In the last couple of weeks I’ve run a two entries (here and here) regarding Microsoft’s submission of its XPS specification to ECMA. I raised some questions along the line that this was the OOXML situation all over again, namely forcing a proprietary product spec through a vendor organization and then possibly to international standards status.
A few of the comments to those entries said that I had it all wrong and that this was really a group industry effort (see those by nemo, for example). Today I got a note from Kevin Andresen, Director of Product Marketing, Print Language and Driver Software, for Zoran in Woburn, Massachusetts. He too felt I got it wrong — I sense a pattern (grin) — and said Zoran’s
implementation and several others — by printer manufacturers, application developers, and third-party technology providers — were indeed a) developed independently from Microsoft, and b) run on several operating system platforms other than Windows.
He also pointed out that Adobe did not submit PDF to ISO until after Microsoft announced that they would open up XPS.
The comments closed on the other entries, so I added this here so people could discuss the situation. Kevin assures me that he will take part.
The big picture here is that we want to move to truly open standards for software interoperability. It is not my intention to try to find fault for fault’s sake in what others do, but rather to be part of the movement in the right direction. I would be thrilled if XPS is not OOXML 2, the sequel.
This is our chance to discuss what got us to this point and to get some assurances that what we will see in the ECMA deliberations are truly open and transparent. Let’s flesh out all the details. I encourage the other ECMA TC46 members to take part in the discussion as well.