27 March 2008

ISO Looks to Reject OOXML Again

Mouthful, huh?

The short version is that the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) are having a vote as to whether to adopt Microsoft's Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) format for its office suite as a formal standard, and Cuba and India just voted no.

Microsoft had this voted down before, largely because there already is an ISO standard format out there, Open Dcument Format (ODF).

Microsoft, of course, uses OOXML, which is a proprietary format, notwithstanding its name, but with increasing numbers of users, particularly in government, demanding open formats to prevent vendor lock in, they want to be adopted as a "standard".

Microsoft's whole business model, of course, is vendor lock in.

Furthermore, as is made clear here, OOXML was written around the specific internals of Microsoft products:

Here is the Microflaccid office way of making text red:
Word: <w:color w:val="FF0000"/>
Excel: <color rgb="FFFF0000"/>
Powerpoint: <a:srgbClr val="FF0000"/>

Here is a standards compliant way.
ODF text: <style:text-properties fo:color="#FF0000"/>
ODF sheet: <style:text-properties fo:color="#FF0000"/>
ODF presentation: <style:text-properties fo:color="#FF0000"/>


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