It is now certain that OOXML has been approved by the national standards organizations. France finally abstained after an interesting last minute intervention by Microsoft. Odd things happened and the final announcement by the Afnor today would have been a farce if it had not been official.
It is always easy to claim you could not do this or that because the other guy was better, or that you ran out of luck. But this time, clear evidence has shown that not only any meaningful standardization work was simply impossible, but any attempt to restore sanity or coherence in the process was matched with unequaled pressure by Microsoft.
If you thought you had seen everything about OOXML with the likes of Rick Jelliffe, committees that have been stuffed by Microsoft and its minions to the point where no other choice than approval would be possible, think again. And do open your eyes to one of the greatest scams of computing history. Below are a few examples of what I’m talking about today. But they are meaningful enough.
In a steering committee of 20 people a vote was taken to answer this question:
“did the process run according to the rules and without irregularities?” 6 answered no and 7 abstained!
21 members of the committee voted NO to fast-track this DIS but it was decided to vote yes anyway:
The technical committee didn’t agree to change the disapproval vote but it was “decided” to vote yes anyway. The committee S-142/U-34 under Danish Standards could not agree to change their vote from No to Yes.
A couple of hours later:
http://www.version2.dk/artikel/6718 says that the announcement from Danish Standards will not be made until Friday and that the Chair of the committee has been barred from speaking about the result of yesterday’s meeting.
After some Microsoft political intervention to revert this ( the Prime Minister of Denmark is a Microsoft friend ), we have this:
Another political decision, influenced by Microsoft lobbyists.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation decided on Malaysia’s final position on OOXML (“abstain” ), overturning the 81% “Disapprove” position by ISC-G and TC4.
On March 20, 2008, Technical Committee (KT 182) of PKN was supposed to either accept the recommendation (which was to vote YES for the proposed standard) or not accept it, and thus recommend PKN to vote NO or abstain from voting. Of 45 members, 24 appeared on the meeting. And the votes looked like this:
* 12 votes supporting the recommandation,
* 10 votes rejecting it,
* 2 abstaining to vote.
No consensus has been achieved concerning the recommendation. Thus, the chairman of KT 182, Elzbieta Andrukiewicz, decided to allow the missing members to vote by e-mail during the next 10 days (till the end of March).
The email vote was taken, counting a “no mail sended” as an “approval” !!! Clearly, there was no technical consensus in Poland, but the chairman forced the rules to favour an approval.
Out of 35 members of TO Z1, 17 sent a vote, and there were three votes for, and fourteen against fast-tracking OOXML, which is relative rejection rate of 82%. Members who voted were individual experts, IBM, CLUG and HrOpen. However, since there were less than 51% of votes, the voting process was declared invalid, and the previous vote holds (“approve” ) !
Microsoft Croatia heavily influenced the voting, arguing that there’s no need for a second round and accusing commitee conveners of incompetence.
The technical committee Incits/V1 was heavily stacked by Microsoft partners.
The chairman Hans-Rudolf Thomann systematically blocked the technical opposition to the DIS, virtually deciding Switzerland position himself.
New infamous JTC 1 P-members:
Accepted a few days before DIS 29500 ballot closing, who joined ISO
JTC1 just to cast a “yes vote”:
I do not think that the victory of Microsoft will hinder ODF anymore; because I think that the approval of OOXML as an ISO standard has been gained through pressure, tricks, and countless irregularities. And this will be heard by the whole world. Congratulations, Microsoft. You have cured the deafness of many today.