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Thursday, June 22 2017 @ 09:01 AM CDT

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Responses to Comments Thus Far
Authored by: Andy Updegrove on Friday, February 29 2008 @ 04:08 PM CST
First, thanks to the comments so far - including the errors that people spotted for me that have now been corrected.  I spoke three times at the Open Forum Europe conference, have been in meetings formal and informal from early until very late every day, and there was a lot going on around me while I was trying to post this, and unfortunately, it showed.

On to other more "interesting," and invariably anonymous comments, such as one that included the following:

Andy, I'm very familiar with the JTC1 directives... the one that you quote only applies if the room FAILS to get concensus, in which case the P members take over.

Response:  Wrong.  There is specific rule for BRMs, as quoted.  I've cited it and you and anyone else can look it up to confirm

In this case though, looking at the numbers you quote, concensus was indeed reached in the room. So all that you draw on doesn't apply. You are essentially saying that you believe that the majority of the room should not have bothered making the trip, as you don't see value in their being in Geneva!

Response:  I'm having a hard time understanding what you are saying.  6 out of 32 voted "approve."  The only consensus I can draw from that is "not approve."

Your rationale essentially disenfranchises the many O countries present.

Response:  No, I'm simply citing the rule.  You can't say "follow the rules" for one purpose and "don't follow the rules" for another.  That would be inconsistent, now wouldn't it?  It is ISO/IEC that decided that O members' votes should count, not me.  If they were disenfranchised, it was not by me.

The decisions were made by everybody present, all views count. The result proves it.

Response:  We totally agree on this point, if not the conclusion to be drawn  form it.

Shame on you... this is a global society, we all count.

Response:  Again we agree!  Our averages are improving!  I have tried to be sure that the votes of the 26 who did not approve are not lost in the post -BRM reportage.

Thanks for your thoughts, and do let us know who you are the next time you drop by.
The next question:
Where is all this data from? I don't see it anywhere else on the web.

Response:  A good and fair question.  From participants in the BRM, who downloaded the results of the ballot from the SC 34 Web site.  Sadly, the public is not likely to be given access to it.  Happily, some delegates are already giving interviews to the press.
And next this:
I think you are missing the word 'task' after Herculean.

Response:  Sadly, yes.  See first comment above.

The most appropriate one for comparison might be cleaning the Augean stables in a day. So who in the allegory takes the roles of Hercules/Heracles, King Augeas, the rivers Alpheus and Peneus, and the cattle?

I stand corrected - cleansing the Augean stables is unquestionably the more apt metaphor.  I believe that the rivers Alpheus and Peneus, in this instance, are the forces of public exposure and sunshine, and for Herakles, I nominate the community.
To Orlando:  Thanks for defending my arguments.

To this anonymous commenter:
Andy, you're deprecating your quality standardL Leave the propaganda to the no-ooxml folks.

Response:  Interesting.  I take your intention, but am curious what lies behind it?  Except for a small amount of commentary, such as the last paragraph, this is factual reporting based upon first hand accounts.  What troubles you?  Are there specific errors you would like to point out?

Thanks for your thoughts, and do let us know who you are the next time you drop by.
To Tim Bray:
Response:  I saw you once from a distance this week, but didn't get a chance to connect.  Thanks for the link, as first hand accounts are always better than second hand accounts, such as this.  Your account matches those that I received from all sources, with one exception noted below, and I couldn't agree more with your assessment of the failure of the process and it's causes.  The only area in which our accounts don't match is where you say:
Most votes on this were Yes, because whether or not you were 100% satisfied with any given ECMA/Microsoft Response, it was usually an improvement over what had been there before. So almost all the proposals that didn’t get brought up at the meeting passed, which is quite sane behavior. Obviously, we’d have liked to have brought more up for further improvement.
When I got the actual votes (which are rather different, with very few delegations voting to approve), I had the same question as you did - why not vote to approve resolutions, since presumably a resolution is better than the original problem?  I posed this question to Frank Farance, the Head of Delegation of the United States, in an interview that I'll post on Sunday or Monday when I have a chance to type it up and he has a chance to vet it.  His explanation was that almost every disposition that was actually discussed and approved required discussion and revision.  In his area of competence, he thought that adopting the proposed dispositions without amendment would have been worse than rejecting them.  This was a major reason that the United States delegation voted to "Disapprove"  (the US, incidentally, voted to adopt OOXML during the balloting period that ended on September 2).
I expect that there will be more comments to answer tomorrow.

To all that have followed this process in the long term, there are two conclusions to draw:  as close as the right thing happened today as could have been expected, and it ain't over yet.

Best regards to all,

  -  Andy
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