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New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; India Suggests
Monday, March 31 2008 @ 04:50 AM EDT

More news starting to come in. New Zealand votes No again, and here's why:
Mrs Chin says ‘There have been significant improvements to the specification since it was first put forward for voting in September 2007, however there is still insufficient New Zealand stakeholder support for Standards New Zealand to vote for publication as an ISO/IEC international Standard.’

Our role is to ensure that overall New Zealanders will benefit from publication of a particular Standard and in this case it was clear that while some would benefit, there would be others who would be disadvantaged. A major concern is the expected increase in costs for government agencies that would result from the specification being adopted as an ISO/IEC international Standard. Cost increases for government agencies ultimately impact all New Zealanders.’

You cannot believe the pressure put on them to change the vote, but they did not, to their credit. Australia maintains the Abstain vote [PDF], which is better than it could be, considering they asked Rick Jelliffe to go to the BRM as their tech expert, but not as good as voting No. What is needed now is for some to change to a No. Malaysia meanwhile is following a more circuitous route.

Here's what Open Malaysia Blog is reporting:

On Friday 21st, the Malaysian Technical Committee responsible for evaluating OOXML were given ballot papers to be returned to SIRIM on Monday (24th) 5pm. This procedure differed from the normal voting methods employed by SIRIM.

Normally, TCs are given the responsibility to provide a position on certain matters, and to achieve that position was to gain consensus from all the parties involved. Consensus building means that we should find a position where there should be no sustained opposition.

However because it was a delayed ballot to be submitted later, this process could not happen....

The final vote for TC4 was: 4 Approvals, 8 Disapprovals and 5 Abstentions.

What is interesting is that the Approvals, like in the case of India are associations which have strong ties with Microsoft, of whom provides support, funding and are sponsors to their events.

For the Disapprovals are Malaysian End-User Associations, Governmental Agencies and Academia. The bodies who represent the huge majority of Malaysian citizens' interests.

This however should be no indication of Malaysia's final vote, as this will have to go through TC4's next level, which is ISC-G. They held their meeting on the 27th, and a similar delayed vote, without consensus was also held.

Additionally, ISC-G's vote will not be the final position either.

The final position will be solely decided by the new Minister of Science Technology and Innovation, who had up till today 7am to cast Malaysia's final position.

So, the vote is to Disapprove, but who knows what happens next. If just one person makes the final decision, that certainly makes it easier to subvert the vote. And once again, we see a bypassing of the requirement to reach consensus.

Update: We hear from Open Malaysia Blog's Yoon-Kit Yong that when I wrote originally that the technical committee voted to recommend Malaysia abstain, I was wrong. They voted to disapprove:

Here's an update on Malaysia:

1) The Technical Committee's position is 67% voted Disapproval to OOXML. Your article above is not entirely accurate, as although TC4 does not have an "official position", neither did it say "Abstain". Looking at the stats, its more like an unofficial Disapproval.

2) The ISC-G position is 81% Disapproval to OOXML.

3) And yet the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation voted "Abstain" in his final one man decision.

Please send your comments to the above post, so that the Ministry can clearly see the international feedback.

If you do, please remember to be extremely polite. You will be more effective that way. More details on the Malaysia vote from the last link:

I received a text message from the Director General of Standards Malaysia stating:
"FYI, M'sia maintained its abstention vote on the OOXML. TQ"

That's all the explanation I got.

I was expecting to understand the Minister's justification for overturning the 81% "Disapprove" position by ISC-G and TC4. I guess I will have to wait for MoSTI to make a Press Release. BTW, the previous justification by the ex-Minister back in September 2007 was:

"By abstaining, it does not mean that Malaysia agrees or disagrees with the new proposed standard, but that at the moment it is too premature to make a concrete decision based on vague and unclear information."

"Jamaludin said abstaining from voting meant that the Open XML would need to go through a more rigorous standardisation process."

Let's hope our new (2 weeks on the job) Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation can come up with better reasons than this.

Australia's reasons for abstaining were that no consensus could be reached, and it stated that "Standards Australia is not satisfied that the ISO/IEC fast track process is suitable for a proposal as large, complex and commercially sensitive." That would be a fine reason to vote no, actually, if logic were king. But that is the problem in a nutshell, the fast track process. When ISO allowed ECMA to introduce that trojan horse, it was just a matter of time before some vendor misused it.

India, which already voted No, has presented some ideas on what to do to fix the ISO mess, now that the Fast Track process has revealed itself as problem-ridden, and you can read them on Open Source India blog, along with a comment on each by Venkatesh Hariharan. I think they are important, so I am reproducing them:

There were widespread reports of irregularities in the BRM held in Geneva. At the meeting held on 13th March 2008, the Indian delegation to the BRM gave a debriefing to members of LITD15, which is reviewing OOXML. The very diplomatic Deputy Director General of BIS said that he had not attended such a meeting in 28 years of his career. Based on the debriefing, the LITD15 committee sent a message to ISO with India's suggestions (we are too polite to call it a protest!) on how the BRM should be conducted. Before sending off these comments, everyone was asked if they have any objections and since no one (including Microsoft) had any objections, these comments were unanimously approved.

LITD15's comments to ISO are given below along with my comments.

1. All technical issues raised by different member bodies should be discussed adequately during BRM. If balloting on technical issues is envisaged, it should not be done during BRM. Balloting may be done after discussion within corresponding mirror committees of the national bodies providing sufficient time for discussions. In other words, duration of BRM should be in consonance with the requirement of time to sufficiently discuss all technical issues raised.

MY COMMENT: The biggest complaint about the BRM was that five days is too little time to review the changes. The five day BRM was sufficient only to discuss 54 issues and the rest of the issues were decided over a paper ballot. The Indian delegation pointed out that if a paper ballot is to be done, why should countries go to the expense of sending four people to Geneva for five days? It would be much simpler to do a ballot from the home country after discussion with committee members.

2. If the basic structure of the submitted document is proposed to be changed during BRM, provision for circulation of restructured integrated document for consideration of member bodies should be incorporated in the Fast Track Process as well. Enough time should be given to member bodies to examine/carry out the impact assessment of the modifications proposed.

MY COMMENT: The scope of the document has changed. The document is being split into five parts. If the scope and nature of the document changes substantially (as it has in this case) then adequate time needs to be given to review the changed proposal. As one of the esteemed academic members of LITD15 says, "What document is there for us to vote upon?"

3. Definitions of newly introduced terminologies should be clearly articulated before discussions are initiated on the related issues.

MY COMMENTS: The fact that we have to make such an elementary request highlights the hollowness of the "Fast-track" process and the BRM.

4. Voting process especially in terms of considering simple majority/two-third majority and counting of P member/O Member votes at BRM should strictly be adhered to as defined in JTC 1 Directives.

MY COMMENTS: This is a serious ethical and governance issue. If O member votes are not counted (as per JTC 1 directives) then the Microsoft claim of getting "more than 98 percent of the comments were accepted" falls flat. The voting was forced upon the BRM after overruling the objections of several countries, including India. The vote was to be decided by a simple majority by paper ballot for 847 issues which could not be discussed. Four P members (Czech Republic, Finland, Norway and Poland) voted for approving the 847 issues, Four P members (including India, Malaysia, South Africa and the US) voted against these issues. The votes of two O members (Chile and Ivory Coast) was improperly counted in contravention of JTC1 rules. The head of the Chile delegation landed in Geneva on the last day, just to vote Yes. The head of the Ivory Coast delegation is Wemba Opota, a Senegalese citizen, who is responsible for Microsoft West Africa!

Even by the "simple majority" rule imposed by the ISO conveners on the BRM, the result is a TIE and not a majority, as claimed by Microsoft.

5. It is suggested that the resolution to the issues raised during the process of development of standard shall be provided before the publication of the standard and shall be included in the published standard and shall not be deferred to the maintenance phase.

MY COMMENTS: As the delegation said, maintenance is for issues that are identified *after* the standard has been frozen. Known issues cannot be swept under the carpet under the guise of "maintenance."

Alex Brown has begun to blog again, and although he does so using a metaphor, I think his snarky comment is clear enough. He writes about a local supermarket that wants to build in a neighborhood that doesn't want them to do so:

The No Mill Road Tesco Campaign is highly organised and professional, and as an opposition campaign is deserving of study. It is fascinating to compare it to the (somewhat less organised and professional) campaigns surrounding a certain ICT standard about which I sometimes blog – and it is a reality check to note that this local group of campaigners have managed to get more national media attention (BBC Radio 4 mp3 audio) than DIS 29500 ever did!

And then on the comments page, he goes even further:

It would be wrong to over-read the comparisons between the two, but so far as the campaigning went there are some resonances -- though perhaps (as your comment reveals) the Tesco campaign has lower levels of disinformation and conspiracy theory!...

I do get the impression though that the "campaign" against DIS 29500 (with some exceptions) spent rather too much time addressing itself.

Four things:

1. ISO is supposed to be handling the process in an unbiased way, with technical experts deciding whether or not the format merits adoption as a standard. It is not supposed to be political, where campaigns are needed. The fact that he would even make that suggestion is disturbing. Why would a technical standards procedure be a matter for activists to interfere with or feel any need to campaign about? No one knew in advance that they would fail so miserably to do their job, beginning with permitting Microsoft to stack the committee. Plus, the simple fact is, the process was closed to the public, and ISO made that decision. WIth a "law of silence", how could the public even know what was happening, let alone participate?

2. His bias in favor of Microsoft is now clearly evident, as far as I am concerned, by the disdain he expresses for opponents of OOXML.

3. In my personal case, I decided when asked to join an email list for an NB's advisory committee, which came with a requirement of confidentiality, that I could do more good that way. That is why I was restricted in how much I could say. But I learned plenty, and I can tell you this from what I saw personally: the pressure on the NB came entirely from Microsoft. It was in my estimation misleading and dishonorable, the things that were said. It failed, but not for a lack of trying.

4. Finally, it's obvious by now, if anyone ever had any doubt, that Microsoft is guilty of politicizing what isn't supposed to be a political process, and although it has been spinning the media that it was just vendors on both sides each doing the same things, not only did I have the opportunity to see that it's not true, Alex's scornful words actually are a clear proof that the Microsoft story just is not true. IBM and Sun didn't play the Microsoft game, and it wasn't organized to do so. Alex may view that as a reason to disdain, but in the standards world, those that understand the importance of standards know that when politics enters into it, and vendors control the result by sheer money and influence, standards lose all meaning. And in the end that destroys not only interoperability, in this case, but standards bodies. We all know now that a "victory" for OOXML in no way means it is ready to be one, just that it's possible to game the system. And in that sense, I return his disdain, and I sincerely hope that the investigation by the EU Commission includes the role of ISO in what turned out to be a stomach-sickening display.

Update 2: Norway has just announced that OOXML is not on its list of approved formats, and even ISO approval is not necessarily going to change that. Thanks to a reader, we have a translation:

IT-minister Heidi Grande Røys will not be bound by an eventual ISO-approval of OOXML.

The government has decided that all government agencies must publish documents on the internet in one of three formats: The ISO-standards Open Document Format (ODF), PDF and HTML.

The format Office Open XML (OOXML) is not on the list.

People have eyes. OOXML is a mess, and the whole world knows it. And there is no way to wipe that stain away. Ironically, had Microsoft put it on the regular track, it would probably have at least been made usable, if not necessary. No one can make it necessary. And there can be no doubt that Microsoft's reputation has taken another hit, due to its behavior. We know now that there is no "new" Microsoft. I believe a major factor in the Microsoft brand's decline began with the antitrust trial in the US. Despite their machinations to avoid penalties, the public saw what they were for the first time, and it stuck. I remember how shocked I was. It's been downhill for them since, a lesson they clearly have not learned. It's only normal for people to want to use products from companies they feel they can trust.

Update 3: More now from Singapore, where we see the same pattern, a recommendation ignored to favor Microsoft:

Microsoft Singapore (led by Mr. Barney Lau) has been running an intensive lobbying campaign to the members of the Information Technology Standards Committee (ITSC) to vote "Approve" on OOXML and disregard the "Disapprove" recommendation of Singapore's Information Exchange Technical Committee. Sure enough, in September 2007, ITSC voted "Approve" despite its technical committee voting a strong "Disapprove"....

Microsoft Singapore got all its business partners to write in standard template letters of support to ITSC to get ITSC vote "Approve".

In particular, the Information Technology Management Association (ITMA) and the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SITF) (highlighted in red above), specifically wrote in to ITSC supporting OOXML as an ISO standard. Amazingly, both letters were CC-ed to Mr. Barney Lau (Microsoft Singapore Managing Director). I honestly did not know that ITMA and SITF were answerable to Mr. Barney Lau of Microsoft Singapore. Oh wait, he is a member of the SITF council.

That may be the most cogent explanation yet of Singapore's "Approve" vote I've seen to date.

Here are the letters sent by ITMA and SITF (as provided by a source in Microsoft who was not happy with the approach the regional Microsoft office took to railroad OOXML through Singapore's standards body).

You can read the letters by clicking the link.

The technical people all over the world have been pretty much singing in chorus that this format isn't ready for prime time, and they get ignored by those who may not understand the tech as well and were subject to organized pressure or are "drilling for gold", as Geir Isene puts it. So, what should that tell you about whether it will work out well for you?


  


New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; India Suggests | 187 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here
Authored by: Erwan on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 04:53 AM EDT
If any. (Please, start another thread for corrections to the OOXML spec however)

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks Discussions here.
Authored by: Erwan on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 04:56 AM EDT
Please quote the article in your comment title.

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT, the Off topic thread
Authored by: Erwan on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 04:57 AM EDT
As usual,

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends Abstain: India Suggests; Australia Abstains
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 05:22 AM EDT
Makes me proud to be a Kiwi. Sadly I'm not so proud of my current home - the UK
- which seems to have lost its backbone.
Philip

[ Reply to This | # ]

Norway: "The IT-minister can stop OOXML"
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 05:28 AM EDT
"IT-minister Heidi Grande Røys will not be bound by an eventual
ISO-approval of OOXML.

"The government has decided that all government agencies must publish
documents on the internet in one of three formats: The ISO-standards Open
Document Format (ODF), PDF and HTML.

"The format Office Open XML (OOXML) is not on the list."
----------------
In Norwegian:

"IT-ministeren kan sette stopp for OOXML"

"IT-minister Heidi Grande Røys vil ikke la seg binde av en eventuell
ISO-godkjenning av OOXML.

"Regjeringen har vedtatt at innen 1. januar 2009 skal alle statlige etater
publisere dokumenter på web i et av tre formater: ISO-standardene Open Document
Format (ODF) PDF og HTML.

"Formatet Office Open XML (OOXML) er ikke med på listen."

Original piece here:
http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=517267


*pnd*

[ Reply to This | # ]

Norway: A nice, to the point opinion!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 05:33 AM EDT
This one deserves a read:

http://blogs.freecode.no/isene/2008/03/30/promoting-the-repair-shop-philosophy/


*pnd*

[ Reply to This | # ]

Malaysia's Position on TC4, ISC-G and Ministry level (Final vote)
Authored by: yoonkit on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 06:05 AM EDT
Hi PJ,

Here's an update on Malaysia:
1) The Technical Committee's position is 67% voted Disapproval to OOXML. Your
article above is not entirely accurate, as although TC4 does not have an
"official position", neither did it say "Abstain". Looking
at the stats, its more like an unofficial Disapproval.

http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2008/03/malaysian-techn.html

2) The ISC-G position is 81% Disapproval to OOXML.

http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2008/03/malaysian-indus.html

3) And yet the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation voted
"Abstain" in his final one man decision.

http://www.openmalaysiablog.com/2008/03/the-minister-of.html

Please send your comments to the above post, so that the Ministry can clearly
see the international feedback.

Regards,

yoonkit.

[ Reply to This | # ]

New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends Abstain: India Suggests; Australia Abstains
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 06:13 AM EDT
The "fast-track" process is intended for those unusual situations
where people everywhere are in general agreement over a simple and needed
standard.

It was never intended to be used to railroad through a large, complex standard
with very significant commercial implications.

The "fast-track" process is completely inappropriate for the OOXML
"standard", irrespective of it's "merits" or demerits and
should never have been allowed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; I
Authored by: PolR on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 06:33 AM EDT
On Open Malaysia blog someone posted a comment reporting he has received private
communications that Turkey has changed from approve to abstain.

Turkey is a P-country. There is still hope to see more not yet reported changes.

[ Reply to This | # ]

New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; I
Authored by: PolR on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 06:41 AM EDT
It would nicely complete Groklaw's collection of irregularities to include the account of what happened in Singapore.

Singapore is a P-country that has voted YES in the september ballot.

[ Reply to This | # ]

New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; I
Authored by: N_au on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 07:25 AM EDT
Despite their machinations to avoid penalties, the public saw what they were for the first time, and it stuck. I remember how shocked I was.
I remember thinking about them at the antitrust trail when they wanted to break them up that they couldn't do that to them.

But what I saw back then and what is happening now I am glad that I don't support them any more. I am a happy Kubuntu user now since 6.04 and it does everything I need except a couple of video capture devices that have an unsupported chipset, but I don't really use them now. But I have a friend who doesn't really like MS but says you have to get Vista because it is the next big thing and Linux is not good enough yet, and wants me to get Vista so I can support it as I do make a few computers up for people. (word of mouth) But all I need to know really is how to wipe it off and reinstall again just like XP when they trash it enough for me to fix it, and besides under the hood it is very similar to XP. At least by formatting the drive there is none of the trash left that they have accumulated off the net.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brown's comment
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 07:55 AM EDT

Alex Brown has begun to blog again, and although he does so using a metaphor, I think his snarky comment is clear enough

Brown's sneers reveal his bias. Unfortunately, his jibes about our ineffectiveness are somewhat deserved. Our case was technically overwhelming - no unbiased person could believe that the 6000 pages of MSOOXML are anywhere near good enough for any kind of standard; but our presentation of that case got almost nowhere. If we are ever to have a chance against Microsoft, we have to:

  1. Assess our position realistically. There are far too many FOSS advocates who trumpet variations on "We are winning, victory is inevitable" and whose reaction to people who point out contrary facts is to abuse them (call them "trolls", etc)
  2. Find out what is going on in time to do something about it. Microsoft ballot-stuffed several NBs and we didn't know until after the voting.
  3. Find better ways to present our case to decision-makers. Decision-makers do not read techie blogs.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO - International Scandal Organization
Authored by: hamstring on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 09:21 AM EDT
If the ISO lets this move forward in the midst of all the scandal, then they
lose trust.

This means that the ISO is no longer a trusted body by anyone (even the large
corporations such the one trying to manipulate the system now). If all it takes
is large corporate pressure and funds to make a standard, who wins? The answer
is that there are NO winners. A lack of trust in the system makes it defunct.

Microsoft really does not care that they are bringing down ISO. Microsoft is
losing money left and right, and is trying everything they can to stay on top.
This is factual, not hype. Look at X-Box sales/losses, Zune sales/losses, Vista
adoption, Office 2007 sales, etc... Microsoft has lost 4% of all desktop market
in the last year to Apple. Microsoft lost another 6% of the server market to
Linux last year. OLPC will ensure that people are not forced into M$ as their
only computer knowledge. Government agencies continue to adopt Linux over M$
for everything they can.

Microsoft can not look any worse than they already do, and does not care who
they take down with them as they fall.

We can still hope that ISO does the right thing, but I think that the pockets
are already lined and this moves forward.

---
# echo "Mjdsptpgu Svdlt" | tr [b-z] [a-y]
# IANAL and do not like Monopoly

[ Reply to This | # ]

Too Late.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 09:32 AM EDT
On the internal KNMI website (Dutch Weather Service):
Eind april gaan nieuwe regels gelden voor sites van de Rijksoverheid. Documenten in formaten die alleen met Microsoft-programma342200231s te lezen zijn, zijn dan niet langer toegestaan.

Translation from the Dutch language into English:

By the end of April, new rules will be in effect for web sites of the Government. Documents in formats that are only readable using Microsoft programs will no longer be allowed.

...

Toon Moene (not logged in while at "work").

[ Reply to This | # ]

New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; I
Authored by: skip on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 09:36 AM EDT
The register is saying that OOXML approval as an ISO is imminent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; I
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 09:38 AM EDT
Seems to me that the only thing the ISO can do with this mess is to cancel the
vote and can it forever as the WTO will only recognise one standard for one
process.

All else is dross

[ Reply to This | # ]

On being coerced to vote abstain
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:14 AM EDT
In my much-wasted youth, one of the things I was
taught in the Canadian Forces was a lot about
the statute of frauds, as defrauding soldiers
was a favorite occupation of some.

If I were being told to provide an "abstain"
vote in place of a "no" vote, and if I had
reason to believe that the reasons given
were a direct and deliberate lie, I wonder
if I would be in the process of being asked
to "provide a good or service, upon a false
and fraudulent pretense"? The last is the
short form of the definition of fraud...

I wonder: does the criminal code apply to
ISO meetings?

Anon Canuk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Please be willing to cut Rick Jelliffe and Australia some slack...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:27 AM EDT
I am a Free (Freedom) Software/Linux user, and haven't used Microsoft products
for some time. As a programmer, I am aware of at least some the subtleties
behind the technical arguments against DIS 29500, and my personal position is
that the document as it stands is insufficient to serve as the basis for
interoperability.

I believe that Rick Jelliffe deserves to be given more credit for using his
expertise in a professional, non-biased manner than I have seen recently in
Groklaw items (and especially this posting).

The intersection between technical expertise and political savvy is a
non-trivial one. I believe that at least in this case, some political motives
have been assigned to Rick that misrepresent to some extent his actual
motivations and intentions.

/requited

[ Reply to This | # ]

New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; I
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:38 AM EDT
It is interesting to note the line up of they ayes and nays. If you take out the
few high tech countries that overruled their experts, the list of ayes cannot be
said to be a hot bed of technology. The nays have some pretty strongly
technology based countries.

I also find the timing of the USA's crackdown announcement interesting. Will it
be a porcine beauty parlour?

Tufty

[ Reply to This | # ]

But it's already been passed as a standard
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 10:40 AM EDT
the news was out the other day,

OOXML has already been passed for the fast-track.

The overall vote is a YES

So why are we still debating this? it's done!

[ Reply to This | # ]

DIN respond to allegations in Germany
Authored by: PolR on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 11:25 AM EDT
Link

I can't read German. There is a translation on Steve McGibbon site, but the grammar makes my head hurt.

From what I gather from this Microsoft provided translation, DIN denies several aspect of the reposts, like the committee was dined the option of saying NO and the DIN representative did vote. But I don't trust the quality of the translation.

Could someone that can read German provide a better translation please?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Update 13 -- No Official Report yet
Authored by: webster on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 12:27 PM EDT
.
The official election results in Zimbabwe and ISO have not been released yet for
the same reasons.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO Enshrines Vendor Lock-in!
Authored by: kawabago on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 01:00 PM EDT
That's the headline we should see if OOXML is accepted. Hopefully the next
headline after that will be: New vendor-neutral tamper-resistant International
Standards body will replace ISO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS Fanbois react - "We don't see no irregularities!"
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 01:05 PM EDT
Some of the comments over the internet lately are hysterically funny. They look at Germany, Norway and other places and see nothing irregular, nothing wrong at all.

Witness the comments appended to this ZDNet article, especially those of User "easson".

sample: "The stories are so unreal that the German standard body issued a formal denial that any irregularities had occurred."

[ Reply to This | # ]

New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; I
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 01:09 PM EDT
Could you please provide some concrete facts about the "pressure"
you're suggesting was on NZ? Now there's only your claim but facts are missing.

Thanks.

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New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; I
Authored by: PolR on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 01:19 PM EDT
I seems that France after initially voting NO decided to abstain after all. Another one to put in the gallery of strange things going.

This is odd. When you think OOXML is wrong, you just can't vote NO. You always end up strong armed to either vote YES or abstain.

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Look at Microsoft as a Criminal Organization?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 01:20 PM EDT
Evidence is mounting that Microsoft is a a Criminal Organization - and in fact
operating internationally.

That makes it very vulnerable, since within over a hundred countries only one
needs to start proceedings in these terms.

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New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; India Suggests
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 01:36 PM EDT
When consensus cannot be reached on a Fast Track, isn't "no" the only
correct vote?

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ISO = ISO Sold Out (n/t)
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 01:51 PM EDT

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April
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 01:57 PM EDT
If ISO publishes the official result tonight or tomorrow you are allowed to take
it as a big joke.

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New Zealand Votes No; Malaysia Tech Recommends No but It Abstains Anyway: Australia Abstains; India Suggests
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 02:04 PM EDT
Nope, but I thought we're talking about something else to which "evidence
is mounting". The fine is known but one can't be punished more then once
for one offense.

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Australia: 1000 is "a small number" of issues
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 02:18 PM EDT

The Australia Media Release reads like the product of an uncomfortable compromise.


1) "more than 1000 technical issues addressed at the BRM"
2) "The recent BRM addressed only a small number of the issues"

The closest comparison I can think of is the release of the USS Pueblo prisoners, in which the United States simultaneously admitted (in writing) and denied (orally) incursion into North Korean waters.

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Will Microsoft pull it off again?
Authored by: Vaino Vaher on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 02:25 PM EDT
In the 1980's there was a competitor to MS-DOS named DR-DOS. Microsoft added code to it's Windows product to intentionally disrupt compatibility.
During the same time MS cooperated with IBM in developing the next-gen operating system named OS/2.
When moving from 16- to 32-bit Microsoft claimed that geographical distance between locations (among other reasons) made it difficult for them to continue the co-development. Instead, they convinced IBM to develop the first 32-bit version (OS/2 version 2.x) and leave Microsoft to work on the forthcomming version 3.x code.

Using the specification for OS/2 3.0 as a base, Microsoft hired Dave Cuttler (of the Dec VMS team) to head the development, which was subsequently named Windows NT 3.11. This was a very thinly disguised OS/2 (even carrying a 16-bit OS/2 compatibility layer and relying on OS/2 device driver and file system). The Windows API was ported on top of the OS/2 system API's (with the library function calls slightly modified with regard to names and the ordering of paramteters).
After the launch of Windows NT the subsequent server versions had block-out code similar to what MS previously had done to DR-DOS: Specific sections of the code made sure that only Windows-based SMB clients were accepted, while OS/2 based clients where 'failing'; not because of technical reasons, but because MS checked the origin of the call and refused the OS/2 clients, masking it as a malfunction.

So what is going on now is nothing new. This is the way the company has operated all along. And I guess the shareholders are pleased.
Us, the users who have been picking up the tab, may feel differently.

A final example of Microsoft business practice can be found here.

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Official press release due Wednesday
Authored by: PolR on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 02:28 PM EDT
Fond on Updegrove's blog: ISO will issue a press release Wednesday.

We may have earlier news if a NB member circulates what he learned before then.

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Norwegian committee chairman to ISO: Count our vote as No
Authored by: dio gratia on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 02:38 PM EDT
Interesting:
You will have been notified that Norway voted to approve OOXML in this ballot. This decision does not reflect the view of the vast majority of the Norwegian committee, 80% of which was against changing Norway’s vote from No with comments to Yes.

Because of this irregularity, a call has been made for an investigation by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry with a view to changing the vote.

I hereby request that the Norwegian decision be suspended pending the results of this investigation.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Pepper
Chairman, SN/K185 (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 mirror committee)

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Norwegian protest to ISO
Authored by: TerjeBr on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 02:38 PM EDT
http://digi.no/php/art.php?id=517414

Steve Pepper, chairman of the Norwgian ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 34 - cometee has submitted a formal complaint to ISO, where he asks that Norways vote is suspended. Formal protest regarding the Norwegian vote on ISO/IEC DIS 29500

Her is an excercept of the fax sent to ISO:

I am writing to you in my capacity as Chairman (of 13 years standing) of the Norwegian mirror committee to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34. I wish to inform you of serious irregularities in connection with the Norwegian vote on ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (Office Open XML) and to lodge a formal protest.

You will have been notified that Norway voted to approve OOXML in this ballot. This decision does not reflect the view of the vast majority of the Norwegian committee, 80% of which was against changing Norway’s vote from No with comments to Yes.

Because of this irregularity, a call has been made for an investigation by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry with a view to changing the vote.

I hereby request that the Norwegian decision be suspended pending the results of this investigation.

Yours sincerely,
Steve Pepper
Chairman, SN/K185 (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 mirror committee) (sign.)

---
Terje Bråten

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Who runs the national bodies?
Authored by: GLJason on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 03:59 PM EDT
It seems hard for me to believe that all these rules are being violated. If I
was part of this process then I would be angry, what are the members doing? It
sounds to me like people came to a meeting and voted one way, then the result
was the opposite of how the vote went. How can this happen? Who are the
individuals responsible? Are they answerable to anyone? How did they get their
positions and how can they be removed from them? Can some sanction be levied
against Microsoft or the voters for Microsoft so that they cannot attempt this
again?

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Why would a campaign be needed?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 12:44 PM EDT
It only takes one belligerent to start a war. Then those cast, willingly or
not, as the opponent have a choice: fight back or surrender. Trying to hold
one's self above the fray has the same results as surrender.

The need for a campaign against OOXML was created, inescapably, by the mounting
of a campaign for OOXML.

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