Alex Brown's little test report was must read for me but I did not found it really newsworthy. Alex Brown, convener of the BRM, validated existing Microsoft 2007 files against the OOXML schema and generated 200 000(hu!) invalidity messages. His objective, despite curiosity, may have been to show how much the ISO process changed the format.
Why did I ignore the story? Because it was known to us that ECMA OOXML was not identical with the Microsoft 2007 format which comprises "tags not found in the spec", a viral phrase. Or OOXML burnout? Or because you lose respect for an impartial BRM chairman who consults the British Library and supports OOXML?
To repeat the exercise with ISO/IEC 26300:2006 (ODF 1.0) and a popular implementation of OpenDocument. Will anybody be brave enough to predict what kind of result that exercise will have?
Spooky! It feels like a PR machine would soon spread the message that ODF implementations are equally bad.
Given Microsoft's proven ability to tinker with the Office XML file format between service packs, I am hoping that MS Office will shortly be brought into line with the 29500 specification, and will stay that way.
Other media overtook the news from Brown, including the usual suspects as Slashdot, Groklaw, ZDNET. Journalist are professionals for the transformation of facts into narratives. One narrative was: Alex Brown admits he was fouled. I suggest: "Microsoft's ability to tinker" — OOXML is the next Vista.
Wikipedia OOXML expert HAl commented:
Groklaw is amused. Propably their tiny brains cannot grasp the idea that documents created in the past which were correctly validating against schema's do not nescesairly validate against totally new strict XML schema's that have a lot of transitional items removed from them.
It is his criticism, not 'Baroque Castle' inspections which entertain me. It is advocacy for braindeads featuring John Obeto:
Jason [Matusow] tells about the extreme measures (my kind words, not his) that the anti-OOXML clique are taking to attack the process since the results were not to their liking. In fact, you might, as I was, be surprised to note that IBM alone made up 85% of those very same comments about OOXML that their mouthpiece Tudor, and surrogates, Updegrove, Groklaw, etc., have been touting as evidence of problems with the OOXML specification.
What everyone seems to have forgotten, and I shall point out here, is that it was those dolts at the EU that advised Microsoft to submit the OOXML to a standards body in the first place, fearing that Microsoft's rightfully earned dominance in that space might lead into a lock-in. Isn't it now very odd that the same EU would attempt to rain on OOXML's parade, and attempt to taint the process? Actually, it is not odd. The EU has shown itself to be an arrogant and incompetent institution. At least when it comes to Microsoft products and technologies. That, however, is a topic for another day.