Feeds

Has ISO already rejected anti-OOXML appeals?

Standards ain't what they used to be

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) is refusing to discuss a leaked paper that suggests it has already rejected appeals against the ratification of Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) document format as an international standard.

A leaked Joint Technical Committee No.1 (JTC1) paper (Groklaw has a pdf) recommends the appeals from national standard bodies from South Africa, Brazil, India and Venezuela “should not be processed further”.

According to the leak, the committee, consisting of leaders of the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), dismisses the protests, on grounds that the voting process conformed with ISO/IEC directives.

Complaints from the national bodies forced the ISO/IEC to delay official approval of Microsoft’s contentious file format, which carries the technical name of DIS 29500.

According to the leaked document – dated 4 July – ISO’s technical management board was given until 4 August to decide if it was to take on the appeals. But ISO secretary-general and CEO Alan Bryden and IEC general secretary and CEO Aharon Amit appear to have already made up their minds on the ratification of OOXML.

ISO refuses to discuss the leak.

Our indecision is final

“ISO and IEC prefer not to comment on whether internal documents said to originate from the two organisations and posted on Web blogs as ‘leaked information’ are authentic or not,” ISO communications manager Roger Frost emailed us yesterday.

”No decision on the appeals has been made. The current situation is that the ISO secretary-general and the IEC general secretary have submitted the appeals, with their analysis, to the ISO Technical Management Board and the IEC Standardisation Management Board who will decide by mid August whether the appeals should be further processed or not.”

This is Microsoft’s second attempt to fast-track OOXML as an international standard – last year the document format was rubber-stamped by Ecma International. This time around, the company has been greeted with a storm of protest from many camps who oppose the software giant’s file specification. Some argue that Microsoft should stand aside because the industry already has an international standard – Open Document Format (ODF) – which won ISO/IEC approval last year.

The process has been a very bumpy ride for Microsoft. National bodies gathered together in Geneva in February this year, where they were given the opportunity to reverse their decisions on OOXML. The format was rejected in autumn last year.

Results of that ballot meeting were released in early April: Microsoft grabbed enough votes to see OOXML arrive on the global stage.

Groklaw founder Pamela Jones this week denounced the recommendation and the entire OOXML standards process as a farce.

"ISO thinks there's not a thing wrong with the job they did on OOXML," she wrote. "They do not countenance criticism, and if we don't like it, we can lump it. Or, ISO has decided to go down with the ship. Anyway, stay tuned. It ain't over 'til it's over." ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.