Uniting Behind One ISO Document Format? 
2007-12-07, 07:16
There's been some talk in Kyoto of the benefits for all of uniting behind one existing ISO standard for office documents, rather than its confusingly-similarly-named successor.

That standard, of course, is ISO 8613 Open Document Architecture (ODA) ;-)

Many SC 34 veterans remember the extreme angst and politics resulting from the huge commercial interests at play from word-processor vendors when this was standardised (Wang and Olivetti to name but two). ODA was standardised over approximately ten years, finally appearing around 1990. Interestingly the final standard, though incredibly ambitious, never enjoyed any mainstream (or any?) implementations. With its use of SGML and vector graphics it was undoubtedly ahead of its time, and anticipates the XML + vector graphics flavour of today's XML office document specifications.

Meanwhile, back in the modern world I have been acclimatising to Kyoto (and its time zone - melatonin how I love thee), and reviewing/preparing material for the meetings which start tomorrow. One late addition to this is a submission from Japan of an ODF defect report - in translation over 100 fresh errors emerged in the specification which need correction. No doubt this will be one of many ODF/OOXML issues which will be informing the next few days of work ...
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