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Quality Digest

ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Becomes an International Standard

Published: Monday, April 14, 2008 - 21:00

(ISO: Geneva) -- ISO/IEC DIS 29500—“Information technology—Office Open XML file formats,” has received the necessary number of votes for approval as an ISO/IEC DIS international standard. ISO/IEC DIS 29500 is a standard for word-processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets that’s intended to be implemented by multiple applications on multiple platforms. According to the submitters of the document, 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 field of information technology.

Approval required at least two-thirds of the votes cast by national bodies participating in the joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1—“Information technology,” to be positive, and no more than one-fourth of the total number of votes to be negative. These criteria have now been met—75 percent of the JTC 1 participating members cast positive votes, and 14 percent of the total of national member body cast negative votes.

ISO/IEC DIS 29500 was originally disapproved in the “fast-track vote” that ended in September 2007. However, under the rules of ISO/IEC JTC 1, the draft international standard (DIS) vote was followed by a ballot resolution meeting (BRM) at which the comments were addressed. After the meeting, the ISO/IEC national bodies had 30 days to modify their votes.

The BRM was held in Geneva during February 2008. The issues addressed and revised have resulted in sufficient national bodies withdrawing their earlier disapproval votes, or transforming them into positive votes, so that the criteria for approval of the document as an international standard have now been met. Subject to there being no formal appeals from ISO/IEC national bodies in the next two months, the international standard will proceed to publication.

ISO/IEC DIS 29500 was originally developed as the Office Open XML Specification by Microsoft Corporation, which submitted it to Ecma International, an information technology industry association, for transposing into an ECMA standard. Following a process in which other IT industry players participated, Ecma International published the document as ECMA standard 376.

For more information, visit www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1123.


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