[Linux-aus] MS OOXML Sign the petition, write a letter, apply to attend a forum.

Glen Turner gdt at gdt.id.au
Thu Jul 26 03:44:56 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-07-26 at 11:15 +0930, Janet Hawtin wrote:
> I am not experienced in these processes but my feeling is we should be
> doing something which really gets the message across. What do others
> think? I am not in Sydney.

Hi Janet,

The very first thing to do is to ask for a larger venue. The limit of
30 people is ridiculous. From a tactical point of view it favours
the one OOXML supporter who has sent five or so people.

Then we need to fill the chairs. We need to brief the people that
fill those chairs. We don't want a off-topic ranter.  We also
need to get our allies to go -- the libraries, the IT managers,
etc. Then the opposition to OOXML can't be branded as IBM-influenced
Linux hackers.  We need to get in some journalists that understand
the situation -- we don't want to win SA's hearts and read the
reverse in the Tuesday Australian.

But all this gets gets us the floor for a time, it doesn't really
send a message that OOXML is the most controversial standard SA
have considered in years and that allowing Microsoft's behaviour
is undermining international standards.

I was really impressed by the FFII's ability during the European Patent
struggle to combine lobbying with grassroots, and have each feed off the
other. That's what we should aim for.   Obviously, Microsoft were
impressed too -- you've seen their efforts at pseudo-grassroots, asking
their employees and sales partners to write in.

So something on the footpath. Clever, making the point. Not combative,
but giving the impression that there are lots of people opposed to
having OOXML as another office formats standard and basically
disgusted by Microsoft's attempt to use the international standards
process to maintain its power.

We don't have the resources of Microsoft, but certainly some banners
and placards.  But we need a hook. And I can't think of one...

What we need most importantly is a committed person that lives in Sydney
who can take on the organisation of LA's response.   Any takers?

 Glen Turner

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