Patrick Durusau has provided a new contribution to the process:
Who Loses If OpenXML Loses?
As national bodies meet to cast their final votes on OpenXML, a checklist of who loses if OpenXML does might be helpful. This is just my list and isn't meant to be exhaustive:
1. National bodies lose an open and international forum for further work on DIS 29500.
2. Microsoft based third-party vendors may be excluded from contracts because Microsoft has no ISO approved format.
3. ODF has no ISO-based formula definitions to insure compatibility between OpenDocument and OpenXML.
4. ODF has no ISO-based definition of MS legacy features for an ODF extension.
5. ODF has no ISO-based definition of the current MS format for mapping purposes.
As we explained the world would just get an ECMA specified standard OOXML for a proprietary format that can be reintroduced to ISO with a specification which resolves all bugs. More debate on the OOXML specification would give national participants more say and result in a technical process. Fast-track is no standard development process.
- ISO sustains its quality standards and strengthens its procedures. Participants would gain more power over vendors that think they can bend the rules to serve their commercial interests.
- Microsoft would be forced to add support for the existing ISO standard and sustain the third party prototypes.
- ODF has an ECMA-based formula definitions to insure compatibility between OpenDocument and OpenXML, and the DIN work gets properly considered.
- ODF has an ECMA-based definition of MS legacy features (which do not belong into an ISO standard) and the legacy documentation provided by Microsoft.
- ODF has an ECMA-based definition of a format similar to the current MS format for mapping purposes.
As the editor of OpenDocument, I want to promote OpenDocument, extol its features, urge the widest use of it as possible, none of which is accomplished by the anti-OpenXML position in ISO.
Of course, as the only ISO standard ODF would be the base for all future developments in document formats. It would not be parallized in governments by another ISO standard. That would ultimately force Microsoft to integrate support for OpenDocument in its products and to contribute to its development.
Passage of OpenXML in ISO is going to benefit OpenDocument as much as anyone else. Here are some specifics:
* OpenDocument currently lacks formula definitions for spreadsheets. (To appear in OpenDocument 1.2.) Many core financial functions in spreadsheets are undefined except for actual Excel output. That output varies by version and service pack of MS Office. What happens if OpenDocument and OpenXML reach different definitions of those functions?
Microsoft would participate in ODF development. Nothing what Microsoft offered in the fast-track process would be lost.
* OpenDocument does not presently support legacy features of Microsoft formats. That will be easier with a formal definition of those features. Without OpenXML, OpenDocument has no authoritative definition of those legacy features. That delays OpenDocument supporting them in some future release.
No. The ISO label makes no difference over ECMA which satisfies the EU wish for international standardization. ODF 1.2 will close a possible feature gap.
* OpenDocument does not have a robust mapping to the current Microsoft format. That requires an OpenXML that has completed the standards process. If OpenXML is unclear, it must be fixed in order to create a robust mapping between the two.
No one knows if Microsoft will implement the ISO standard, anyway.
The bottom line is that OpenDocument, among others, will lose if OpenXML loses.
The bottom line is that Durusau is either illoyal to the ISO standard ODF which he edits or he is held hostage by the fact that Microsoft totally controls the committees that will be crucial for ODF 1.2
Patrick Durusau didn't make the case. Microsoft's Stephen McGibbon is excited. I wonder why they applaud silly arguments? Is the BRM approval vote already lost? I am not so sure.
As Jeff, an OOXML supporter inside ECMA, described their own strategy:
21:53 < jdub> MS delivered OOXML to ECMA as-is
21:54 < jdub> MS make the decisions about changing it
21:54 < jdub> we're drilling for docs
21:54 < jdub> such that the specification is more complete
21:54 < jdub> not that it is better
21:54 < lirelent> isn't more complete, better though?
21:54 < jdub> that said, MS may change things as a result of ISO responses… so, irony :-)
21:55 < jdub> well, it depends on what you value in the specification
21:55 < jdub> more complete documentation of a pile of poop doesn't make
the poop better
21:55 < jdub> it just details the level of poop
21:55 < lirelent> true
21:55 < jdub> if the poop is sufficiently poopie, ISO participants won't accept it on ISO's terms
Is that Patrick Durausau's strategy as well? To make the argument for approval more "poopie"? Malaysian Yoon Kit wrote in his blog that he was amused that Microsoft carried Patrick's argument about giving more say.
[I digress here, but I think this paragraph is worth mentioning:
"… name the last time Microsoft was listening to everyone in a public and international forum? At a table where a standard for a future product was being debated by non-Microsoft groups?"
I love this subtle trick which Mr Durusau managed to get ALL the Microsofties to openly admit that Microsoft has the bad reputation of NEVER listening to the public in the development of their products. I mean All of them, in their zeal to reprint the Durusau letter, had to include this paragraph in their blogs and Press Releases, and it just made them admit that they have been all the time customer insensitive. Tee Hee]