I am bubbling this up from a response to a question of an earlier posting. Quite a few folks have been asking me about the future of comments submitted to national bodies regarding Open XML. This is particularly a question in the situation of "yes with comments" - will those comments be considered? The answer is yes.

Ecma TC-45 has made a public commitment to look at ALL comments submitted with Yes, No, and Abstain votes during the balloting process. Here is the quote from the website:

The Ecma General Assembly approved the Final Draft as Standard ECMA-376 in December 2006 and Ecma submitted the standard to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for fast-track processing. The resulting ISO/IEC DIS 29500 is currently under ballot, closing September 2, 2007.

TC45 has been continuously active since then, considering issues for clarification which were raised by its members, and will prepare the Ecma comments on the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 ballot at its next face-to-face meeting, on August 27-28, 2007, hosted by Novell in Toronto, Canada.

After the ballot closes, TC45 will continue its very active involvment by supporting the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Editor which will be tasked to produce a proposed disposition of all comments received during the ballot period. [emphasis added by me] TC45 plans to conduct thorough discussions of all comments submitted together with the ballots, using the wide technical expertise of its members to help develop the best possible proposals to answer National Body comments, including by confirming their proposed resolutions or proposing alternate solutions.

TC45 looks forward to participating in the subsequent ISO/IEC DIS 29500 ballot resolution meeting, where members expect to resolve technical questions and move towards adoption of Open XML as an ISO/IEC International Standard.

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Updating on August 22, 2007: An open letter from Microsoft was posted related to what is in this posting.