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InternetNZ supports Vint Cerf’s rejection of OOXML

InternetNZ supports Vint Cerf’s rejection of OOXML

Media Release – 17 March 2008

InternetNZ (the Internet Society of New Zealand Inc) strongly supports calls from Internet pioneer Vint Cerf opposing Microsoft’s proposed OOXML (Office Open XML) document standard.

OOXML is a proposed electronic document standard for word-processing documents, presentations and spreadsheets.

National standards bodies including Standards NZ will shortly finalise their votes with the International Standards Organization (ISO) on whether OOXML will be adopted as an additional international document standard.

However, ISO already has an international standard for office documents called ODF (Open Document Format for Office Applications).

Vint Cerf, widely regarded as the “father of the Internet”, was recently quoted, “If OOXML is adopted, it leads to a problem of duplicate formats for document exchange. That duplication is bad for interoperability. In the Internet world standards-makers work hard on agreeing one way to do things, and then evolving it - We don’t reinvent the wheel”.

InternetNZ fully supports Cerf’s assertion, and is also concerned about the technical quality of Microsoft’s OOXML standard.

The OOXML proposed standard, which is over 6000 pages long, has received over 3500 comments from national standards bodies on its technical quality. At a recent meeting in Geneva convened to address OOXML technical issues only a small fraction of the outstanding problems with the proposed standard were discussed.

InternetNZ Executive Director Keith Davidson says, “ODF appears to be the suitable generic international standard. Endorsing another standard such as OOXML could threaten the open and interoperable tenets on which the Internet is built.

“We urge Standards New Zealand and other national standards bodies worldwide to vote against adoption of OOXML.”


ENDS

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