Not often that I find I warm to Eric Raymond’s writing, but this was a sane and helpful analysis of IBM’s apparent declaration of an end to 5 years of patent peace.
Alex Brown, who presided over the ISO vote in April 2008 that ratified the spec as ISO convener of the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting, accused Microsoft of acting in bad faith for implementing a “transitional” variant of the OOXML spec and not the strict version in Office 2010.
The transitional version is based on a copy of the spec rejected during a vote of ISO members in 2007. The spec was re-drafted before it was accepted in 2008.
“If Microsoft ships Office 2010 to handle only the Transitional variant of ISO/IEC 29500 they should expect to be roundly condemned for breaking faith with the International Standards community. This is not the format ‘approved by ISO/IEC’, it is the format that was rejected,” Brown wrote.