REXX, SPF, Internet drafts

2008-02-18

Hamburg's vote on ooXML

Microsoft's quest to forge the one ring will soon reach a critical stage. In the BRM on OfficeOpen XML a so-called German delegation will have six votes, one of them the tax authorities of the city of Hamburg. In 2007 DIN supported ooXML in a controversial procedure, with Hamburg's fiscal authority under the yes votes.

Historical background, Hamburg was once the home of StarOffice, a name still used for Sun's OpenOffice version, closely related to what later became ODF, an ISO standard roughly covering what MS Office 2007 as so far only potential ooXML implementation offers. Of course MS Office isn't free like OpenOffice, and with about 6000 pages the ooXML draft is considerably more elaborated than ODF.

It is not obvious why Hamburg's fiscal authority supported a draft allegedly identifying 1900 as leap year, where dates before 1900 don't work. As Excel simplification that is funny or even acceptable, but Excel is a commercial product and no international standard. Just one of many ooXML issues, maybe addressed in the additional 2293 pages submitted for the BRM.

It fits that the citizens of Hamburg get a chance to elect a new parliament one day before the BRM. Related, Google doesn't like ooXML, their German HQ is in Hamburg, and they got no vote in the relevant DIN committee.

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