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Brazil Votes NO to OOXML - Updated
Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 08:07 PM EDT

Another No to Microsoft's OOXML, this one from Brazil. Avi Alkalay has the news:
It is now official. Brazilian vote was decided by consensus of the entire technical team, including Microsoft crew’s: OOXML does not deserve to be an international ISO standard.

Our first vote, in august, was also NO, due to the same reasons: OOXML is an awful specification.

That outcome was expected because we simply followed the process: technically analyze the OOXML specification, make comments, wait for responses, analyze them and see if all problems were fixed. Is there any single remaining unresolved problem? Vote NO. And in fact there were many many unresolved problems.

If every country followed this simple process, OOXML would receive a NO from 100% of them.

But in some countries, how is the process? Invite a few companies and simply count their votes. The problem here: 10, 20 or 80 votes can never represent what is the best for that country. Only, maybe, if you collect one vote for each citizen.

What I am trying to say is that in this case a decision must be reached by technical consensus, not vote. It is not a matter of will, but a technical issue that can only be reached by rational analysis and deliberation.



Updated: Czechia however has voted Yes, which changes from their earlier Disapprove, adding these extraordinary words:

Czech Standards Institute agrees with the proposal of the international standard ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (Information technology – Office Open XML file formats)

Czech Standards Institute (CSI) sent to ISO/IEC secretariat in Geneva, on Thursday 20th March 2008, its acceptance of the proposal for establishing ISO/IEC DIS 29500 file format (Information technology – Office Open XML file formats)....

During processing the standard proposal ISO/IEC DIS 29500 CNI was observing the maximum openness and transparency of the whole process and created conditions allowing every interested person to join the expert discussion. All received suggestions were carefully discussed and their enlistment into the standard proposal considerably contributed to the improvement of its technical expertise.

Hahahaha. "Maximum openness and transparency of the whole process." Pinocchio, Pinocchio, wherefore art thou, Pinocchio? We want to see your nose!

Here is one comment that must have slipped off the table and got overlooked, a comment the Czech Republic attached to its vote in September:

Coexistence of two very similar international standards such as ODF and OOXML is undesirable in a long term perspective. Therefore we ask JTC1 to start work on a progressive harmonization of both formats in cooperation with OASIS and ECMA organizations which are originators of these document formats.


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