Update on Open XML’s ISO progress

I wanted to provide a bit of an update on how things are going in TC45 as we look through the various National Body comments that came in with the Open XML ballot. The ballot resolution meeting (BRM) is going to be the last week of February, and on January 14th the editor of the spec is tasked with pulling together responses to all the issues that were raised. There are 3522 comments in total, but when you group them into similar buckets it narrows down pretty quickly into a more manageable list… but still pretty impressive!

In TC45, we've been hard at work helping to sort through all the issues and come up with good resolutions based on all the feedback. It's a lot of work, but it's really progressing well. There were some really good suggestions, and I think we'll see that this round of review will result in an even better spec than we had at the end of last year.

Just this weekend, we posted the first collection of responses to the 3,522 issues. http://www.ecma-international.org/news/TC45_current_work/First%20group%20of%20662%20proposed%20dispositions%20of%20comments%20posted.htm

There are currently 662 responses, and the plan is to provide updates to this list every few weeks. We still have almost 2 months until the deadline, but given that we have a lot of issues to work though, we thought it would be best to provide the responses earlier than the Jan deadline to allow for more time to discuss the issues.

One thing I was really hoping we'd get to do was provide a public view of the progress, but ISO rules are that the national bodies comments and responses should be kept private, only to be viewed by the other national bodies. I know there have already been some public postings of the comments, but since we want to follow the ISO rules access of the actual responses and the list of original comments will have to be restricted to just the National Bodies. I would think that at some point the access information will get out though, and maybe at that time folks will decide to just open it up and allow everyone to view the progress (I hope).

So far I think we're doing a pretty good job of doing what the national body is asking for. Most of the comments were accompanied by a proposed resolution, and most of them are great suggestions, so our response back is often that we'll do exactly what they are asking for.

There is still a long way to go though leading up into the meeting in Geneva. It's been fun to get back into the swing of things with the other TC45 members though. We had a bit of a break last spring, but have been hard at work since the comments started pouring in over the summer.


OpenXMLCommunity.org Quote of the Day:

Alcuadrado S.A. – Colombia

"In today's world, there is a variety of standards for each technology. And in the document, spreadsheet and presentation physical storage formats it's the same with ODF, HTML, PDF and Open XML. We consider that's convenient that we could choose which one depending on the task at hand. OPEN XML should become and ISO standard as a very complete, open and documented standard."

- Andres Fontan – Chief Architect