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Standards New Zealand prepares for meeting on draft Open XML Standard

Posted on 23-Nov-2007 09:06 | Filed under: News

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.