New poll: OOXML an ISO standard. Good or not?

by Volker Weber

The question was simple. Here are the results:

ooxml

Comments

you miss one item in the poll: obsolete

Armin Auth, 2008-04-02 12:45

@armin, Approving an obsolete standard would be bad.

Kerr Rainey, 2008-04-02 12:56

There's also ugly.

OOXML is both bad and ugly.

Chris Linfoot, 2008-04-02 13:03

Amusing comment from an anonymous poster at The Register:

In a surprise move, ISO certifies the Zune as the world standard MP3 player, shortly after certifying Microsoft Bob, Internet Information Server and Vista.

Ben Poole, 2008-04-02 13:51

@Ben - The verb to certify used to mean (among its many other meanings) the act of legally declaring someone insane, usually as a precursor to depriving that person of his or her liberty.

Nowadays people are sectioned (per sections 2, 3, 4, 5(2), 5(4) et al of the Mental Health Act 1983).

Perhaps this is what is meant by the certification of Zune, Bob, IIS and Vista.

They've been sectioned or declared legally insane.

That would make as much sense as standardising OOXML.

Chris Linfoot, 2008-04-02 14:08

@Kerr: thanks, you reminded me that I ususally mix up obsolete with superfluous, which is more what I missed in the poll.

Armin Auth, 2008-04-02 15:01

@armin, well, approving a superfluous standard would be bad too. As would approving one that was ugly, potentially patent encumbered or practically impossible to implement.

Not that I'm saying any of these things apply to OOXML. Oh no, just pointing out things that would be bad in general. ;)

Kerr Rainey, 2008-04-02 15:34

C'mon -- this means just that Microsoft can save some lobbying/bribery when selling to the public sector. Frankly, My Dear, I don't give a damn.

Also, from a technical viewpoint I unterstand their point that ODF cannot deliver backwards compatibility for the older binary office file formats (e.g. Pivot tables in Excel).

So we've got two XML based office file formats now. Choice is always a good thing.

Thomas Cloer, 2008-04-02 16:33

Hopefully it us a standard for baddness ... like the standard that the one that states a motorcycle is exactly not the same as a Brussel Sprout?
~thinks~
Hope is a wonderfully pointless exercise :(

Stephen McDonagh, 2008-04-02 16:50

@Thomas: neither ODF nor OOXML can deliver backwards compatibility - that's part of MS' spin. Only applications that perform the translation can do that. OOXML just copies the data structures from the old formats to bad XML.
The easier way - for everyone but MS - would have been to release a specification of the binary Office formats and help introduce the missing features in ODF.
Legacy files must still be transformed to OOXML, but MS Office can now keep it's data structures which are most probably represented by those in the document formats. It won't become any easier for any other application.

And I totally disagree with two standards for the same thing being a good idea (there are reasons available if still necessary). The misleading goal of backward compatibility was introduced in order have a differentiation between OOXML and ODF.

Arnd Layer, 2008-04-02 18:28

A good article with a very simple and explanatory comparison of the two standards.
Il really makes you wonder...

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2008-04-02 19:07

@Arnd, While I agree for the most part, backwards compatibility predominantly about applications not formats, the new format must support a supper set of features that the old version did for the application to save all the data in the new format.

Unfortunately OOXML often does this by having big chunks that are "application defined". It's a standard that doesn't actually define what the standard is.

Kerr Rainey, 2008-04-02 20:12

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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