Stephen Walli: Conformance & Certification
Stephen Walli, a former Microsoft employee, writes
Standards exist to enable and encourage multiple implementations, regardless of the forum in which they are created. They benefit the consumer. A vendor specification, regardless of whether it has gone through a formal standards process exists to encourage multiple add-ons to a single implementation, i.e. it benefits the vendor.
He suggests that those interested in ODF—the implementors—need to create and market a certification for ODF compliance. ODF, you may know, is the OASIS OpenDocument Format, approved as standard ISO-26300, a set of XML-based file formats for office applications.
So supporters of ODF (and by this I mean implementors) need to choose the organization that best represents their needs, and deliver a proper certification process.
The ODF Alliance is a likely candidate for at least defining the certification criteria and being the keeper of the certification "brand" so to speak. Its recognized purpose is to promote the use of the standard, and document its use to support procurement. Perhaps the Opengroup has a role to play because it has the pre-built infrastructure to support testing and certification on behalf of the ODF Alliance.
He concludes that ODF's standard will win out because of how many implementations there are, over and above its superiority compared to OOXML.
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