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19 Nations Respond, Most File Contradictions on Microsoft's OXML - Update: It's 20
Tuesday, February 06 2007 @ 09:29 PM EST

Andy Updegrove does the math:
Last week I reported that the United States body reviewing OOXML had decided to take a conservative approach to defining what "contradiction" should mean under the ISO/IEC process. Since then, a few stories have appeared indicating that Great Britain and Malaysia would each identify at least one contradiction in their response. The actual results would only become known after the deadline had passed on February 5.

In that first blog entry, I concluded that Microsoft had won the first point in the contest to have its document format become a global standard. With the deadline past, who would be found to have won the next?

Well the results are in, and an unprecedented nineteen countries have responded during the contradictions phase - most or all lodging formal contradictions with Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC), the ISO/IEC body that is managing the Fast Track process under which OOXML (now Ecma 476) has been submitted. This may not only be the largest number of countries submitting contradictions ever, but outnumbers the total number of national bodies that often bother to vote at all on a proposed standard.... In some cases, the contradictions submitted are brief, while in others they are substantial.

If you go to his site, you'll see the list. He goes on to explain what happens next: normally the contradictions would be posted. This time, a different system will be followed:

Ordinarily, contradictions would be posted at the JTC1 site relatively quickly. However, in this case I am told, Ecma will be given the opportunity to prepare responses before the contradictions will be posted, with a deadline of February 28. On or before that date, Ecma will respond with its proposed "resolution" for each contradiction. Once this has been received, JTC 1 will publish the response, accompanied by the text of the contradictions themselves, as submitted by the national bodies. At that point, a decision can be made on the next step.

But is there a process to respond to the "resolutions"? Or will they be accepted at face value?

Update: There was a miscount. It's 20, not 19.


  


19 Nations Respond, Most File Contradictions on Microsoft's OXML - Update: It's 20 | 236 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here, please
Authored by: josmith42 on Tuesday, February 06 2007 @ 09:38 PM EST

For PJ...

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This comment was typed using the Dvorak keyboard layout. :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic here
Authored by: josmith42 on Tuesday, February 06 2007 @ 09:40 PM EST
Clickable links are really cool.

---
This comment was typed using the Dvorak keyboard layout. :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Different Standards for M$? How typical...
Authored by: MDT on Tuesday, February 06 2007 @ 09:53 PM EST
Doesn't anyone at ECMA realize how damaging it is to their reputation to keep
making exceptions to their own rules for one company that has been convicted
(multiple times in multiple countries) as a monopolist?



---
MDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

19 Nations Respond, Most File Contradictions on Microsoft's OXML
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Tuesday, February 06 2007 @ 10:07 PM EST


Ah, some more excitement. ECMA's response should make interesting reading.


---
Wayne

http://urbanterrorist.blogspot.com/

[ Reply to This | # ]

19 Nations Respond, Most File Contradictions on Microsoft's OXML
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, February 06 2007 @ 10:39 PM EST
Note how the U.S. is glaringly absent.

M$ bought our silence -- as usual.

krp

[ Reply to This | # ]

19 Nations Respond, Most File Contradictions on Microsoft's OXML
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, February 06 2007 @ 10:45 PM EST
ecma and the u.s. should be ashamed.

we all know whose pockets their hands are in.

ecma is a joke.

[ Reply to This | # ]

19 Nations Respond, Most File Contradictions on Microsoft's OXML
Authored by: PolR on Tuesday, February 06 2007 @ 11:20 PM EST
Finland and Netherlands responded. I recall reading some Groklaw posters saying
they have received mail from these national standard organisations stating that
they would not respond. They appear to have changed their mind.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Power in volumes - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 01:15 AM EST
He cracks me up....
Authored by: mrcreosote on Tuesday, February 06 2007 @ 11:53 PM EST
"It will be interesting to see how Microsoft deals with this slap in the
face......Another might be to withdraw the specification and prepare a less
controversial submission, that is responsive to the many early objections
offered, even before the opportunity has been offered to submit technical
objections, as compared to contradictions with existing ISO/IEC standards and
rules."

BWAAHHAAHHAA!!!

I don't know how he keeps a straight face writing this stuff....

---
----------
mrcreosote

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's up with the preferential treatment?
Authored by: Altair_IV on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 01:12 AM EST
Just why does ECMA/MS get almost a month to prepare responses to the
contradictions, when everyone else gets their dirty laundry aired to the world
right away?? How did they manage to arrange this preferential state of
affairs?

Inquiring minds want to know.

---
Monsters from the id!!
m(_ _)m

[ Reply to This | # ]

19 Nations Respond, Most File Contradictions on Microsoft's OXML
Authored by: macrorodent on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 01:56 AM EST
I think I dare to hope that Microsoft's OOXML as an ISO standard is now dead.
Real nitpicking standards people are now getting involved, and the MS proposal
contains stuff that has zero change of getting past them, like appealing to the
behaviour of some proprietary application without even specifying said
behaviour. Hooray!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Get new examples of problems in EOOXML!
Authored by: Winter on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 02:04 AM EST
Now is the time to search out more problems in EOOXML.

If ECMA files a response next month, they can immediately be asked what to do
with all the other problems found in the meantime.

Personally, I expect all kind of weasel words and empty promises. Anything that
does not require MS to change MS Offcie2007.

Rob

---
Some say the sun rises in the east, some say it rises in the west; the truth
lies probably somewhere in between.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why is China missing?
Authored by: Winter on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 02:16 AM EST
I was wondering why China is absent from the list of Andu Updegrove?

They just developed their own document format that will be made compatible with
ODF. So I would have expected them to get involved.

Are they boycotting ISO because of the WiFI spat?

Rob

---
Some say the sun rises in the east, some say it rises in the west; the truth
lies probably somewhere in between.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who does ANSI/INCITS represent?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 03:58 AM EST

Does it represent the interests of computer users in the US? Does it represent an objective technical assessment of what makes a "good" standard, independent of anybody's interests?

Or does it represent Microsoft?

I have a little experience of ANSI standards committees, and the way they function. Members do not get paid for their work, so usually most committee members work for companies which have some interest in the material being standardized. Sometimes this does not really matter. For example, a lot of companies were interested in the C and C++ standards (there were at least a dozen companies who had implemented C compilers), so no one company was able to exert undue influence, and technical considerations (largely) determined the outcome.

But when there are no commercial competitors to a company in the relevant area (word processors)...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Resolutions -- 19 Nations Respond, Most File Contradictions on Microsoft's OXML
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 06:49 AM EST
They need Microsoft's help to craft the resolutions, since they won't be able to
come up with the spin themselves. This will result in, leaving all the MS specs
untouched.

Just call me a cynic.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why does Ecma 376 have to be an ISO Standard too?
Authored by: ankylosaurus on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 10:47 AM EST
Isn't Microsoft simply going to argue that OOXML is an international standard
(Europe is still a number of countries, not just one country), and just leave it
at that. Do any of the states in the US mention requiring ISO/IEC endorsement
of the standard? The stuff on Andy Updegrove's site just seems to say open
standard - and won't MS argue that Ecma is open enough?

It'll be a lot less work for them that way.

Here's hoping I'm wrong!

---
The Dinosaur with a Club at the End of its Tail

[ Reply to This | # ]

Da Vinci destroys the complete basis for OOXML as an ISO standard.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 11:55 AM EST
Plexnet

OpenDocument Foundation

OpenDocument Foundation's MS Office ODF plug-in completely destroys Microsoft's basis for submitting OOXML as an ISO standard. It completely destroys Microsoft's claim that OOXML's functionality cannot be incorporated into ODF and actually proves that it is easier to incorporate into ODF than OOXML.

OpenDocument Foundations da Vinci class of ODF plugins for Microsoft Office (for versions 97, 2000 and 2003) provide 100% perfect functionality for all the above MS Office, while Microsoft is still having trying to get it's OOXML implementation working.

You can load and save to ODF from MS Office with perfect fidelity for all content that can be thrown at it, proving beyond doubt that OOXML is an unnecessary (and inferior) duplication of the existing ISO standard ODF. The only problem is of course that for proprietary binary formats embedded into the MS Office document, only MS Office can handle it - which is exactly what OOXML does by design - OOXML doesn't specify how to handle Microsoft's proprietary formats, which only Microsoft software will be able to handle.

Here is undisputable proof that there is absolutely no justification for having OOXML which does nothing that ODF does not already do, including handling MS Office functionality. It should hopefully kill off OOXML as an ISO standard for good if JTC (unlike ANSI) acts according to it's rules and mandate.

Now what we need is a strict ODF filter version that does not save proprietary MS Office content format or saves it under a *.MSLOCKIN extension by default, and that can be made available to all MS Office users so that they can read and write strict ODF as a standard format, and beat the MS forced upgrade cycle.

[ Reply to This | # ]

19 Nations Respond, Most File Contradictions on Microsoft's OXML
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 01:04 PM EST
I don't really see how OOXML will ever be able to correct the contradictions -
most seem like they exist at the core of the standard.

It seems certain that at the minimum the process will be extended - it also
seems likely that the current contradictions' list will be expanded, and, just
because you have a proposed resolution doesn't mean it would be accepted -
hasn't MS already shown a tendency to attempt to redefine the rules instead of
working within the existing framework?

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'm puzzled - you don't need it AFAIK
Authored by: Peter Baker on Wednesday, February 07 2007 @ 01:32 PM EST
The whole issue for content-to-speech conversion is getting hold of the content
in a file. In ODF that is a simple matter of working through the spec and
grabbing the relevantly tagged data, in the MS "alternative" it means
a journey into reverse engineering and interconnected dependencies that will be
a convoluted nightmare, even for MS itself (it would actually be fun to get MS
to implement their spec to the letter as they'll never be able to do it right).

This means that with ODF it is easy to write code that will extract the relevant
data, without requiring a license and without prescribing a particular platform,
operating system or programming language - nicely leaving competition intact.

Creating a dependency on a 3rd standard in ODF is IMHO counterproductive - the
format is flexible enough to interoperate, which is the whole idea..


---
= P =

[ Reply to This | # ]

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