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Thursday, October 23 2014 @ 05:24 AM CDT

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Return to original subject: The Nuclear Option
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 25 2007 @ 08:34 PM CDT
I cannot comment on the Dutch sorry.

Since the status of ISO voluntary technical standards has been so incorrectly hyped by the nutty/venal wing of the anti-OOXML side as being akin to laws from the ISO side (rather than being akin to a selected library), there certainly needs to be a correction in people's expectations. That is not a reflection on ISO, which is what it has always been, but on the overblown expectations.  If the Dutch writer is saying that regulators need to review each standard in particular before adopting it, or at least that the use of a technology apart from a standard can be defensible, that sounds perfectly reasonable to me and just fits in with their responsibilities.  It doesn't mean that ISO standards should not be favoured, where appropriate though.

The key to getting industry buy-in is the participation of industry. In the SGML world, we learned from the CALS experience in the late 80s and early 90s that even if you get top-level government commitment and mandates for a standard, if industry does not get enthusiastic then nothing happens. This includes both for-profit industry and not-for-profit industry.

Surely the current business with OOXML shows that in fact it has been *impossible* for even the largest corporations to dominate?

There are many national bodies where would-be users of the standard have participated, there are other national bodies where people who don't want to use have participated (which is wrong of them IMHO: it goes against the fundamental operating mode of ISO of live and let live).  But to say that the former are "dominated" by MS is crap, as if it is impossible for anyone to legitimately have the same interests as MS in any area. And to say that the latter are dominated by IBM (merely because they just parroted IBM's complaints without doing any original review) is crap too, for the same reason (laziness does not mean brainwashing, at least not automatically). And the whole result is leading to the BRM, where all the technical/editorial issues anyone has raised are being fully aired with scrutiny from dozens of nations: how is it possible to get a more workable process, realistically?

There is some mischievous idea going around that MS is forcing this standard through. However, as far as anyone at ISO and JTC1 and the relevant SCs are concerned, they have been doing things according to the book (the book may not be perfect though...): the only chance for altering the draft or the technology is at the BRM, and MS' Brian Jones commented back in January that there would be a BRM to handle comments, as did others of us. Instead, the constant panic attacks from the fear-mongers on the nutty anti-OOXML side tries to manipulate the sensible anti-OOXML people by presented wave after wave of overblown sensationalism, hype followed by FUD backed up by unverifible accusations. Why aren't you all on to this by now?

Oooh, only one month for comments. WRONG! Oooh, anything that potentially confuses anyone is a contradiction. WRONG! Oooh, MS will not agree to any changes. WRONG! Oooh, ten thousand errors. WRONG! Oooh, OOXML doesn't use any standards. WRONG! Oooh, OOXML is full of binary sections. WRONG! Oooh, the IPR for DIS 29500 is not clear. WRONG! Oooh the ANSI secretriat for ISO is corrupt. WRONG! Oooh, poor countries who vote the way we don't like must be corrupt. WRONG! Oooh, some American companies applied too late to get into Portuguese discussions, this must be corrupt. WRONG! Oooh, if MS did the right thing about a mistake in Sweden, that just means there must be so many secret worse things here too. WRONG! Oooh, standards are laws. WRONG! Oooh, this is a special case unlike anything before or since.  WRONG! Oooh, MS sockpuppets are stifling SC34. WRONG! Switzerland is corrupt; New Zealand is corrupt; Malaysia is corrupt; Sweden was almost corrupt but their adherence to procedures stopped it (a particularly mad one)! Etc. etc.  Don't you see the pattern?  Inflated statements and innuendo, never retracted, never apologized for. 

Here is a tip: whenever you feel strong emotion about a standard or draft document or standards organization, you are probably being manipulated.
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