Ecma International Home
contact us
Ecma Site Map


Fast-track of ECMA-376: ISO/IEC Ballot Resolution Meeting concluded - Final 30 days of National Body deliberation on DIS 29500

Geneva, 3 March 2008

More than one hundred technical experts representing 32 countries came together at the Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM) in Geneva last week to review and enhance the text of ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Office Open XML file formats specification, which was submitted by Ecma International to ISO/IEC for standardization in January 2007.

ISO/IEC DIS 29500 is an open standard for word-processing documents, presentations and spreadsheets that is intended to be implemented by multiple applications on multiple platforms. A primary rationale behind this submission is to ensure the long-term preservation of documents to maintain compatibility with continuing advances in the field of information technology.

In follow up of the DIS ballot ended on September 2, 2007 the DIS 29500 Editor has proposed on January 14, 2008 dispositions to the National Bodies comments. Those proposed dispositions of comments were made available to all participating National Bodies on the Ecma Website.

Prior to the BRM, several National Body members had offered significant feedback to the DIS 29500 Editor helping to clarify the proposed dispositions of National Bodies comments.

The Ballot Resolution Meeting was a very productive and positive meeting, where National Bodies' representatives worked together very hard, resolving many issues, to come to an improved final DIS 29500 text, which will now be offered to the consideration of all National Bodies participating. National Bodies may consider their final position on ratification until March 29, 2008.

The final DIS 29500 text includes updated dispositions to a number of key comments, such as multi-part standard; transitional vs. strict conformance classes; more strict date system in spreadsheets based on the ISO standard; flexible units of measurement and very significant advances in accessibility, internationalization (BiDi) and multi-platform support.

Several of the issues which will not be reflected into the final DIS text have been deferred to consideration during the maintenance phase, which, if the standard is approved would be managed by ISO/IEC JTC 1 with the active collaboration of Ecma International.

The BRM proceedings this week have been very constructive and cooperative.” said Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, Secretary General of Ecma International. “We are heartily encouraged by this effort, and also grateful for the input provided by those National Body delegations who were so positive and dedicated to contributing to the DIS text. The resulting document embraces a notably enhanced specification standard we feel confident is worthy of acceptance by ISO/IEC National Bodies.

We look forward to continued cooperation and collaboration with ISO, IEC, and ISO/IEC JTC 1.

For more information: please contact Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, Secretary General of Ecma International. Email:



Back Back





only search Ecma International

Level A conformance icon, 
          W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0