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Looks like there are now 2 official appeals to the OOXML standard

 Last Friday the South Africa Standards Board filed an official appeal 
to ISO and IEC objecting to the adoption of OOXML via the fast track 

Yesterday, the Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT) filed an 
official appeal.

Apparently there are a few more appeals in the works.  There is a lot 
of objection in various standard boards to OOXML, and especially the 
way the adoption of OOXML was handled. 

My observation over the years is that the industry leader, in this case 
Microsoft, does not find standards compliance in their best interest, 
and they tend to either ignore it, and come out with their own 
"standard", or subvert the existing standard. IBM did this on the 
CODASYL database standard, but not on the SQL standard (I was on the 
SQL standard committee where we took the IBM specification since it was 
the defacto standard).  Note that the IBM mainframes used EBCDIC for 
character encoding where the rest of the industry used ASCII (an 
existing standard). This caused me a lot of work years ago since I 
worked on Burroughs and IBM mainframes that used EBDIC, and I needed to 
transfer data to large Honeywell mainframes (former GE) that used 
ASCII. At the time, the only media we could send them that they could 
read was punched cards. Kept me and another guy employed writing a 
datacom program (in COBOL with "ENTER SYMBOLIC" sections) to 
communicate with the Honeywell GRTS system. 

The bottom line here is that Microsoft's behavior is typical. Back when 
IBM was the big guy on the block, the industry was much different. 
Jerry Feldman <[hidden email]> 
Boston Linux and Unix 
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