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More OOXML BRM Messiness: A Delegate from Brazil Challenges "Law of Silence"
Monday, March 24 2008 @ 10:47 PM EDT

More issues now have surfaced regarding some tactics being used to get OOXML approved as a standard. This time it's from a delegate from Brazil, who is challenging the "Law of Silence," the expression he coined in an earlier blog post for the restrictions on revealing details of the BRM meeting. He alleges that he believes Microsoft has itself violated it. It relates to Microsoft's claim that 98% of issues were resolved at the meeting, which he says is inaccurate, but his question relates to why Microsoft can talk about the BRM and no one else can. He thought that number was handled at the BRM, when a slide with that figure on it was shown, challenged, and he thought handled; yet he hears from a colleague in Chile that the same slide just showed up there, with the same figure, and with Dr. Sam Gyun Oh's name on the slide, the Chairman of SC 34, in a "presentation made by Microsoft to demonstrate how everything was resolved in OpenXML".

The Brazilian delegate has written to ITTF, asking about the validity of the confidentiality requirement and asking if it's valid for all, why something isn't happening to enforce it on Microsoft. He says if he doesn't receive a timely answer, he will answer all media questions about the meeting.

Keep in mind that his native tongue is Portuguese, not English. I think, for example, when he uses the word "crime" he means in the loose sense in English equivalence of a violation of the rules. Here's what he writes:

As Brazilian delegate at the OpenXML BRM , I really want to write about the details of that meeting, because I believe that everyone should know in detail what happened in that room, to understand that there are companies nowadays that are ill intentioned and without any ethical limit (sad, but true !!!).

Just to cite one example, I was recently advised that in a presentation at a NB (National Body from JTC1), it was used a SLIDE which was initially presented at the closing part of the BRM. I cannot write about the whole details, but my last contribution at the BRM, as a Brazilian delegate, I’ve asked to Mr Barta, representative from ITTF (ISO/IEC) and more or less “the judge” inside the room, that the text of that slide should be corrected, because on the way that it was presented it distorts everything that was discussed on that week. When I’ve finished my explanation, Mr Barta informed Mr. Oh (the secretary of SC34, from Japan, author of that slide and the person that was presenting it) that that slide and those numbers SHALL NEVER leave that room, because they didn’t summarize nor represent the results of the meeting. The slide didn’t also explain the process used by the meeting so it is meaningless to the people that wasn’t at the BRM. (issue solved ok? … no)

When I left the meeting and arrived at the hotel, I’ve discovered that a professional from the company that has submitted the specification to ECMA had already published the data the web, on his blog (and soon withdrawn… strange, right). To the people that don’t know what I’m talking about, it is about the absurd number of 98% of problems solved that Microsoft insists in use worldwide, committing a CRIME every time that uses or present those numbers.

I was in that meeting and I cannot write the details about it, why these people has this right? They really are above ISO and IEC? ISO and IEC will be seeing all this without take any action (ie those silent consent)?

The concrete fact is that I was informed by a colleague of Chile, that in last week, this slide (with the name of Mr. Oh on it) was used at a meeting of Chile’s NB. The slide was part of a presentation made by Microsoft to demonstrate how everything was resolved in OpenXML. This is a DISCLOSURE CRIME OR NOT?

I would like to register here this question to ITTF (ISO/IEC) about the validity of the “non disclosure” that we were asked during the BRM. I’ll also send an official question to ITTF and if I do not get a response in time, journalists from around the world can contact me because I will tell everything that everyone wants to know about the BRM.

I have written to Dr. Oh, asking if he wishes to comment. Should he do so, I'll let you know.

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