E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.

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I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!

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Groklaw on Fox on Massachusetts and OpenDocument

Does this Fox News opinion piece leave you slack-jawed and sputtering like it did me? Before you fire off that e-mail to James Prendergast explaining basics he seems not to grasp -- like the difference between OpenOffice.org and OpenDocument, or the difference between monopoly control and competition, or how openness is in fact a "merit" just like price and software quality -- read the response offered by Groklaw. It's quite thorough. Also make sure you follow the link to background information on Prendergast's Americans for Technology Leadership, "frequently described as a Microsoft front group."

Whether or not Prendergast is intentionally pimping for MS, he's saying a lot of incorrect things that are going to become talking points in this rhetorical battle, so if you care about the Massachusetts decision you need to know what he's saying.

The bottom line, which is made clear in the Groklaw piece, is that Microsoft is only on the outside here because it has chosen to be. I expect MS will figure out a way to save face and come around to OpenDocument. Frankly, I hope they do it soon, if only to reduce the number of opinion pieces Prendergast will be writing on the subject.

Friday, September 30th, 2005

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