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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Approval of ISO/IEC DIS 29500 as an International Standard

"'ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology -- Office Open XML File
Formats', has received the necessary number of votes for approval as
an ISO/IEC International Standard... The Ballot Resolution Meeting
(BRM) was held in Geneva during the week 25-29 February 2008. By
eliminating redundancies, the comments had been reduced to just over
1,000 individual issues to be considered. Issues considered as
priorities by national members (such as accessibility, date formats,
conformance issues) were discussed, and the other comments were
addressed through a voting process on the remaining items, a system
agreed by the BRM participants. The issues addressed and revised have
resulted in sufficient national bodies withdrawing their earlier
disapproval votes, or transforming them into positive votes, so that
the criteria for approval of the document as an International Standard
have now been met. Subject to there being no formal appeals from ISO/IEC
national bodies in the next two months, the International Standard
will accordingly proceed to publication. ISO/IEC 29500 is a standard
for word-processing documents, presentations and spreadsheets that is
intended to be implemented by multiple applications on multiple
platforms. According to the submitters of the document, one of its
objectives is to ensure the long-term preservation of documents created
over the last two decades using programmes that are becoming incompatible
with continuing advances in the field of information technology. ISO/IEC
DIS 29500 was originally developed as the Office Open XML Specification
by Microsoft Corporation which submitted it to Ecma International, an
information technology industry association, for transposing into an
ECMA standard. Following a process in which other IT industry players
participated, Ecma International subsequently published the document
as ECMA standard 376. Ecma International then submitted the standard
in December 2006 to ISO/IEC JTC 1, with whom it has category A liaison
status, for adoption as an International Standard under the JTC 1 "fast
track" procedure. This allows a standard developed within the IT industry
to be presented to JTC 1 as a draft international standard (DIS) that
can be adopted after a process of review and balloting. This process
has now been concluded with the end of the 30-day period following the
ballot resolution meeting. The process was open to the IEC and ISO
national member bodies from 104 countries, including 41 that are
participating members of the joint ISO/IEC JTC 1."

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