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Ubersoft on ISO, "voting irregularities", and Groklaw
Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 01:27 AM EDT

This cartoon is so funny to me, and happily it's under a Creative Commons license, so I can share it here with you and make you laugh too. Thank you so much, Ubersoft! Don't miss the details. I love the last Breaking News line: "SCO says, 'Was that so wrong?' 'Yes,' Judge replies." And Ubersoft getting ISO to call Ubersoft Marketing Language a standard. So many layers. I discern someone is reading Groklaw, comments and all.

: D

Speaking of irregularities, here's some info on the EU Commission investigation from Richard Koman. Check out the picture of OOXML. In volumes. Stacked on the desk. It's pretty funny too. And that is *before* they added thousands more pages of editing, I think. And Paul Mellor at ComputerWorld has snips from the letter the EU Commission sent to "national divisions of the ISO ... in Europe". Here's what they want to hear about:

"In your opinion, have there been any irregularities or attempts to influence the debate or vote on the ECMA 376 proposal as regards your organisation? If so please provide details and any relevant facts," the Commission wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by IDG News Service. ECMA 376 is the title under which Microsoft submitted OOXML for consideration by the ISO.

They should ask some presidents of countries too, methinks. And some technical and advisory committees. Finally, Open Malaysia Blog has some letters explaining why some voted the way they did in the Philippines.

And now, Ubersoft:


  


Ubersoft on ISO, "voting irregularities", and Groklaw | 208 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here
Authored by: Erwan on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 01:37 AM EDT
Just in case.

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

News picks discussions here.
Authored by: Erwan on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 01:40 AM EDT
Please, don't forget to quote the article.

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT, the off topic thread.
Authored by: Erwan on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 01:41 AM EDT
As usual.

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

So -who- is the Article 18 letter addressed to?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 02:28 AM EDT
To NBs, yeah right. I mean is this letter something that could
be quietly slipped to one side and answered by a bought chair?
Or at the other extreme does it require individual notarised
replies from every member of the board? Now everybody can
hear the siren screaming, I expect there are shipments of
hard hats and asbestos jackets going out of Redmond.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What to do?
Authored by: symbolset on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 03:12 AM EDT

You have learned from Groklaw and other sources what a travesty this is. Go now to the zdnet threads. Frequent the Infoworld threads. You have the quotes from Comes Vs. Microsoft. You know what this does to the credibility of ISO.

There is a strong disinformation campaign going on right now in the "less technical" forums to sway the opinion of the common man. Get out there and get the truth in front of the people if you want to do some good with what you know. There must be no corner of the Internet that astroturfers dare to tread without opposition.

GO!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Credibility of ISO
Authored by: Alan(UK) on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 05:32 AM EDT
People have been talking about 'the credibility of ISO' but what do all those people who work on ISO standards that have no connection with this fiasco think?

ISO have many standards: some are of vital importance, others merely convenient, and some which have become so debased by misuse as to be meaningless (example).

Those who work on the first two categories might be rightfully angry at the events surrounding the 'approval' of MSOOXML. On the other hand, they may not have even noticed.

---
Microsoft is nailing up its own coffin from the inside.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How do the boys in Redmond really feel?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 05:52 AM EDT
Well, they are kind enough to tell us in this article in the Redmond Channel
Partner--

'Of course, we're sure that Microsoft, uh, strongly encouraged a few delegates
from a few nations to change their votes -- which lots of delegates did. And,
really, OOXML's acceptance isn't all that big of a deal for partners and users,
practically speaking; after all, Microsoft document formats are also de facto
standards.

But now, all of those government agencies charged with implementing
standards-based computing are free to turn away from open source and run back to
sweet mama Microsoft if they so choose. And whatever momentum open source had
gained by taking the standards route in IT departments has certainly slowed --
if not come to a screeching halt.'

Something tells me that someone is going to regret this one in the morning.

http://rcpmag.com/blogs/weblog.aspx?blog=2075

[ Reply to This | # ]

OOXML is just for openers
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 05:54 AM EDT

Well, have what fun you can right now, but you all seem to think
that Microsoft's success with bribery in the OOXML process is
a one-time thing. It isn't. It's just the beginning.

Bill Gates' calls to presidents proves he is willing to subvert the
laws of every country in the world. Who will prove him wrong?

We can't fault the Europeans. After all, it started right here in
the U.S. and continues with the cardboard cutout of an antitrust
settlement that is maintained for the sake of appearance.

And appearances will be kept. The Roman Senate was a huge
convenience to the emperors at first. In fact, the Senate
continued for another hundred years or so after the fall of
the western empire. But Justinian just ignored the Senate,
as his predecessors had. He just issued his own code.

I think the Rubicon has been crossed. The republic is dead,
though its forms will be maintained.

Go ahead, prove me wrong. I'd be delighted.

[ Reply to This | # ]

see heres where logiv bits MS
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 06:55 AM EDT
ok your a standard so yousay. lets think about it. Other products are easier to
use wiht many others, sooo who fraking cares what MS does let have the stupid
stamp. Smart countries and IT dept's will know better, and if they want to save
there
tax payers cash ( costing canada schools 100$ per pc as an example ) then you
will use the opensource and free as in TOTALLY free.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO OOXML Scoreboard and Contacts
Authored by: no3xml on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 07:15 AM EDT

If you feel like reaching out and touching someone yourself (like your local standards organisation for example) then hopefully this will help:

ISO OOXML Scoreboard and Contacts (http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub? key=pehgYB0ckQN9s3cD9rucCOw)

I think it couldn't hurt for them to get some polite, carefully constructed questions about their handling of the issue (or congratulations for those who did the right thing).

The spreadsheet itself is quite clever in that it updates the result (taking into account O-Member and P-Member rules and abstentions) so you can do some hypotheticals with it (eg 'What if France didn't swap No to Abstain and Norway said No').

Mail me at no3xml-at-gmail if you want the original (in OpenDocument format of course!).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ubersoft on ISO, "voting irregularities", and Groklaw
Authored by: Jimbob0i0 on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 07:20 AM EDT

Hey all :)

Firstly a thank you to PJ for the kind comments in her earlier article :)

Secondly an apology for the promised blog about unixware not materialising yet - we are about to release a new version of our product and my time is being taken up by other matters in the office.

Thirdly as mentioned in my blog entry I have emailed Mr Pugh and my local MP. The letter is below (I forwarded this to Mr. Pugh along with a personal statement of support for his position):

Dear Richard Ottaway,

You may, or may not in which case I hope to enlighten you, be aware of recent events in the world of standardisation. Your colleague, Mr John Pugh, has stated that he intends to table the following question:

“Can the Minister reassure me that the British Standards Institute that operates as our National Body under a memorandum of understanding from the Government will not change its stance on the currently unavailable text for the proposed standardisation of OOXML without proper consultation.”

May I urge that the BSI uphold its admirable principles and does not approve DIS29500 in its present form.“

The abbreviated history is as follows. Back in November 2005 the OASIS group had their draft for standardisation of document formats ratified by ISO/IEC as IS26300 and the technical world celebrated that there would be a vendor neutral format to store documents in... the end of vendor lock-in! Microsoft, to a lack of general surprise, elected to convince ECMA to create a technical committee to document their new XML format in December 2005 rather than make use of this new ISO standard.

Fast forward to May 2007 and this new document (ECMA-376) was submitted to ISO SC34 and the sub-committee JTC1 received it for review. Fast forward again to September 2007 and ECMA was disapproved as an ISO standard. Our own national body, BSI, submitted over 600 comments of things to be changed - a huge amount given that this was already meant to be a standard under ECMA. Fast forward to last week.... The BSI gave their approval ECMA-376 to be an ISO standard without stating their intentions why. This seems very odd given that not all the comments could have been resolved at the international meeting in February.

Please note that this is very abbreviated and for the full story please check my blog entry located: http://www.tideway.com/community/blog-post/how-to-buy-a-standard-in-10- days/

There are also other websites such as groklawstatic.ibiblio.org and www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/ that can give you a fuller picture.

My purpose for writing to you is to request your position on this matter, to request your position on the BSI holding our national body status given that it is unsure whether they have our nation's interests at heart on this matter and to ask whether you will lend your support to your colleague to have this parliamentary question answered.

Note that it is not too late to find out what the BSI is up to. There are two months for complaints to be lodged with ISO from national bodies with regards to the voting. If it is deemed that the BSI veered from the best course of action and desires of its members the vote can be changed - provided that parliament answers this question and, if necessary, a result sent to ISO before those two months are up.

As of this date there is still not a finalised draft to vote upon...

Thank you for your time in this matter,

Yours sincerely,

James Hogarth

And I also emailed my MEPs:

Dear Gerard Batten, Baroness Sarah Ludford, John Bowis OBE, Mary Honeyball, Charles Tannock, Claude Moraes, Robert Evans, Jean Lambert and Syed Kamall,

You may, or may not in which case please allow me to enlighten you, be aware of recent happenings in the world of standardisation and consequently an investigation by the EU Commission of several countries potential voting irregularities.

The abbreviated history is as follows. Back in November 2005 the OASIS group had their draft for standardisation of document formats ratified by ISO/IEC as IS26300 and the technical world celebrated that there would be a vendor neutral format to store documents in... the end of vendor lock-in! Microsoft, to a lack of general surprise, elected to convince ECMA to create a technical committee to document their new XML format in December 2005 rather than make use of this new ISO standard.

Fast forward to May 2007 and this new document (ECMA-376) was submitted to ISO SC34 and the sub-committee JTC1 received it for review. Fast forward again to September 2007 and ECMA was disapproved as an ISO standard. Our own national body, BSI, submitted over 600 comments of things to be changed - a huge amount given that this was already meant to be a standard under ECMA. Fast forward to last week.... The BSI gave their approval ECMA-376 to be an ISO standard without stating their intentions why. This seems very odd given that not all the comments could have been resolved at the international meeting in February. There are further oddities in Germany, France, Poland and Norway to name but a few in Europe.

Please note that this is very abbreviated and for the full story please check my blog entry located: http://www.tideway.com/community/blog-post/how-to-buy-a-standard-in-10- days/

There are also other websites such as groklawstatic.ibiblio.org and www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/ that can give you a fuller picture.

My purpose for writing to you in this matter is to request your positions on the investigations taking place and to request that you lend support to the EU Commission in attempting to discover what has been happening in the various EU national bodies.

Note that it is not too late to find out what has been going on. There are two months for complaints to be lodged with ISO from national bodies with regards to the voting. If it is deemed that one or more national bodies veered from the best course of action and desires of its members the vote can be changed - provided that the Commission gets its answers to their question and, if necessary, a result sent to ISO before those two months are up.

As of this date there is still not a finalised draft to vote upon...

Thank you for your time in this matter,

Yours sincerely,

James Hogarth

If you are in the UK you can use Write to Them - I would encourage you to write if you can but please don't use my email for a straight template... boilerplate emails will more likely to be filed and forgotten than more personal discussion. For those in other countries if you can find out who you can write to then do so highlight the situation as best as possible.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Java Standard - Ubersoft on ISO, "voting irregularities", and Groklaw
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 08:02 AM EDT
Does anyone remember when Sun submitted Java to the ISO, and it was rejected
because they did not want to give up control of the standard?

Why is it Microsoft gets a pass on this and Sun didn't? Was it because Sun
played fair and Microsoft didn't? Just asking, I'm not accusing anyone of
anything.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Question: What discretion DOES the ISO governing body have here?
Authored by: OmniGeek on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 09:03 AM EDT
It's obvious that MS has horribly perverted the approval process here; the
question I have is, did ISO have the discretion, within their bylaws, to NOT
approve this proposal on the basis of the votes submitted by the member National
Bodies?

It *may* be the case that ISO cannot simply say, "This process was
obviously fraudulent" and throw out the result. They may be bound by their
charter to follow the vote unless and until a NB files an objection, at which
point they are empowered to take official notice of the shenanigans and tip the
result in the dumpster where it belongs. The operative term here is,
"may."

Does anyone have actual knowledge of what discretion ISO has or doesn't have in
this situation? That has an important bearing on whether they are the corrupt
miscreants they appear to be, or are simply hog-tied by a naive decision-making
process. That fact, in turn, should tell us much about the eventual fate of the
appeals made by NBs here.

---
My strength is as the strength of ten men, for I am wired to the eyeballs on
espresso.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Le Monde" (leading French newspaper): ISO loses credibility
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 09:06 AM EDT

There's a good discussion of the MSOOXML fiasco in Le Monde, considered by many to be the leading serious French newspaper.

It's a longish article which quotes both Microsoft and the opponents of MSOOXML, but it makes the clear point that adoption of MSOOXML as an ISO standard resulted from questionable procedures in several countries (including AFNOR, the French body).

The last paragraph is headed "MICROSOFT RENFORCÉ, L'ISO DÉCRÉDIBILISÉE" (Microsoft strengthened, the ISO lost credibility) and concludes "Cette norme place maintenant Microsoft en position incontournable en matière de formats bureautique, mais l'ISO perd encore un peu plus de son indépendance et de sa crédibilité"

In English: "This standard puts Microsoft in a leading position in office-automation file formats, but the ISO loses a little more of its independence and credibility."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Even stronger lock-in to come
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 09:09 AM EDT
After OOXML is published by ISO, I expect even stronger lock-in to Microsoft to come. This is of course what Microsoft wanted all along. Here's what I think will happen.

Those countries that voted for OOXML almost certainly did so because they want to continue to use MS. They will continue to do so and will begin to use OOXML to store their documents, in the name of "standardization".

Anyone who needs to do any official business with those governments will have to be able to read and produce OOXML documents, as that is the standard format that has been selected.

Microsoft intentionally designed OOXML so that no one else would be able to process it properly. This is to force those of us who prefer some other tools to have to buy the MS products as well.

Tom M.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Voting Rules
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 10:15 AM EDT
By the legitimate use of the principle that the rules are designed for the protection of the minority,
That is the nature of voting within Robert's Rules. For example, if there are 100 members and vote: 45 Yes, 40 No, and 15 Abstain, then the vote passes ... also passes if the vote is 20 Yes, 10 No, and 70 Abstain (this may be a reaonsable outcome: see vanilla vs. chocolate below). Those who Abstain have the right to Abstain, and also know that Abstaining means that they are not voicing a preference in their (non-)vote
One negative vote defeats a motion to make a vote unanimous, as a single objection defeats a request for general consent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

One more irregularity
Authored by: PolR on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 11:19 AM EDT
If you want to add to the list of irregularities, here is one more. The JTC1 directives 13.12 includes this paragraph:
In not more than one month after the ballot resolution group meeting the SC Secretariat shall distribute the final report of the meeting and final DIS text in case of acceptance.
This one month period ended last Saturday. Apparently, the final DIS text is still not distributed. The NBs has voted on a text that is not available when the directives required it to be.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ubersoft on ISO, "voting irregularities", and Groklaw
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 11:22 AM EDT
Haha! Nice strip. Another good one:
http://www.killrates.c om/?Language=en&Strip=27

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Killrates.com - Authored by: Weeble on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 01:17 PM EDT
  • Mycrowhard - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 01:29 PM EDT
ISO's lukewarm statement of fact
Authored by: samj on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 12:31 PM EDT

ISO have as promised stated that ISO/IEC DIS 29500 receives necessary votes for approval as an International Standard, followed by a 573 word account of the debacle that was, going right back to December 2006. IMO they're essentially defending themselves as the bringer of bad news and saying "please don't shoot the messenger".

It's hardly the usual bubbly press release like: But this is what's really telling. According to Google it is unprecedented for them to talk about the appeals process:
Subject to there being no formal appeals from ISO/IEC national bodies in the next two months, the International Standard will accordingly proceed to publication.
It seems that they're about as happy with this situation as we are (except perhaps those who were somehow 'convinced' otherwise) and are virtually begging for the community to appeal! So what are you waiting for? Have you contacted your standards body/member of parliament/watchdog yet?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ubersoft As Basis For a Groklaw Article????!!!!!
Authored by: Weeble on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 12:52 PM EDT
I never expected to see that happen, but I'm glad to see it happen. It's part of
my daily geek humor diet, right up there with UserFriendly (BTW, today's UF is a
riot--Dust Puppy looks like a Transformer). Way to go, Chris!

---
You Never Know What You're Going to Learn--or Learn About--on Groklaw!
(NOTE: Click the "Weeble" link for Copying Permissions and Contact Info.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ubersoft on ISO, "voting irregularities", and Groklaw
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 05:28 PM EDT
This whole mess reminds me of a joke I heard over a decade ago (only it has a
more prophetic and sinister feel now):

How many Microsoft employees does it take to change a light bulb?
None; Microsoft just declares darkness to be the new standard.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Size of OOXML
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 06:30 PM EDT
PJ said: "Check out the picture of OOXML. In volumes. Stacked on the desk."

Rob Weir said (in the comments):
[O]ne way to understand the huge number of spelling errors is that OOXML is too large to spell check. If you load the Word version of Part 4 into Word, it will give you an warming [sic] message, telling you that too many spelling errors have been detected and that it must disable spell checking.
I think that's funny.

E-man

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • LOL - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 09:54 PM EDT
The official position of Canada
Authored by: PolR on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 07:10 PM EDT
The official position of Canada on OOXML is publicly available.
Canada has carefully reviewed the results of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 OOXML Fast Track Ballot Resolution Meeting and determined after detailed analysis that Canada will maintain its Disapprove vote.

Canada notes that major enhancements had been made to ISO/IEC 29500 during the Ballot Resolution Meeting, but the general quality of the standard was not yet what was expected of an ISO/IEC Standard, and that there were still too many unknowns.

Canada states that the inappropriate use of the fast track process for this DIS has rendered it impossible to ascertain whether in fact 29500 meets the standard of quality and correctness required in an International Standard.

Canada further recommends that the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Fast Track procedures and processes be reviewed and enhanced to ensure that this situation does not arise again in the future, and bring disrepute to the whole ISO and IEC International Standards process.

Finally, Canada recommends that the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 OOXML Fast Track documents and materials, plus the enhancements made at the Ballot Resolution Meeting be submitted to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 as a New Work Item for processing via the normal standards development processes.


It strikes me this position looks like a very good starting point for an appeal. The grounds might be two matters of principles.
  1. The text of the DIS was not available to members national bodies within one month of the end of the BRM as required by rule 13.12. Members have voted on a DIS without having seen the text. At a matter of principle, on no occasion an ISO/IEC standard should be adopted by a vote on a text that has not been written.

  2. On two occasions at least, members were denied the ability to abort the fast track process due to inappropriateness for this particular DIS.

    • At the BRM, the option to declare the comments unresolvable in the alloted time was not presented for consideration. If such option was presented and adopted, the fast track process would have aborted.

    • At the end of the contradiction phase, the process should have been aborted due to a massive number of unresolved contradictions. Instead the Edition 5 version 3 of the JTC1 directives were adopted and a new rule was adopted to require the continuing of the process in presence of unresolvable contradictions. Please note that the new rule was adopted after the end of the contradiction phase, just in time to allow the fast track process to resume.

    As a matter of principle, the option to abort the Fast Track process when it is determined to be inappropriate for a DIS must always be available.
Other grounds can be raised, but these two are very consistent with Canada's position and they have the diplomatic advantage of not depending on questions on the quality of the work of other national bodies.

ISTR that appeals based on matters of principles are allowed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Australian Standards: Complaint regarding abstention position on OOXML
Authored by: samj on Thursday, April 03 2008 @ 07:16 PM EDT

Hi,

Thanks PJ for your ongoing efforts and to the Groklaw community, especially Jimbob0i0 for providing some incentive to take action with his earlier posts. It will be interesting to see what effect (if any) this will have and I do wonder whether SA would prefer to argue that they were disinterested or incompetent.

Hopefully this will in turn convince others to look up the offending standards bodies, hunt down MPs, complain to watchdogs, etc. as there's no point whatsoever in reading this blog, getting annoyed and doing nothing!

Enjoy,

Sam

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 8:55 PM
Subject: Complaint regarding abstention position on OOXML
To: Standards Australia Standardisation Services

Dear Sir/Madam,

Notwithstanding recognition of the tireless work Standards Australia makes in this important field, I write to formally complain about the 'abstain' position recently taken in the 'ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML file formats' standardisation process. Given the time sensitive nature of the complaint and the potential for substantial negative impact on Australian businesses and consumers alike I will concurrently be raising it with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), among others.

I will not contribute further to the heated ongoing debate on this topic focused around the unsuitability of this file format as a 'standard' at this time, instead drawing attention to my primary concern - the validity of the 'abstain' position in this context (particularly with comments). In the event that this proves to be a valid position I will provide further justification in due course.

According to the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directives document (0856rev.pdf attached for your convenience) to which Standards Australia is bound as a JTC 1 participant, there are clearly three options - Approval, Disapproval or Abstention:

9.8 Votes on Fast-track DISs
The period for fast-track DIS (or DAM) voting shall be six months, consisting of a 30-day JTC 1 National Body review period followed by a five-month ballot period. NBs may reply in one of the following ways:
  • Approval of the technical content of the DIS as presented (editorial or other comments may be appended);
  • Disapproval of the DIS (or DAM) for technical reasons to be stated, with proposals for changes that would make the document acceptable (acceptance of these proposals shall be referred to the NB concerned for confirmation that the vote can be changed to approval);
  • Abstention (see 9.1.2).
[Note: Conditional approval should be submitted as a disapproval vote.]

The latter option (the position reported to ISO by Standards Australia) is defined in 9.1.2 as:

9.1.2  A P-member which has given appropriate notification that it will abstain from participation in specific work items (see 3.1.2) is entitled to abstain from voting on these work items.

And further elaborated in 3.1.2 (emphasis mine):

3.1.2  A P-member may have an interest in the field of JTC 1 without having interest or competence in all of the work items which may be dealt with.  In such an instance, a P-member may inform the JTC 1 Secretariat, the SC Secretariat and the ITTF at the beginning of the work, or at a later stage, that it will abstain from participation in discussion or voting on specific items.  Such a position, established and recorded by JTC 1, shall entitle the P-member to be absent from meetings and to abstain from voting on the relevant FDISs.

According to Standards Australia's 31 March 2008 press release (080331_Aust_maintains_abstain_position_on_OOXML.pdf attached for your convenience) and other publicly available information, it is my contention that Standards Australia not only failed to give appropriate notification but lacks neither the interest nor the competence. Indeed it has demonstrated and admitted to both, including by way of ongoing activity and by active participation in the recent BRM in Geneva (080221_SA_Statement_on_OOXML_BRM.pdf attached for your convenience). Specifically on the topic of interest:
  • "Understanding the significance of the global debate surrounding the adoption of this ECMA standard by ISO, Standards Australia has appointed a senior delegation to attend the ballot resolution meeting addressing National Body comments on draft international standard 29500."
And on the topic of competence:
  • "The Senior Project Manager of the IT and Commerce area at Standards Australia was appointed as Head of Delegation, supported by an alternative technical expert."
Furthermore "Mr Panjan Navaratnam, head of Standards Australia's delegation to the Geneva BRM, said Standards Australia had been working with industry, the community and government for more than 14 months to come up with an agreed position on the OOXML Standard" conceding that "Unfortunately two clear groups have formed, in part along commercial lines, either supporting or opposing the adoption of OOXML as an International Standard, including the Commonwealth Government which opposes its adoption".

It is thus also my contention that certain commercial interests have impaired Standards Australia from exercising its duty.

I note that in an unprecedented move the Internation Standards Organisation (ISO) has referred to the appeals process in their 2 April press release announcing 'ISO/IEC DIS 29500 receives necessary votes for approval as an International Standard' (http://www.iso.org/ iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1123):

Subject to there being no formal appeals from ISO/IEC national bodies in the next two months, the International Standard will accordingly proceed to publication.

In light of the invalidity of the 'Abstain' position in this context and noting that it is well recognised that there are many outstanding technical issues ('The recent BRM only addressed a small number of the issues raised by various member countries'), as well as observing that comments were submitted when 'Conditional approval should be submitted as a disapproval vote', I hereby call on Standards Australia to lodge a formal appeal to ISO within the two month window with a view to changing its invalid 'Abstain' vote to a valid 'Disapproval' vote. Doing so will properly indicate the inability to reach consensus for 'Approval of the technical content of the DIS as presented' rather than the failure to try.

Yours faithfully,

Sam

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft created fake account?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 04 2008 @ 09:37 AM EDT
Did Microsoft really try to make a Groklaw account pretending to be an average
user?

I missed it. When did that happen? Got a link?

[ Reply to This | # ]

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