Groklaw: OOXML Contradicts ISO Standards
Groklaw member marbux has written an excellent piece describing reasons why ISO should not approve OOXML as rubber-stamped by Ecma International.
ISO/IEC’s reputation is on the line in its processing of the EOOXML proposal. See ISO/IEC JTC-1 Directives, supra sections 11.1.2 and .3 (any JTC-1 member may appeal if a draft standard “may be detrimental to the reputation of IEC or ISO”). The 6,039-page EOOXML specification warrants close scrutiny that cannot feasibly be achieved within the time frames mandated by ISO fast-track standardization procedures.
PJ, the owner of Groklaw, brings up some examples, including this one:
OOXML does not conform to ISO 8601:2004 “Representation of Dates and Times.” Instead, OOXML section 188.8.131.52, “Date Representation,” on page 3305, requires that implementations replicate a Microsoft bug that dictates that 1900 is a leap year, which in fact it isn’t. Similarly, in order to comply with OOXML, your product would be required to use the WEEKDAY() spreadsheet function, and therefore assign incorrect dates to some days of the week, and also miscalculate the number of days between certain dates.
The bottom line: Because of the apparently unresolvable contradictions being discovered, the questions being asked are whether ISO should reject EOOXML from the fast-track process and instead use the regular process, and whether, if there can be no resolution of some of the contradictions discovered, ISO should accept the specification at all.
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