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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.


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