Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Friday, July 27, 2007

Portugal Plays Musical Chairs on OOXML

After reading commentary on a recent meeting in Portugal to decide that country's position on voting for/against acceptance of OOXML as a standard by ISO ... a couple questions arise. Fortunately, they have simple answers.

1. Can an "open standard" require proprietary extensions in order to implement it?


2. If the standards process is not open to any and all participants, can the standard produced be considered "open"?


[Are you listening Portugal and Italy? You cannot shut people out of the discussion and then claim the standard under discussion is an open standard. The size of the room is NOT a legitimate reason to limit discussion.]

3. Should "fast track" ever be part of the standards process (at least if an open standard is the objective)?


Standards by definition are technical and complex. They are not amendable to short-cuts or fast tracks. The only reason to fast track consideration is to limit discussion (and discussants). And that undermines the basic foundation of an open standard.

If the process is invisible or closed, the standard is not open.

Categories: OpenStandards, Portugal

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