Letter To Doug

Sunday, 2008-March-23 at 14:49 1 comment

Open Malaysia: How to Royally Annoy National Bodies

Doug Mahugh : Elephants have good memories

As a measure of just how desperate Microsoft is to force its unwanted DIS29500 (Ecma-376 OOXML, as amended) formats through the ISO-ification process, it seems that Doug Mahugh showed up as the VP of IASA Malaysia. When people questioned how an American from Seattle gets to represent Malaysian interests, he decided that it was “race-baiting”. Because the committee rules forbade vendor participation in the debate, they discussed chasing the vendors out of the room. (They eventually agreed to allow vendors to be observers, but Mahugh was already headed for the airport.) After all the game-playing such as packing the INCITS v1 committee, how can it not be a good thing to strictly limit the participation of vendors in such discussions?

Doug, you are not the only person who has packed on the pounds over the last couple of years. I am thirty pounds heavier now than I was in early 2006. Thankfully, I am not yet at the point where I feel that everyone is referring to me when they use terms like “elephant”. A few months on the road, eating at hotels and restaurants will do it to you. Why don’t you take a break after DIS29500 is decided? Get some rest, get a new perspective, get a new bicycle, you know what I mean?

While openness advocates such as myself to move to truly open, vendor-neutral file formats instead of closed or pseudo-open formats, you and others in the MS Office group have fought hard for continued vendor-specific preferences. You have been enthusiastic, indeed almost pitbull-like in your devotion to the cause of planting the OOXML flag and continuing MS’ sovereignty over the office suite space. You can pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing your best.

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1 Comment

  • 1. Yoon Kit  |  Sunday, 2008-March-23 at 21:13

    Hi Walt,

    Thanks for the great summary. Although I would like to correct you on one point. When I referred to the term “Elephant” I did not in no way was referring to Doug’s waistline. I didn’t even notice.

    Anyway, I too agree with you that Doug’s passion and drive is certainly commendable. When he latches on to a point, he never lets go. Even though its suicide to hang on. His allegation that I invited him is of course completely ridiculous, and yet he does not want to let that matter rest.

    But yeah, well done Doug! Keep up the good work, AFTER you get some perspective on things!

    yk.


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