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Subject: Re: [office] List Proposal Vote Deadline on Wednesday


I would like to ask on the list that Michael *not* reply to this posting 
or any similar postings to the office list.

When the rhetoric reaches this level, meaningful discussion simply isn't 

Note to any non-TC members reading this post: This is not indicative of 
the usual level of discussion in this TC nor should be taken as a 
reflection on the excellent technical work done in the past, present and 
future by this TC.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend otherwise!


marbux wrote:

> On 5/4/07, Michael Brauer - Sun Germany - ham02 - Hamburg
> <Michael.Brauer@sun.com> wrote:
>> Marbux,
>> this is the discussion list of the OASIS OpenDocument TC. We should
>> treat ourselves with respect on this mailing list and should trust
>> our TC colleagues. We further should abstain from putting pressure on
>> other TC members and should be careful with accusations.
> Oh, should that trust of our TC colleagues extend to the reps of
> companies who secretly complain to OASIS about the OpenDocument
> Foundation having too many participants on the TC? Or to TC colleagues
> who use their position as TC chairman to ensure that no new features
> get added to the ODF specification that their company isn't willing to
> support? Or to TC colleagues willing to break their competitors' app
> by ramming their proposal through without consensus, despite this TC
> never before having done so before?  Or to TC colleagues so hell-bent
> on breaking interoperability with the software -- used (by various
> estimates) by between 72 and 90 per cent of the office productivity
> software users on this planet -l- that they're willing to leave their
> potential customers with no choice but to violate the law if they
> adopt their software?
> Of course I should unwaverlingly trust everyone on the TC, with my
> very life if need be. You are absolutely right, Michael. I'm the only
> one on this TC who has been playing hardball. Everyone else is acting
> purely in the spirit of collegiality. I am so sorry that I even
> suspected Sun might be concerned about MS Office acquiring the ability
> to read and write ODF natively. Please forgive me for suspecting that
> your company has a vested interest in remaining the dominant supplier
> of ODF-based software and that your company's vote on the list
> proposal that breaks Microsoft Office interoperability with ODF might
> have been tainted by the slightest bit of self-interest. Thank you for
> the rebuke. I deserved it and you've caused me to realize that there
> isn't a software company on this planet that would attempt to subvert
> the standardization process to gain a competitive advantage. Suddenly,
> the paranoia that has clouded my judgment throughout my legal career
> and my retirement has lifted. Now I realize that all of those poor
> corporate folk I sued in my life were totally innocent of any ill
> motive whatsoever. How can I possibly atone for all those punitive
> damage awards that I obtained with what in retrospect was entirely
> spurious evidence that I slipped past a host of judges? I am so
> grateful that you have awoken me from my detached sense of reality.
> How can I possibly repay you for your invaluable lesson on proper
> manners.  Hey, how about we start a Manners Subcommittee with you as
> the chairman? You have such a gift for teaching this subject! I'd be
> glad to help in any way I can, maybe doing testimonials for you great
> your moral leadership has been.
> Not.
>> As for list: We have discussed this topic for a very long time, and
>> anyone had the chance to bring up her or his arguments and opinions. But
>> at some stage, we had to make a decision. I strongly believe that all TC
>> members have casted their vote solely based on their technical
>> understanding of the matter x--snip--x
> Wrong as a matter of logic and common sense. Thomas's decision to
> break interoperability with MS Office, while implemented through
> technical means, was a non-technical value judgment. You've made
> repeated statements that I have quoted back to you where you made it
> clear that you saw compatibility issues as a trade-off with other
> technical issues. Such tradeoffs are value judgments, not technical in
> nature. Are you now suggesting  otherwise or just being careless with
> your choice of words?
> Since we had two concurring proposals, it was further
>> clear that only one can get the majority of votes. We should accept that
>> result, and should move on now, caring about the other topics we have
>> for ODF 1.2. There still is a lot of work in front of us.
> How about the fact that this TC has never before moved on when there
> was a single dissenting vote? What is your justification for departing
> from that historical practice now? Is consensus now a principle this
> TC will abandon so long as the injured party has less clout in the
> OASIS power structure? Did I miss the vote on changing that practice?
> In a day and age when the public is beginning to realize that they
> have a stake in what standardization bodies do, the exclusive cartel
> of very large companies that dominate OASIS -- assiduously eschewing
> self interest in the same way OPEC members regulate the price of oil
> worldwide -- have recently acted to restrict OASIS participation
> through changes in the membership rules rather than embracing more
> public participation. Your company is one of them. Your company --
> which is actually comprised of real human beings like you rather than
> the legal fiction of a corporate entity -- used the change in the
> membership rules for non-profits to clamp down on the OpenDocument
> Foundation to restrict its participation in this and other TCs. The
> human beings in your company did that without advising the Foundation
> that your company was the one who registered the complaint with OASIS.
> In the judicial system, talking to the judge outside the other side's
> presence is very dirty pool, excusable only when there is a compelling
> reason for doing so. It's a violation of disciplinary rules in every
> state and court in the U.S., for both lawyers and judges.
> By your company's sneak attack, you challenged the future
> participation of many people on this TC who participate through the
> Foundation's auspices. That includes active TC members such as myself,
> Thomas, Patrick, and Bruce. As it happens in the present circumstance,
> the Foundation is the *only* voting member that has facilitated public
> participation on this TC and made it possible for developers who draw
> no financial gain from their applications to participate. But of
> course your company has been glad to profit from our volunteer
> contributions. But no more, if you have your way with your OASIS
> complaint.
> Now that this TC has departed from consensus decision-making, I guess
> Sun is completing its power grab on the TC and eliminating the threat
> of Microsoft Office becoming a competitor that supports ODF natively
> via the Foundation's plugin. To heck with Gary and Sam Hiser's many
> years of volunteer work on OpenOffice.org and OpenDocument. It's
> obviously more important that they be stopped from enabling full
> fidelity interoperability with MS Office. Let there be no doubt that
> OpenDocument is Sun Microsystem's file format and no one else can say
> no unless they can find enough votes to constitute a majority. And
> those TC members who don't have a vote? Ignore them. They're ants.
> Talk to me about your company's real agenda,  Michael, before you ask
> me to trust you.
> What is it about your role in that sneak attack that should have
> earned my trust, Michael? Did you check with your lawyers about
> antitrust issues before that complaint was made? Your company does
> have a monopoly position in the market for ODF apps, after all. And
> gee, now your company has just rammed through the TC an amendment that
> just happens to break the application that has the potential to break
> your company's monopoly position in ODF apps by turning Microsoft
> Office into an ODF application.
> At all relevant times, of course, an organization called the European
> Committee for Interoperable Systems has been prosecuting an antitrust
> complaint against Microsoft in no small part because of its refusal to
> support OpenDocument. Gee, I wonder what companies interests are being
> represented by ECIS?
> Oh, right, here it is: "ECIS' members include large and smaller
> information and communications technology hardware and software
> providers Adobe Systems, Corel, IBM, Linspire, Nokia, Opera, Oracle,
> RealNetworks, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems."
> <http://www.e-c-i-s.org/about/membership.html>. Oh, my. Both IBM and
> Sun voted for the proposal that broke the Foundation's plugin that was
> going to add full-fidelity native ODF file support to Microsoft
> Office. So it's sounding to me like at least two of the TC members who
> voted for the Sun/KOffice proposal didn't check in with the ECIS
> lawyer before they broke interoperability with Microsoft Office.
> Do you think Microsoft won't use this evidence in the DG Competition
> antitrust proceeding, Michael? Let's see, you guys are prosecuting
> Microsoft for not supporting ODF in Microsoft Office while you block
> Microsoft Office from supporting ODF. Yeah, I think DG Competition is
> going to hear about this one from Microsoft. They'll probably hear
> about what you said about compatibility being a trade off too. Oh,
> yeah. Microsoft's lawyers are going to love this. Look at the ECIS
> public statement about interoperability's importance. Just click the
> "Interoperability" tab on their web site's navigation bar:
>      Interoperability is a cornerstone of the ICT industry. In today's
> networked ICT environments, devices do not function purely on their
> own, but must interact with other programs and devices. A device that
> cannot interoperate with the other products with which consumers
> expect it to interoperate is essentially worthless. It is
> interoperability that drives competition on the merits and innovation.
> The ability of different computer products to interoperate allows
> consumers to choose among them. Because consumers can choose among
> them, interoperable products must compete with one another, and it is
> this competition that has driven innovation in the software industry.
> <<<
> If I were writing Microsoft's next major brief to DG Competition,
> based on what I know now, I think I'd lead by contrasting what you
> have done and said with what ECIS has said about the importance of
> interoperability and its effects on competition. You just allowed
> Microsoft do argue that that DG Competition complaint about Microsoft
> not supporting ODF is spurious because Sun and IBM are simultaneously
> breaking interoperability with Microsoft Office. Which keeps Sun its
> monopoly interest in the OpenDocument application market. I can
> imagine Microsoft's lawyers argument now: "It would have been futile
> for Microsoft to implement ODF natively because IBM and Sun would have
> manipulated the ODF specification to break interoperability with
> Microsoft Office anyway. They don't really want Microsoft to support
> ODF. Look at what IBM and Sun just did and said on the OASIS
> OpenDocument Technical Committee."
> And I wonder how your screw-up is going to affect relationships with
> the other member companies in ECIS? Gee, they are going to be really
> pleased with you, aren't they, Michael? They agreed to crawl out on
> that limb with Sun and let's see, who was the guy who sawed off that
> limb? Uh-oh ...
> And who was the guy who just handed the Foundation an antitrust claim
> for damages against Sun? Uh-oh.
> Better briskly scurry off to the Sun legal department, Michael. In my
> considered opinion, you just stuck your foot in it big time. Your name
> is all over this little maneuver. It's damage control time for Sun and
> your best shot at saving your job is to copy this entire thread for
> the lawyers, ask them to read it, and start preparing for hard
> questions and stern advice. This isn't your issue anymore. It's the
> legal department's. They're the ones who have to clean up your mess.
> And the longer you delay letting the lawyers know about what you've
> done and said, my guess is that the worse it will be for you within
> the Sun management circle.
> I resigned my Bar memberships when I retired and can't lawfully give
> legal advice any more. But I will give you this caution: don't start
> destroying emails in documents before you consult with the lawyers
> about doing so. It's a big no-no to destroy relevant evidence once
> you're on notice that a subject may wind up in litigation. It's
> something that standing by itself can create liability in many
> jurisdictions. It's called spoliation of evidence. Microsoft got in
> some really serious legal trouble fairly recently in the Burst v.
> Microsoft case for destroying corporate emails after it was on notice
> that the issues might wind up in litigation. Microsoft's lawyers now
> know about the law on this subject. And while you're preserving the
> internal emails, you might as well post copies to the list because
> Microsoft's lawyers are going to get them anyway. You might reduce the
> litigation expense by just coughing them up. But check with the Sun
> lawyers first.
> Oh, Michael. You are in such deep doo-doo that you probably won't
> enjoy the repercussions. Welcome to the land where lawyers play, as
> they say. :-)
>> Having that said: It at any time may happen that a TC revisits a
>> proposal after it has been agreed if it gets aware of technical issues
>> that have not been found before the vote. For lists, nothing technical
>> has been said after the ballot closed. Everything technical that has
>> been posted could have been considered by the TC members than casting
>> their vote, so everyone had a chance to make up her or his own mind
>> whether the proposals contain technical issues or not. I therefore think
>> there is no justification to continue this discussion unless new
>> technical details or arguments are brought up.
> Can you cite a relevant rule that says we must drop the issue or is
> this just the decree of King Michael?
> By technical arguments I
>> mean arguments that precisely and technically describe an issue, based
>> on the text of the specification, and backed by examples or similar
>> material that helps to understand the issue. Without such a precise
>> description of an issue, I fear we won't come to any conclusion in a
>> discussion.
> And the rule that requires me to follow this guidance is where? I
> would consider it a courtesy if you would identify what aspect of the
> issue I have raised that has left you confused? If it is the law I've
> been citing applicable to interoperability in the use cases I've
> raised, you'll have to consult your own lawyer. I am no longer allowed
> to dispense legal advice and never was allowed to do so for
> non-clients. Were I to be cute, I'd point out that Thomas is now
> claiming that the interoperability issue with Microsoft Office was
> never raised before the vote. But I'm not in the mood for clowning
> around tonight.
>> One last note: I assume "Marbux" is not your real name. I would
>> appreciate it if TC members show up in the TC with their real name, and
>> also reveal their affiliation.
> What possible reason do you have for raising that issue other than
> implying that I'm somehow being underhanded by showing up using a
> "nym," as is common practice on the Internet? How is my real name
> relevant to the merits of what I have said? How do I know you are
> using your real name on this list? I would appreciate it if you would
> post JPGs of certified copies of *your* birth certificate and
> passport. Sheesh! Ask Simon Phipps who I am. He and his staff
> consulted with me on a couple of drafts of the CDDL before it was
> released and the relevant emails and telephone notes with my real name
> are undoubtedly stashed away in Sun's archives somewhere.
> Nonetheless, despite your innuendo and lack of respect for my privacy,
> I'll humor you somewhat and suggest another way for you to find out
> more about me. But please understand that I retired from public life
> when I retired from the practice of law. I had a degree of celebrity
> during my legal career, I am no longer a public person, and I don't
> make it easy for former clients and citizens with concerns in the
> subjects I dealt with before retiring to find me. That means I don't
> make a practice of leaving my real name on the Web where it is
> associated with any of my contact information.
> Those days are done. The major achievement of my retirement is no
> longer having to answer my telephone, which for far too many decades
> ruled far too much of my life and now sports an unlisted number. That
> said, my real identity and my pre-retirement background are no secret
> and many people on this TC know both. You can as well if you send me a
> private email and agree not to publish that information on the Web.
> As to my relevant affiliations, I am an uncompensated volunteer member
> of this TC, the OpenDocument Foundation, and the OpenDocument
> Fellowship. As nearly as I can recall, I have not been a member of any
> other formal organizations for at least four years. I do play a
> sparkplug and coordinator role for a FOSS project to develop software
> for the law office market in English-speaking countries, a project
> which has not yet been announced.
> I am surprised you did not know of my affiliations because I don't
> know anyone who has been a more active or public advocate for ODF for
> the last several years and I'm well acquainted with all of the major
> players in the ODF advocacy community. I am beholden only to myself,
> my family, my friends, and the human race. I live on a fixed
> retirement income and I receive no other remuneration from anyone. My
> full-time retirement "hobby" is championing the interests of software
> users generally in interoperability. I also do more occasional
> education and advocacy work around other issues affecting the FOSS
> community such as software patent law. On this TC, I represent the
> interests of no one but myself and the software user community at
> large. I fancy myself as one of many voices for the software user
> community and have considerable experience in that role.
> Most of my legal career was devoted to public interest environmental
> law involving toxic substances, mainly toilet training big corporate
> polluters by taking the profit out of pollution through lawsuits for
> money damages, representing victims of chemical poisoning. I am also
> the co-author of three major treatises in that area of the law. I'm
> the proud father of four children and the grandfather of two, so far.
> Prior to my legal career, I worked in the newspaper industry for some
> 20 years. During 27 months of military service in Viet Nam, I worked
> as the leader of a combat psychological warfare team. I consider
> myself an expert in effective, goal-oriented communications.
> Representative published examples of my ODF-related work are as follows:
> "The case for a valid contradiction of Microsoft Office Open XML at
> ISO has not been rebutted"
> <http://opendocument.xml.org/node/238>
> "EOOXML objections"
> <http://www.grokdoc.net/index.php/EOOXML_objections> (I was co-primary
> editor and sparkplugged that project, as several on the TC who
> participated can attest. I also wrote the legal analysis sections of
> that document.)
> "The Great Massachusetts Legal Donnybrook"
> <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050330133833843&query=donnybrook> 
> (My in-depth article that turned the ODF-Microsoft file format war into a
> burning public issue.)
> "The Microsoft Covenant Not to Sue - Sending a Mixed Message"
> <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20051129101457378&query=donnybrook#Contents> 
> (legal analysis of the Microsoft covenant not to sue relating to the
> Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas).
> If you want to know anything else about me, drop me an email.
> Best regards,
> Marbux

Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work! 

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