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Subject: Re: [office] List Proposal Vote Deadline on Wednesday
Greetings! 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 possible. 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! Patrick 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 Patrick@Durusau.net 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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