Ecma TC-45 Will Review ALL Comments

I am bubbling this up from a response to a question of an earlier posting. Quite a few folks have been asking me about the future of comments submitted to national bodies regarding Open XML. This is particularly a question in the situation of "yes with comments" - will those comments be considered? The answer is yes.

Ecma TC-45 has made a public commitment to look at ALL comments submitted with Yes, No, and Abstain votes during the balloting process. Here is the quote from the website:

The Ecma General Assembly approved the Final Draft as Standard ECMA-376 in December 2006 and Ecma submitted the standard to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for fast-track processing. The resulting ISO/IEC DIS 29500 is currently under ballot, closing September 2, 2007.

TC45 has been continuously active since then, considering issues for clarification which were raised by its members, and will prepare the Ecma comments on the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 ballot at its next face-to-face meeting, on August 27-28, 2007, hosted by Novell in Toronto, Canada.

After the ballot closes, TC45 will continue its very active involvment by supporting the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Editor which will be tasked to produce a proposed disposition of all comments received during the ballot period. [emphasis added by me] TC45 plans to conduct thorough discussions of all comments submitted together with the ballots, using the wide technical expertise of its members to help develop the best possible proposals to answer National Body comments, including by confirming their proposed resolutions or proposing alternate solutions.

TC45 looks forward to participating in the subsequent ISO/IEC DIS 29500 ballot resolution meeting, where members expect to resolve technical questions and move towards adoption of Open XML as an ISO/IEC International Standard.


Updating on August 22, 2007: An open letter from Microsoft was posted related to what is in this posting.


Comments (11)

  1. We should have kids follow the Open XML votes as it would do more for their understanding of geography

  2. We should have kids follow the Open XML votes as it would do more for their understanding of geography

  3. jasonmatusow says:

    ctrambler –

    Any chance of getting your first name? I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of your comments, but want to be respectful in commenting back. If you would prefer – I will use ctrambler of course.

    thx –


  4. Simon Phipps says:

    The worry here Jason is that we all saw how TC-45 considered comments in the ECMA ratification process. The process appeared to be satisifed by a set of dismissive remarks along the lines of "you just don’t understand, little one" without true resolution of the issues raised, presumably because of the breakneck schedule you were imposing.  

    Personally I fear that leaving resolution of all the issues raised for ISO consideration by NBs to the same process will result in them being dismissed the same way.  I would prefer to see a process that ensures that can’t happen. So your use of terms like "considered" and "review", which imply a discretionary process, don’t comfort me much.

  5. jasonmatusow says:

    Hi Simon –

    Clearly I can’t (and don’t) speak for TC-45. That TC is made up of more than 20 different organizations. The people I know who are close to that process are committed to doing some heavy lifting given the breadth and range of comments. As we move through late fall and early winter it will become clear as to how that process is going leading into the BRM. I think everyone involved is appreciative of the attention being paid the spec as it demonstrates the importance of that spec to the industry as a whole.

    Just curious (as I don’ t know the answer to this), how were comments handled from the JTC-1 ratification of ODF as it has moved on in OASIS? When will the updated version be sent to ISO/IEC?

    thx –


  6. Simon Phipps says:

    Well, the vote for ODF was "Approve" so there was no ballot resolution, but I believe all the comments were handled by the TC. I’ll investigate.

  7. Gerd says:

    The purpose of ECMA was to stamp a 100% Microsoft format without any improvements as an ECMA standard. A true farce. And they messed it up.

    Who will trust ECMA anymore? the issue at hand now is how to invoke a procedure to revoke the "a liasion" status of ECMA given the political damage the enterprise caused to the International Standard Organization (ISO) in Geneve.

    I would strongly oppose the EC 45 (chaired by Microsoft) to improve the standard. The only acceptable vote is NO. We do not need or want parallel standards.

  8. jasonmatusow says:

    Sorry Gerd – I don’t agree. More than 20 companies and public organizations were invovled with the work of TC45. There were many changes made to the spec and significant requests for greater detail and comprehensive documentation. This is a contributed spec – but so are most standards.

    I respect the decision of all parties involved. I think that the list of distinguished public organizations and private companies who are voting yes would disagree with your assertion that there is only one acceptable view.


  9. Earlier today, ISO put out a press release stating that Open XML did not reach the required super-majority

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