CyberTech Rambler

September 4, 2007

Not yet official results but it appears OOXML failed (Updated: official now)

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:39 pm

THIS IS NOT YET AN OFFICIAL RESULT, but among the blogs that I trust most, two, Updegrove and PJ are both reporting that OOXML failed. Microsoft’s Sept 4th statement (see Updegrove’s blog) hinted as much in the sense that it did not say approved.

Regarding the positive spin Microsoft put on the disapproval, nothing more than what you expect from the PR department, but one hapless chap called “Simon Aughton” obviously read it and misinterpret it as Microsoft won the approval. Now he probably have eggs on his face by saying “The NoOOXML campaign, which had predicted a “no” vote, has yet to respond.” He obviously did not follow the process closely and sorry to say, did not do his homework. If he did, he would not had printed the article yet, as he should know that reputable organization usually do not comment until there is an official announcement by ISO. Even Microsoft itself did not announce the result so as not to preempt ISO’s announcement. That Microsoft PR is important indication that OOXML failed to get approval this time because of its speed and spinning quality.

Will there be a Ballot Resolution Meeting? Given the unofficial results is rather close as expected, if there isn’t, the Secretariat will really have to justify it. So my money is on there is one. [Disclosure: I lose credibility money when I said my money was on approval this time ;-)] Another prediction? Since the ISO process is biased towards approval, and the fact that a lot of work can be done in 4 months, and the vote is very close, plus the accusation of vote stacking etc, I will again put my money on approval after the Ballot Resolution Meeting.

What ISO and National Bodies are good at is to find concensus, and quite an agreeable one most of the time. Take for instance UK’s proposal that to get around the “1900 date system”, an XML term with ISO style date is inserted (and presumably, both will be mandatory element/attribute). This is a great step forward in finding consensus, in the sense that I, an ISO date style proponent, can live with it. There is a bit of a redundancy in date presentation, but there is already such redundancy in ODF/OOXML in the form of actual cell value alongside formula to generate the cell value.

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