Microsoft and ECMA are now running the Microsoft Office Open XML specification through the ISO process and the first thing up is the contradiction period. This is the time when objections to the specification can be presented and then resolved, if possible. Here are two links to help you understand this.
- “Microsoft/Ecma’s submissions to ISO for Ecma Office Open XML”
The actual specifications are linked to from this post.
WARNING: Do not print these out or many, many trees will have died in vain given the extraordinary length of the Microsoft Office formats.
- “EOOXML — What is a ‘contradiction’ at ISO and what are its procedures?”
This starts to get into details about the many problems with Microsoft Office Open XML as a potential ISO standard. Here’s a blurb from it:
Office Open XML unquestionably duplicates or at least significantly overlaps with the ODF specification; moreover, unlike Office Open XML, OpenDocument incorporates still other standards such as XPath, XLinks, SVG, XForms, and MathML. Office Open XML reinvents the wheel at every turn rather than relying on existing open standards. The failure to implement XPath in Office Open XML is particularly problematic; it makes full fidelity in automated XSL transformations to and from other XML formats next to impossible. That problem creates a contradiction in the ISO sense; full interoperability between ODF and EOOXML applications is infeasible.
Having two contradictory and inconsistent standards for the same problem would only cause user confusion and lack of interoperability. It will also drive up both user and developer expenses, frustrating the ISO goal [PDF] of “one standard, one test, and one conformity assessment procedure accepted everywhere.�
Entries in this series
- #1. Contradicting Microsoft Office Open XML
- #2. Contradicting Microsoft Office Open XML – Updegrove
- #3. Contradicting Microsoft Office Open XML – Groklaw
- #4. Contradicting Microsoft Office Open XML – ZDNet UK