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OOXML: What's the Big Deal?

Feb 20, 2008, 18:15 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Seebach)

[ Thanks to LinucksGirl for this link. ]

"I've been active in standardization for a long time (including about a decade of volunteer work on the ISO C standards committee). Most anyone interested in standardization is likely to form an opinion on the standardization process involving Office Open XML (OOXML), the proposed XML-based document format from Microsoft. Normally, I don't start an article by talking about myself, but with recent allegations that IBM has worked to derail OOXML, I wanted to start by making one thing perfectly clear: I'm not an employee of IBM, these are my own opinions, and I developed these opinions without reference to the position of IBM on the issue.

"The OOXML standard is a big deal for a number of reasons. The fact is, no matter who you blame for the political content of the process, the standards process around it has been rife with political maneuvering. However, beyond all that politics, serious technical questions range from whether XML is a good choice for standards to what the purpose of standardization is. All this news coverage and discussion is a great opportunity for me to get up on a soap box and talk about what makes standards matter..."

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