The Contradictory Nature of OOXML

Posted by Andy_Updegrove on Jan 18, 2007 4:46 PM EDT Standards Blog; By Andy Updegrove
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OOXML, the Microsoft Office XML-based formats, are now in the adoption queue at ISO/IEC.  That process takes six months -  the same amount of time that the PAS process takes (the route used by OASIS to submit ODF to ISO/IEC) – but has two steps rather than one, although the practical result is much the same. During the first one-month step, any member may submit "contradictions," which, loosely defined, means aspects in which a proposed standard conflicts with already adopted ISO/IEC standards and Directives. 

Those contradictions must then be "resolved" (which does not necessarily mean eliminated), and these resolutions are then presented back to the members during the second stage to consider as part of the voting package.  During this second, five-month step, other objections, questions and comments can be offered by members.

While the unprecedented size of OOXML (over 6,000 pages) has made performing a detailed review a daunting task, more and more contradictions are being found by those that are slogging their way through on this very tight timeframe.  The following is a sampling of the range of contradictions that OOXML presents - in addition to the obvious fact that it heavily overlaps ODF, and already adopted ISO/IEC standard.

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