On Friday 14 December 2007 the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre hosted a symposium to explore issues raised by the proposed OO XML ([Microsoft] Office Open XML) document format standard (known as ISO/IEC DIS 29500), to assist consideration of the Australian response to the proposal through Standards Australia. Expert commentators from a range of perspectives presented written and oral summaries of the issues, followed by discussion of the most significant of these.
This page contains links to some of the papers and presentations, and also to a few of the more relevant later documents.
Date: Friday 14 December 2007
Time: 8:30-1:00 (technical), 2:00-4:30 (legal)
Venue: Room 101, level 1, new Law Building, UNSW lower campus
(taxi to main gate, Anzac Pde, second building on left on main walkway)
We aimed to explore the underlying realities of OO XML as well as the more political dialogue, which can often 'muddy the waters.' While there are no doubt passions, commercial interests and well-established positions on many of the issues, we encouraged participants to come out from behind their settled opinions and engage in open debate and discussion. (Note that many of the issues raised in relation to OOXML outside these topics, and the less significant of those within them, are not covered, so it is by no means an exhaustive survey.)
OO XML Symposium - Programme
1. Technical session
The Technical Session covers technical and practical considerations which arise implementing OOXML. It includes commentary from experts in this domain, government, user and industry perspectives, and a review of technical concerns raised in comments submitted through the ISO process in the last year, both from Australia and New Zealand, and also internationally.
0830 - Breakfast
0900 - Introductory commentary: Rick Jelliffe
1000 - Government perspectives: Colin Jackson
1030 - Morning tea
1050 - Facilitated discussion:
Industry perspectives, Australian comments on OOXML and the roughly 10 most significant technical comments from the Australian and international community. This session is meant to answer core technical questions about OOXML from attendees, and hopefully result in a greater understanding of the technical feasibility of OOXML.
Questions from the floor were directed to the commentators, and then opened to discussion.
1250 - Wrap up and thanks
1300 - Close
2. Legal Session
The Legal Session was focused on the 'covenant not to sue' (later recast in the form of a promise), particularly the effect of these promises in relation to patent infringement; their practical impact as a protection reducing the need for a range of implementers to seek expensive legal or risk management advice; and other issues.
1500 - Facilitated discussion: covenants not to sue
1540 - Afternoon tea
1600 - Facilitated discussion: solutions, other issues
1650 - Close
Contact feedback [at] cyberlawcentre.org
- Standards Australia, informal third party summary, list of issues raised in Australia, November 2007
- Ronald Yu, Sharron Fast and David Vaile, background paper on some of the legal issues, December 2007
- Baker & McKenzie London, 'Standardisation and Licensing of Microsoft's Office Open XML Reference Schema', June 2006
- Baker & McKenzie London, 'Standardisation and Licensing of Microsoft’s Office Open XML File Formats', January 2008 NEW
- Mike Carden's blog, http://www.nabble.com/OOXML-forum-(sorry,-long)-td14333058.html
- Rick Jelliffe's blog, http://www.oreillynet.com/xml/blog/2007/12/world_of_confusion.html
- Pia Waugh's blog, http://pipka.org/blog/2007/12/18/initial-report-from-ooxml-technical-and-legal-workshop-last-week/
- Wikipedia, 'Office Open XML', http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML
- 'ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Disposition of Comments', January 2008 (2,300 pages, hosted on non-official site. "This document contains the original comment and the project editor’s proposed disposition for each of the comments submitted during the 5-month ballot of ISO/IEC DIS 29500.") NEW