A ballot on whether to publish the draft standard ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML file formats, as an International Standard by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) has not achieved the required number of votes for approval.
The five-month ballot process ended on 2 September and was open to the IEC and ISO national member bodies from 104 countries, including 41 that are participating members of the joint ISO/IEC technical committee, JTC 1, Information technology. Approval requires at least 2/3 of the votes cast by national bodies participating in ISO/IEC JTC 1 to be positive; and no more than 1/4 of the total number of national body votes cast negative. Neither of these criteria was achieved, with 53% of votes cast by national bodies participating in ISO/IEC JTC 1 being positive and 26% of national votes cast being negative.
Comments that accompanied the votes will be discussed at a ballot resolution meeting to be organized by the relevant subcommittee of ISO/IEC JTC 1 (SC 34, Document description and processing languages) in February 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland. The objective of the meeting will be to review and seek consensus on possible modifications to the document in light of the comments received along with the votes. If the proposed modifications are such that national bodies then wish to withdraw their negative votes, and the above acceptance criteria are then met, the standard may proceed to publication.
Otherwise, the proposal will have failed and this fast-track procedure will be terminated. This would not preclude subsequent re-submission under the normal ISO/IEC standards development rules. ISO/IEC DIS 29500 is a proposed standard for word-processing documents, presentations and spreadsheets that’s intended to be implemented by multiple applications on multiple platforms. According to the submitters, one of its objectives is to ensure the long-term preservation of documents created over the last two decades using programs that are becoming incompatible with continuing advances in the IT field.
ISO/IEC DIS 29500 was originally developed as the Office Open XML Specification by Microsoft Corp.