Last week BSI (British Standards Institution) decided to approve the fast tracking of the Microsoft sponsored OOXML format (DIS29500).
UKUUG is concerned that this decision is not in the public's interest for several reasons:
* The current draft attracted over 1000 unique comments (i.e. corrections), of which the largest list (635) was from BSI itself. How does BSI then approve fast tracking, in the absence of a revised draft?
* By accepting an unfinished draft into the fast track standards route can only serve to harm the sector to which the standard will apply, as well as undermining wider faith in the standards bodies who are allowing this to happen.
* Given the absence of a single implementation of the standard, not even Microsoft are willing to state when they'll implement it, it seems hard to justify the fast tracking on the basis of urgent market need.
* Rejection of the fast track is not rejection of the standard. If this standard were put on the slow track, there would then be time for all involved to examine the 6000 plus pages in the detail that such an important standard needs if we are to rely on it into the future.
* To be fast tracked a proposed standard needs a high level of consensus, whereas OOXML has been marked by high levels of disagreement and controversy.
That being the case, the UKUUG is seeking legal advice on how best to proceed in order to convince BSI to reconsider its decision and instead raise an objection to the fast tracking of the standard within the 2 month window allowed by the ISO.
read the rest at UKUUG press release