Arnaud's Blog

Opinions on open source, standards, and other things

How to make a fool of yourself – Ecma’s lesson #1

One of the comments India’s NB registered with its NO vote on OOXML in September was:

The name “Office Open XML” is often mistakenly called ‘Open Office XML” implying a connection to the OpenOffice project which does not exist. This naming confusion has been documented and has occurred numerous times, including by analysts and even in Microsoft press releases and blogs.

It then requested the name to be changed to something that would be less confusing.

Ecma’s response is to deny the request, explaining that there is no need to change the name because “we believe there is no confusion“.

Yet, in the very same document, in response to another comment from India’s NB mind you, Ecma wrote (emphasis is mine):

There is no specific definition of macro languages in the Open Office XML specification […]

You’ve got to love it. 🙂


February 8, 2008 - Posted by | standards | ,


  1. Heh… although, I do think that Lesson #1 happened when they published that 6000 pg monstrosity in the the first place.

    Comment by James Snell | February 8, 2008 | Reply

  2. I think it helps when you pronounce it “Oh Oh! X-M-L”. :^)

    Do you think we could convert audio to plain text XML too?
    EIEIO = Electronically Interpreted Encapsulation Interface Opening

    Comment by ididmcd | February 9, 2008 | Reply

  3. I see similar errors in Ecma’s response to NZ-0007:

    “Agreed; it is very important for Open Office XML to go beyond the support of Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646) to also allow for the cultural expressiveness that would exist in the case of an Office suite. The Open Office XML standard was designed with this in mind, and we agree that an additional step should be taken to modify Part 4, §2.18.4.”

    Comment by Rob Weir | February 9, 2008 | Reply

  4. to add more confusion, Microsoft keep calling this specification Open XML , so some people now seems to believe that Microsoft invented XML !


    ” NEW DELHI: The debate on adoption of Microsoft’s Open Extensible Mark-up Language (OXML) as a standard is getting hotter …”
    ( )

    tragicomic …

    Comment by Marcos Gen | February 11, 2008 | Reply

  5. […] recent issue with ECMA is this one. Ecma’s response is to deny the request, explaining that there is no need to change the name […]

    Pingback by Boycott Novell » Microsoft Controls ECMA, ISO, JTC1, Everything | February 17, 2008 | Reply

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