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Showdown in Geneva: Most OOXML Dispositions Fail to Achieve Majority Approval at BRM
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 03 2008 @ 04:13 AM CST

The following was submitted at Jason Matusow blog , responding his post "The Open XML Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM) Was An Unqualified Success" ( http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonmatusow/archive/2008/02/29/the-open-xml-ballot-resolution-meeting-brm-was-an-unqualified-success.aspx )

But never saw the light ( censored by Jason?, why?  )
-----

"The DIS 29500 ballot resolution meeting (BRM) finished up in Geneva today and was an unqualified success by any measure. "

please specify which are the measures that compose the "any measure" set

"A few things need to be kept top of mind as national bodies solidify their position within the next 30 days:"

thanks to worry about NB mind, let see what are the things ...

"A BRM is about technical work on the remaining open issues most important to participating national standards bodies"

first of all: BRM has gone... why are you telling NBs what is supposed they must know *before* the BRM. I believe that you are underestimating them.

This BRM was about discuss 3500 comments/observations detected during a few months of quick review of +6000 pages of a DIS, which were responsible of a "disapproval" of DIS 29500 in the september ballot.

"Many issues raised by national bodies can be addressed in advance of the BRM through the proposed dispositions of the submitting organization and, in some cases, discussions between the national bodies and the submitter.  This happened with Open  XML, where national bodies identified many issues that were addressed to their  satisfaction before the BRM started."

if this were the case, why were there 18 abstentions in the BRM vote tally? ( http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20080229055319727 )

"The BRM is an opportunity to discuss the remaining issues of importance to national bodies. "

according to reports ( Frank Farance, HOD of USA, Tim Bray, delegate from Canada and other mentioned in Andy post ), only 20 comments have been discussed. The amount of work required to address concerns with this proposed ISO standard was way beyond what such a large group could meaningfully address in the time allotted.

"   * The convener, Alex Brown, with the help of ISO/IEC and SC34 officers,  ran a very successful BRM."

please define "successful"

"   * During the meeting, each delegation was given the opportunity to identify those  issues most important to them thus defining the scope of work for the BRM.  "

let each delegation affirm this ( speaking or voting in one month ), thank you

"The BRM focused on building consensus on significant remaining technical issues and, in many cases, resulted in modifications to the proposed dispositions to refine and
 improve them."

let each delegation affirm this ( speaking or voting in one month ), thank you

"   * By the end of the BRM, national bodies were able to consider for their approval  each proposed disposition. 
The vast majority of those proposed dispositions were adopted, resulting in a better specification that will better meet the interests of national bodies and the broader community."

how many delegations voted for approve this "vast majority" of proposed dispositions? six over thirty two for example?  ( http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20080229055319727 )

"Extensive steps were taken within the last year to improve Open XML through  work with national standards bodies (and their participants) within the  inclusive framework of ISO/IEC  processes."

let each delegation affirm this ( speaking or voting in one month ), thank you

"   * The Project Editor and Ecma TC-45 reached out to NSBs for ongoing input to the  disposition process. Their valuable input was influential in the generation of the  dispositions and that is why such overwhelmingly positive consensus was achieved
 during the BRM. "

i would have preferred that ECMA TC 45 ( and Microsoft specially ) did their homework previous to submitting DIS 29500, this is the "spirit" of fast-tracking: to fast-review a mature draft standard , not to make rushed, massive and not reviewed changes.

"   * Conference calls, meetings, progress reports, early postings of dispositions, the  full report on Jan 14...all of this was done as the groundwork for the BRM. And this  was on top of the preceding 7 months of extensive technical engagement by the working  groups and committees within the NSBs."

i see this "progress reports" as an "artifact" of the work. Do you think that NBs around the world have *all* the time to work with you to correct this DIS?

What is needed is that you ( ECMA and Microsoft ) submit a "final" text , so NB can review it and finally disaprove ( or approve it ). Still today, this text is not available at http://www.ecma-international.org/dis29500_brm/

" Because of this, there were no "surprise" issue  to be dealt with."

may be the surprise were the +6000 pages of the initial draft and the +2000 page of the dispositions and the scarce time to review it ( see the following Tim Bray [ one of the fathers of XML ] post and search the word "frightening" :  http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2008/02/29/BRM-narrative )

" And without question, the specification was improved based on the diligent feedback of  NSBs from around the world. "

i would have preferred that ECMA TC 45 ( and Microsoft specially ) did their homework previous to submitting DIS 29500, this is the "spirit" of fast-tracking: to fast-review a mature draft standard , not to make rushed, massive and not reviewed changes.

"A BRM is successful if it produces technical improvements to the specification to  address comments raised during the ballot phase."

without rushing and with a reasonable timeframe, keeping the quality of the deliverables

"    * There were no "surprises" or "new comments" during this process. Every issue addressed was the result of the past 2+ years of work on the specification, and in  particular the past 5 months of intensive work leading into the BRM."

not agree, the last "draft" was published five days ago ( 22/02/2008 ) and still is provisional

"    * During the course of the meeting, much effort was put forward in order to come to consensus on those issues that were the most heavily discussed over the duration of  the past year.  The types of issues discussed during the BRM are represented here. "

did NB reach consensus in this heavy issues?

"   * The changes adopted (and denied) were based on consensus among all National  Bodies. This is exactly how BRMs are meant to function. "

how many delegations composed this "consensus" six over thirty two NBs for example?  ( http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20080229055319727 )

"I'll say it again - by any rational measure of ISO/IEC JTC 1 ballot resolution meetings, this one was a complete success."

do you think that repeating things can replace based argumentation?


"ISO/IEC standards are not only technically sound, but they should also be relevant to the marketplace."

not agree. In one month, NBs will have to answer ( with a vote ) the following question ( this was put it clear by Alex Brown, BRM convenor, on many blog posts ):

'Has DIS 29500 the technical merits to become an ISO international standard?'

"   * DIS 29500, as improved through the rigorous review of the past year and the  decisions made by delegations during the BRM, is a specific ation that meets both bars of technical quality and marketplace relevance."

too much PR here, i will no comment on this paragraph, sorry

"    * Independent implementations of the specification are already available on most  major operating systems platforms and in hundreds of applications. The statement that  Open XML is about a single vendor is specious and empirically false."

please provide % of conformance of each of this implementations

"    * Open XML has brought more attention to, and interest in, international  standardization than any specification in the history of the ICT industry."

could be true. Do you know *all* the specifications in the history of the ICT industry? i admire your knowledge

" The reason for this is simple - greater openness in all document formats (not just Open XML) is a good thing for everyone.
 There is general recognition that there will be broad adoption of this format around the world. Open XML delivers on that promise and is part of the rich ecosystem of open ??> document formats that are driving this issue forward."

too much PR here, i will no comment on this paragraph, sorry

"At the end of the day, customers should be able to choose the format(s) that best meet their needs and should not be told which technology to use.  Open XML, as improved through the hard work of national bodies over the past year, is an attractive
 alternative for them."

this has nothing to do with DIS 29500 fast-tracking process. I repeat:

In one month, NBs will have to answer ( with a vote ) the following question ( this was put it clear by Alex Brown, BRM convenor, on many blog posts ):

'Has DIS 29500 the technical merits to become an ISO international standard?'

"There was an unprecedented number of delegations from national standards bodies that came to Geneva and participated in the BRM. I have the utmost respect for the contributions from all of the national bodies (P-members and O-members alike). "

Would Microsoft send a check to reward all the work of this national standards bodies ?

"The result of this week's discussions, by any reasonable measure, has greatly improved  the specification and produced a great result. "

let each delegation affirm this ( speaking or voting in one month ), thank you

"The BRM was a complete success "

please define success.

"congratulations to all who were involved with it."

thank you

   --Orlando Marcello
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