August 20th update from Finland - The vote results and begin of aftermath.
In brief: Finland doesn't say anything on OOXML. (Abstains)
From "computer.fi", http://www.tietokone.fi/uutta/uutinen.asp?news_id=31076
- "Microsoft wished that Finland would say 'approval with comments'"
Haven't we seen all this before, many times? Hello, here's my so-called standard, please approve it or you will cry and approve.
Other lies, I mean highlights from the same newsstory:
- Microsoft's managing director Ari Rahkonen said "the company decided already over 10 years ago to move from closed binary format into an open one. Also EU has wished for this."
Rahkonen told about ending with xml-based solution and progress of the process via ECMA towards ISO.
- Microsoft was praised for finally standardizing the file format of Office. (?!!)
- Patents in the standard were discussed. Microsoft manager Kimmo Bergius defended that their company won't sue anyone over them and no royalties or licences would be collected.
- Chairman Nirhamo from SFS concluded: "If the state branches would have been unanimous, we would have come to decision. Now it wasn't so. I don't see a chance to vote for either approve or disapprove."
EFFI.org liveblogged results from the meeting, here's a quick translation:
First comment from Microsoft: Approval. (Surprise?)
Pekka Pere (Tietoalojen liitto/Proha): Approve. We must trust ECMA
Pirkka Palomäki (F-Secure): No opinion. Open standards are important - no comment on quality
Ville Salmela (Ministry of education): Not fully open as it is now. No with technical comments
Manu Setälä (COSS): Plenty of problems. No with technical comments
Tuomas jotain. (Sun Microsystems): Openness is splendid. ISO-standard must be independent from any manufacturer, which it ain't now. OASIS/ODF is better. No with technical comments
Finnish tax administration: No opinion
Karjalainen (ministry of justice): Overlaps with ODF, No with technical comments
Heikki Sinervuo (EK, Confederation of Finnish Industries): Open APIs are good, two standards would be too expensive, one is enough. No with technical comments
Juha Hakala (National libraries): Openness is extremely important, preservation of digital files is obligatory. Must be compatible with other standards. No with technical comments
National archives of Finland: Timespan is hundreds of years, a few months or an year doesn't matter - when doing something, do it properly. No with technical comments
Ville Oksanen (EFFI ;-): No with technical comments
Jyrki Kasvi (The greens): Openness is important, Microsoft has historical ballast. No for fast-tracking
Jyrki Koskinen (IBM): Plenty of problems. No with technical comments
Timo Skytta (Nokia): There are standard organizations of various quality in the world. ISO is on the top and no reason to change this. No for fast-tracking
Riitta jotain - City of Helsinki: Standard helps with compatibility, must trust ECMA. Approve.
Anne Honkaranta (University of Jyväskylä): OOXML is an ok standard - a little bit worried that ISO must regain its credibility.
Want to favor the some group of companies? If we say no, it will get out of hand. No opinion from university. Instead, from SysOpenDigia, approval
Juha Varronen (Nordea bank): De-facto standard - pondered between no opinion and yes - approve
TietoEnator: It will come anyway - better if its more open. Approve
Finnish customs: We must trust the experts, 6000 pages tells something about quality. Mining of information is important. Approve
Satama Interactive: As a representative for Microsoft ecosystem - de facto-standard. Approve
Some researchproject from university of Kuopio: We've gotten familiar of this, too many problems. No with technical comments
Ministry of trade and industry: Important matter for us as users. ISO-standardization adds to openness, fixes/changes should be possible also in fast-tracked process (?!). Approve
Juha Turunen (Cap Gemini): Backwards compatibility is important. Approve
Sami Köykkä (WM-Data): Important for our clients - hopefully problems can be fixed, anyway approval
Systems Garder: A loud yes
Ministry of finance: A question for Nirhamo - what's the contradiction about standard, how will the process continue?
(intermediatory comments * Microsoft says there were no perceived problems at the beginning * Nirhamos's reply - Microsoft might _not_ want to go into that discussion or that how this got into fast-track in the first place)
Nirhamo's reply: No exact definition for contradiction, but if there is, they _shall_ be intervened. (He said shall, not should) Ballot will be taking place in any case and only No will matter.
Microsoft: ECMA has promised that comments with Yes-votes will be taken notice of.
Nirhamo: ECMA has no significance in this.
Ministry of finance: We're along to demand open standardization - thus approval is justificated. There are things that need to be thought about - no showstoppers. (Nirhamo took this as a No with technical comments - wow!) General MS-noise ensued ;-)
Simo Tanner, Association of Finnish local and regional authorities: There are technical problems that should be fixed. No with technical comments
Tieke (Finnish Information Society Development Centre): Plenty of discussion going around, no own opinion.
Novell: Ei opinion
FiCom (Finnish Federation for Communication and Teleinformatics): Yes (Whoops, usually they go along with EK, Confederation of Finnish Industries)
TietoTapiola: As I haven't read this myself at all, approve
Jarkko Lehtinen (Miriabilis): The question isn't about rejection but revising. There is a lot more at stake than just technical quality. It's probable that ODF / OOXML-compatibility won't be realized.
Ministry of finance: Revised our opinion - Approve.
And finally, why is Microsoft allowed to vote in a matter that benefits them - mostly only them alone?
Would any court of law allow the accused to join the jury and vote in their own judgement?