We’re starting to hear about how Microsoft (under ECMA’s name) is resolving the technical comments on OOXML. What do you need to know about this?
- Where are they? If this is a transparent process, we need to see the comments as well as all the proposed resolutions. What is there to hide? Have all members of all national standards bodies seen these? Everyone needs to have open links to see all this information, and now.
- These are proposed resolutions, not resolutions. They might be brilliant, they might be absolutely stupid, but they are by no means final. They are suggested fixes from the people who brought you this huge and problematic OOXML product-specification-disguised-as-an-open-standard. Therefore, do not in any way think that the problems have vanished at this point. The Ballot Resolution Meeting will come to some agreements, and only after that will things start to firm up so that we can better see the future.
- If these are Microsoft’s planned fixes, when will we see these fully implemented in Microsoft Office? Ever? As I have said, these are not final, but as the only application provider of note that implements some approximation to OOXML, we need guarantees from Microsoft that they agree to fully implement their recommendations, if accepted, and we need to know the timeline.
There is a long way to go before OOXML is ever put in an acceptable form to gain what should be a very important certification as an ISO standard, if it ever does. We must keep the originators’ “feet to the fire” so that we are not left with a bunch of empty promises instead of a high quality specification that somehow advances the state of the art. In the meanwhile, understanding progress is fine, but understand that nothing is a done deal today.