we have an Open Standard for such documents: ODF (OpenDocument Format). If you're into this issue, you may already know that Microsoft has their own new format, Office Open XML (OOXML), and they're trying to make it also an ISO standard.
Why is it bad?
- There is already a standard ISO26300 named Open Document Format (ODF): a dual standard adds costs, uncertainty and confusion to industry, government and citizens;
- There is no provable implementation of the OOXML specification: Microsoft Office 2007 produces a special version of OOXML, not a file format which complies with the OOXML specification;
- There is missing information from the specification document, for example how to do a autoSpaceLikeWord95 or useWord97LineBreakRules;
- More than 10% of the examples mentioned in the proposed standard do not validate as XML;
- There is no guarantee that anybody can write a software that fully or partially implements the OOXML specification without being liable to patent damages or patent license fees by Microsoft;
- This standard proposal conflicts with other ISO standards, such as ISO 8601 (Representation of dates and times), ISO 639 (Codes for the Representation of Names and Languages) or ISO/IEC 10118-3 (cryptographic hash);
- There is a bug in the spreadsheet file format which forbids to enter any date before the year 1900: such bugs affects the OOXML specification as well as software versions such as Microsoft Excel 2000, XP, 2003 or 2007.
- This standard proposal has not been created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties (such as the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators), but by Microsoft alone.
If you agree with me and also think that these are reasons enough for a rejection of OOXML as a standard, please sign this petition!