Bob Sutor and Rob Weir (both of IBM) have been been whacking away at the standards lipstick being painted on the Microsoft Office Internal Data Structure XML Dump pig. Oops, officially, that’s “ECMA Office Open XML”. In A Leap Back Rob describes Excel’s well-known date-representation bug being encoded in an alleged International Standard. Then again in A bit about the bit with the bits, he talks about bitmasks and offal (really). But it’s Bob’s point, in Is Open XML a one way specification for most people?, that’s central: this is just a six-thousand-page data dump describing a particular XML serialization of a particular commercial application’s object model, completely oblivious to the universe of publishing-related standards that have been hammered out and put to work while MSOffice was being tended in Redmond. You can write “STANDARD” on it in letters as big as you want, but there will only ever be one full implementation, and if you standardize on this standard you’ve locked yourself in. Shame, shame on the other companies on the committee, helping Microsoft perpetuate this travesty. There’s just no excuse.