A five-day meeting to discuss concerns raised around the Open Office XML specification will be held in Geneva in February 2008.
“To prepare for the meeting, Standards New Zealand is forming an advisory group, and will send two delegates from the group, and a Standards New Zealand staff member, to the meeting,” says Grant Thomas, Chief Operating Officer, Standards New Zealand.
In September 2007, the European Computer Manufacturers’ Association (ECMA) 376 Open Office XML specification was not approved as an international standard when voted on by members of the international standards joint technical committee No 1 (JTC1). Standards New Zealand, as a member of JTC1 with the responsibility to vote on behalf of New Zealand, voted against adopting the specification as an international standard.
Before casting a negative vote, Standards New Zealand ran a two-day workshop for interested parties to understand stakeholder views and determine the appropriate vote.
“After considerable consultation, we submitted a negative vote with comments detailing concerns about the document,” said Grant Thomas. “At the time, we announced that voting ‘no’ with comments provides the opportunity for any technical issues to be resolved. If all the concerns are resolved we will have the chance to change New Zealand’s vote to a ‘yes’.”
“The meeting in February 2008 will be an opportunity for the international committee to discuss and try to resolve the concerns raised by countries that voted against the specification,” says Grant Thomas. “Our advisory group will have the crucial role of considering the proposed resolutions of these concerns, and advising Standards New Zealand about whether these adequately address stakeholders concerns.”
The advisory group will consist of 8-10 key stakeholders.