OOXML issues not solved during the BRM

Update: I think the article from CIO says it all. The Head of Delegation of the ANSI (USA) explains what  went wrong. I think it’s a pity that the BRM ended up like this. In a nutshell, the whole idea of the BRM was to discuss the proposals from Ecma and the comments made by the delegations, and it just didn’t turn out it was possible. Delegates were rushed to vote on hundreds of comments in bulk , were told new rules had to be applied, and when many of them tried to propose solutions to technical or legal issues they were simply dismissed.

We’ll talk about this more in detail later, but as it stands today, the BRM has failed -failed to work, failed to impress, failed to create consensus and failed to succeed. Rules that were not part of the existing JTC-1 corpus had to be invented to come up with the astounding result of 6 countries approving the bulk voting versus 4 countries formally disapproving them, 18 others abstaining, while four others even refusing to vote as a way to show their complete disapproval of the way the BRM was being handled.Only committees of countries that were present in Geneva could vote, so they do not speak for the rest of the world. It is unfortunately likely that  Microsoft and the European Committee of Microsoft Advocates (Ecma) will declare victory, based on what is a pathetically weak relative majority and on the set of rules that go against both the letter and spirit of the JTC-1 legislation. Would this then be a pyrrhic victory? Hardly. It has yet to to be shown if the Ecma and ISO can actually do anything with that result and the growing resentment of national standardization committees. 

 In any case, we’re now back on for a month of national  ballot in each national committee, and I believe our discussions will be interesting as many of them will  not find the results of this week satisfying.

 On a positive side, I would like to thank everybody from the OFE meeting I and others attended to. This was truly an exciting event where we had the opportunity to have exciting discussions on open standards, Internet and technology in general.  Thank you OpenForum Europe!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: