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To read comments to this article, go here
Notes from Portugal on the July 16th Meeting on Ecma-376
Wednesday, July 18 2007 @ 05:18 PM EDT

We've seen now reports from Italy and Portugal of what some are describing as a kind of ballot-stuffing on the part of Microsoft and supporters to get Ecma-376 approved as an ISO standard. Trust me when I tell you that you haven't heard the half of it yet. I feel safe in saying that you will never hear the phrase "fast tracking" again, without remembering what you are about to read.

As you know, it's been reported that both Sun and IBM were told there was no room for them to join the committee in Portugal and so they were not allowed to attend the July 16th meeting. A member of that committee, Rui Seabra, has now published his notes from the meeting and given me permission to reproduce them here for you. As you will see, he seems to have had some difficulty being heard; he confirms the Sun/IBM exclusion and shows that it doesn't seem to have any defensible basis; and when you read the technical discussion, I think you will be shocked.

The excuse for not letting them in, according to the notes, was that the room only could hold 20 people, and it was first come, first served. But when this was said, there were already more than 20 in the room. It eventually reached 25, so it seems clear there was room for Sun and IBM. There was an auditorium available they chose not to use. If these notes are accurate, and of course there are other reports confirming some of the details already, I think you will find it disturbing.

You will see in the notes one instance where Stephen McGibbon, identified as an expert for Microsoft on OOXML, for whom there *was* room at the meeting, claimed the following when the question was raised why not merge the two, ODF and Ecma-376, to have one unified ODF standard:

SM: ODF doesn't aim for backward compatibility, like OOXML does, with millions of exsting documents. Doesn't see any problem with co-existence. OASIS rejected Microsoft's proposals and expelled/excluded the Microsoft representative because the proposed changes would add backward compatibility to legacy documents.

It is simply not true, according to my sources, that Microsoft was ever expelled from any ODF meeting or denied an opportunity to submit anything to it. I want you to make a note of the fact that he claims it was a *Microsoft* representative that was excluded. I may swing back by to highlight that in another context someday.

Let me remind you that Microsoft put out a press release on May 18th saying that it had not voted against ODF, so it was free to express itself. To make such a claim now ... well, perhaps someone would like to substantiate this claim? Groklaw is here, if you can.

Microsoft is still free to merge with ODF, from all I know, and I think it's safe to say that the world would benefit if they did, because then there would be no need for these awkward and imperfect translators.

If ODF was made backward compatible with legacy Microsoft proprietary formats, then that would solve the interoperability issues once and for all. If one says that is impossible to achieve 100%, then it goes without saying that it is impossible for the translators too. That's just logic. And if it isn't 100%, it isn't an open standard to me. And in fact, McGibbon is quoted as saying this:

Since ODF is underspecified, Microsoft would need to make proprietary extensions.

Point blank. Perhaps you answer that translators can be written under NDA, but if that is the argument, then you are saying to me that Ecma-376 is really proprietary still, if the only way to interoperate is by means of NDA, and you are ensuring that 100% interoperability is impossible. Who will let us interoperate with the "proprietary extensions"? Can there be an open standard that must have proprietary extensions to work? And if Microsoft deliberately leaves ODF "underspecified" on purpose, what does that mean to you about Microsoft's interest in interoperability? What legal worries might we all have then? What about control issues? Wouldn't that provide Microsoft with every opportunity to control access and successful interoperability? They are free to do that, if they wish, but can you call that a standard? An open standard, to boot?

And what about the patents on future versions? That question was also raised, as per the notes, and the claim made that Larry Rosen "says it's the best patent promise there is" and that it was copied from Sun's. That is, I believe, hogwash. If you read this by Sun's Simon Phipps about the promise, I think you will have to agree with me that he at least thinks the Microsoft promise is at best questionable.

Is this how standards are normally approved? If so, can we fix it? If Ecma-376 gets "approved" by shoving it through and not allowing interested parties to speak or vote, that just isn't an open standard to me. Is it to you? Yoo hoo, Massachusetts. Are you watching?

Here are the notes. As you read them, ask yourself: if Ecma-376 can only be adopted as a standard like this, is it truly a standard? And observe the questions about openness that were raised at the meeting without satisfying answers being provided. If others on the committee took notes and wish to add them to this article or wish to respond, I am happy to oblige. I sent an email to Mr. McGibbon, to ask him for a response, but I haven't heard back from him by time to publish. But if I do hear anything, I'll add it to the article. The only changes I made were for Geeklog's HTML preferences and with permission any obvious spelling mistakes for English legibility. Note that his version is a wiki, with a request for input from others there, so for the most up-to-date version, you will want to check his page.

******************************

CT-173-Meeting-2007-07-16 By Rui Seabra

Contents

1. CT-173 meeting of 2007-07-16 By Rui Seabra
1. Intro
2. Participants
3. Notes

1. ITEM 1
2. ITEM 2
3. ITEM 3
4. ITEM 4
5. ITEM 5
6. ITEM 7

Intro

This document is in English because being in English may be of interest to ISO, many stakeholders and at least one participant of the meeting.

Participants

Initials (by order of participation):

MSD: Miguel Sales Dias, Microsoft, President of TC 173 "Lin guagem de Descrição de Documentos"

CR: Carlos Romero, ONS and TC member. ONS is II (Instituto de Informática), which has been a MS Proxy

GH: Gustavo Homem, Ângulo Sólido, Vogal

MV: Mário Valente, Director of ITIJ, ODF Alliance member, Vogal

MS: Marco Santos, Microsoft, substitute for MSD

RS: Rui Seabra, ANSOL, Vogal

JPM: José Miranda, MULTICERT (Portuguese certification authority), Vogal, not verified, invited as expert by ANSOL

FE: Fernando Espinhosa (not sure of name, surname is correct, I think), log OpenSource Consulting, proposed Vogal, not verified, invited as expert from ITIJ

MCM: Maria do Céu Mendonça, Primavera (MS business partner), Secretary (MS Proxy)

PQ: Pedro Quintas, Jurinfor (MS business partner), Vogal, MS Proxy

JM: Joaquim Machado, INE, Vogal

MJM: Mário J. Madeira, (Instituto de Informática da ?) Segurança Social MM: Mário Morgado, Caixa Mágica (Portuguese GNU/Linux distribution), Vogal

JN: João Neves, Intraneia, Vogal

SM: Stephen McGibbon, Microsoft, OOXML expert

FMS: Fernando Mira da Silva, CIIST, Instituto Superior Técnico, proposed Vogal, not verified, invited as expert from INE

PS: Pedro Seabra (no relation with me AFAICT) Via Tecla (MS business partner), MS Proxy

RB: Rui Barroso, ADRAL, Vogal, MS Proxy

MC: Manuel Cerqueira, ASSOFT (BSA alike), MS Proxy

Total Participants

Initials (by sitting order):

CR: Carlos Romero, ONS and TC member. ONS is II (Instituto de Informática), which has been a MS Proxy

MSD: Miguel Sales Dias, Microsoft, President of TC 173 "Lin guagem de Descrição de Documentos"

MCM: Maria do Céu Mendonça, Primavera (MS Business partner), Secretary (MS Proxy)

FMS: Fernando Mira da Silva, CIIST, Instituto Superior Técnico, proposed Vogal, not verified, invited as expert from INE

RB: Rui Barroso, ADRAL, Vogal, MS Proxy

RM: Rui Mendonça, jp sa couto

AC: Alexandre Correia, Safira (MS Gold Certified Partner) (MS Proxy)

HO: (I think) Henrique O'Neill (to be FIXED)

RC: R. Coelho, ASSOFT (BSA alike), MS Proxy

MC: Manuel Cerqueira, ASSOFT (BSA alike), MS Proxy

SM: Stephen McGibbon, Microsoft, OOXML expert

MS: Marcos Santos, Microsoft, substitute for MSD

PS: Pedro Seabra (no relation with me AFAICT) Via Tecla, MS Proxy

PQ: Pedro Quintas (not sure of the name), Jurinfor, Vogal, MS Proxy

JM: Joaquim Machado, INE, Vogal

MV: Mário Valente, Director of ITIJ, ODF Alliance member, Vogal

JN: João Neves, Intraneia, Vogal

GH: Gustavo Homem, Ângulo Sólido, Vogal

MM: Mário Morgado, Caixa Mágica (portuguese GNU/Linux distribution), Vogal

RS: Rui Seabra, ANSOL, Vogal

FE: Fernando Espinhosa (not sure of name, surname is correct, I think), LOG OpenSource Consulting, proposed Vogal, not verified, invited as expert from ITIJ

MJM: Mário J. Madeira, (Instituto de Informática da ?) Segurança Social

JA: Jorge Alves, ACIDI Fernando Baptista, ONS and TC member. ONS is II (Instituto de Informática), which has been a MS Proxy

JPM: José Miranda, MULTICERT (Portuguese certification authority), proposed Vogal, not verified, invited as expert by ANSOL

NOTES:

Rui Seabra: I'm not a particularly strong note writer, so some information may still be missing, please help make it complete.

ITEM 1


14:37 MSD: Opens meeting by starting with item 1, review and voting of the minute of the previous session. The minute was approved by consensus.

ITEM 2


14:41 MSD: Proceeds to item 2, informing the TC that ONN approved TC 173 "Lin guagem de Descrição de Documentos"

ITEM 3


14:43 MSD: Proceeds to item 3, new vogals, almost all were accepted.

CR: Provides official form for registration as member of TC.

MSD & CR: Propose new vogals fill the form while discussion proceeds to next item.

GH: Demands this item to be kept open for there are doubts about new members that beg the questions:

  1. Sun wasn't admitted entry for lack of space. Does ONN maintain this decision, and is it sensible?
  2. Is this "rule" sustainable when there is more than one person per entity in the room? Is this in conformity with the rules?

CR: States new entities weren't accepted because of

a) lack of space in the room (20 seating spots -- this isn't true, 24 people were seating at the beggining and there were still chairs in the room)

b) representativity had been achieved (this isn't true, eg universities, public administration, libraries, etc...), there were software companies, software associations, and even an individual.

The alternative would be to go to an auditorium where one wouldn't have the same conditions (an U disposition oriented towards the table with the ONS, and President and Secretary of TC).

GH: One shouldn't sacrifice representativity because more than one person per entity would be present. Considers the decision should be reviwed, demands this request be registered in the minutes.

CR: Repeats his justifications.

MV: States the TC should know who was admitted and who they represent so the TC can verify representativity.

MSD: States representativity is decided by ONN and ONS, so that can be postponed to the end of the day or another session.

MV & GH: Strongly oppose, representativity must be checked *before* decisions are made.

CR: States there are 8/9 from public adminstration, 7/8 from software companies....

MV: Interrupts, it's not just the number that matters, but who and which affiliations.

CR: (lists too fast for me to note down)

MV: Proposes the unknown element he couldn't identify should then be invited to leave the room.

MS: Identifies subject as being Stephen McGibbon, IIRC, an expert in OOXML

MV: Solicits that substitutes and expert leave the room, they occupy places that were best served for representativity.

CR: ONN/ONS has the responsability, and ONS assumes it.

MV: Asks what was the criterium for acceptance.

MSD: Proposes to discuss this at the end or at another meeting.

CR: Clarifies that the criterium for acceptance was order of arrival of requests for participation as Vogal. Agrees (with himself) that 20 is a reasonable number of participants, and that this stands to reason.

RS: Demands that minutes record 24 people are currently present.

JPM: (enters the room as RS ends phrase, meaning 25 people present, now)

FE: He didn't receive any answer directly from ONS, but since MV had previously listed him as accepted, he came.

CR: If no answer was sent from ONS, then he wasn't accepted.

MV: Justifies that adherence procedure wasn't clear at the begginning, previously though all was OK and communicated acceptances. Then after the confusion was known, failed to warn everyone. As a compensation, nominates FE as expert for this meeting. Asks if the number of 20 people is fixed.

MC: Clarifies that companies weren't chosen by their size.

PQ: Alledges (because it's not in the minutes, can't be proven) that in the last meeting he asked Microsoft to bring an OOXML expert.

JPM: Didn't receive answer from ONS either.

CR: Is sorry for failing to reply to him.

RS: Invites JPM as an expert.

JM: Invites FMS as expert for INE.

RS: Demands that minutes record 25 people are currently present.

CR: Angrily states that only by delicacy they are not sending people away (not sure if he means substitutes and experts or if that was a veiled threat from ONS).

ITEM 4

15:00 - MSD: Proceeds to item 4, validation of the following items of the agenda: 5 discussion of OOXML 6 vote on OOXML 7 other subjects, next activities

MV: Asks for vote clarification: if one has to leave, can he delegate his vote? Also, since it's such an extensive subject, is it sensible to vote already? Proposes postponing vote to another session.

MSD: Vote by delegation is not excluded by CNQ directive, which is clear on the subject, one should have a substitute...

MV: Without substitute, can one delegate?

JM: Considers to be too premature to vote. Current doubt could be clarified later if vote was postponed.

GH: Agrees with postponing.

MJM: Also agrees that no conclusions should be taken this day.

MM: Agrees. Adds it would give the opportunity for new memebers to be proposed.

RS: States ANSOL has 6 questions that need answers, and almost 100 technical comments, even giving 1 minute for each of them would result in almost two hours for pne entity alone to state technical problems. Believes it isn't reasonable to vote today.

MSD: Proposes to postpone items 5 and 6 (discussion and vote) to another meeting.

JM: Proposes only item 6 (vote) should be postponed.

MSD: States items of discussion were approved on the previous meeting, and the decision was to have discussion and vote today.

JN: Has 78 pages of summary points that were evaluated in the USA, doesn't think it is sensible to vote today. Only knew he'd participate on the previous Wednesday.

MSD: Predicting no consensus, proposes vote: "Vote happens today?" Of the 18 present vogals 5 voted YES, 13 voted NO.

MJM: Restates need to clarify vote in case of sudden absence.

MSD: Directive is omiss, best strategy should be for MV to nominate a substitute, and come to the meeting with him.

MV: should nominate a substitute soon.

ITEM 5

MV: Reiterates three pillars for his opposition:

  • form: proposed by one entity alone
  • function: conflicts with ISO 26300, doesn't stand to reason to have more than one standard in a focused domain such as this.
  • content: doesn't consider correct that an XML format contains examples that don't validade as XML in circa 10% of the cases, shouldn't contain date and math errors

PQ: Claims to have studied OOXML hard since last meeting (June 26th), there was more than enough time to study OOXML since then. If ODF is an ISO standard than maybe at first there shouldn't be two standards, but OOXML is aimed at backward compatibility. So what if OOXML has some errors, ODF also had errors, namely with SVG and MathML, but TC shouldn't focus on details. Claims to have invited Microsoft to bring an expert in OOXML for finding 3 items of relevancy

(NOTE from Rui Seabra to readers: PQ claimed previously to have requested the expert's presence in the previous meeting, supposedly before his "study" time)

PQ: First, VML on section 15.2.17 (Fundamentals). Spec says it's a legacy format. Having found DrawingML specification, is VML a minimum requirement?

SM: VML is there because it's needed for millions of documents that use it.

PQ: Asks if MS Office 2007 can use VML.

SM: MS Office 2007 uses DrawingML, which is fully XML.

PQ: Page layout, why does the spec separate it in parts, does any of it depend on the OS?

SM: The spec splits page layout in two parts in order to handle independence of media display (print, screen, mobile phone, etc...), there is no dependency of registry information or anything like that.

PQ: What about autoSpaceLikeWord95, will MS Office 2007 use this in a new document?

SM: No. It will not.

PQ: Why isn't it in a separate part, then?

SM: It is an optional tag, only needed for backward compatibility. You can get an older version of Word and find out how it is done.

GH: States that there's nothing prohibiting new implementations from using those tags.

SM: Agrees, but implementors could just warn about that tag being present, asking the user what to do. OpenOffice also has similar problems, and you can only look at it to find out how it is done. Claims to be a requirement from Library of Congress and the British Library.

GH: This relies on information not easily available, which places Microsoft in a priviledged position, hurting fair competition. Microsoft hasn't been up to today a good member, historically.

SM: That's an emotional argument, Netscape had the tag BLINK. Since ODF is underspecified, Microsoft would need to make proprietary extensions.

GH: They don't have to be proprietary. Why are proprietary extensions the only alternative for extending ODF for Microsoft's legacy support?

SM: You can always check behavior with older applications. You can measure (makes an air drawing of a ruler) the spaces in Word95 and other behaviors.

FMS: Unlike the dismissal from the expert, IST believes the optional tags are a guarantee that they will be used. This kind of information only appears for two reasons, a problem that can't be solved, which is recognized by the standard, or because there is the intention to use it.

SM: Take it to JTC1, they can drop those tags if they see it like a big issue.

FMS: It is partially satisfying answer since at least there is also JTC1, but it is not clear that one can work with JTC1 to solve the issues. IST strongly objects such tags.

MSD: Proposes that a speaking list is used, so things go more fluid. Next in line PS, then JM, then JN, then GH, then RS, then ?3?, then JPM.

PS: Feels difficulties arise from emotional arguments, asks for more moderation.

JM: Points out that a speaking list prevents unencumbered discussion. People may remember important things for the topic at hand that might be lost.

JN: Congratulates Microsoft for the effort, for returning to the 80's when there were published specifications of Microsoft software. His experience with standards tell him to worry about things like COMMON USAGE, where you need a spec that allows implementation. Is strange that a specification requires reverse engineering of old software which might not even be available in the market any longer. Thinking these tags are not problematic because they are not required is irresponsible. There are also other failures, namely in the respect for ISO standards.

SM: You're from FSF, right? (probably advised by the Microsoft guy at his side, MS)

JN: Refuses [denies], states representation of his own company, Intraneia, which has support issues due to lack of respect from standard from Microsoft. Expresses worries about MS patent promise.

SM: Claims Larry Rosen says it's the best patent promise there is.

JN: What about the "clarification"? It says it's only for the "required" parts that are described in detail.

SM: The required parts of optional parts are also covered.

GH: Points out that it's not just Microsoft's software that is referenced, but also other software. There's no patent promise for those. Assuming that all additional information is available in some form, one need to consider the time to obtain it, as well. States it's the common problem of information that is not in a specification, it can put "Time to Market" at stake, giving the opportunity for the dominant player to offer the solution faster and at a lower price when he's competing. Points out that the patent promise can't be an ever-changing document (last updated on the 9th of July), but it needs to be, according to ISO regulations, referenced in the beginning of the specification and safely stored at ISO offices.

RS: Reminds TC that Microsoft claimed the optional tags are a requisite from Library of Congress, of British Library. This means that for all practical purposes, this renders the tags mandatory if you want to do business with entities such as these, so argument of "being optional" shouldn't be taken in account. Asks how many in the TC work with Dots per Inch, different types of fonts, different screen resolutions... The mere idea that one can go back to an older version of software and measure behavior is absurd, a simple fluctuation of the aforementioned parameters creates different measures. It was mentioned by the expert that OpenOffice has similar problems, that you also need to measure older versions. This is a misleading argument, since Microsoft Office is fundamentally different from OpenOffice, in that Microsoft Office can't be measured. In lack of a specification, the only other way to properly analyze software is by studying at its source code, which is impossible for Microsoft Office. It's only possible in special circumstances, but then you can't implement what you learned in a competing office suite, which renders this possiblity into an impossibility from the point of Free Software. OpenOffice, however, uses the GNU GPL, the most used Free Software license, which gives you the right to study the software, and provides source code availability.

16:43 - MSD: Calls for a break, since the scheduled break is 15 minutes overdue.

DURING BREAK:

SM talks to RS - Asks why RS is against a format that can be implemented with Free Software. RS answers that it is a closed standard when it depends in practice of hidden information. He asks for one example, answer is autoSpaceLikeWord95. The problem with tags like these is easy to disappear, all Microsoft needs to do is to add to spec: it is done like this ... just that.

BACK FROM THE BREAK:

MSD: Speaking list is now: MJM, JM, JPM, SM

MJM: Is OOXML proposed by only one company, namely Microsoft?

SM: Refuses [denies], it's proposed by ECMA, with lots of companies, only IBM voted against. Claims Novell is a competitor and is implementing OOXML.

MJM: Asks what the advantages are, from the user point of view?

SM: A whole new range of apps, you can save directly to on-line services, etc...

JPM: One other worry from the point of view of businesses is the dematerialization of documents. In Portugual, whoever deals with Electronic Receipts needs to store them from 10 years, which has high costs for companies. Does OOXML help in reducing these costs for AP and companies, and does it allow them to take advantage of this? Still has no answer for this. Also, OOXML uses proprietary hash algorithms, which is also a problem, since they can't be proved safe.

JM: In order to get a full implementation, one needs the Covenant not to Sue. Has it been analyzed in light of Portuguese law?

SM: No need to sign it.

JM: Why is it there, then?

SM: The Covenant and the OSP are there because of Microsoft's defensive patents. Microsoft basically copied SUN's promise.

JM: Proposes that TC requests a juridic [legal] evaluation of these promises.

MSD: Agree that a juridic evaluation should be requested.

PQ: ECMA holds copyrights and patents over the specification, but the promises don't cover future implementations.

JN: The promises are critical since ECAM [ECMA?] dosn't cover future implementations.

SM: Points out that there are no proprietary hashes, that OOXML uses SHA-1, SA-256, etc... Points out that optional tags are optional, so there shouldn't be an issue.

RS: If it's not an issue then it has no place in the specification. However, SM said it was a requisite issue from the Library of Congress and the British Library. How can smaller entities like us consider it isn't an issue if it is a big issue for them?

PQ: Points out that not proposing OOXML because there is another standard is a weak reason since OOXML is much more complete.

JN: OOXML doesn't respect ISO standards like countries and languages. If a new language is added, two standards would have to be reviewed. It's not the only example, there are many simiar to this, like colors or mathematic formulas. Question to Stephen: Why not extend ODF?

SM: ODF doesn't aim for backward compatibility, like OOXML does, with millions of exsting documents. Doesn't see any problem with co-existence. OASIS rejected Microsoft's proposals and expelled/excluded the Microsoft representative because the proposed changes would add backward compatibility to legacy documents.

MSD: Points out that only 4 minutes remain for this agenda item.

MCM: Reminds that since item 6 (vote) won't happen, one can add some more time.

MSD: Grants 5 extra minutes.

FMS: As an objection based on principle, existing 2 standards is not a serious issue since standards evolve, but there wasn't a discussion about this yet. As a teacher, thinks that TC should only evaluate the current OOXML proposal and not future unknown versions. Comments may be added as requisites that must be resolved in the final version. The opinion decided from the TC must be conditional to future changes, instead of hoping they will be done.

GH: Optional tags must be solved. If there are times when they are mandatory, that must be clarified. Between having two standards, where one fails to fulfill the objectives, or one single standard that does it well but less complete, better the later than the earlier situation. The experience with HTML, ACPI and other standards lead to the conclusion that something more objective and concrete is preferable.

JM: Still hasn't understood why ODF wasn't extended.

MJM: Why not improve what already exists? We're opening the doors to the risk of creating a multiplicity of standards, which isn't an advantage. It's good that OOXML is backward-compatible with Microsoft softwae, but what about the rest?

RS: Jests that one can always create a third standard.

MSD: Starts closing item 5. Refuses to let RS speak, who was asking for permission to speak for some time.

RS: States that a louder voice can be used if necessary to be heard.

MSD: Postpones intervention of RS for end of item 7.

ITEM 7

(remember that item 6, the vote, was postponed)

RB: Atacks RS claiming lack of respect. Recommends ONS to only accept at most 20 elements in TC

MC: Supports RB. Claims its associates are the main stakeholders.

MJM: But user interests are not being taken in account, just the commercial interests of some of the companies here present.

MC: The specification may have some problems, but we don't need to throw it all away, corrections can be inserted.

PS: Supports RB. Agrees that a juridical analysis must be done. Proposes that a definition of the National Interest should be created, since TC is there to discuss taking into consideration the national interest. Proposes to create this definition at the next meeting.

JM: Doesn't oppose the number of 20. Points out that he opposes the nature of the current 20 elements -- it has too many commercial interests and too little from other important players like universities, libraries, and other public administration.

FMS: IST won't make an opinion over the members of TC. Points out that ASSOFT members are irrelevant towards this subject, since they're too small with the exception of Microsoft who is already represented. Points out that if an expert had to come, then it's because this is a fake standard, and not easy to understand by independent parties. Hopes TC will better represent citizens and the state of Portugal, way beyond the commercial interests of the present companies.

MSD: States that TC has representativity, ignores request from RS to speak, after insisting refers to after the vote.

RS: Declares this is the second time the President tries to cut his expression, won't allow it a second time. Rejects the so-called representativity, since important members of society aren't present, like libraries, universities, and other public administration entities.

GH: Asks whether this vote is valid.

CR: Declares that the directive is omiss. States that the constitution of the TC is not closed to new vogals, but that mobility should be achieved by swapping entities, like the two entities that are not present if they don't justify their absence.

MSD: VOTE: maintain only 20 elements? YES 9, NO 7

MSD: Proposes 31st of July as next meeting date, on the same place.

CR: Agrees. (there is a consensus on this date)

MSD: Proposes the agenda items are:

  1. discussion of OOXML
  2. vote on OOXML

JN: Proposes that the President collect the list of possible votes and their explanation, for the next meeting.

MSD: Agrees. Tries to close item 7. Gives permission to talk to RS on item 5, as "promised", after RS insists.

RS: About item 5, which is now about to speak out-of-context, has to add that the coexistence of two standard does not usually add choice. Cites example of European and US power plugs, which are incompatible, although both of them are standards. If one doesn't take care, or even know about this issue, he will suddenly view his "choice" reduced from ONE to ZERO forms of powering his laptop. Declares that either Microsoft should work to extend ODF, or implement OOXML in a way that it fully includes ODF.

PQ: Considers the presence of the expert was important, and invites him back, if possible, for the next meeting.

SM: Agrees.

MSD: Those who don't have substitutes should nominate at least one until the next meeting. Closes this meeting.


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