Archive for the ‘standards’ Category

The famous WS-Calendar specification, an xml-based response to iCalendar, moves closer to become an OASIS standard. It makes you wonder why parts 2 and 3 were not adopted. The editing history shows:

1.0 WD25 2011-05-26 William Cox Eliminated remaining references to Parts Two and Three, corrected internal links

Spec: PDF, HTML. Editable source (doc!),
ZIP spec, ZIP Schemas.

We are pleased to announce the approval of an OASIS Committee Specification (CS) by the members of the OASIS Web Services Calendar (WS-Calendar) TC:

WS-Calendar Version 1.0 Committee Specification 01 30 July 2011

The specification includes XML vocabularies for the interoperable and
standard exchange of:
– Schedules, including sequences of schedules
– Intervals, including sequences of Intervals
– Other calendar information consistent with the IETF iCalendar standards

The specification is divided into three parts.
1) The information model and XML vocabularies for exchanging schedule
2) RESTful Services for calendar update and synchronization
3) Web services for calendar update and synchronization

The Technical Committee will publish Parts 2 and 3 in a later version.

Despite its popularity the specification does not meet the high standards of OASIS yet, not to mention ISO formal requirements in drafting. I am confident that the transition of the specification into OASIS would lead to substantial technical improvements.


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Here I extracted a few quotes from the European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on a Single Market for Enterprises and Growth which show its special emphasis on improving interoperability conditions for the single market. Strassbourg sents a clear message.

M. whereas the postal sector and the promotion of interoperability and cooperation among postal systems and services can have a significant impact on the development of cross-border e-commerce,

18. Welcomes the Commission’s proposed revision of the e-Signatures Directive with a view to providing a legal framework for cross-border recognition and interoperability of secure e-authentication systems; emphasises the need for mutual recognition of e-identification and e-authentication across the EU and asks the Commission, in this regard, to tackle in particular problems relating to discrimination against recipients of services on grounds of nationality or place of residence;

21. Stresses the imperative need to adapt EU Information and Communication Technology (ICT) standardisation policy to market and policy developments, with a view to achieving European policy goals requiring interoperability;

25. Urges the Member States to fully implement the Third Postal Services Directive (2008/6/EC); stresses the need to guarantee universal access to high-quality postal services, avoid social dumping and promote interoperability and cooperation among postal systems and services, in order to facilitate efficient distribution and tracking of online purchases, which will boost consumer confidence as regards cross-border purchases;

38. Points out the importance of interconnected business registers and calls on the Commission to develop a clear legal framework ensuring that information in such business registers is complete and correct;

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An invitation to a spectrum roundtable:

We would like to remind you about the roundtable discussion on recent developments in spectrum policy and their impact on the ICT industry. The event will take place on Wednesday April 13th at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Centre, Avenue de Nerviens 85, 1040, Brussels. The event will start at 10:30 and will be followed by a walking lunch and a guided tour in our new Cloud and Interoperability Centre. The roundtable discussion will feature presentations from key experts in the field, whose different viewpoints should ensure a lively discussion.

10:30 Registration
11:00 Welcome and introduction
11:10 Challenges in Europe and the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme
Pearse O’Donohue, Head of Unit, “Radio Spectrum Policy”, DG Information Society and Media, European Commission
11:25 Microsoft’s view on spectrum policy – challenges and opportunities
Paul Mitchell, General Manager Interoperability and Standards, Microsoft
11:40 Industry perspectives on TV White Spaces

This session will feature presentations from industry representatives, including:

Andrew Hudson, Head of Spectrum Policy, Vodafone
Fraser Edwards, Group Head, RF Systems, Cambridge Consultants
Luis Lucatero, Director of Public Affairs, Alcatel-Lucent

12:20 Q&A
12:50 Concluding remarks
13:00 Buffet lunch and guided tour of the new Cloud & Interoperability Center


Kind regards,


The greeting phrase seems odd but the event appears genuine. APCO consultants. I edited the formatting a bit.

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ODF in Lettland

Simon Phipps berichtet, die Regierung in Lettland setze nun auf Open Document format.

The speaker before me was from the government and made an important announcement; that from now on, all government departments in Latvia must accept documents in ODF.

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Die Doc Foundation lädt zur LibreOffice release party am Montag, da soll die neue Version 3.3 der Büroanwendung vorgestellt werden, deren Erwähnung ein gar säuerliches Lächeln auf die Lippen von Oracle-Mitarbeitern zaubert (ausprobieren! es funktioniert).

LibreOffice 3.3 Tea Party: Parce que vous aussi, vous avez le droit à une vrai suite bureautique libre et communautaire. Venez célébrer la sortie de LibreOffice 3.3 et rencontrer des gens qui aiment faire des fourchettes !

Libre Office La Cantina

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My colleague Charles-H. Schulz calms down the LibreOffice format critics:

LibreOffice… offers the ability to handle documents in the format of Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010. As we know, these are called OOXML but are different from the ISO standard (ISO 29500) known as OOXML. Microsoft is trying hard, as far as I know, to work out something that might be implemented by MS Office 2010 and is known as OOXML Transitional, which is the polite label to call a proprietary format that still comes with a lot of undocumented areas. OpenOffice.org has offered such a feature ever since 2008, not by reading whatever specification was sent to the ISO, but in analyzing the format used in the real world and called OOXML . (yes it’s confusing) If OOo had tried to implement OOXML by reading the standard it would have ended in a dead corner, because as we know, the OOXML ISO standard is broken, and the ISO itself with it.

Give me break Charles… Weren’t they obliged to implement OOXML under the EU verdict? Here is the LibreOffice decision:

LibreOffice is no different than that. But there is one addition compared to OpenOffice.org: where OpenOffice.org allowed the reading of MS Office 2007 and 2010 documents only, we allow their editing and saving under the same format

Expect a fresh format flavour would then be named LOOXML, that’s a perfectly silly silly silly nerd pun on LOL (laugh out loud), XML (extensible markup language), LO (libreoffice) and OOXML (office open XML) and possible other British phrases of general interest. LOOXML is an OOXML-inspired format intended to approximate the OOXML-O10 which eventually is known as ISO/ECMA OOXML transitional. LibreOffice 3.3. will be released January 10. Feel free to put to popular vote if LOOXML or LOOOXML or LO-OOXML suits you best.

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Jochen Friedrich makes up his mind on the EIF v2 that was released shortly before Christmas by the European Commission, a “conciliating” supplement or successor of the EIF v1 which Jochen calls “revolutionary”:

It is a typical phenomenon of political and societal revolutions that they are followed by some period of restoration. … Yet, the analogy stroke me and I was wondering in how far it applies when reading the new version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF)… The EIF v1 as published by the Commission in 2004 was revolutionary. …It courageously pushed for openness for pan-European eGovernment services taking a strong stance on open standards and promoting open source to be treated on equal footing with proprietary offerings. It had enormous impact within Europe and beyond, inspiring a lot of national interoperability frameworks and policy making worldwide. In other words: it set the scene of what modern requirements on eGovernment infrastructures and on software interoperability in general need to be. … Now the new EIF in combination with the Communication and the EIS is a clever and an extremely balanced document. It is certainly not revolutionary at all. It does not attempt to pursue new horizons, nor move to the next level of interoperability and openness. But it is not a manifestation of a tough restoration, either. It is more a conciliation.

Sure, the value of the first European Interoperability Framework incarnation was that is got exposed to attacks. However, the policy document got hardly read and ressembled more a general work programme. In reality the EIF v1 was an unimportant document barely able to generate substantial results in the field, in particular not in those parts of its contents which were not disputed such as multilinguality. The European Commission regularly releases official “communications” which do not generate direct results but are rather followed by more of the same, the next strategy, green paper, white paper, agenda. Neither the EIF v1 nor the EIF v2 did even reach that minor document status level of a “communication”. To me it looks like India took better conclusions from the EIF v1 as it set up a straight document on interoperability. Most critics and proponents are mislead about the role of the EIF v2 in an overall upcoming EU interoperability architectural framework and fail to see how the EIF v1 was sacrificed, as a decoy we get the EIF v2. These are the recommendations of Jochen which reach out in his wider context of recommendations to value the EIF v2, the supplement to the EIF v1:

1. Drive the development and implementation of open infrastructures for public services which may require the necessary re-engineering of processes.

2. Ensure that the legal framework in Europe is modernised for ICT by allowing the direct use and referencing of fora and consortia standards provided that they meet a certain set of openness criteria.

3. In the context of the EIF and public services, include interoperability, or even better: demonstrated interoperability, as a key requirement in EU policy making and public procurement.

4. In the context of the EIF and public services, foster the implementation of open specifications with multiple implementations on the market place by referencing them in public procurement and in EU policies.

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