That's ISO not I-S-O

,----[ Quote ]
| Ken Holman, who this week steps down from the role as the international
| secretary of the ISO subcommittee responsible for the Standard Generalized
| Markup Language(SGML), gave a briefing on ISO and related matters during the
| conference's lightening round sessions Tuesday night.
| [...]
| Now there is talk of making a fourth working group to handle office documents
| formats. While now they are usually handled by WG 1 or WG 2, the volume of
| work required of ODF and OOXML is threatening to overwhelm the members of
| those groups.
| "Is there going to be a WG 4? Stay tuned," Holman said.

Only above-the-law criminals an decide who will and who will not participate
in a discussion about Microsoft's proprietary format. Amazing! That's the
second departure in just a week or two. ISO is falling down.


What Will and Won't Be Discussed at February's BRM on MSOOXML

,----[ Quote ]
| So if you had concerns about Microsoft's patent policy, forgeddaboudit.
| It's been magically erased, and any comments are out of order.
| [...]
| They have chosen a room that can seat only 120 people for reasons unknown, so
| there may not be room for all the delegates. Let me guess. The head of the
| delegation is a Microsoft guy, and the ones who can't fit in the room are the
| ones who have issues with the proposed format? You think? Hey, some of us
| remember the games that were played already over rooms too small for IBM and
| Sun.
| This is starting to look really, really bad. At a minimum, you have to say
| this is the very opposite of an open process. I can't help but notice too
| that Brown lists Rick Jelliffe's as one of the "cool blogs" he recommends on
| Brown's blog. I think that is what novelists would call foreshadowing.

Portugal will send Microsoft to the BRM

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft, as president of the Portuguese Technical Committee, is already
| controlling who will be at the BRM for Portugal. The Head of Delegation will
| be... Microsoft!

IBM is still locked out of the Portuguese OOXML meeting

,----[ Quote ]
| In spite of various communications, we [IBM] are still locked out and will
| not be allowed to participate. Microsoft will be there, as well as a special
| Microsoft guest, as will various Microsoft business partners, and others.

Microsoft's Stephen McGibbon to represent Ireland at the BRM?

,----[ Quote ]
| There are rumors circulating in Ireland that Microsoft's Stephen McGibbon
| might be part of the Irish delegation to attend the BRM in Geneva. Microsoft
| is already controlling the Portuguese delegation, you can expect that they
| will control half of the table at Geneva. O'MyGod!

Opinion: Einstein's definition of insanity...

,----[ Quote ]
| But ISO standards have a much more political dimension to them than Internet
| (IETF) or World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards. Every country can vote,
| although not all chose to do so. Over the past few weeks, some strange and
| rather irregular national positions have come to light. My favourites were
| Cuba voting "Yes" to the fast-tracking of OOXML, even though Microsoft is
| prohibited by the US Government from selling any software on the island that
| might even be able to read and write the new format, and Azerbaijan's "Yes"
| vote, even though OOXML as defined isn't able to express a Web URL address in
| Azeri, their official language.

Whither OOXML?

,----[ Quote ]
| Strangely, however, Microsoft appears to be soft-pedaling its own standard.
| At GOSCON last week there was a panel on document formats, with reps from
| IBM, Sun, Adobe, and Microsoft present. Each of the company representatives
| got to speak for five minutes and present his company's perspective on
| document formats.
| In his presentation, Matusow appeared to be backing away from OOXML as a key
| technology. If you look at the slide he presented...
| can see that the positioning now is that the tool is key, and the
| document format secondary, which, to my mind, is a bizarre assertion,
| although it's one that aligns with a positioning that, above all, must keep
| Microsoft's tools in a predominate position.
| It appears to me that, having realized that the force-feeding of OOXML into
| an international standards body is problematic, Microsoft is now trying to
| present a soft TCO story which emphasizes sunk costs and pre-existing product
| versions as a reason to stay on the Microsoft path, along with an
| incomprehensible assertion that two document standards would be a good thing
| (this last is the most oddball position of all; how can anyone state with a
| straight face that the world would be well-served by having two incompatible
| editable file formats?).

Corrupt countries were more likely to support the OOXML document format

,----[ Quote ]
| Is this just a random coincidence? The median of the CPI index of the above
| mentioned 70 countries is 3.95. Of the most corrupted half (CPI index less
| than 3.95) 23 or 77% voted for approval (approval or approval with comments)
| and 7 or 23% for disapproval; 5 abstained. Of the least corrupted half (CPI
| index more than 3.95) 13 or 54% voted for approval and 11 or 46% voted for
| disapproval; 11 abstained - see the table below. * * *

Microsoft accused of more OOXML standards fiddling

,----[ Quote ]
| However the 11 new countries are refusing to say how they will vote. These
| include Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ecuador, Jamaica, Lebanon, Malta, Pakistan,
| Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela. Most people seem to think
| that these have been put there by Vole to make sure the standard gets pushed
| through. * *