Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

December 11, 2006

ECMA

by @ 9:55 am. Filed under Technology

Here’s a quote from an article I recently read in ZDNet“Now that ECMA has approved Microsoft’s Open XML format, Massachusetts will take a look at it but will move forward with standardizing on the OpenDocument Format starting January 1,”…OK?… So I guess this is big news for Microsoft?…I know what “OpenDocument” is (yes, lowelldeeds has blogged on it before…you remember, “OpenDocument” is software that is designed to be nonproprietary…it is software without licensing restriction)…
OK, but who or what the heck is ECMA???
I didn’t know either so of course, I “googled” it…
Here’s what I found out…
In the early years of technology, computers built by different manufacturers ran on different “programs” and also had different “input and output codes” (no, I don’t really know what “input and output codes” are). Old time computer techies were pretty smart. They realized the need for standardization. Why, you ask?…Standardization would allow the use of data prepared for or by one computer to be used on another (it sure sounds logical to me). Standardization would also help prevent duplication of work. Having two companies working on the same computer program would have slowed development?
In 1961 the heads of many leading European computer companys formed an association. The association’s purpose was to promote standardization in the computer world. This was the birth of the European Computer Manufacturers Association or ECMA…So…I guess it really is good news for Microsoft that their Open XML format has been given ECMA approval…but Open XML still must be approved by ISO…ISO? Oh, that’s a story for another day.

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