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Sunday, February 14 2016 @ 02:04 AM CST
Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 10:41 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Not so very long ago, most standards were set in a largely collegial atmosphere by career professionals who met in face to face meetings over a period of years. Along the way, they came to know each other as individuals, and established relationships that helped the process move forward and allowed for productive give and take.
While this process was not without its back scratching and game playing, at least the impact on interests other than those directly involved tended to be limited. After all, if performance standards for light bulbs had settled out at 45, 65 and 95 watts rather than 40, 60 and 90, no end user’s ox would have been gored on the desktop, when it came to lighting.
Wednesday, April 02 2008 @ 12:01 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Yesterday, I sent out the latest issue of my eJournal, Standards Today. Not surprisingly, it focused on the OOXML process, and what can be learned from it. Below is the Editorial, and you can find the complete issue here. You can sign up for a free subscription here.
Updated: ISO has now issued its confirmatory press release. The full text (less biolerplate) is appended at the end of this entry. I note with some interest that the press release includes the following language:
Subject to there being no formal appeals from ISO/IEC national bodies in the next two months, the International Standard will accordingly proceed to publication.
The last issue of Standards Today was titled, ODF vs. OOXML on the Eve of the BRM. That issue focused on the Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM) about to be held in Geneva, Switzerland as the penultimate act in the Fast Track approval process of DIS 29500, the specification submitted by Ecma and based upon Microsoft's OfficeOpen XML document formats (OOXML).
My editorial in that issue was prophetically titled The Overwhelming of ISO/IEC JTC1, due to the fact that only one week had been allocated to resolving more than 1,100 separate comments (some 900 of them substantive) that had been registered by National Bodies from around the world during the voting period that failed to approve OOXML during the initial balloting period in mid-2007.
Without exception, every fear that I raised in that editorial was realized, and worse. Here is a sampling:
Tuesday, April 01 2008 @ 03:35 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
1. I have now received confirmation from a second source that these results are accurate.
2. Microsoft has issued a press release announcing that OOXML "Appears to Win Approval" (text below)
3. (1:00 PM EDT) I have now received a copy of the ISO communication from a National Body source entitled to receive it, and can confirm the data below.
4. Ecma's press release confirming approval is here
Open Malaysia has posted a final update of their vote registry, based upon an email from the OpenDoc Society to which is attached what they say are the final numbers on the OOXML vote. The document looks authentic, and I should have an independent verification some time this morning. You can see the final totals reflected in the Open Malaysia chart, which can be found here. The summary in the document reads as follows:
Result of voting
P-Members voting: 24 in favour out of 32 = 75 % (requirement >= 66.66%)
(P-Members having abstained are not counted in this vote.)
Member bodies voting: 10 negative votes out of 71 = 14 % (requirement <= 25%)
Monday, March 31 2008 @ 11:47 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Updated 4/1: A press release has been issued by Standards Norge defending its decision. An English translation of that press release is posted at Steve McGibbon's blog, and can be found here. Geir Isene has posted a partial response here.
One of the things that most of us learn at our mother's knee is that you shouldn't rush things. If you do, you'll make silly mistakes. Mothers also tend to tell their children to play by the rules, but some apparently listen better than others to that advice as well.
The wisdom of the first truism was demonstrated most clearly during the Ballot Resolution Meeting in Geneva, although its effects had been evident throughout the entire Fast Track process. In the latest evidence of the other truism, the first formal protest has been filed with ISO over a National Body vote. The National Body in question is Norway, and the protest has been filed by...(wait for it)...Norway itself.
How can all of this be true in a country like Norway? Elections this flawed usually only occur in Florida.
The complete story has been developing at the blog of Geir Isene, who left a comment at my blog yesterday, pointing tohis account of what had transpired on Friday at a meeting of Standards Norge, the Norwegian Standards Intitute. That entry read in part as follows:
Saturday, March 29 2008 @ 07:14 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Updated: (8:45 AM EDT 4/1): OOXML has been adopted
Updated: (1:45 OM EDT 3/31): Reuters has just reported that ISO will not announce the results of the OOXML vote until Wednesday April 2
Updated (3:30 PM EDT 3/29): Unless thus-far unannounced votes that were formerly "approve" or "abstain" switch to "disapprove," it appears that OOXML will be approved. See details in the cumulative "updates" section below
Like many I'm sure, I'm trying to keep track of the votes on OOXML as they become known. I've set up a spreadsheet where I'm recording votes as they become known, whether they are formal and confirmed, or coming to light from other sources, and therefore to a greater or lesser extent possibly not accurate, what the sources are, and any associated comments (mostly from Pamela's articles at Groklaw, the most recent of which is being updated with new votes as news comes in to her). You'll find the most information about specific country voting there, and at several of her prior blog posts, including this one, this one, this one, and this one.
For the benefit of those that want to get a quick look throughout the weekend, I'll post the running tally here of which votes have switched, what the net change has been, now many votes have come to light, and how many remain to be announced. It is likely that it will not be possible to know the final vote until all votes are in, due to the complicated, double test way in which the vote is counted, which is complicated by the fact that the final number of abstentions, and whether they move from "yes" or "no" votes, can decrease the number of votes that need to switch to "yes" votes. For that reason, I also include an explanation of how the omplicated two-part test for approval will be calculated.
You may also want to read my last blog entry, which discusses the impact (or non-impact) of a vote to approve OOXML, called The Future of ODF and OOXML.
Friday, March 28 2008 @ 08:09 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Tomorrow is the last day that a National Body (NB) can change its vote on OOXML. Only a few NBs have announced what they have decided, and of those, not enough have changed their votes to reverse the outcome of last summer, in which DIS 29500 (a/k/a OOXML) failed to gain approval. It will not be until Monday that the final vote will be announced by ISO/IEC JTC1 (or become public through disclosure by an NB committee member, as the case may be).
Many journalists and others have asked me whether I have a prediction on what the outcome will be, and also what I think it will mean if OOXML is approved. I don’t have an answer to the first question, as there are too many countries involved, and too much may change until the last minute. But I do have an answer to the second question, and that answer is the same one that I have given every time that a new decision point has loomed in the ongoing quest for a useful format standard that can bring competition and innovation back to the desktop, as well as ensure that the history and creativity of today will remain accessible far into the future.
That answer is this: if anyone had asked me to predict in August of 2005 (the date of the initial Massachusetts decision that set the ODF ball rolling) how far ODF might go and what impact it might have, I would never have guessed that it would have gone so far, and had such impact, in so short a period of time. I think it’s safe to say that whatever happens with the OOXML vote is likely to have little true impact at all on the future success of ODF compliant products.
Here are ten reasons why I believe this prediction will be borne out.
Thursday, March 27 2008 @ 06:18 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
With fewer than 48 hours to go throughout most of the world, only a small percentage of the 87 countries that voted last summer on OOXML have announced whether they will stand by, or change, the votes that they cast during the original six month voting period. To my knowledge, only one National Body (NB) has formally announced a change of vote thus far (Czechia has changed from "disapprove" to "approve"). Pamela Jones earlier today posted an informal report that Kenya, a P member, has switched its vote from "approve" to "abstain." And Pamela also reported that Cuba has not only announced a "disapproval" vote, but that it's earlier vote to approve was incorrectly registered, placing it in a unique category of its own. In yet another category can be found reports that a committee has recommended one action or another, but is not itself the committee that is able to make the final decision for the NB (the United Kingdom is an example).
All other reports, official and informal, of which I am aware are to the effect that the prior vote will stand, including the United States (approve), Brazil and India (both disapprove). And I've now learned that Germany can be added to the "no change" category as well, although the vote was not only very close, but, as has become almost more the expected rather than the unusual, was also unique to the circumstances and decisions made within the NB committee about what options would be permitted in the vote. The following is the message that I received a few hours ago from a German expert that I know personally who sits on the relevant DIN (the German standards body) committee:
Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 05:11 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
As regular readers will have noticed, I haven’t blogged in awhile. This is in part because I’m on the road for most of six weeks, but also because the news about OOXML continues to be both more predictable as well as more intense. At some point, the single events of the day become less individually meaningful, because they are simply part of the same fractal pattern that has replicated itself over and over since September of 2005, when Massachusetts adopted ODF, putting document standards on many powerful companies’ strategic maps. Since then, that pattern has spread dramatically, engulfing more companies, affecting more National Bodies in more countries, and invoking more campaigning on both sides. Only rarely is something now written or said that cuts through this fog of war. A few days ago in South Africa, someone did just that, and that’s what I’ve written about today.
Sunday, March 09 2008 @ 05:45 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
On February 29, about an hour after the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting closed, I posted this blog entry, based on information available at the time. Corrections were made over the next two days to take further information into account as it became available; those corrections are duly noted in the text. Due to the extent and energy of the debate that has erupted around the BRM, I turned that blog entry into an ongoing resource page, adding first-hand accounts of many delegates to the BRM, the views of selected non-attendees, the text of public statements and press releases by ISO/IEC JTC1, Ecma, various National Bodies and other interested parties, and more.
In order to make that material easier to use, I've now moved that material to this new entry, reorganized it, and added the Table of Contents immediately below (the original blog entry, as corrected, now stands alone at the original date of posting, with a forward link to this resource page). You can also view the many press articles that continue to be written as I add them to the News Picks column to the right, as well as hundreds of additional articles from the past several years about ODF and OOXML, by bookmarking . You can therefore stay current on further developments and statements relating to the BRM by bookmarking this blog entry.
My thanks to all of you that have pointed me to much of the data that appears below. Please continue to send me links to information as you find it or provide it, and I'll add it below. NOTE: you must click through to the full text of this entry for some of the Table of Contents links to work
Table of Contents
I. Updated Blog Entry - As posted on February 29
II. Comments to Blog Entry - Includes an extensive exchange with BRM Convenor Alex Brown
III. Daily Updates - Supplemental notes on the materials as added
IV. BRM Accounts by Delegates (interested and neutral) - Blog postings and interviews of delegates with their details and perspectives
V. BRM Commentary by Others - Both interested and neutral; for press accounts, see the ODF/OOXML News folder
VI. Public Statements and Press Releases - ISO/IEC JTC1, Ecma, National Bodies, and more
Friday, February 29 2008 @ 05:53 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
I have now created a very extensive, indexed BRM Resource Page to hold the many links, press releases, delegate statements and other material that were originally found here. You can find that extra materials here.
A rather incredible week in Geneva has just ended, bringing to a close the Herculean task assumed by the over 100 delegates from 32 countries that attended the BRM. That challenge, of course, was how to productively resolve the more than 1,100 comments (after elimination of duplicates) registered by the 87 National Bodies that voted last summer with respect to a specification that itself exceeded 6,000 pages.
I have spent the week in Geneva, and have spoken with many delegates from many delegations on a daily basis. Each believed that a body that purports to issue "global open standards" should not impose an obligation of secrecy on how the standards that people must live with are approved on their behalf. It would be fair to say that, notwithstanding all of the charges and counter charges that have been made leading up to the BRM regarding how National Body votes were taken last summer, how delegations have been selected, and how they have been instructed to act and vote at the BRM, there has been a good faith effort by all to try to achieve a successful result. The same appears to have held true within delegations, even those that contained representatives of the most opposed parties.
There are two ways in which you may hear the results of the BRM summarized by those that issue statements and press releases in the days to come. Perhaps inevitably, they are diametrically opposed, as has so often happened in the ODF - OOXML saga to date. Those results are as follows:
98.4% of the OOXML Proposed Dispositions were approved by a three to two majority at the BRM, validating OOXML
The OOXML Proposed Dispositions were overwhelmingly rejected by the delegations in attendance at the BRM, indicating the inability of OOXML to be adequately addressed within the "Fast Track" process
[Paragraph updated] In this blog entry, I will explain why the following is the best characterization, and help you read the various press releases and statements that may be made with the benefit of the appropriate context:
Only a very small percentage of the proposed dispositions were discussed in detail, amended and approved by the delegations in attendance at the BRM, indicating the inability of OOXML to be adequately addressed within the "Fast Track" process
Quote of the Day
“The need to adopt ODF is a no-brainer
-Nico Westpalm van Hoorn, chairman of the Netherlands government body responsible for selecting IT standards for government See all Quotes
Latest NewsEC accepts XBRL as standard for procurement SubmittedGijs HilleniusEU Joinup
February 12, 2016 - The European Commission has made XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) version 2.1 eligible for referencing in public procurement. From 17 February, public administrations in the EU can refer to the XBRL specification in their requests for tender. XBRL is a standard for exchanging business information, facilitating automatic retrieval of financial information and improving analysis of financial reporting.
The freely-available standard, developed by the not-for-profit XBRL Consortium, was accepted by the Commission after consulting the European multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) on ICT standardisation and other experts.
The MSP experts evaluate and examine the compliance of technical specifications in the field of ICT that are not national, European or international standards.
XBRL is now the seventh technical specification following this process that can be referenced in public procurement. Others include Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), Extensible Markup Language version 1.0 (XML) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).... ...Full Story
Influence the Future of Cybersecurity Education—Join the NICE Working Group
NIST February 12, 2016 - Addressing the nation’s rapidly increasing need for cybersecurity employees, the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is seeking members from the public and private sectors and academia to join its new working group and encourages interested individuals to participate in a kickoff teleconference the afternoon of January 27, 2016.
NICE, which is led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is a public-private partnership that promotes a robust network of cybersecurity education, training and workforce development to meet the nation’s demand for skilled cybersecurity employees to protect information systems. The number of job openings in the field greatly exceeds the number of trained workers. The NICE Working Group will collaborate to develop concepts, design strategies and pursue actions to advance cybersecurity education, including sharing existing education initiatives and identifying new ones.... ...Full Story
Companies Form New Alliance to Target Health-Care Costs
WSJ/Yahoo Finance February 11, 2016 - Twenty major companies—including American Express Co., Macy’s Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. — are banding together to use their collective data and market power in a bid to hold down the cost of providing workers with health-care benefits.
The newly formed alliance of companies, which cover about four million people among them, plan to share information about members’ employee health spending and outcomes, with an eye toward using findings to change how they contract for care. Ultimately, some members say, they could even form a purchasing cooperative to negotiate for lower prices, or try to change their relationships with insurance administrators and drug-benefit managers.... ...Full Story
European Parliament repeats call for open source Submitted
EU Joinup February 10, 2016 - For the second time in just three months, the European Parliament has called on the European Commission to to increase the share of free and open source software. On 19 January, in a so-called own-initiative report, the EP also urged the EC to use this type of software to promote reuse in and between public administrations as a solution to increase interoperability.
The European Parliament says that free and open source software will ‘boost competitiveness through interoperability and standardisation’.
In October, the EP called “for the systematic replacement of proprietary software by auditable and verifiable open-source software in all the EU institutions, and for the introduction of a mandatory open-source-selection criterion in all future ICT procurement procedures.”...In addition, the Parliament says free and open source software is instrumental to reinforce ‘trust and security in digital networks, industries, services and infrastructures and in the handling of personal data’.... ...Full Story
NIST Requests Comments on Computer Security Publication on Randomness
NIST February 10, 2016 - The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking public comment on its latest draft of a publication intended to help computer security experts use randomness to protect sensitive data....Random numbers are a crucial element in cryptography, which is often used to protect private messages by encrypting them into a form that cannot be understood without knowledge of a secret value generated using the random number.
Creating the randomness needed requires the use of an entropy source, which includes a natural source of entropy, often a physical phenomenon such as thermal noise — the random motions of particles due to their temperature. Entropy sources that comply with SP 800-90B are intended to provide assurance that cryptographic algorithms provide the security needed to protect information.
“This draft document proposes a lot of tests that you can use to validate your entropy source to tell you how good a job it is doing,” says NIST’s Elaine Barker, one of the publication’s authors. “When you’re assessing your process for generating randomness, you want to make sure nothing is broken and that it is performing consistently. We would like the public’s input on ways we can improve these tests.”... ...Full Story
U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Report to Congress on Dedicated Short-Range Communications
ANSI.org Weekly News February 9, 2016 - The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently released a report to Congress assessing the status of dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology and applications for short-range communications between vehicles and infrastructures. While the report found that DSRC is ready for deployment and emphasized that DSRC-based technologies offer a path to a “safer and more efficient” surface transportation system for America, it also revealed that the DOT is aiming to harmonize operational policies and voluntary industry standards to enhance capabilities even more to achieve global compatibility.
The DOT defines “DSRC” as a Wi-Fi derivative technology developed to meet specialized needs for secure, low latency, wireless mobile data communications. The technology has the proven the ability to provide all of the critical attributes needed to support mobility and environmental applications, in addition to lifesaving safety-critical applications. DSRC supports connected vehicle safety applications, for example, and can be configured to enable real-time crash-avoidance alerts and warnings. The DOT reports that in this capacity, DSRC has the ability to transform transportation safety—with the potential to address 83 percent of light-vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers.... ...Full Story
Open Compute Project Extends Focus to TelecommunicationsChristopher Tozzi
The Var Guy February 9, 2016 - The Open Compute Project, with the backing of several telecommunications providers and other new partners, wants to make telco more open.
David Ramos/Getty Images
The Open Compute Project (OCP), the Facebook-born initiative to make datacenter computing more scalable, efficient and affordable through open software and hardware, has taken another step forward by securing the support of several telecommunications companies as it launches a new telco project.
OCP, which was founded in 2011 by Facebook, Intel, Rackspace, Goldman Sachs and Andy Bechtolsheim, originated from an effort by Facebook to keep its datacenter open in order to lower costs and avoid vendor lock-in.... ...Full Story
Industrial Internet Industry Alliance Created Under MIIT
USITO.org February 8, 2016 - On February 1, the Industrial Internet Industry Alliance held its inaugural meeting in Beijing, with Minister of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) minister Miao Wei delivering a keynote address.
In his remarks, Miao Wei highlighted that the industrial Internet has already emerged as the critical driving force for smart manufacturing, and the playing field upon which countries are competing for manufacturing leadership. Minister Miao added that because China is in the midst an of economic transformation, the importance of industrial internet development is even more critical, and that the newly formed alliance should strive to serve as a catalyst for industrial internet promotion measures such as China Manufacturing 2025 and the Internet Plus Strategy.
The alliance will be under the guidance of the China Academy of Information Communications Technology (CAICT) but has a total of 13 vice chairman-level supporting companies, including Huawei, China Telecom and Haier. CAICT president Cao Shumin will serve as chairperson of the alliance, while Minister Miao will serve as director of the alliance's guidance committee. The alliance has 143 founding members. ...Full Story
Get Involved: U.S. TAG Participants Sought for ISO/IEC Subcommittee on Automatic Identification and Data Capture Techniques
ANSI.org Weekly News February 4, 2016 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is seeking U.S. experts to participate in the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Information Technology Standards, Subcommittee (SC) 31, Automatic identification and data capture techniques. As the U.S. representative to ISO, ANSI encourages all U.S. stakeholder organizations in relevant information technology fields to get involved, and those involved in radio frequency identification and data encoding are especially sought....SC 31 works to provide standards for data formats, data syntax, data structures, data encoding, and technologies for the process of automatic identification and data capture and of associated devices utilized in inter-industry applications and international business interchanges and for mobile applications.... ...Full Story
ANSI to Host OMB A-119 Revision Webinar on February 16
ANSI.org Weekly News February 3, 2016 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will host a free webinar discussing the recently published revisions to White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119, "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities.” The webinar will take place from 3:00 to 4:00 pm Eastern on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.
ANSI strongly encourages all interested parties – and especially ANSI member organizations – to take this opportunity to learn more about the revised document, which will continue to have a significant impact on future U.S. government use of privately developed voluntary consensus standards.
The circular, in conjunction with the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995, instructs U.S. federal agencies to consider using voluntary consensus standards developed privately instead of government-unique standards whenever possible. It was last updated in 1998 and has been revised again to reflect notable changes that have occurred in the ensuing years in connection with voluntary consensus standards, conformity assessment activities, and the federal government's participation in and use of standards.
Guest speakers at the webinar will include:
- Jasmeet Seehra, Policy Analyst, OMB
- Jeff Weiss, Senior Advisor for Standards and Global Regulatory Policy, U.S. Department of Commerce
- Gordon Gillerman, Director, Standards Coordination Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The webinar will be listen-only, but participants will be given the opportunity to submit questions via chat. Following the event, the slide deck and a recording of the webinar will be made available for future viewing.
All individuals interesting in taking part in the webinar must register in advance. ...Full Story