Mar 03 2008

OOXML changes granted without discussions

Published by under Standards

OOXML changes was granted without further discussion and the delegates from 87 nationals that has gathered in Geneva are exhausted and frustrated with an agenda with over thousands points of order – Chaos seems one word on everyone’s lips according to several reports from the meeting.

How do you go through 6000 pages in one week; well you don’t and this has been proven by the ISO-organisations themselves. So what do they do then? Well, the next best seems to just take the formal decisions to accepting the suggested changes without any discussion – this ought to be good enough for everyone shouldn’t it?

”There just is not enough time to cover the large number of problems in the document. I believe that a lot of the nations are frustrated with the process in general.”

This might just be the strategy from Microsoft to present a massive documentation and hope that people actually won’t read it. Microsoft learned from the first round that it didn’t quite work out that way.

Microsoft has also argued that multiple standards are better than one and says OOXML’s higher specifications make it more useful than ODF. Problem is that OOXML neglects various standards in many parts and describes function that is already in an existing ISO standard so here Microsoft actually tries to change what already exists – it’s this stupidity that lots of the critics oppose to.

Above complicated and even workarounds are shown as well in the lately released Microsoft Office file formats and one would actually think that the documentation is deliberately obfuscated. The reason for this might just be that all of it were designed to be fast on very old computers and ended up as a patch quilt and it was just easier to make a plain Copy & Paste into the OOXML.

After the meeting, the 87 national delegations attending will have until March 29 to adjust their positions, giving Microsoft another shot at a two-thirds majority.

Kim Haverblad

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