Symposium on proposed OO XML ISO standard

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

0930 - Further commentary: Matthew Cruickshank - see slides

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.

1400 - Commentary: Ron Yu - see Background paper

1430 - Commentary: Steve Mutkoski - see presentation on comparison of patent approaches

1500 - Facilitated discussion: covenants not to sue

1540 - Afternoon tea

1600 - Facilitated discussion: solutions, other issues

1650 - Close

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OOXML participants

Other resources

Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs)