proxies are allowed at the ballot resolution meeting for countries who vote "no with comments".)