OOXML: Open Letter to YES-voting and ABSTAIN-voting Countries

I am learning a lot from all this standardization process.

I was a member of the brazilian committee and I also analyzed the specification. My country disapproved OOXML and I think this was a decision based on logic lead by the process.

The JTC1 rules page 49 item 9.8 says:

NBs may reply in one of the following ways:

  • Approval of the technical content of the DIS as presented (editorial or other comments may be appended);
  • Disapproval of the DIS (or DAM) for technical reasons to be stated, with proposals for changes that would make the document acceptable (acceptance of these proposals shall be referred to the NB concerned for confirmation that the vote can be changed to approval);
  • Abstention (see 9.1.2).

[Note: Conditional approval should be submitted as a disapproval vote.]

In other words, from my understanding, if there is one or more technical problems, the NB must disapprove the DIS. Many countries found many technical problems in OOXML that are still unresolved even after the BRM.

I also understand that such an important matter as an International Standard for Office Documents can’t be defined by 10 or 30 opinions collected as votes in a committee. Thats why the JTC1 process above talks about technical content, not opinion or vote. What I learned from studying the OOXML specification is that it is not ready for acceptance since many countries have found and reached consensus that the spec has problems, even after the BRM. If the NB-leveraged technical team — formed by people that would vote YES and NO — has produced a list of submitted problems in the spec, this list is by itself the consensus that the spec is still problematic.

I would like to understand why an NB that has produced technical comments voted YES or ABSTAINED. I thought abstention is a position for countries that were not able to create a committee to technically discuss the specification for reasons such as logistics or lack of quorum.

I am learning about all this and I’d like to have more solid arguments to build an opinion about these NB’s maturity to run a well documented process.

OOXML: Venezuela changed vote from YES to NO

Check it out:

From: “***FONDONORMA***” <in*&%@fondonorma.org.ve>
To: <ki*%$#@itscj.ipsj.or.jp>, <br*%$#%@iso.org>, <tak*%$#%@iso.org>, <ga*%$#%@iso.org>, “Maria Teresa Saccucci” <mar*%$#%@fondonorma.org.ve>, “Norma Arias” <norm*%$#%@fondonorma.org.ve>, “***FONDONORMA***” <in*%$#%@fondonorma.org.ve>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 14:04:26 -0430
Subject: Modification to the vote on DIS 29500 – Venezuela (FONDONORMA)
Toshiko Kimura
Secretary ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34

Att.: Mr. Keith Brannon, Mr. Maho Takahashi, Ms. Martine Gaillen

Dear Mr. Kimura,

Attached please find a letter from Mrs. María Teresa Saccucci, Standardization Manager of FONDONORMA (Venezuela) through which Venezuela wishes to modify its position on DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML file formats from “Approval with comments” to “Disapproval with comments”.

Best regards,

Leonardo Di Bartolo
Coordinator of International Relations

This NO was a result of a very difficult meeting. Consensus was not reached and a lot of confusion happened. Exactly as in the first brazilian NO.

The NB had to decide the final vote based on technical issues still open in OOXML. The problem was the method of deciding and those technical points were not presented. So people only had in their head the Microsoft arguments that I already knew were part half trues and part complete lies.

I participated in the OOXML process in 3 countries and I was able to build an opinion on how normalization happens today in the world, and I’ll show some ideas in a future post.

By the way, this is how Caracas looks like, a city surrounded by huge green mountains that have behind them the Caribbean Sea.

Caracas from the EuroBuilding hotel

Caracas and the Caribbean Ocean in the map
Caracas from the EuroBuilding hotel

OOXML’s BRM: A flow of dirt

Finally Jomar, one of the brazilian delegate that went to OOXML’s BRM in Geneva has started to tell all the dirty little details of what really happened in that meeting and the surreal modus operandi of how 120 people can discuss 1027 issues in 5 days. Have fun in english and portuguese.

Oh, and talking about dirty playing, check the domain www.DocumentFreedomDay.com but remember that the original one is www.DocumentFreedom.org. The first one really deserves a DDoS attack.

OOXML: Brazil Says NO. Again.

It is now official. Brazilian vote was decided by consensus of the entire technical team, including Microsoft crew’s: OOXML does not deserve to be an international ISO standard.

Our first vote, in august, was also NO, due to the same reasons: OOXML is an awful specification.

That outcome was expected because we simply followed the process: technically analyze the OOXML specification, make comments, wait for responses, analyze them and see if all problems were fixed. Is there any single remaining unresolved problem? Vote NO. And in fact there were many many unresolved problems.

If every country followed this simple process, OOXML would receive a NO from 100% of them.

But in some countries, how is the process? Invite a few companies and simply count their votes. The problem here: 10, 20 or 80 votes can never represent what is the best for that country. Only, maybe, if you collect one vote for each citizen.

What I am trying to say is that in this case a decision must be reached by technical consensus, not vote. It is not a matter of will, but a technical issue that can only be reached by rational analysis and deliberation.

In Chile for example, 21 voting companies will define a 15 million people country vote in ISO. How easy is to lobby these 21 companies with Power Point presentations telling complete plain lies ?

Technically speaking, if your country’s vote was YES or ABSTENTION, one of these possibilities happened:

  1. Nobody had time to analyze the OOXML specification and the ABSTENTION was the right choice.
  2. Nobody had time to analyze the OOXML specification and a few people decided for you to vote YES, based on ideology or a result of lobby, not technology benefits.
  3. Even having time to analyze the OOXML specification, a few people decided for you to vote YES, based on ideology or result of lobby, not technology benefits.

Seems stupid, but these are exactly the 2 possibilities of OOXML getting YES votes in ISO. It is still an awful specification.

By the way, Brazil would vote NO again and again and again even if all OOXML’s technical issues could be resolved. OOXML would still have legal issues and also serious overlap problems with the OpenDocument Format ISO standard.

I was not present in today’s meeting in ABNT because I already knew what would be the result, since the process of analysis and deliberation in Brazil was very strictly followed. Hopefully Jomar will write about it and you can check more details.

Open Source Software inside the iPhone

Can Open Source Software be more ubiquitous than this ?

A few days ago I was playing extensively with Apple’s iPhone, investigating each sub-menu and little details. There is a section listing legal stuff and software being used with each license. GPL, LGPL, BSD and other Open Source licensed software rule the iPhone.

Some I have noted:

Microsoft sells Intra-operability as Interoperability


This is real Interoperability

  • Technical specifications for global interoperability and freedom
  • Interoperate through standards
  • Software product is less important
  • Switch products and keep access

Microsoft started their so called “interoperability” initiative. With a deeper look we find that the main objective of the released specifications is to let developers interact with their products only, something I like to call Intra-operability.


This is Intraoperability

  • Technical specifications for interaction with and favor the product
  • Interoperate through the product
  • Software product is the main player
  • Switch product and loose access

See the difference?

Microsoft technical specifications have serious technical and legal issues, and are being released not to increase interoperability across people, organizations and applications, but to leverage the use of their products. For the standard document format scenario: OOXML is about allowing other people to interact with files that are primarily generated and manipulated with Microsoft Office. It is not about full interoperability, which would enable competition with Microsoft Office, for obvious reason.

For each purpose or scope, better open standards exist and should be adopted and used instead: Java versus .NET, XHTML versus IE-campatible-only DHTML, ODF versus OOXML, etc

My friend Cezar Taurion has also written some words about Intra-operability (in portuguese). Bob Sutor also put together some words about it.

These graphics are available in a friendly Creative Commons license, in this animated ODF file, in case you want to integrate them in your presentations. PDF export also available.

How Microsoft raped ISO

One of the most critical and discussed points of the whole OOXML subject is how the specification lets you include binary proprietary information.

Let me show you how it happens with a piece of an OOXML document, the red-marked text is the problematic part (see for yourself, §, paper page 4,813, lines 7–13):

<o:ink i="AMgFHQSWC+YFASAAaAwAAAAAAMA..." annotation="t" contentType="application/x-ms-ink"/>

So you, as a programmer, please tell me what to do if you are developing an application that must read and generate this kind of document. How can I find documentation about this encoded binary stream? Is this a good practice in XML? Anyway, this kind of (bad) design appears in many parts of the OOXML spec. Want more examples of bad design? Have fun.

Suppose I really want to develop this kind of support in my application, I am a master programmer and reverse-engineered a few examples generated with a copy of MS Office 2007 that I had to buy. Or maybe I just found the specification of this proprietary application/x-ms-ink type and go to develop a library to handle it.

Inevitably, my library will reimplement aspects of some Microsoft library with same functionality, and according to a Software Freedom Law Center report, the Microsoft Open Specification Promise (OSP, basically the not-open-enough license Microsoft lawyers wrote for the usage and implementation of OOXML) cover’s the specification only, not code.

I will be sued for patent infringement. On software rewrite, not on specification usage.

Then the rape begins. Microsoft is claiming that this was solved in the ISO’s BRM meeting. This is the solution, from the ridiculous 12 pages resolutions, page 7:

Resolution 25: The BRM decides to accept the editing instructions contained in http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc34/def/BRM/Response_0135_bitfields.doc in place of R 135, replacing “deprecated” by “transitional”, and with the following addition: The Editor shall ensure that all existing attributes defining the bitfields described above shall be “transitional”—so resolved.

Who reads this resolution with high level eyes may think that all binary fields will be removed from the specification. But please, you, as a programmer, tell me how the so called Editor will find all and every single part of a 6000+ pages specification containing bitfields? How he’ll expand all those bitfields in an XML subspecification? Will he invent some? Is he the right person (or team) to do that?

When done and if done, the specification will be something completely new, full of new parts. Will jump from 6063 pages to maybe 7500. Oh, and did I mention it will be something that even MS Office 2007 or 2008 don’t support today? Supporting or not, implemented or not, this new unexistent specification is the “thing” that countries’ National Bodies are voting right now, without even seeing it, without checking if it was corrected, without having time for this because they didn’t receive it for revision.

They won’t have time to review 6000+ pages because the deadlines defined by the ISO’s Fast Track process are over.

So the question is how ISO/IEC and JTC1 let such a big and problematic specification enter the light Fast Track process? My answare: ISO was raped.

I’ve been talking to several people that will define their country’s vote and their mindset is “are you really putting ISO in such a bad position?” Well, yes. You know, in the end ISO is not god. They are a bunch of people that, like you and me, have religions, aspirations, problems, family, go to the bathroom etc. Like you and me, they may be also naive in regard to some subjects, particularly document formats. Then comes Microsoft excellent speakers showing PowerPoint charts that are plain lies (e.g. “OpenOffice.org supports OOXML”) and people believes them.

People have two choices: to question ISO’s reputation in the OOXML case, or question IBM, Sun, Oracle, Red Hat, Free Software Law Center, ODF Alliance and many other institutions’ reputation when they massively scream in chorus that OOXML has serious technical, legal and standardization process issues.

This is a world where organizations like ECMA has completely lost the respect of the technical community. But this is not a big problem, because we have other similar, still reliable bodies as OASIS, W3C, OSF, etc.

This is a world where we will have to work hard to make ISO regain its (currently damaged) reliable status. This is a big problem, because we only have one (and only need one) International Standards Organization.

This is your responsibility. To start this work get involved with your country’s National Body for standardization and promote the creation of a formal letter to ISO about the OOXML process, its problems and how ISO let that happen. INCITS in USA, ABNT in Brazil, INN in Chile etc.

Better sleep leads to a better You

The title was the phrase written in a CD left in a Crown Plaza Hotel room I stood this days.

Its excellent content is a relaxation program with very soft music to listen and do after you go to bed and before you fall asleep, with the aim to make you sleep better.

I found it so effective that I read more through the CD cover. It is produced by a company called SoundSleep with the help of a certain Dr. Michael Breus.

The cover also contained some other “holistic approach to sleep principles” which I also find useful and would like to share:

  • Relax before bedtime. Stress can make you miserable and restless. Take some time for a pre-sleep ritual to break the connection between stress and bedtime. Try listening to the enclosed Sleep CD, reading, meditating, light stretching, lavender aromatherapy or a hot shower.
  • Watch the caffeine. Coffee and many teas and sodas contain caffeine and may keep you up. If you’ve already had too much, consider eating some carbohydrates like bread or crackers to help reduce the effects.
  • Watch the alcohol. Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but as your body clears it from your system, it can also cause nightmares, sweats and headache. Drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage consumed to try to reduce these symptoms.
  • Exercise at the right time. Regular exercise relieves stress and encourages good sleep. However, if a little exercise really gets your blood pumping, you’d be wise to not work out in the evening or just before bedtime.
  • Cut down on noise, light and extreme temperatures. Try earplugs, a night light, an eye mask or drape clip. The best temperature for sleep is 20 to 22°C (68 to 72°F).
  • East right, and sleep tight. Avoid eating a large meal just before bedtime or going to bed hungry. It’s about balance. Some foods that promote sleep include: milk, pumpkin, artichokes, avocados, almonds, eggs, peaches, walnuts, apricots, oats, aspargus, potatoes and bananas.
  • Understand jet lag. Before you cross time zones, try waking up later or earlier to help the body adjust to time difference. And remember, it takes a few days for the body to catch up.
  • Remember the purpose of the bed. Avoid TV, eating, and emotional discussions in bed. The mind and body associate bedtime activities with being in bed. So don’t let a bad habit keep you awake.
  • No drinks after 8 p.m. It’s a fact; most of us cannot simultaneously go to the bath room and sleep. So shut down your fluid intake before 8 p.m. so you can get your rest.
  • Nap smart. A little 20-minute power nap during the early part of the day can really be refreshing. But sleep too much, and you may spend the night staring at the ceiling.

How I Became Vegetarian

Around early 1995 I was thinking about to stop eating meat. I thought that would do good for my body and my mind.

Then I was waiting in a room, randomly took a book and randomly open it in the part that finally defined my decision. Later a saw many people becoming vegetarian because of the same part from the same book, so I found it important to share. The author was Sri Yukteswar and the book name is The Holy Science, from 1894.

This is the part of the book that influenced my decision that time (copy and pasted from Sain Louis’ Guide to Vegetarian Life):

What is natural food for man?

First, to select our natural food, our observation should be directed to the formation of the organs that aid in digestion and nutrition, the teeth and digestive canal; to the natural tendency of the organs of sense which guide animals to their food; and to the nourishment of the young.

Observation of teeth

By observation of the teeth we find that in carnivourous animals the incisors are little developed, but the canines are of striking length, smooth and pointed, to seize the prey. The molars also are pointed; these points, however, do not meet, but fit closely side by side to separate the muscular fibers.

In the herbivorous animals the incisors are strikingly developed, the canines are stunted (though occasionally developed into weapons, as in elephants), the molars are broad-topped and furnished with enamel on the sides only.

In the frugivorous all the teeth are of nearly the same height; the canines are little projected, conical, and blunt (obviously not inteded for seizing prey but for exertion of strenth), The molars are broad-topped and furnished at the top with enamel folds to prevent waste caused by their side motion, but not pointed for chewing flesh.

In Omnivorous animals such as bears, on the other hand, the incisors resemble those of the herbivorous, the canines are like those of the carnivorous, and the molars are both pointed and broad-topped to serve a twofold purpose.

Now if we observe the formation of the teeth in man we find that they do not resemble those of the carnivores, neither do they resemble the teeth of the herbivorous or th eomnivorous. They do resemble, eactly, those of the frugivorous animals. The reasonable inference, therefore, is that man is a frugivorous or fruit-eating animal.

Observation of the digestive canal

By observation of the digestive canal we find that the bowels of carnivorous animals are 3 to 5 times the length of their body, measuring from the mouth to the anus; and their stomach is almost spherical. The bowels of the herbivores are 20 to 28 times the length of their body and their stomach is more extended and of compound build. But the bowels of the frugivorous animals are 10 to 12 times the length of their body; their stomach is somewhat broader than that of the carnivorous and has a continuation in the duodenum serving the purpose of a second stomach.

This is exactly the formation we find in human beings, though anatomy says that the human bowels are 3 to 5 times the length of man’s body – making a mistake by measuring the body from the crown to the soles, instead of from mouth to anus. Thus we can again draw the inference that man is, in all probability, a frugivorous animal.

Observation of organs of sense

By observation of the natural tendency of the organs of sense – the guideposts for determining what is nutritious – by which all animals are directed to their food, we find that when the carnivorous animal finds prey, he becomes so much delighted that his eyes begin to sparkle; he boldly seizes the prey and greedily laps the jetting blood. On the contrary, the herbivorous animal refuses even his natural food, leaving it untouched, if it is sprinkled with a little blood. His senses of smell and sight lead him to select grasses and other herbs for his food, which he tastes with delight. Similarly with the frugivorous animals, we find that their senses always direct them to fruits of the trees and field.

In men of all races we find that their senses of smell, sound, and sight never lead them to slaughter animals; on the contrary they cannot bear even the sight of such killings. Slaughterhouses are always recommended to be removed far from the towns; men often pass strict ordinances forbidding the uncovered transportation of flesh meats. Can flesh then be considered the natural food of man, when both his eyes and his nose are so much against it, unless deceived by flavors of spices, salt, and sugar? On the other hand, how delightful do we find the fragrance of fruits, the very sight of which often makes the mouth water! It may also be noticed that various grains and roots possess an agreeable odor and taste, though faint, even when unprepared. Thus again, we are led to infer from these observations that man was intended to be a frugivorous animal.

Observation of the nourishment of the young

By observation of the nourishment of the young we find that milk is undoubtedly the food of the newborn babe. Abundant milk is not supplied in the breasts of the mother if she does not take fruits, grains, and vegetables as her natural food.

Cause of disease. Hence from these observations the only conclusion that can reasonably be drawn is that various grains, fruits, roots, and – for beverage – milk, and pure water openly exposed to air and sun are decidedly the best natural food for man. These, being congenial to the system when taken according to the power of the digestive organs, well chewed and mixed with saliva, are always easily assimilated.

Other foods are unnatural to man and being uncongenial to the system are necessarily foreign to it; when they enter the stomach, they are not properly assimilated. Mixed with the blood, they accumulate in the excretory and other organs not properly adapted to them. When they cannot find their way out, they subside in tissue crevices by the law of gravitation; and being fermented, produce diseases, mental and physical, and ultimately lead to premature death.

By the way, I am not 100% vegetarian today. I still have seafood very rarely, when is very difficult to find veggy options in some fancy restaurants.

OOXML in Numbers

This is a numerical photography of what is the Microsoft Office Open XML wannabe specification:

  • 6063 pages written in 12 months
  • Only 6 months of analysis pointed 3500 issues that span from intellectual property, to standard date & time representation, to malformed XML definitions, to binary proprietary bits
  • 3500 issues where summarized in “only” 1027
  • ECMA proposed 2293 pages of mutually conflicting changes to make happy those 3500 comments
  • Only 30 days to analyze those 6063+2293 pages against those 3500 comments
  • Only 5 days of BRM to discuss 6063+2293 pages
  • Only 18% of these 1027 problems where discussed in BRM
  • 82% of problems were not even discussed
  • BRM produced a short 12 pages document containing alterations to those 6063 pages long spec based on 2293+thousands of pages of comments from all countries+19 months of technical writing and global analysis work. By the way, those short 12 pages propose such nebulous alterations — as Resolution 25 on page 7 — that it is difficult to foretell how they will technically fit in the new specification. If applied, those alterations could turn the original spec upside down, so deeply that it could become a completely new specification, maybe even worse than the first one.
  • Now countries must vote if they approve or not this still unfinished new OOXML that will be divided in 4 independent parts for strict conformance class+4 parts for transitional (deprecated) conformance class. These final multipart wannabe standards don’t exist yet and will be released about the same day countries will have to vote for it.

Or graphically:

History and confusion of OOXML

And you still think OOXML is ready to become an International Standard Format for storing YOUR documents ?

Come on, give me a break !

OOXML na ISO e os números que na verdade não existem

Li algumas coisas na Internet sobre o resultado final do BRM. Em alguns lugares encontrei números e interpretações das mais diversas sobre estes resultados. Como faço parte do comitê da ABNT que analisou o OOXML, resolvi conversar com o Jomar, que foi um dos delegados brasileiros em Genebra.

Ele me disse que não pode comentar nada sobre estes números e sobre o resultado, pois no último dia do BRM, a autoridade da ISO lá presente alertou a todos que nenhum número deveria deixar a sala de reuniões, pois sem conhecer os processos de decisão lá adotados, nenhum número ou estatística faz sentido.

Avisou ainda que qualquer divulgação ou utilização marketeira destes números é no mínimo irresponsável e segundo o entendimento dele uma
clara violação das regras estabelecidas (mas aliás… alguma regra foi seguinda neste processo todo ?).

Eu tentei insistir com o assunto (e olha que o cara é meu amigo), mas ele se recusou a me dar mais informações. Me pediu apenas para entrar em contato com quem divulgou as informações e pedir a ele os devidos esclarecimentos (incluíndo os critérios e regras de votação).

Como eu sou insistente mesmo, acabei arrancando pelo menos uma explicação metafórica dele:

“Se eu te disser que 85% da população mundial sobreviveu à II Guerra Mundial, você consegue concluir que esta guerra não foi tão ruim assim? Se não consegue é porquê conhece os detalhes do processo. Se consegue… vai ler os livros de história e estudar o processo e aproveite pois este episódio não teve uma “Lei do Silêncio” que obrigou todos os envolvidos a se calar. O BRM não vai ter “livro de história” para explicar a estatística.”.

Números são apenas números e marketing será sempre marketing (e o Jomar não abre a boca mesmo… que chato).

OOXML: Está rolando um barraco na ISO

Veja como as coisas são…

Segundo o post do Jomar que esteve no BRM da ISO, um cidadão chegou nele num intervalo e sutilmente pediu para que não levantasse uma questão importante no processo do OOXML da Microsoft virar ou não um padrão ISO: a inexistência do mapeamento entre o formato legado (ex: .doc) e o formato novo (ex: .docx).

Sem esse mapeamento, o propósito primordial da existência do OOXML como padrão ISO deixa de existir.

Só pra lembrar qual é o propósito do OOXML, extraido (em livre tradução) de sua especificação:

O objetivo deste padrão [OOXML] é […] representar fielmente o corpo de documentos existentes […]

Os tais “documentos existentes” são no caso todos os documentos em formato binário legado do MS Office (.doc, ,ppt, .xls), algo fora do escopo do OOXML.

Se esse mapeamento não fizer parte da especificação OOXML, seu objetivo primordial é inválido. A especificação é inválida. E a delegação brasileira queria levantar essa bola: cadê o mapeamento ?

Mas o barraco aqui é outro. Um cidadão pedir pra ele não levantar essa bola é uma coisa. Sei lá, tal cidadão deve ter razões políticas ou financeiras para querer ver uma especificação com sérios problemas conceituais [OOXML] virar um padrão internacional.

O que me escapa o entendimento é por que a ISO não deixou o Brasil apresentar esse questionamento ?

Só sei que a blogosfera vai desabar sobre esse assunto nos próximos dias e vou acompanhar de perto os blogs do Rob Weir, Bob Sutor, Andy Updegrove, Groklaw e a quantidade de reações que o post traduzido do Jomar recebe. Muitos desses blogs já estão descendo a lenha.

Entenda os Homens, uma visão real

Este texto pipocou na Internet no começo de 2008 e tenho um certo respeito por ele. Contaram que o autor é Arnaldo Jabor, mas tenho lá minhas dúvidas. Ao verdadeiro autor sugiro que apareça, visto que lhe é devido o mérito por ter documentado com irreverência, mas também bastante machismo, os instintos do homem.

Entenda Definitivamente os Homens: uma visão real

Foi lendo um monte de besteiras que as mulheres escrevem em livros sobre o ‘universo masculino’, que resolvi escrever esse artigo. Não tenho objetivo de ‘revelar’ os segredos dos homens, mas amigos, me desculpem. Não se trata de quebrar nosso código de ética. Isso vai ajudar as mulheres a entenderem os homens e, enfim, pararem de tentar nos mudar com métodos ineficazes. Vou começar de sola. Se não estiver preparada nem continue a ler. E digo com segurança: o que escrevo aqui se aplica a 99,9% dos homens brasileiros (sem medo de errar).

1º Não existe homem fiel.

Você já pode ter ouvido isso algumas vezes, mas afirmo com propriedade. Não é desabafo. É palavra de homem que conhece muitos homens e que conhecem, por sua vez, muitos homens. Nenhum homem é fiel, mas pode estar fiel ou porque está apaixonado (algo que não dura muito tempo — no máximo alguns meses — nem se iluda), ou porque está cercado por todos os lados (veremos adiante que não adianta cercá-lo, isso vai se voltar contra você).

A única exceção é o crente extremamente convicto. Se você quer um homem que seja fiel, procure um crente daqueles bitolados, mas agüente as outras conseqüências.

2º Não desanime.

O homem é capaz de te trair e de te amar ao mesmo tempo. A traição do homem é hormonal, efêmera, para satisfazer a lascívia. Não é como a da mulher. Mulher tem que admirar para trair; ter algum envolvimento. O homem só precisa de uma bunda. A mulher precisa de um motivo para trair, o homem precisa de uma mulher.

3º Não fique desencantada com a vida por isso.

A traição tem seu lado positivo. Até digo, é um mal necessário. O cara que fica cercado, sem trair é infeliz no casamento, seu desempenho sexual diminui (isso mesmo, o desempenho com a esposa diminui), ele fica mal da cabeça. Entenda de uma vez por todas: homens e mulheres são diferentes. Se quiser alguém que pense como você, vire lésbica (várias já fizeram isso e deu certo), ou case com um viado enrustido que precisa de uma mulher para se enquadrar no modelo social.

Todo ser humano busca a felicidade, a realização. E a realização nada mais é do que a sensação de prazer (isso é química, tá tudo no cérebro). A mulher se realiza satisfazendo o desejo maternal, com a segurança de ter uma família estruturada e saudável,com um bom homem ao lado que a proteja e lhe dê carinho.

O homem é mais voltado para a profissão e para a realização pessoal e a realização pessoal dele vêm de diversas formas: pode vir com o sentimento de paternidade, com uma família estruturada, etc., mas nunca vai vir se não puder acesso a outras fêmeas e se não puder ter relativo sucesso na profissão.

Se você cercar seu homem (tipo, mulher que é sócia do marido na empresa). O cara não dá um passo no dia-a-dia (sem ela) você vai sufocá-lo de tal forma que ele pode até não ter espaço para lhe trair, mas ou seu casamento vai durar pouco,ele vai ser gordo (vai buscar a fuga na comida) e vai ser pobre (por que não vai ter a cabeça tranqüila para se desenvolver profissionalmente. (Vai ser um cara sem ambição e sem futuro).

4º Não tente mudar para seu homem ser fiel.

Não adianta. Silicone, curso de dança sensual, se vestir de enfermeira, etc… nada disso vai adiantar.

É lógico que quanto mais largada você for, menor a vontade do homem de ficar com você e maior as chances do divórcio. Se ser perfeita adiantasse Julia Roberts não tinha casado três vezes. Até Gisele Bunchen foi largada por Di Caprio, não é você que vai ser diferente (mas é bom não desanimar e sempre dar aquela malhadinha).

O segredo é dar espaço para o homem viajar nos seus desejos (na maioria das vezes, quando ele não está sufocado pela mulher ele nem chega a trair, fica só nas paqueras, troca de olhares). Finja que não sabe que ele dá umas pegadas por fora. Isso é o segredo para um bom casamento.

Deixe ele se distrair, todos precisam de lazer.

5º Se você busca o homem perfeito, pode continuar vendo novela das seis.

Eles não existem nesse conceito que você imagina. Os homens perfeitos de hoje são aqueles bem desenvolvidos profissionalmente, que traem esporadicamente (uma vez a cada dois meses, por exemplo), mas que respeitam a mulher, ou seja, não gastam o dinheiro da família com amantes, não constituem outra família, não traem muitas vezes, não mantêm relações várias vezes com a mesma mulher (para não criar vínculos) e, sobretudo, são muuuuuito discretos: não deixam a esposa (e nem ninguém da sua relação, como amigas, familiares, etc saberem).

Só, e somente só, um amigo ou outro DELE deve saber, faz parte do prazer do homem contar vantagem sexual. Pegar e não falar para os amigos é pior do que não pegar.

As traições do homem perfeito geralmente são numa escapulida numa boite, ou com uma garota de programa (usando camisinha e sem fazer sexo oral nela), ou mesmo com uma mulher casada de passagem por sua cidade. O homem perfeito nunca trai com mulheres solteiras. Elas são causadoras de problemas. Isso remete ao próximo tópico.


Esqueçam de uma vez por todas esse negócio de que homem não gosta de mulher fácil. Homem adora mulher fácil. Se ‘der’ de prima então, é o máximo.

Todo homem sabe que não existe mulher santa. Se ela está se fazendo de difícil ele parte para outra. A demanda é muito maior do que a procura. O mercado está cheio de mulher gostosa. O que homem não gosta é de mulher que liga no dia seguinte. Isso não é ser fácil, é ser problemática (mulher problema). Ou, como se diz na gíria, é pepino puro.

O fato de você não ligar para o homem e ele gostar de você não quer dizer que foi por você se fazer de difícil, mas sim por você não representar ameaça para ele. Ele vai ficar com tanta simpatia por você que você pode até conseguir fisgá-lo e roubá-lo da mulher. Ele vai começar a se envolver sem perceber. Vai começar ELE a te procurar. Se ele não te procurar era porque ele só queria aquilo mesmo.

Parta para outro e deixe esse de stand by. Não vá se vingar, você só piora a situação e não lucra nada com isso. Não se sinta usada, você também fez uso do corpo dele — faz parte do jogo; guarde como um momento bom de sua vida.

7º 90% dos homens não querem nada sério.

Os 10% restantes estão momentaneamente cansados da vida de balada ou estão ficando com má fama por não estarem casados ou enamorados; por isso procuram casamento. Portanto, são máximas as chances do homem mentir em quase tudo que te fala no primeiro encontro (ele só quer te comer, sempre).

Não seja idiota, aproveite o momento, finja que acredita que ele está apaixonado e dê logo para ele (e corra o risco de fisgá-lo) ou então nem saia com ele. Fazer doce só agrava a situação, estamos em 2008 e não em 1958. Esqueça os conselhos da sua avó, os tempos são outros.

Para ser uma boa esposa e para ter um casamento pelo resto da vida faça o seguinte:

Tente achar o homem perfeito do 5º item, dê espaço para ele. Não o sufoque. Ele precisa de um tempo para sua satisfação.

Seja uma boa esposa, mantenha-se bonita, malhe, tenha uma profissão (não seja dona de casa), seja independente e mantenha o clima legal em casa. Nada de sufocos, de ‘conversar sobre a relação’, de ficar mexendo no celular dele, de ficar apertando o cerco, etc.

Você pode até criar ‘muros’ para ele, mas crie muros invisíveis e não muito altos. Se ele perceber ou ficar sem saída, vai se sentir ameaçado e o casamento vai começar a ruir.

9º A última dica:

Se você está revoltada por este artigo, aqui vai um conselho: vá tomar uma água e volte para ler com o espírito desarmado. Se revoltar quanto ao que está escrito não vai resolver nada em sua vida.

Acreditar que o que está aqui é mentira ou exagero pode ser uma boa técnica (iludir-se faz parte da vida, se você é dessas, boa sorte!). Mas tudo é a pura verdade.

Seu marido/noivo/namorado te ama, tenha certeza,senão não estaria com você, mas trair é como um remédio, um lubrificante para o motor do carro. Isso é científico. O homem que você deve buscar para ser feliz é o homem perfeito do item 5º. Diferente disso ou é crente, ou viado ou tem algum trauma (e na maioria dos casos vão ser pobres).

O que você procura pode ser impossível de achar, então, procure algo que você pode achar e seja feliz ao invés de passar a vida inteira procurando algo indefectível que você nunca vai encontrar.

Espero ter ajudado em alguma coisa. Agora, depois de tudo isso dito, cadê a coragem de mandar este artigo para minha mulher??

Vida Social Intensa

Final de semana foi intenso.

No sábado, decidido a toque de caixa, almoço com vários amigos no terraço do apê de uma delas. Viva a comida simples: salada de folhas, macarronada com diversos molhos e sorvete.

Sábado a noite, festa de aniversário surpresa do meu cunhado. Uma das amigas preparou um filme tocante com fotos desde a infância dele. Todas as mulheres choraram de emoção.

No domingo, café da manhã de aniversário de uma grande amiga. Um casal de amigos não veio e suspeitamos que ela tinha dado a luz. Confirmou-se numa ligação no final da manhã e todos celebraram o nascimento da Nina.

De lá fomos direto pro almoço de aniversário de outra amiga, no Martin Fierro. Terminou quase 5 da tarde.

Tudo isso precedido por um jantar e ótimo filme na sexta a noite: Jogos de Poder.

Domingo a noite iríamos jantar com alguns amigos que estão recebendo um amigo da Holanda em São Paulo. Mas recusamos, simplesmente porque não dá.

Ficamos em casa assistindo o ótimo Inside Man e tomando chá e sopinha.

Essa vida ainda me cansa. Mas por enquanto eu adoro.

How to Make High Quality DVD Rips

Some friends asked so the following is how I encode (rip) DVDs.

Choosing the file format: .AVI, .OGG, .MP4 or .MKV ?

The ripped video file format is a decision you must make. Currently my format of choice is .MKV or Matroska. I’ll explain why.

It is quite idiotic to say that an .MP4 movie has better quality than a .AVI or vice-verse (or any other combination of comparisons). OGG, MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14), MKV (Matroska), AVI, WMV (or ASF) are just containers, envelopes. Video quality depends on what goes inside it.

“Multimedia” has this name because you have multiple types of media: video in multiple angles, multiple audio options including different languages and channels (stereo, 5.1, 6 channels etc), subtitles in several languages, chapter information, menu etc. Think about a DVD. So this is a graphical view of how things are organized inside a 900MB movie file in a modern format as MKV or MP4:

Header with tags, track names, chapters info, seek positions Main Video track (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) Attachments as JPG images, documents, scripts or text files
Video segment showing another angle (MPEG-4 ASP/Xvid/DivX)
Audio track: English Dolby Surround 5.1 (AC3)
Audio track: Director’s comments stereo (MP3)
Audio track: Portuguese Dolby Surround 5.1 (DTS)
Subtitle track: Portuguese (Unicode text)
Subtitle track: Chinese (Unicode text)
Subtitle track: English (VobSub)
byte 100K byte 100M byte 200M byte 310M byte 420M byte 530M byte 650M byte 780M byte 895M byte 900M

A digital multimedia file format must be capable to contain all this different medias and multiplex them in parallel so you won’t have the video in the first 500MB of the file and the audio on the following 500MB (this can’t work for streaming). And this is exactly what modern file formats as MP4 and MKV do: they carry all your movie-related data together.

This is a comparison of all these file formats based on my personal experience with them (a more formal comparison can be found in Wikipedia):

Industry support Almost none Good and increasing, specially on Apple platforms, the mobile scene and Nero Digital ecosystem Treated as legacy popular format
Usage on the web Very popular on HD or high quality DVD rips Very popular on HD or high quality DVD rips, supported by Flash Player, YouTube, Google Video Popular amongst low-quality DVD rips
Support for advanced video formats and multiple video angles Yes. MPEG-4 ASP (DivX, Xvid), MPEG-4 AVC (a.k.a. H.264) etc Yes. Only MPEG-4 systems and a few others Problematic and No
Support for multiple audio tracks (channels, formats, languages and “director’s comments”) Yes Yes. Formats are only MP3, AAC and a few others not very popular Yes
Support for tags (artist, title, composer, etc as MP3’s ID3) Yes Can be supported by MP4 extensibility but this is not very well standardized across authoring tools (iTunes, GPAC etc) and players (Amarok, Media Player Classic, iPod, Windows Media Player etc) No
Support for attachments with mime-types (used to attach movie posters images or other files) Yes No
Support for chapter marks Yes No
Support for multiple language embedded soft-subtitles Yes. VobSub (as extracted from DVDs), plain timed UTF-8 text (SRT, SUB) etc No
Support for naming tracks with human names as “Director’s comments” or “Portuguese subtitles” etc Yes Yes No
Support for carrying menus information (as in DVDs) and interaction Yes through an XML idiom, but unsupported by most players Yes through SVG, but unsupported by most players No
The container overhead in bytes in the final file Very small Very small Very big
Supported by free and Open Source multiplatform authoring tools Perfect on Linux, Unix, Windows and Mac Yes (see GPAC), with some intellectual property issues. Tools need to mature. Yes
Ready for popular web streaming as in Flash player No Yes. The popular Flash Player that is installed on everybody’s browser supports playing MP4 files as long as they contain H.264 video and AAC audio tracks. I recommend the LongTail FLV/MP4 Player since it also plays subtitles embedded in MP4 files. No

Personally I believe MP4 is the multimedia file format for the future because since it is getting popular, all these non–standardized features will get stabilized. MP4 is an ISO standard and the increasing industry support can be felt on iPods and portable devices, and most notable on home DVD players capable of playing the 700MB MP4 video file burned in a CD.

By the way, remember this:

  • MP4 is not an evolution of MP3. AAC (MPEG-4 Part 3) is.
  • MP5 and MP6 (used to classify portable media players) are things that simply doesn’t exist in the multimedia scene.
  • .M4A, .M4V, .MOV and .3GP files can safely be renamed to .MP4. They just use to be different extensions to help user’s eyes easily identify whats inside.

Meanwhile, MKV wins everything but on the Industry Support category. But this doesn’t really matter, and I’ll explain why. Since MKV is just a container, the large video, audio etc streams can be extracted and repackaged into MP4 and vice-versa in seconds. No transcoding (decoding followed by a lossy encoding into another format) is needed.

So today I store my videos in the most feature rich and well supported by players format: MKV.

OGG or OGM (the container file format) is practically dead in my opinion. They were created as part of the Xiph initiative for a complete open source patent-free multimedia framework, but seems nobody uses it anymore for video. From the same family, Vorbis (the audio codec compared to MP3, a.k.a. .OGG) is very good but also very not popular. Theora (the video codec) is frequently comparable to old MPEG-1 in terms of quality and compression ratio so currently, if you want quality and are not concerned about patents, MPEG-4 AVC is the best choice. FLAC, Xiph’s lossless audio codec, is the winner of the family: very popular, massively used, and recommended.

Encoding the DVD

I use HandBrake, the most practical Open Source (and overall) movie encoder. It runs on Linux, Mac and Windows and uses the same Open Source libraries as ffmpeg, mplayer/mencoder, xine, etc. While these programs are generic video handlers (with thousands of confusing configuration parameters to sustain this generalistic status) HandBrake is optimized only for ripping so it is very easy to use, yet extremely powerful.


## This is the script I use to make hifi DVD rips including chapter markers and
## subtitles. It uses Handbrake.
## Contains what I found to be the best quality ripping parameters and
## also let me set simple parameters I need.
## Avi Alkalay <avi at unix dot sh>
## http://avi.alkalay.net/2008/03/mpeg4-dvd-rip.html
## $Id$

#set -vx

#HANDBRAKE=${HANDBRAKE:="/cygdrive/c/Program Files/Handbrake/HandBrakeCLI.exe"}
## Where is the Handrake encoder executable.
## Handbrake is the most practical free, OSS, DVD riper available.
## Download HandBrake for Linux, Mac or Windows at http://HandBrake.fr

## What to process. Can also be a mounted DVD image or simply '/dev/dvd'

## The title number to rip, or empty or "L" to get the longest title

## Example: 0 or undefined (all chapters), 7 (only chapter 7), 3-6 (chapters 3 to 6)

## Wether to be verbose while processing.

## Target file size in MB. The biggest the file size, the best the quality.
## I use to use from 1000MB to 1400MB for astonishing high quality H.264 rips.

## Output file. This will also define the file format.
## MKV (Matroska) is currently the best but MP4 is also good.

AUDIO=${AUDIO:="-E ac3 -6 dpl2 -D 1"} # For AC3 passthru (copy).
#AUDIO=${AUDIO:="-E lame -B 160"} # For MP3 reencoding. Good when input is DTS.
## Audio parameters. If input is AC3, use it without transcoding.
## If is DTS, reencode to MP3.

MATRIX=${MATRIX:=`dirname $0`/eqm_avc_hr.cfg}
## x264 matrix to use. The matrix file may increase encoding speed and quality.
## This one is Sharktooth's as found
## at http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=96298

######### Do not change anything below this line ##############

## Make some calculations regarding title and chapters based on parameters.
if [[ "$TITLE" == "L" || -z "$TITLE" ]]; then

[[ -n "$CHAPTERS" && "$CHAPTERS" -ne 0 ]] && SEGMENT+=" -c $CHAPTERS"

[[ "$VERBOSE" != "no" ]] && VERB="-v"

# Define args for the x264 encoder. These are some values I found on the net
# which give excelent results.
[[ -n "$MATRIX" ]] && X264ARGS+=":cqm=$MATRIX"

# Encode...
	-S $SIZE \
	-m $SEGMENT \
	-e x264 -2 -T -p \
	-x $X264ARGS

# Repackage to optimize file size, to include seek and to include this
# this script as a way to document the rip...
echo $OUTPUT | grep -qi ".mkv"
if [[ $? && -x `which mkvmerge` && -f $OUTPUT ]]; then
	mkvmerge -o $OUTPUT $OUTPUT.mkv \
		--attachment-name "The ripping script" \
		--attachment-description "How this movie was created from original DVD" \
		--attachment-mime-type application/x-sh \
		--attach-file $0

	[[ -f $OUTPUT ]] && rm $OUTPUT.mkv

The script seems long because it is fully documented but it actually only collects some parameters and simply runs the HandBrake encoder like this (passed parameters are in red):

~/bin/HandBrakeCLI -v -i /dev/dvd -o /tmp/output.mkv \
    -S 1200 \
    -m -L \
    -E lame -B 160 \
    -e x264 -2 -T -p \
    -x ref=3:mixed-refs:bframes=6:b-pyramid=1:bime=1:b-rdo=1:weightb=1:analyse=all:8x8dct=1:subme=6:me=umh:merange=24:filter=-2,-2:ref=6:mixed-refs=1:trellis=1:no-fast-pskip=1:no-dct-decimate=1:direct=auto:cqm=~/src/randomscripts/videotools/eqm_avc_hr.cfg

All the rest is what I found to be the best encoding parameters.

The resulting video file (/tmp/output.mkv in this case) will contain correctly cropped video and audio quality as good as the DVD (it is almost lossless), and chapter breaks at the same positions read from the DVD.

In a Core Duo machine as my laptop running Fedora 8 or Windows XP, a 2 pass H.264 encoding (2 pass improves quality and H.264 is newer standard MPEG-4 technology better than DivX/Xvid) takes about 4 to 5 hours for a regular 2 hours movie, so leave it encoding while you go to sleep. A Pentium 4 machine running Ubuntu takes about 17 hours for the same rip.

I use to rip one chapter from the movie first (use your preferred video player or lsdvd command to find the shortest chapter), check quality, compare to DVD, fine tune, try again and then shoot full DVD ripping.

After encoding I use to repackage the audio/video stream with Matroska‘s mkvmerge (or mmg, its GUI version available on any Linux distribution as “mkvtoolnix” package, and installable for Windows or Mac OS from Matroska’s website) to optimize seeks and to include soft subtitles (that can be turned on and off as on regular DVDs), but I’ll explain that in another HOWTO.

Give Your Ripped Movie a Descriptive File Name

I use to organize my media library in a standard way I invented for myself and which I suggest you to use too.

My movie file names shows everything that the file includes. Some examples:

  • Indiana_Jones_and_The_Raiders_of_the_Lost_Ark_IMDB{tt0082971}-Xvid{720x304_23.98fps}+MP3{ENG,POB_VBR}+Sub{ENG,SPA,POB}+Covers.mkv
    This is the Indiana Jone’s Raiders of the Lost Ark movie, whose IMDB index is tt0082971 (IMDB{tt0082971}). It was ripped with the old Xvid codec and contains 720×304 pixels frame size at a rate of 23.98 frames per second (Xvid{720x304_23.98fps}). It also contains selectable audio tracks in English and Brazilian Portuguese encoded in variable bit rate MP3 (MP3{ENG,POB_VBR}). In addition, there is also selectable subtitles in English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese (Sub{ENG,SPA,POB}). The file also contains the cover images as attachments.
  • Harold_and_Maude_IMDB{tt0067185}-H264{672x368_3Pass_25fps}+HEAAC{EN}+Sub{POR,EN,FRE}+Chapters+Covers.mkv
    The old Harold and Maude movie whose IMDB index is tt0067185 (IMDB{tt0067185}). It is encoded with H.264 in 3 passes and has 672×368 pixels frame size at a rate of 25 frames per second (H264{672x368_3Pass_25fps}). There is only one English audio track encoded in modern HE-AAC (HEAAC{EN}). Subtitles in Portuguese, English and French (Sub{POR,EN,FRE}), chapter information and attached cover images. This is very complete high quality DVD backup.
  • I_Am_Legend_IMDB{tt0480249}-H264{704x304_23.98fps}+AC3{ENG_5.1}+Sub{POR}.mkv
    The I Am Legend movie whose IMDB index is tt0480249 (IMDB{tt0480249}), video encoded in H.264 with 704×304 pixels frame size (H264{704x304_23.98fps}), original 5.1 channels AC3 audio in English (AC3{ENG_5.1}) and subtitles in Portuguese (Sub{POR}).

The advantages of this scheme are:

  • It is web safe with no spaces in filenames. All underlines. It is also DOS safe.
  • To have the IMDB index let me know exactly which movie this file contains. This is particularly good to avoid ambiguity for movies that have remakes as Ben Hur, or movies that have an official name but are well known by other names or have international titles.
  • To know the encoding method, subtitles included and chapters info give me the overall quality of the movie right away.
  • Special attention to audio and subtitle languages. Having them on the filename let me know I will understand its content without having to play. Sometimes I can’t play the file because I logged in my home computer remotely.

Playing the Ripped File

To play this advanced Matroska media file that contains such a rich set of metainformation and highly compressed digital content you will need an advanced player too. And happens that the best players are the Open Source ones. So use these players:

These are Media Player Classic screenshots demonstrating how to activate the advanced content inside a Matroska file. Players on other platforms have similar capabilities and menus.

Activating embedded subtitles and languages
The player lets you choose the audio language and subtitles. On MPC for example, this is how you turn on and off and choose the language for subtitles.
Choosing subtitles language

As you can see, the player found subtitles embedded in the MKV file in English, Hebrew and Portuguese.

If the MKV file contains many audio tracks (as different languages, director’s comments etc) this is how to select it:

Selecting audio track to play in Media Player Classic

And to jump directly to a specific chapter on the movie, if the MKV file contains this kind of information:

Using Media Player Classic to browse chapter in a movie file

Improving audio volume
If you ripped the movie without reencoding the audio, the final file will contain DVD’s original AC3 audio tracks in 6 channels (5+1). This may sound with a lower volume when played in a 2-speaker system as your laptop, iPod, etc because 4 channels are simply not being played. To remediate this the player will have to downsample the audio. In other words, it will remix the 6 channels into 2 stereo channels while playing. The Media Player Classic options should look like this:

Selecting Media Player Classic\'s Audio Options

Configuring audio downsample on Media Player Classic