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Brazil, India & Venezuela Join South Africa in Objecting to OOXML Standardization

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Brazil, India & Venezuela Join South Africa in Objecting to OOXML Standardization

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At the eleventh hour Brazil , India and Venezuela joined South Africa in appealing ISO’s highly politicized standardization of Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) file format.

Meanwhile, the Danish Open Source Business Association has protested the Danish Standard group final “yes” vote for standardization given a lack of consensus, rules violations, no final draft and little chance of interoperability. It wants ISO to reopen the issue. Denmark ’s is not a formal appeal and Danish Standard disagrees with the charges made.  

Microsoft declined to comment saying it’s between ISO/IEC and the national bodies.  

ISO now has 30 days to sort out the appeals, with the count starting June 2, and then if they meet the rules and compromise fails, it pass them upstairs, so to speak, to the ISO Technical Standards Board and the IEC Technical Management Board.  

Brazil claims the hurried five-day ballot resolution meeting (BRM) back in February was “inconclusive” and complains, like South Africa did, that the text of the proposed final standard, which according to the rules should be out, has been no-show.  

In its letter to ISO, Brazil says its delegation wasn’t allowed to present “an important proposal regarding legacy binary mapping” at the BRM for want of time and despite protests by several delegations.  

It says it “noticed that most of the decisions taken during the BRM were based on the ‘lack of time’ argument, and we think that this is completely incompatible with the kind of decisions that should have [been] taken on that meeting.”  

Brazil said only 189 of the 1,027 responses attached to the OOXML draft specification were aired – let alone resolved – for lack of time at the BRM, leading to a blanket vote to accept the thing pretty as is and clean it up later.

Brazil also remembers some decisions being taken “based on the argument that ‘we need to give answers to journalist.’”  

Brazil alleges that the voting rules at the meeting didn’t meet the rules. It says the “default voting criteria” was used “because it was the ‘less bad’ criteria” and did not meet the “intent of the vast majority of BRM delegates.”  

“They were there,” it says, “the technical propositions.”  

Brazil , however, seems to be suffering from a form of buyer’s remorse; despite whatever mental reservation it may have had at the time it did after all vote to accept the voting procedure.  

Microsoft said the week before last that Office 2007 SP2 would support the enemy OpenDocument Format apparently so it can say it supports an ISO standard and not lose accounts. Microsoft isn’t planning to fully support OOXML until Office 14, the next major release of Office.

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