XML has been making the news lately some for all the right reasons, and some for reasons that may not always be considered reasonable. Microsoft has been trying for most of 2007 and this year to make OOXML as a standard to be adopted by ISO. However the road to achieve this goal has been turbulent and sticky. Now that the vote has been in MS favor since March, this week four countries, India, Brazil, South Africa and Venezuela have now raised objections to the fast track process that got the vote through.
The national bodies of these four countries have held up the ratification. Microsoft needs this ratification and adoption as quickly as possible. Unless Microsoft has this approval, it may be very difficult for Microsoft to bid on government contracts since many governments will be wary of archiving documents in proprietary formats. Critics say the OOXML is still not fully convertible to the Open Document format which is already approved and adopted as an open standard and is available in the latest version of Open Office and other derivative products.
The OOXML format is backed by Apple, Novell. The other format – the Open Document Format (ODF) – is supported by the likes of IBM, Sun Microsystems, Red Hat and Google. Presently the ODF standard is implemented in Open Office and Kword, where as there is no known implementation of OOXML.
Last Year Babya also announced an implementation of ODF in its suite of Media Products and were offered as a download which was available for free. Babya develops award winning digital media software for the Mac and Windows Platforms. Babya products include bSuite, Babya Logic, bPicture, Babya Photo Workshop, Babya Firestorm and Babya OneVideo.
The fact is there isn’t a consensus in adopting the OOXML as can be seen through other perspectives too. With SVG and MathML being W3C-recommended, and used in ODF, these are widely accepted and used standards, OOXML uses DrawingML and VML for files converted from older formats. The ODF standard was developed by a technical committee from the OASIS Consortium called the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).
The Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS)
The ODF standard is based upon the XML format originally created and implemented by the OpenOffice.org office suite. Besides being an OASIS standard it is also published as an ISO and IEC International Standard, ISO/IEC 26300:2006. The Open Document standard conforms to the common definitions of an open standard, that means the specification is freely available and implementable.
The ISO Secreteary General and the General Secretary of the International Eletrotechnical Commission will be considering the merit in the appeals. They will then submit their reports to their management bodies for consideration by the end of this month.
To keep track of the latest news related to XML and trends in the industry, websites like www.xml.org, www.xmlnews.org, xml.coverpages.com, etc are a few websites that are updated on a daily basis. These web hosting are websites that are driven by the XML community and committed to OASIS standards and specifications. The visitor has to click on the news title in the list that interests him.
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