Wed Jul 18 18:50:16 CEST 2007

Third meeting about OOXML proposal at ČNI

There was (hopefully) the last meeting about OOXML proposal at Czech Standards Institute today.

Seven people joined the meeting - two from Microsoft, one from IBM, one from CompTIA, one from ČNI, Jirka Kosek as an editor of Czech proposal and me. This meeting was the most constructive from the series of meetings about this proposal. There was not only interesting and constructive technical discussion about the proposal itself, but also some fun (Jirka and me like Emacs, and one of Microsoft employees likes vi ;-).

The agenda was simple: walk over rejected and accepted comments and agree on final comments. I have to say "Thank you" to all people there, because we were able to constructively agree (or change) on all comments and we only rejected one "would be nice, but..." comment from Jirka. Other comments were accepted and we even find some other discrepancies in the proposal (one of the favourite was mine comment about ST_LangCode which was understood wrongly by Jirka and rewritten into yet another valid comment about the same element whose description's first sentence contains two mistakes - I noticed the first and Jirka the second. I was not able to spot the Jirka's bug, because I know that MS LCID for en-US is 1033 decimal, thus I read "Here is the list of hexadecimal values: 1033, ..." as "Here is the list of numbers: 1033, ..." But anyway, two digit hex number can't store 1033 anyway, basic maths... 8).

The good atmosphere was destroyed by Petr Wallenfels (not his fault though) from ČNI who has shown us several (approx. 30) letters from Microsoft partners and customers. They have all almost the same contents "We would like ČNI to accept this proposal, because ...". There was no negative letter. Fortunately this is not how ČNI works. The complete process was transparent and only technical comments were allowed. Looks like all writers were victims of some business politics around OOXML. This was the only sad point in the meeting. It was poor from the person/company who organized this.

Yes, OOXML standard is bad. It is seriously broken in several aspects that these people are not able to judge by themselves, thus it has no sense to take care about such comments. They missed the chance to make it better. And they like it - they all wrote it in their letters...

Lunch at KFC with Jirka and Michael J. from Microsoft. Interesting discussions.

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