Interesting headline regarding XPS

See “Microsoft’s document format XPS to become an ECMA standard.”

Now those of us who have worked with the press know that headlines are often connected, shall we say, in an interesting way, to the article or the interviews that took place. Sometimes headlines are just wrong, I know that.

Nevertheless, this headline inadvertently points out a problem that many of us see: Microsoft starts a working group in ECMA, it gets a standard out the other end. The actual process allows for this not to happen, but I doubt this is likely. Unfortunately, the final headlines will look like a long, hard, touch-and-go process took place and the great forces of democracy weighed in all the issues just as they do in every other standards organization.

This is a pessimistic view, of course, but I would love to be proven wrong. That means a fully transparent process where all minutes and group emails are public. This means a full and open plan for the active maintenance of the standard. This means a full description of how the intellectual property will be be handled for everything necessary to implement the specification. This means a complete implementation for every platform, including Linux and the Mac.

That is, the opposite of OOXML.

Given that they cut-and-pasted the charter from the OOXML TC 45, I’m not hopeful, but I would be happy to be proven wrong, as I said. But don’t tell me that the effort is, was, or will be open, show me.


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