CyberTech Rambler

December 6, 2007

OOXML evolution should NOT rest with ECMA

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 8:27 pm

ECMA proposed for a joint ECMA and ISO committee (See Rob Weir’s blog link later) to maintain the current OOXML standard being sent through ISO currently. The implication, as correctly inferred by Rob Weir, is that the evolution of OOXML will remains at ECMA.

I am, however, not sure Weir’s reading that the acceptance of the proposal, if accepted, will mean a permanent highway for Microsoft to push whatever it wants in OOXML through ISO is the correct interpretation. The paragraph in question reads

” 5. The decision to produce an amendment or revision for OpenXML will be made by The Maintenance Group. Amendments and revisions will be produced by The Maintenance Group   and submitted to SC 34, where they will enter the existing ISO/IEC JTC 1 revision process at Stage 4″

If The Maintenance Group mandate is to fix Errata only, then OOXML 2.0 will not be subjected to Stage 4 (fast track). I suppose it all hinge on the definition of “amendment” or “revision”.

Did Microsoft goes back on its words, take away a PR person speak, and working from Microsoft’s playbook, it did not. ECMA is an international body, and TC45 committee is “open”. The latter is shambolic, but you must agree Microsoft is consistent.

I think ISO should take over the maintenance and future evolution of OOXML. ECMA should not be given the control. Why? The passage of OOXML through ECMA is too fast and clearly show that one party has too much infoluence. If this is not good enough, how about the substandard document that ECMA proposed?

Now, a suggestion: Make Rob Weir  the SC34 liaison at TC45.

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