Craig Box's journeys, stories and notes...

Standards NZ get it 100% right

I would like to take a moment to divert from the travel nature of this blog and express my satisfaction that Standards NZ has voted "no with comments" to the fast-tracking of Microsoft's new "OOXML" document format as an ISO standard.  I also need to offfer my congratulations to the NZOSS, particularly new president Don Christie, Matthew Cruickshank and Chris Daish for their efforts in presenting a clear, technical and rational case as to why voting "yes" would have been a bad idea.

A "no" vote doesn't mean saying "get lost, Microsoft" or not standing up for innovation: they're saying "Here's all the areas your proposal falls down in: fix them and get back to us".  A very important comment is "There's already an open document standard, why not just use that?"

They're also not saying "never", Microsoft want to fast-track the adoption: why can't they wait in line, like everyone else?

I'm not an open-source shill: I'll rattle off the standard "MCP, writing this from Windows, worked as a Windows sysadmin for almost 5 years, sometimes C# programmer" etc - but the point here was Microsoft could have worked with others, implemented an open standard, and probably not lost any sales of Office 2007 in the process.

NZOSS is clearly going places under its new leadership, and it's unfortunate I'm not in NZ to be able to contribute!  (Also, it seems you really have to be in Wellington to make the differences that matter... oh well, at least it's not Auckland!)


One Response to “Standards NZ get it 100% right”

  1. Don Christie says:

    Hey Craig, thanks for the excellent comment.

    One point I would like to clarify is that the "old" leadership NZOSS is still, thankfully, very much involved and in my opinion set a very high bar and achieved amazing things with virtually zero resources.

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