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ISO to TMB: Here Are the Appeals Against OOXML; They Should Be Denied - Updated 2Xs - Responses
Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 07:57 AM EDT

Here is the ISO document [PDF] reporting the recommendation of Alan Bryden, Secretary-General and CEO, ISO, and Aharon Amit, General Secretary and CEO, IEC, to the Technical Management Board (TMB) not to pursue the appeals filed against OOXML. You could subtitle the document, "Ode to Microsoft," I'd say, and here's their predictable bottom line:

20. The processing of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 project has been conducted in conformity with the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directives, with decisions determined by the votes expressed by the relevant ISO and IEC national bodies under their own responsibility, and consequently, for the reasons mentioned above, the appeals should not be processed further.

I know you are not surprised. The same people who gave us OOXML were expected to tell us that they did a fabulous job. However, it does mean the appeals have been sent along to the TMB. The memo is dated June 30. You can read the filings by those who appealed -- Brazil, South Africa, Venezuela, and India -- as they are attached as exhibits, and decide for yourself if the rules were followed. I guarantee it will curl your lip. There is an August 4 deadline mentioned in the document for all the members of the TMB to take a position on the appeals, it says.

If you remember Andy Updegrove's class that I highlighted on Groklaw before on how the appeals process works, we're here:

11.3.3 The Secretaries-General shall, following whatever consultations they deem appropriate, refer the appeal together with their comments to the TMB/SMB within one month after receipt of the appeal....

11.3.4 The TMB/SMB shall decide whether an appeal shall be further processed or not. If the decision is in favour of proceeding, the Chairmen of the TMB/SMB shall form a conciliation panel (see 9.2). The conciliation panel shall hear the appeal and attempt to resolve the difference of opinion as soon as practicable. If the conciliation panel is unsuccessful in its endeavours, it shall so report within three months to the Secretaries-General, giving its recommendations on how the matter should be settled.

The document itself, in Annex A, says a bit more about what the appealing NBs can do if they don't like a decision not to proceed further:

14. The TMB and the SMB may choose one of two options for each appeal:
14.1 Not to process the appeal any further. This is the equivalent of denying the appeal. If all four are denied, publication of ISO/IEC 29500 may proceed. The NB concerned may appeal this decision to the Councils.

14.2 Process the appeal further. This has the consequence that a conciliation panel must be organized. In this event it seems indicated to organize a single conciliation panel for all the appeals being processed.

That's on page 3 of the PDF. Those were the options, and ISO suggests that the TMB choose the first. I have no idea who "the Councils" are. But I'd wager that will be fruitless also. To give you an idea of why I say that, here's why the appeal from India was deemed "not receivable" at first. The four NBs were told that to appeal properly, they had to tell what remedial action they'd find acceptable:

15. The appeal from India identifies a "remedial action", extending the time for appealing to allow reading the "final text", which is irrelevant to the decision being appealed and therefore to the appeal (see item 6, in Attachment 1). Therefore the Indian appeal identifies no remedial action and is not receivable.

In short, it's all been a farce, in keeping with the rest of the OOXML processing. ISO thinks there's not a thing wrong with the job they did on OOXML, they do not countenance criticism, and if we don't like it, we can lump it. Or, ISO has decided to go down with the ship. Anyway, stay tuned. It ain't over 'til it's over.

Update: Andy Updegrove has an article up now:

Yesterday the CEOs of ISO and IEC delivered their required report on the four appeals filed relating to adoption of Microsoft's OOXML specification. ...

Those who have been disappointed by how the Fast Track process was conducted will also be disappointed by the reasoning they will find in the document, which can be effectively be summarized as follows:

1. All judgments made during the course of the process were appropriately made under the applicable Directives

2. The fact that the BRM voted on all proposed resolutions in some fashion satisfies the requirements of the Directives

3. The fact that a sufficient percentage of National Bodies (NBs) ultimately voted to approve DIS 29500 ratifies the process and any flaws in that process

4. Many objections, regardless of their merits, are irrelevant to the appeals process

The analysis in the document and the final recommendation demonstrate the very limited degree to which decisions made by ISO/IEC can be appealed, no matter ill considered they may be considered to have been by those that have participated in the process.

Update 2: Alex Brown has a feeble response on his blog. He hints that maybe the four national bodies copied off each other's test papers, so to speak. Silly stuff. Nothing about any of the substantive issues. Like, for example, the document stating that Brazil isn't a P country, when it is, according to ISO's list on its website. But the memo says on page 3 of the PDF that Brazil has no right to appeal, because it's not a P country. In the comments page, where he and Andy Updegrove get into it, he responds to Andy like this:

> I'm a little surprised by your blog entry for two reasons. First, it doesn't have
> anything to say on the merits, which are important for those who filed the appeals,
> for others who have concerns, and for the integrity of the process.

It's really not my place to comment on that. I think the document speaks for itself - very clearly.

It speaks for itself very clearly in the same way as do the Zimbabwe election results, I'd say. Those running the show can proclaim that a process was as fair and legitimate as you please, but if people saw a thumb on the scale, they may draw a very different conclusion. Issuing statements and studies and reports and whatnot can't undo what people can see with their own eyes. And in spite of ISO's heroic efforts to keep this entire process under wraps, we saw what we saw.

Perhaps ISO hasn't read the new "European Interoperability Framework for Pan-European eGovernment Services" [PDF] on p. 9:

The following are the minimum characteristics that a specification and its attendant documents must have in order to be considered an open standard:
  • The standard is adopted and will be maintained by a not-for-profit organization, and its ongoing development occurs on the basis of an open decision-making procedure available to all interested parties (consensus or majority decision etc.)
  • The standard has been published and the standard specification document is available either freely or at a nominal charge. It must be permissible to all to copy, distribute and use it for no fee or at a nominal fee.
  • The intellectual property -- i.e. patents possibly present -- of (parts of) the standard is made irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis.

What do you think? Does ISO's OOXML match that description?

Brown suggests that because the four have a sentence here and there that is similar, it suggests that their complaints should be ignored, like when you get a lot of form letters:

Well, like for form-letters, their content is likely to get proportionately discounted when considered.

!! What?

I think it's fairly obvious that there are only so many ways to say that there wasn't sufficient time to analyze the merits of the submission. And if there was insufficient time, what substantive difference does it make how someone expresses it? It either was insufficient or it was not. He does not say that there was sufficient time. He suggests instead that because they used similar language, no one needs to pay attention to that very substantive criticism. You can find ISO's characterization of the bases for the appeals on page 5 of the document, by the way. Let's look at one. Remember India saying it suggested that there should be a delay to give appellants a chance to receive the final draft prior to cutting off appeals? If you look at number 6 on the list, note that ISO considers that irrelevant:

6. "Final" text of ISO/IEC 29500 or ISO/IEC DIS 29500, of 'revised FDIS text", not released.

6e. Correct but irrelevant. The decision being appealed is the JTC 1 decision to approve the draft. The text mentioned in the Directives and by the appellants is not germane to that decision, which must be taken on the basis of the original DIS text and the actions taken by the BRM on the comments. The provision of any revised text is not for purposes of further decision by NBs.

Now, India's appeal begins on page 13, and as you can see, it points out that the final text was supposed to be distributed within a month. It wasn't, so it was a violation of the directives, according to India, and a basis for the appeal. India wasn't saying it couldn't file an appeal until it had the final text, but rather that ISO didn't follow the rules, which specify, they believe, that NBs should have it prior to the deadline for appeals to be filed. Since they didn't have it, India suggested a lengthening of the time to appeal.

He suggests that everyone knew what was happening at the BRM, that they knew in advance how it would go, and they had the option to vote no, and they mostly didn't, so what's the beef?

The P-member and O-member voting was all carried out correctly, as the ISO document confirms. Again, it should be obvious that such things were carefully decided in advance of the meeting. I accept the procedural description in the Directives is unnecessarily arcane here - it was my problem too.

The voting at the BRM was the result of attending NB delegations considering all available options and choosing what they thought was the best one. The NBs knew what they were doing, and appreciated the constaints of the situation. If any NB thought the BRM was inadequate they could subsequently disapprove the DIS (as they were repeatledly informed). Overall, they did not.

The voting was all carried out correctly? Then why are four national bodies appealing? And may I point out that India did vote No? So did Brazil. So did South Africa. So did Venezuela. Is he seriously saying that NBs that voted no can't appeal? There can be no appeal on that issue, because he asserts it was all perfectly done? Says him. Is he saying that if you were confused at the BRM, and we know some were, as to what they were voting on in the bulk vote, that there can be no appeal, because it's somehow too late to bring it up? If any of you can help me to get all the appeals into text, I would appreciate it very much.

Alan Bryden, one of the authors of the document sent to the TMB, was asked by Reuters if OOXML has damaged ISO's reputation. ISO has placed the entire interview on its website, and here's his answer:

Although OOXML has certainly been a high profile case, particularly because of the existence of the Internet and the World Wide Web, it is not the first controversial issue that ISO has had to deal with. Both in the past, and in this particular case, the robustness of the ISO/IEC processes have proved their value and, irrespective of the outcome of the current appeals, we are confident that the robustness of the system will again lead to the answer the market place wishes to see and, in fact, reinforce ISO's credibility.

They know we can see them, right?

I wouldn't bring up the marketplace, if I were ISO, unless one wishes to point out that even Microsoft isn't using this standard and has said rather clearly it won't any time soon. Why would it? In fact, *could* it?


ISO to TMB: Here Are the Appeals Against OOXML; They Should Be Denied - Updated 2Xs - Responses | 438 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here...
Authored by: feldegast on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 08:04 AM EDT
So they can be fixed

My posts are ©2004-2008 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IS 29500 will remain a badge of shame for the ISO
Authored by: billyskank on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 08:11 AM EDT
No-one will ever be able to present this as a quality work. We all know. By the
way, did the ISO ever release the text yet?

It's not the software that's free; it's you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic here
Authored by: NigelWhitley on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 08:12 AM EDT
Please read the Important Stuff. Please make links clickable and make Post Mode
HTML Formatted.

Nigel Whitley

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks here
Authored by: NigelWhitley on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 08:16 AM EDT
Posts regarding the ever-popular Newpicks feature on the right of the webpage
should go here. Please read the Important Stuff. Please use the title of the
Newspick as the title to start the thread.

Nigel Whitley

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO is making itself irrelevant
Authored by: seraph_jeffery on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 09:16 AM EDT
By their behavior, the technical community is quickly coming to see that ISO is
irrelevant: an "ISO Standard" is the best that money can buy. Shame,
really, since they were a useful organization in the past. I feel that we can
pretty much ignore whatever they say from this point on. They're about as
objective is Maureen O'Gara... Tsk! Tsk!

[ Reply to This | # ]

It's all down to who you know.
Authored by: Brian S. on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 09:35 AM EDT
Alan Bryden, currently Director General of France's national standardization institute, AFNOR, has been appointed Secretary-General of ISO...comes at a point when international standardization is called on to respond to the globalization of trade, the issues posed by new challenges such as sustainable development, and the requirements of the information society...


The AFNOR Affair: Interview with Frédéric Couchet of APRIL on OOXML in France ~ by Sean Daly

...A very complete press article [French] on the AFNOR Affair, "OpenXML is standardized... the process of the French vote, less so", leads to a response:

Within the administration, a rumor is circulating that the French reversal was dictated by the Elysian Palace, via the adviser specialized in new technologies, Franck Suplisson. "The administration's experts held to their negative position until the last moment, March 25th. After that, it's a black hole..." according to our source.

There is an error in the name of of the technical adviser for information and communication technologies. It should be Franck Supplisson with a double "p". The instructions to the DGE and DGME to change their position would therefore have come directly from the Elysian Palace [President's office, ndlr]. The article is signed Reynald Flechaux, previously editor-in-chief of the magazine "Le Monde Informatique" which was a weekly publication dedicated to business and IT company executives, one can reasonably suppose he has good sources. Aside from his serial exchanges with AFNOR, did Eric Boustouller, president of Microsoft France, write to Nicolas Sarkozy as well?

Q: The French newspaper Les Echos published a letter [PDF, French] from the president of Microsoft France sent to the general director of AFNOR for transmission to commission members some 24 hours before the OOXML vote deadline. In the letter, reference is made to telephone conversations that day and contact with Microsoft headquarters. Microsoft promised to promote interoperability and maintain OOXML as a standard. Why do you think AFNOR and some commission members believe what Microsoft says?

Frédéric Couchet: AFNOR hopes in effect that ECMA and Microsoft will respect their "commitments". Olivier Peyrat, AFNOR's General Director, had indicated at the AFNOR press conference: "We reserve the ability to alert the market in case of inadequate behavior of certain actors." Olivier Peyrat thinks that any after-the-fact change in Microsoft or ECMA's position would backfire on them in the future. This argument is just plain ridiculous. A company like Microsoft couldn't care less about this type of possible threat especially now that its format has the ISO label, which is the key thing for Microsoft.

Q: Last August there were some reports that the AFNOR commission meetings were heated. Can you tell us anything about that?

Frédéric Couchet: On August 29th 2007 the AFNOR standardization commission meeting took place with the objective of establishing the position of the commission and therefore consequently France's position. The exchanges were stormy at some points since Marc Mossé, head of Legal and Public Affairs at Microsoft France, did everything, I thought, he could to sabotage the meeting. Marc Mossé, judging from appearances, seemed to have the very clear assignment to obtain AFNOR's abstention. Absolutely not constructive, not very polite either, in particular with the representatives of the French administration, Marc Mossé seemed to have decided to ruin the meeting and heighten the pressure -- well-known tactic to block the arrival at a consensus. But he did too much, way too much. The end was pitiful enough, notably when he accused one of the State's representatives of serving a "banana republic". He claimed by the way to be representing local administrations against the central administration. The resume of Marc Mossé is online but strangely, his stint at the BSA, the Business Software Alliance, is not mentioned in it. The meeting of March 25th 2008 was much more calm and cordial, perhaps because of the absence of Marc Mossé...

Q: AFNOR last year recommended that OOXML be merged with ODF and even proposed a roadmap [PDF, French] to do so. Of course, Microsoft has consistently refused to support ODF natively, so it would be difficult to imagine Microsoft wishing to accomodate the existing ISO standard. Is this harmonization project stillborn?

Frédéric Couchet: Technically, this harmonization project no longer makes any sense. When Microsoft and ECMA developed OOXML, they in no way took into account the acquired experience of ODF while ODF 1.0 was already an international standard, that ODF was already published, and that certain work issues were already known. It was nevertheless an excellent situation for preparing future harmonization. The refusal to take ODF into account in the development of OOXML is proof that Microsoft is not inclined to meet halfway. Most of all, OOXML is basically conceived according to an architecture which reflects the organization of Microsoft office suites; the specifications are very heterogeneous and their separation reflects that of the Office System environment.

OOXML is therefore not easier to harmonize with ODF than the old Microsoft binary formats. The recent harmonization projects, as well as the ODF/OOXML converters sponsored by Microsoft but external to Microsoft Office, are more revealing of a seduction campaign for OOXML than a real perspective of interoperability. By the way, for the market, the only useful thing is compatibility with Microsoft Office, which means that Microsoft's competitors will have to perform reverse engineering of the true Microsoft Office formats and won't be able to trust the OOXML specification which is too complex and too theoretical....


[ Reply to This | # ]

What have we learned?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 10:49 AM EDT

No surprises here. An appeal was worth trying, but it never had much of a chance.

What have we learned from the OOXML fiasco? I hope we have all learned that:

  1. Stopping the Microsoft steamroller requires a lot of advance preparation. It's no good complaining that the ballot-box has been stuffed after it's been stuffed. We have to be alert to the possibility beforehand.
  2. When any kind of decision involving Microsoft is going to be made, we have to know who the decision-makers are and how to influence them.

Of course, there's sometimes nothing we can do. It seems that the French "vote" on OOXML may have been dictated by the President of France - nothing much anyone can do about that; Gates can get to him, we can't. But there are other instances where we could have discouraged chicanery by the spotlight of publicity, and we either didn't find out who was involved, or didn't find out in time, or didn't foresee how Microsoft would subvert the process.

[ Reply to This | # ]

the very limited degree
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 12:19 PM EDT
I'd like to know the positive list of criteria that have to be met. I can't
think of any.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 12:29 PM EDT
In retrospect, I am embarrassed that I have ever endorsed a standard, based on
its ISO status. A standard may have many merits, but its ISO status can no
longer be one of those merits.

The ISO has so thoroughly debased itself, its stature is now a laughing-stock.
The management has come to demonstrate clearly the truth of the maxim,
"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

[ Reply to This | # ]

we all lament on ISO ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 12:31 PM EDT
... that it should do things as we think they are correct. OK, we use their own
rules to judge, but WE wanted THEM to DO something in OUR favour.

Why not turn around and build a new standardisation organisation? One with
rules and a real specification.

We are a HUGE assembly of enthusiasts. We have reached so much. ISO and the
national bodies have shown they are rotten deep inside.


[ Reply to This | # ]

apologia sub arguendo
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 01:42 PM EDT
1. All judgments made during the course of the process were appropriately made under the applicable Directives fact, we put considerable effort into the daily and sometimes hourly Applicable Directive updates, just to ensure that this would happen.

2. The fact that the BRM voted on all proposed resolutions in some fashion satisfies the requirements of the Directives

...although many NBs thought that a BRM resolution requires a consensus on the specification, it turns out that, according to the Directives, any consensus will do.

3. The fact that a sufficient percentage of National Bodies (NBs) ultimately voted to approve DIS 29500 ratifies the process and any flaws in that process

...since the applicable Directives, as hastily amended, now contain new and innovative definitions of "sufficient percentage", "National Body", "approve", and "flaw".

4. Many objections, regardless of their merits, are irrelevant to the appeals process

...because as long as we won't even consider a specification on its merits, we see no reason to extend that courtesy to a mere objection.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe Robert Mugabe can straighten this out.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 02:00 PM EDT
Perhaps the ISO could ask Robert Mugabe if he could look into the matter of how
the ISO conducts their votes. He's a man whom I'm sure the ISO would be happy to
place their trust in.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What do OOXML and the German football team have in common?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 03:33 PM EDT
Easy: a few years after their successes, no-one will ask how they were

The German football (soccer) team is notorious for being very successful in
almost every major tournament (World and European Championships) despite being
far from being one of the best teams. However, if you can say 'in 2002, we were
2nd in the World Championships', who's gonna retort 'yeah, but you didn't play
very well'?

For the same reason, in a few years no-one will remember how OOXML passed ISO,
just that it passed and that it's a 'standard' now, a standard MS can point to
when governments demand that an office solution provider "adheres to an
international open standard, preferably ISO".

And all lament of now will be long forgotten, taken as serious as someone saying
"but Nigeria would have deserved to win in the 1982 quarterfinals of...
because they were the best team".


[ Reply to This | # ]

2 of 12 - and eternal optimism
Authored by: bbaston on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 05:48 PM EDT
Well, there are two of the 12 nations on the TMB who aren't going to rubber stamp this rubbishrecommendation:

ABNT Brazil (2008)
AENOR Spain (2010)
AFNOR France (2008)
ANSI USA (2009)
BSI United Kingdom (2009)
DIN Germany (2009)
JISC Japan (2010)
NEN Netherlands (2008)
SABS South Africa (2008)
SAC China (2008)
SCC Canada (2010)
SN Norway (2008)

[NOTE - The figures in brackets show the year at the end of which the term of office expires.]

imaybewrong, iamnotalawyertoo, inmyhumbleopinion, iamveryold

[ Reply to This | # ]

Haiku here
Authored by: Crocodile_Dundee on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 09:01 PM EDT
The votes were not fair
But because there was a vote
We say it was fair.

Please do not complain
Even if it's not published.
We have said it is.

Andy Updergrove
Has made several good points.
But we make the rules.

Your damn complaints
will not be processed further.
We stand by our mates.

You play by the rules
Leave the funny stuff to us
Come back when you're rich

That's not a law suit. *THIS* is a law suit!

[ Reply to This | # ]

More evidence for Kroes?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 09 2008 @ 11:30 PM EDT

Well, I can fantasize that this provides additional evidence
for Neelie Kroes against Microsoft. And maybe grounds for
subpoenas of ISO officials' bank records. Boy, Microsoft
really did their homework with those guys.

But I have a feeling all this will be decided in thousands
of private market decisions, under the radar, by companies
who have had enough of Microsoft, dragging their governments
kicking and screaming along with them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

So what if the TMB decides to proceed with the appeals
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 10 2008 @ 09:06 AM EDT
This seems to me to be at least a plausable scenario:

The ISO management says the appeals should be denied, the TMB overrules them and
dumps OOXML on the floor. The management is happy because ISO now regains its
credibility, and when the devil comes calling they can say with all credibility
"we did our best but we dont control the TMB".

From ISO's position this sounds like a nice win-win for them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO to TMB: Here Are the Appeals Against OOXML; They Should Be Denied
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 10 2008 @ 02:38 PM EDT
How do we suggest that the members of the TMB be released/let go/removed, as
they've obviously been compromised / infected.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO: Final straw
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 10 2008 @ 04:16 PM EDT
That's it, I'm done.

My company will never again waste money on another ISO audit.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The simple explanation...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 10 2008 @ 10:52 PM EDT
PJ, it's clear that you don't understand their objection to everyone having the
same objections. You see, when people all say that they saw the same flaw in
the process, that means that they're honest. When they come up with several
wildly divergent explanations, they're lying. We saw this over and over in the
SCO saga, as you may remember.

So their objection, therefore, is that they've all read and understood the
rules. That sort of behavior isn't tolerated in the ISO. You're supposed to
just make things up on the spot.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Form Letters!!??
Authored by: mrcreosote on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 12:31 AM EDT
Why, the only thing worse than using form letters would be....Oh, I don't know......maybe, creating a fake grass-roots campaign, or posting fake user testimonials, or stuffing votes, or paying 'think tanks' to produce 'independent' studies that just so happen to favour your products.

I mean, who would do something like that?


[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO's new standard for Lying
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 01:39 AM EDT
This one is so disgusting I'm not even going to include a link (check the news
picks if you want details). Now the clowns saying OOXML appeals have no merit
have the absolute GALL to lie - outright and to the world - that Brazil has no
standing to appeal because they are not a "P" country. LIARS! Look at
your own list of P countries, 1st entry!!!

This sets a new low for ISO. Maybe it's time for ISO 29501 - "How to lie,

Simply, unbelievably, INCREDIBLE. WAKE UP, ISO!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Has ANSI ever explained itself?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 01:45 AM EDT

Has the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ever
explained how it could vote for an unimplementable standard?

Well, yes, ISO is dead, but so is ANSI -- and a lot of other
standards bodies around the world.

They all sold their integrity to Microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ISO to TMB: Here Are the Appeals Against OOXML; They Should Be Denied - Updated 2Xs - Responses
Authored by: bmcmahon on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 01:50 AM EDT

Mr. Brown:

Well, like for form-letters, their content is likely to get proportionately discounted when considered.

Of course. It makes perfect sense. After all, if one person walked up to Alex and said, "Alex, you can buy any standard you want at ISO's Restaurant" ... they'd think he was a long-haired smelly and just ignore him.

But if two people, if two people say it, in harmony, then they'd think they were just a form letter, and wouldn't take either of them.

Well, you know the rest....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Extra ISO P Members
Authored by: stomfi on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:12 AM EDT
Are the extra P country members that joined just prior to the OOXML vote, still
holding up other ISO standards work?

This is maybe why ISO management wants the OOXML ratification process out of the
way as quickly as possible, despite what it may really think about the quality
of the application.

Of course ISO management wouldn't be able to say anything about this, but one of
Groklaw's many and able investigators may know.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What is the current status of DIS29500?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:14 AM EDT
It is now Deleted
Th ere are now four heads grown on this Hydra, all of which are stated to be at stage 40.99, ie. "Full report circulated: DIS approved for registration as FDIS". They all achieved this stage 2008-04-04. Their status however is Under Development
Now if we assume that "Full report circulated" means that NBs have the text, perhaps some Groklegians could ascertain whether the now four parts when added together make the same DIS29500 that was "passed" by the BRM. I think that any omission or addition might make life difficult for the editor(s).

See Also:
ISO/IEC DIS 29500-1 Information technology -- Office Open XML file formats -- Part 1: Fundamentals and Markup Language Reference
ISO/IEC DIS 29500-2 Information technology -- Office Open XML file formats -- Part 2: Open Packaging Conventions
ISO/IEC DIS 29500-3 Information technology -- Office Open XML file formats -- Part 3: Markup Compatibility and Extensibility
ISO/IEC DIS 29500-4 Information technology -- Office Open XML file formats -- Part 4: Transitional Migration Features

Suspicious minds may observe that the catalog numbers are out of order. They may also wonder if "Transitional Migration Features" are the supposedly deprecated features.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Crazy posters
Authored by: GLJason on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 05:51 AM EDT
Wow, there are really some crazy posts here. There are things like "I
cannot believe I've ever endorsed an ISO standard and never will again."
Some people are just being ridiculous. Microsoft corrupted the process to get
their single standard passed in an effort to capitalize on and maintain their
monopoly of the office suite software market. So what. That is one
specification out of over 17,000! Should we then ignore "ISO 8098:2002 -
Safety requirements for bicycles for young children"?

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Appeal OCR Thread
Authored by: Steve Martin on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 06:48 AM EDT

[PJ:] If any of you can help me to get all the appeals into text, I would appreciate it very much.
I'll do the Africa appeal.

"When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffe, "Sports Night"

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A case of "The Chicken and the Egg"
Authored by: Davo.Sydney on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 07:26 AM EDT
Will OOXML ISO/IEC DIS 29500 text ever be released as a document in the OOXML
ISO/IEC DIS 29500 format?

Perhaps this is the only format the final text will
be, or is, released in. So there is a final text, just that there's a small
technically as to why it's not widely/freely, avaliable at the moment. Once read
and implemented, all will be fine. After all, the standard is written in a
standard format right?

D/\/O (I think I might think too much, I guess)

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ISO to TMB: Here Are the Appeals Against OOXML; They Should Be Denied - Updated 2Xs - Responses
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 10:29 AM EDT
Brazil apparently isn't a P-member where it counts, or so Alex Brown replies in
the comments on that blog post.

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In others news ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 11 2008 @ 05:54 PM EDT
... ISO is reported to have developed a new business model. Instead of selling
published documents for standards, the future for ISO lies in selling of
standards for unpublished documents.

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