Waiting on this wintery Sydney day for my dear flatmate's Chinese roast pork knuckle with bamboo to cook, I thought I'd check up on a suspicion that had formed in my mind: had Growlaw ever published anything on OOXML/ODF recently that was not just Big Blue's message of the week?
Groklaw is a mixed bag website. They have done a great job finding court documents on the SCO case, and are widely respected for it, and they have quite a community of supporters or readers. The site claims to have a strict policy against comments with insults or ad hominem attacks, but it does not seem to be enforced if is against someone they disagree with. It has been involved in the anti-OOXML lobbying effort over the last few years, and its articles are widely quoted.
Here is a little PDF timeline that shows all the recent articles I could find on Groklaw concerning OOXML/ODF: it goes back almost a year. Maybe things were different before then, I ran out of time and the bamboo was ready. The positioning is imprecise.
The G letters are clickable links to the recent Groklaw articles.
I started off first tracing back (green arrow) any explicit quote, link or reference to the usual suspects at IBM, who usually operate through their private blogs. These are shown with the blue letter: W for Rob Weir (IBM Chief ODF Architect), S for Bob Sutor (now IBM VP for Linux and Open Source), I is for an IBM press release. I also traced in grey where there either was a link in a reader comment, or where some significant aspect of the blog was following themes being persued by recent IBM material.
Then I looked through the remaining blogs, to see the provenance of other material that triggered the item:
- ODF Alliance. According to Wikipedia, The Open Document Format Alliance (ODF Alliance) is a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying organization established by IBM, Sun Microsystems and SIIA to "promote and advance the use of OpenDocument Format (ODF) as the primary document format for governments"
- Jomar Silva, director general of the ODF Alliance Brasil
- ECIS. According to Wikipedia, The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) is an international non-profit association founded in 1989 in order to promote interoperability and market conditions in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector allowing vigorous competition on the merits and a diversity of consumer choice. ... ECIS' members include large and smaller information and communications technology hardware and software providers as Adobe Systems, Corel Corporation, IBM, Linspire, Nokia, Opera Software, Oracle Corporation, RealNetworks, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems.
(The odd man out: OASIS lawyer Andy Updegrove's Consortiuminfo standards blog.)
Finally, I've added a little star where the article had a criticism of SC34's Alex Brown, for my own interest. He really seems to have got their goat, unfortunately.
Anyway, readers are invited to click through and see whether I am being fair or mean. (Readers are invited to see, for example, how many of my articles spring directly from Microsoft blogs to contrast: fair enough. I don't recall any, indeed I do recall withdrawing a couple of articles I had written spurred on by material by MS bloggers, to avoid being on message for someone else's agenda.)
I should stress that not all Groklaw material is like that: for example, the Groklaw article What is this astroturfing of which you speak? is a pretty good read.
(And how did the pork knuckle go? Delicious. Simmered in soy/rice wine for a couple of hours before roasting with the reconstituted bamboo giving the familiar smell of the Taiwanese markets. The crackling looked like a dress on a meat puppet, but it might look like something else to you.)