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To read comments to this article, go here
ECMA Votes Yes to Set up MS's TC
Thursday, December 08 2005 @ 04:48 PM EST

I'm sure you will not be surprised to learn that Ecma voted today to approve the MS technical committee. So the rest, as Andy Updegrove writes, should be rubber stamped as well:
Given that there was so little opposition to the vote, one would assume that things would proceed rapidly and smoothly from here, since much of the normal give and take of standard setting what existing implementations should we accommodate? What features merit inclusion and what don't? What vendors' future product plans should be facilitated? What future capabilities might the community need? What creativity could be utilized to improve the technology? all of these will not only be moot, but will be out of scope for the committee as well.

It would appear that Microsoft has chosen its venue quite well.... All of which makes the contrast to ODF rather stark: in contrast, that standard was developed by a community process that decided what should and should not be included and which had no constraints imposed upon it by anyone; it is supported today in multiple product offerings; it is not only open source friendly, but already implemented in open source; it is already in the voting queue at ISO; and it has no dependency, formal or de facto, that will require it to track any individual vendor's product in the future.

So if what you want is an open standard, ODF is your obvious choice. Only IBM voted no, or really yes to open standards, as I view it, and HP abstained. Ecma only counts yes votes, if I recall correctly, so in effect an abstention is almost as good as a no, at least in terms of its effect. Sony, Philips and Intel, supposed friends of FOSS, voted for this technical committee, which to me is a vote against open standards. They may view it differently, and Groklaw is available if they wish to explain their point of view. I know I'd be interested. Just thought you'd like to know who is who, what is what, and who is doing what.


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