OOXML: What's the Big Deal?
Feb 20, 2008, 18:15 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Seebach)
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"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..."