OpenDocument Format

OOXML: Brazil Says NO. Again.

It is now official. Brazilian vote was decided by consensus of the entire technical team, including Microsoft crew’s: OOXML does not deserve to be an international ISO standard.

Our first vote, in august, was also NO, due to the same reasons: OOXML is an awful specification.

That outcome was expected because we simply followed the process: technically analyze the OOXML specification, make comments, wait for responses, analyze them and see if all problems were fixed. Is there any single remaining unresolved problem? Vote NO. And in fact there were many many unresolved problems.

If every country followed this simple process, OOXML would receive a NO from 100% of them.

But in some countries, how is the process? Invite a few companies and simply count their votes. The problem here: 10, 20 or 80 votes can never represent what is the best for that country. Only, maybe, if you collect one vote for each citizen.

What I am trying to say is that in this case a decision must be reached by technical consensus, not vote. It is not a matter of will, but a technical issue that can only be reached by rational analysis and deliberation.

In Chile for example, 21 voting companies will define a 15 million people country vote in ISO. How easy is to lobby these 21 companies with Power Point presentations telling complete plain lies ?

Technically speaking, if your country’s vote was YES or ABSTENTION, one of these possibilities happened:

  1. Nobody had time to analyze the OOXML specification and the ABSTENTION was the right choice.
  2. Nobody had time to analyze the OOXML specification and a few people decided for you to vote YES, based on ideology or a result of lobby, not technology benefits.
  3. Even having time to analyze the OOXML specification, a few people decided for you to vote YES, based on ideology or result of lobby, not technology benefits.

Seems stupid, but these are exactly the 2 possibilities of OOXML getting YES votes in ISO. It is still an awful specification.

By the way, Brazil would vote NO again and again and again even if all OOXML’s technical issues could be resolved. OOXML would still have legal issues and also serious overlap problems with the OpenDocument Format ISO standard.

I was not present in today’s meeting in ABNT because I already knew what would be the result, since the process of analysis and deliberation in Brazil was very strictly followed. Hopefully Jomar will write about it and you can check more details.

10 comments to OOXML: Brazil Says NO. Again.

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