[Fsf-friends] An Open Letter to Wipro, Infosys and TCS

Praveen A pravi.a at gmail.com
Wed Apr 9 19:05:05 IST 2008


6th April 2008

This letter is to express our deep disappointment over your open
support to the OOXML format forced through ISO by Microsoft. Being the
top IT giants and thus the representatives of the IT industry in the
country, it is a great shock to us that you do not stand with academia
of the country and its representatives like the IITs, IIMs and IISc in
supporting the Open Document Format (ODF) which is a true Free and
Open Standard already recognised as an ISO Standard. Considering that
a major portion of your employees come from such institutions, it is a
wonder to us that you have decided to go ahead with this decisions. We
would like to hear your explanation with respect to these points
:-(quoted from www.noooxml.org/petition)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With this decision, the impression you are making on your future
employees in the academia is not a very pretty one. In fact, the
development of OOXML receiving ISO´s approval has devalued our
confidence in the standards setting process itself. We hope that you
will put self-profit behind our country´s needs, change your decision,
and stand with the rest of the country on this issue.

Please forward this to the groups you are in...

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