GNOME Foundation defends OOXML involvement

The GNOME Foundation has issued a statement in response to recent accusations that it has been supporting the acceptance of Microsoft's Office Open XML format (OOXML) as an ECMA standard at the expense of the Open Document Format (ODF), the open standard used by OpenOffice.org, KOffice and other free software office applications. However, whether the statement's attempt at logical rebuttal will do anything to reduce the emotions or altruism behind the criticisms is anybody's guess.

The core issue is simple enough. It arose because Jody Goldberg, the lead maintainer for the Gnumeric spreadsheet, asked the Foundation to support his continued work on TC45-M, the EMCA technical committee that was working to improve the proposal for the ECMA 376 standard for OOXML -- work that is also widely seen as increasing OOXML's chances of becoming an ISO/IEC standard, which it failed to do in September. Goldberg had previously been representing Novell on the committee, and, after he left the company, the GNOME Foundation had agreed to make him its representative on the committee.