PL: 'Poland likely to vote ag…

PL: 'Poland likely to vote against OOXML'

21/08/2007

Poland is likely to vote against the consideration of Office Open XML (OOXML), Microsoft's proposal for a document standard, by the International Organization for Standardization. A Polish technical committee rejected OOXML last week. However, a second committee is now being involved in the decision.

This writes Borys Musielak, a member of Poland's Linux community on the PolishLinux website.

ISO will consider early next month whether or not to accept Microsoft's OOXML proposal as an international standard for electronic document. Countries participating in the OOXML-committee are to decide their ISO vote this month.

The original technical committee on Poland's position, TK 171, last week rejected OOXML with 80 per cent of the votes. "It is not yet the end of the game", comments Musielak. "According to Sławomir Wroński from committee 182 the reason for changing the role of KT 171 from 'leading' to 'supporting' committee 'was according to merit'."

Musielak thinks delegating the decision to a new committee is an outcome of a reorganisation in the Polish standardisation body. "KT171 is the committee that previously approved Open Document Format (ODF). KT 182 is meant especially to focus on document standardisation, even though it's currently states it is dealing with 'computer systems security'."

There has not been an official explanation why KT 182 is taking over the role of KT 171, says Musielak. "I contacted the chair of Poland's standardisation organisation, he did not yet know about the change. The secretary of KT 182 emailed that the decision will be taken in close cooperation with KT 171." Musielak therefore expects that KT 182 will also reject OOXML.

Controversy

Microsoft's OOXML proposal is controversial. IT companies, standard experts and Open Source groups have raised objections. They point to inconsistencies, raise doubts on the application independence, fear possible patent issues and say the specification conflicts with the existing ISO standards.

Microsoft meanwhile has distanced itself from its proposal, saying last week it is not Microsoft's but that of ECMA, another international standardisation body. "ECMA decided Microsoft Office is a good starting point for developing a document standard", said Microsoft's Hans Bos, involved in the ISO decision on OOXML in the Netherlands. Both Holland and Finland decided last week to abstain..

 

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