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The OOXML Appeals: What Next?

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| Obviously you feel these appeals have some merit. What arguments in those
| appeals have traction?
| Updegrove: A couple items come to mind. One, were the judgments made by
| ISO/IEC valid under the rules? For example, allowing O-Members to vote. The
| CEOs say that this was in their discretion, and that there's therefore no
| basis for an appeal. But why shouldn't the limits of that discretion be
| eligible for appeal?
| Two, have the reputations of ISO and IEC been damaged by the way in which the
| process was conducted? The CEOs didn't even bother to address this one, even
| though it's mentioned explicitly in the appeals, and even though the
| directives explicitly call out "matters of principle" and effects
| on "reputation" as being valid reasons for appeal.
| [...]
| Do you think we'll see structural changes to the ISO fast-track approval
| process based on the OOXML experience? Or does ISO seem focused on moving on?
| I think that ISO would like to just move on, but that a meaningful number of
| vendors aren't going to allow that to happen. But how would anyone know? One
| of the things that I fault ISO on is for being so secretive. We haven't heard
| a word out of them about reform other than public statements that "we're
| always looking to improve."
| In fact, I know that there have been private conversations going on behind
| closed doors about reforms ever since the BRM, if not before. The latest I've
| heard, however, is that these talks have been put on hold until the appeals
| are resolved.


Sun’s StarOffice 9 suite goes beta for Mac

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| StarOffice is based on the same underpinnings as the open source office suite
| OpenOffice.org. It provides an alternative to Microsoft Office using
| applications that support the XML file format. Individual components of
| StarOffice include a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program,
| drawing tool, database tool and formula generator.



OOXML appeals: Now or never

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| I think that ISO and IEC are on the edge of a precipice which, if they fall
| off, will cause them to rapidly lose relevance to IT (ICT) developments in
| many parts of the world, especially emerging markets.
| What they appear to be saying to India, Brazil, South Africa, and Venezuela
| is “Go away, our process works. We love our process. You are wrong. Live by
| our rules and be quiet.”
| If the appeals process is cut off without detailed community examination of
| the charges against what happened in the OOXML experience, I think that the
| reputations of the ISO and IEC will continue to diminish. It does not seem to
| me that anyone at the senior levels of these organizations get this. Rather
| than giving these four nations the cold shoulder, and doing it with what
| appears to this reader as having arrogant undertones, it makes far more sense
| for ISO and IEC to allow the process to carry on.



The ISO Document: Brazil's Appeal and ISO/IEC's Attachments 1 & 2 - as text

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| Brazil is a P member of SC 34, so according to my reading of the clause, it
| has the right to appeal if any of the three above issues apply, and arguably
| they all do. According to South Africa, if the issue is ISO's reputation, or
| if there is a matter of principle involved, Brazil can appeal. Even point
| three could apply, in that Brazil raises matters such as incorrect tabulation
| of votes, which, if true, one would hope ISO wasn't aware of.
| [...]
| Why did they bother to go, one might ask? Why vote, if votes disappear from
| the record? By my reading, Brazil paints a picture of an orchestrated event,
| tilted away from criticism or a negative result and a refusal to give
| substantive consideration to issues delegates wanted to discuss, due to time
| constraints Brazil calls arbitrary, and worse.


New doubts about ISO's fast-track standardisation of Microsoft OOXML

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| An internal document of the International Standards Organization (ISO) that
| found its way late last week on to the Wikileaks whistle-blower platform
| raises further questions about the choice of a fast-track certification for
| Microsoft's OOXML document format. The paper, by Joint Technical Committee
| No. 1 (JTC 1) of the Geneva standards organization, which dates back to July
| 2007, says the fast track procedure chosen for certifying Microsoft's
| document format is only intended for the acceptance of unaltered standards
| and that a standard not accepted in its original form, while not to be
| regarded as "2nd class" or illegitimate, should be put through the normal
| five-stage standardisation process, should necessary corrections be
| identified in advance. The fast-track process, it says, is intended for
| making changes to an original draft.


Puppet countries leaves P membership

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| Microsoft Puppet countries are leaving the P membership. Lebanon, Turkey,
| Cyprus, and Trinidad & Tobago have already dropped out. All those countries
| voted Yes without comments to OOXML.


Martin Bryan: we are getting “standardization by corporation”

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| A November informative report of Martin Bryan, Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34
| WG1 highlights the fallout of the ECMA-376 fast-track process for ISO. He
| says he is 'glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible'
| [...]
| In what is an astonishingly outspoken report, Martin Bryan, Convenor, ISO/IEC
| JTC1/SC34 WG1 has given us insight into the total mess that Microsoft/ECMA
| have caused during their scandalous, underhand and unremitting attempts to
| get - what is a very poorly written specification {i.e. DIS 29500 aka OOXML,
| AR} - approved as an ISO standard. …


Microsoft accused of stacking ISO committee

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| In a memo sent following his last meeting as head of the working group on
| WG1, which is handling Microsoft’s application to make the Word format an ISO
| standard as ECMA 376, outgoing Governor Martin Bryan (above), an expert on
| SGML and XML, accused the company of stacking his group.


EU Commission Investigating Microsoft's MSOOXML Push

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| I hope they think to investigate the smear campaigns that seem to always
| happen to anyone on the other side from Microsoft. What happened to Peter
| Quinn was by no means unique.


Software wars

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| Allegations of committee-stuffing, the outcome of votes overridden by
| political appointees, a final decision that many involved consider tainted:
| this may sound like a discredited election in some third world country. But
| it is actually a description of an ugly fight over international technical
| standards that wrapped up this week. Microsoft came out on top, but at the
| cost of tarnishing its reputation and the credibility of an important
| back-room process that oils the wheels of many global industries.

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