Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Australian OOXML Standard Process

Standards Australia are hosting a forum on the proposed Draft International Standard ISO/IEC 29500, "Information technology - Office Open XML file formats" on 9 August 2007 in Sydney. Standards Australia have sent out an agenda for the meeting which details the decision process, which I was unable to find this on the Standards Australia website, so here are some excerpts:
Proposed Draft International Standard (DIS) ISO/IEC 29500 Information technology - Office Open XML file formats standard

Standards Australia Industry Forum ...


The European Computer Manufactures' Association International (Ecma International) adopted and published the Microsoft Open Office XML specification as ECMA 376 late in 2006. Ecma approached ISO/IEC JTC1, the international standards organisation for information technology, seeking to use the fast track process to elevate its standard to International Standard status late in 2006, as per its recognised status as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) submitter. The JTC1 enquiry process opened on 1 January 2007, for a 30 day period.

In accordance with the JTC1 Directives (their process rules) Member countries were asked to list any apparent contradictions with existing standards (including ISO/IEC 26300: Information technology - Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument)). Some 19 countries did this, including Australia. The Standards Australia Communications, IT and e-Commerce (CITeC) Standards Sector Board (SSB) developed and approved Australia’s contribution.

ECMA provided a response to all contradictions raised and subsequently JTC1 made the document available as ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Information technology - Office Open XML file formats standard for actual balloting by the ISO/IEC member nations.


As a Participating Member of JTC1, Australia has an obligation to vote on this document. The options open are:

  • Approve
  • Approve with comment
  • Abstain
  • Disapprove with comment (disapproval of the DIS for technical reasons to be stated, with proposals for changes that would make the document acceptable (acceptance of these proposals shall be referred to the NB concerned for confirmation that the vote can be changed to approval).

This contribution will be approved in advance by the CITeC Standards Sector Board by consensus.

The final vote will be submitted by Standards Australia by 2 September 2007.


The purpose of this meeting is to provide a forum for discussion by interested parties to advise Standards Australia in development of its submission for approval by the CITeC Standards Sector Board.

Invitees to this meeting include:

  • Members of Standards Australia’s committees:
    • IT-004 Geographical Information Systems
    • IT-015 Software & Systems Engineering
    • IT-019 Computer Applications – Information & Documentation
    • IT-027 Data Management & Interchange
    • IT-031 Computer Modelling and Simulation
  • Members of the CITeC SSB
  • Interested parties who have submitted comments since the beginning of the initial comment period in January 2007, by e-mail or letter.

Participants are invited to contribute their comments in writing following the forum by 21 August 2007 to ensure that they are considered in development of the submission to the CITeC SSB.


Standards Australia is recognised by the Government as Australia’s peak standards body. It develops Australian Standards® of public benefit and national interest and supports excellence in design and innovation through the Australian Design Awards.

Standards Australia is Australia’s representative on the International Organization for
Standardization [ISO], the International Electrotechnical Commission [IEC], and the Pacific Area Standards Congress [PASC].

Participation in international committee work is dependent on our capacity to consult and respond through the Australian committee structure. The CITeC Standards Sector Board is responsible for this vote.

This forum is being conducted by Standards Australia as a courtesy to stakeholders. It is an extraordinary meeting that we are not required to hold, but do so to provide an open process. We appreciate your attendance and expect that you appreciate our effort in making this opportunity available to you.

Standards Australia values its vote as a participating member of all international committees, and does not exercise it injudiciously. We provide considered Australian viewpoints that are beneficial to Australian stakeholders, including industry, government, academia and the general community, through the facilitation of trade and the inclusion of clear Australian requirements in international standards.

The JTC1 process has established that the ECMA-376 document is not contradictory to existing standards and ECMA has responded to a number of technical considerations raised in the initial consultation period. This forum is not to debate the merits of the JTC1 decision making process or the validity of the ECMA response.

While technical comments are welcomed, it would be entirely counter productive to use this forum to reiterate technical comments that have already been raised and are likely to be debated in every JTC1 member body in some form.

We are looking for creative, positive contributions that emphasise our commitment to representing truly Australian views to the international community.

To ensure the best outcome for the meeting, we ask you to note the guidelines and agenda below.


Standards Australia will document the meeting and will share with attendees/interested parties not able to attend. Discussion will not be recorded, in line with our general committee meeting policies.

When general discussion commences, please limit your contribution to no more than five minutes.

Speakers should be allowed to complete presentations, prior to inviting questions or comments. Responses, including questions, should be raised through meeting chair.

When individuals do comment, they should state their name and organisational affiliation, if any.

Respect others’ opinions.


10am Opening of the meeting and attendance (please sign attendance list)
10.10am Introduction - Standards Australia
10.30am Invited discussion openers
10.30 -10.40am General overview of the standards process
10.40 – 11.00am Objections to ISO/IEC adoption of DIS 29500
11.00 – 11.20am Case for ISO/IEC adoption of DIS 29500
11.20am 20 minute break
11.40am General Discussion
12.45pm Summary and next steps
1pm Close

Participants are invited to contribute their comments in writing following the forum by 21 August 2007 to ensure that they are considered in development of the submission to the CITeC Standards

Sector Board.


Please confirm attendance via e-mail to: michael.langdon (a) standards.org.au


Tom Worthington said...

Rick Jelliffe posted a useful "Report on Standards Australia industry forum on DIS 29500", August 9, 2007.

Tom Worthington said...

Lee Welbur's "Report from Australia - the OOXML Forum" is available.

Anonymous said...

I do not see so badly the standard either that they want to implant with because he is so bad? , he is that I do not understand much of this but people speak very badly of which Microsoft tries. I have entered http://www.ooxml.es and it has seemed to me well…