EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


OOXML BRM Convenor: “It May Be Time to Start Again from Scratch”

Posted in ECMA, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 2:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Alex Brown has just said so.

Ultimately the situation raises questions which go to the heart of the relationship between JTC 1 as an entity, and its member bodies. Just who is in charge, the nations or the officials? The unfortunate state of the Directives have meant there have been too many occasions when officials have had to step in and save the nations from the folly of the Directives that they themselves approved. Like ODF and OOXML the Directives is (literally) a standard, a standard that has faults. Unlike ODF and OOXML, however, I am beginning to believe the Directives have got to a state where they cannot be redeemed by evolution and amendment. It may be time to start again from scratch.

Sounds good, Alex. Given the feedback from Bryan (see below), whom you succeeded, OOXML needs to be flushed and we need to “start again from scratch,” to use your own words. Thank you for your honesty.

“This year WG1 have had another major development that has made it almost impossible to continue with our work within ISO. The influx of P members whose only interest is the fast-tracking of ECMA 376 as ISO 29500 has led to the failure of a number of key ballots. Though P members are required to vote, 50% of our current members, and some 66% of our new members, blatantly ignore this rule despite weekly email reminders and reminders on our website. As ISO require at least 50% of P members to vote before they start to count the votes we have had to reballot standards that should have been passed and completed their publication stages at Kyoto. This delay will mean that these standards will appear on the list of WG1 standards that have not been produced within the time limits set by ISO, despite our best efforts.

The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting “standardization by corporation”, something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees. I am glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible. I wish my colleagues every success for their future efforts, which I sincerely hope will not prove to be as wasted as I fear they could be.”

Martin Bryan
Formerly Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. AlexH said,

    May 21, 2008 at 4:13 am


    Alex Brown isn’t saying OOXML needs to be started from scratch: if you read what he’s saying, it’s actually the complete opposite – he believes the problems with OOXML can be fixed.

    I’m not sure it’s fair to twist someone’s words like that.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 21, 2008 at 4:22 am


    Alex Brown isn’t saying OOXML needs to be started from scratch:

    I did not say that he said that. Read carefully. I am sure that you, being an OOXML apologist, would be quick to defend it as usual.

  3. AlexH said,

    May 21, 2008 at 4:26 am


    So what exactly are you thanking Alex for?

    Putting his words in the context of your own opinion implies that he agrees with it.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 21, 2008 at 4:48 am


    So what exactly are you thanking Alex for?

    Admission that the process is dysfunctional. He pretty much joins the voice of Bryan as far as I can tell, but he is less open and blunt about it (Bryan didn’t mean for this to be publicly seen and he regretted that this had happened).

    Putting his words in the context of your own opinion implies that he agrees with it.

    You’re being overly pedantic, Alex, unlike those who attended and managed the BRM in Geneva.

  5. AlexH said,

    May 21, 2008 at 4:58 am


    Alex Brown has said on a number of occasions, over the past year I think, that the process is flawed. This isn’t something new:

    “The kind of fast-tracking procedures used for ODF and mooted for OOXML give very little time for a small part-time volunteer group to give such bulky documents adequate scrutiny. There is no doubt ODF is, right now, less good than it would have been if subjected to the full rigours of ISO standardisation. With OOXML predicted to weigh in as a behemoth 7,000 page standard the danger that OOXML will be inadequately scrutinised is greater still.”

    – Alex Brown, June 2006

    He has consistently held this opinion all along, long before the BRM.

    This still doesn’t give you the right to twist his words. You said, specifically (of Alex), “OOXML needs to be flushed and we need to “start again from scratch,” to use your own words”.

    So, if I use *your* words to put forward my point of view, that’s ok? Sure, let’s try that. I give you your own words on Moonlight:

    “Moonlight is fine”, in the words of Roy, “it’s a great step forward”.

    Now do you see how wrong that is? They’re your words, but not your opinion. You’ve done exactly the same to Alex Brown.

  6. AlexH said,

    May 21, 2008 at 5:03 am


    Look, if you still think I’m being pedantic, here is an easy correction to make: change the title to “OOXML BRM Convenor on ISO process: ”It may be time to start again from scratch””.

    You see, that way you don’t confuse his words about the process with your words about the OOXML standard.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 21, 2008 at 5:17 am


    Evidence of the process breaking culminated in Microsoft’s sheer abuse (dare I say corruption and bribery too). If that’s the case, why should OOXML slip through while the process gets mended?

    As for the rest, you’re playing a game of semantics. It’s an endless thing and your expectations from a blog are as high as you wish for them to be.

  8. AlexH said,

    May 21, 2008 at 5:30 am


    Your first question cannot be answered in the terms you state it, as well you know.

    As for a game of semantics: yes, this is about semantics, that’s in fact precisely the problem. It’s significant that you think semantics is a game, and you feel free to ascribe meaning to those who obviously don’t support your views.

    Believe me, my expections of this blog aren’t that high. You’ve admitted you don’t read it or research it, but using someone else’s words to espouse an opinion they don’t hold is generally thought to be pretty bad form. It’s bad manners, Roy.

  9. Quentin Crisp said,

    May 21, 2008 at 6:33 am


    Careful there Alex, you’re about to get tagged. Roy doesn’t deal in facts, only (mostly fictional) drama.

    Like many others I read this blog because it is entertaining. For the first month of having it in my list of feeds I thought it was some sort of comical parody site, but I couldn’t work out what of.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 22, 2008 at 2:18 am


    Only one single person is being tagged and if you follow the links in the flag you’ll find out just why.

What Else is New

  1. Željko Topić Attacks EPO Staff for 'Daring' to Legally Challenge the EPO's Management Over Its Gross Abuses in Europe

    Benoît Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is under the false impression that yet more threats against staff of the EPO will help contain the crisis rather than further inflame it

  2. Media Reports Based on New Patents Suggest That Microsoft Continues to Attack Google and Android/Linux, Trying to Tax and Delete Android

    Reports and patent applications serve to show that Microsoft not only tries to infiltrate ("embrace") Android to put its apps there ("extend") but ultimately to delete ("extinguish") Android

  3. Commenters Provide Possible Explanations for Mr Van der Eijk Being on Unlimited Sick Leave

    Rumours are swirling around Wim Van der Eijk's absence, suggesting that he too may be a victim of Benoît Battistelli's iron fist

  4. Links 6/10/2015: Linux 4.3 RC4, HP OpenSwitch, Wind River Linux 8

    Links for the day

  5. With Software Patents in Europe (and Pushes for the Same Thing in Australia and India) Patent Trolls Now Come to Europe, Attack Android/Linux

    Worst-case scenarios are becoming a reality as Android backers officially attacked by patent trolls using standard-essential patents in London, England

  6. New Information on Limbo in the Enlarged Board, Courtesy of Illegal Actions by the EPO's Benoît Battistelli

    Battistelli's bullying of people whom he is not even allowed to bully turns out to have gone on for a lot longer than promised, and there is no sign of light at the end of this tunnel

  7. Microsoft Customers Complain About 'Inevitable' Vista 10 Because Microsoft Nearly Forces Botched 'Upgrades'

    In a desperate effort to spread Vista 10, sometimes even against people's will, Microsoft really upsets loyal customers, who are eventually eager to explore alternatives

  8. Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna Explains Why the UPC (“Unitary Patent“ System) is an Undemocratic Sham Whilst UPC Silently Advanced by Patent Lawyers and Politicians

    European patent laws are being covertly overridden so as to allow broader scope of litigation, higher financial damages, speedy injunctions, and even software patents; the European public is intentionally kept in the dark about it, hence kept unable to express scepticism or issue truly effective objections

  9. IRC Proceedings: September 13th, 2015 – October 3rd, 2015

    Many IRC logs

  10. Article Explains Why SUEPO Went Silent Well Over a Week Ago: Nobody is Allowed to Talk to Journalists Without Permission From Battistelli

    More threats from Benoît Battistelli (threats of termination and legal actions on top of it) help hide the abuses of Battistelli and his fellow thugs at the EPO

  11. A Linux World: After Billions of Dollars in Losses Microsoft Changes How It Reports Financial Results

    The abusive monopolist is trying very hard to hide its growing difficulties, especially in an effort to bamboozle non-technical shareholders who cannot understand how Linux has essentially taken over

  12. Microsoft Continues to Extort Linux and Android OEMs Using Software Patents, This Time ASUS (Forced to Pre-Install Microsoft Spyware With OOXML)

    A roundup of news illustrating that Microsoft is still very much in a total war against Android, (mis)using federal regulators and even software patents to get its way

  13. Links 4/10/2015: Linux 4.2.3 , 4.1.10; MPlayer 1.2 released

    Links for the day

  14. Links 2/10/2015: Qubes 3.0, Linux.Wifatch

    Links for the day

  15. Microsoft-Connected Firm Net Applications Used to Mislead About Vista 10 Share and Mock GNU/Linux

    People who are connected to Microsoft (some being former staff) link to a firm that is connected to Microsoft in order to create the illusion that Vista 10 market share grew to 6.63%

  16. Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) and EPO Vice-President of DG3 Suspiciously on Unlimited Sick Leave After Benoît Battistelli's Unprecedented Attacks on Other EBoA Staff

    Rumours suggest that Benoît Battistelli's affairs at the EPO may have something to do with Wim Van der Eijk's longterm absence

  17. Microsoft's Secret Special Relationship With EPO Illustrates Serious Corruption at Microsoft and the EPO

    A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft's patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)

  18. Links 1/10/2015: LFS 7.8, Calculate Linux 15 Released

    Links for the day

  19. The 'Microsoft Loves Linux' Baloney is Still Being Floated in the Media While Microsoft Attacks Linux With Patents, New Lawsuits Reported

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on Linux and on Android (using software patents, which it still discreetly lobbies for), some figures in the media are perpetually peddling the Microsoft-serving lie that 'Microsoft loves Linux'

  20. The Microsoft Botnet Goes Bonkers and ATMs Running Windows Spew Out Cash

    The terrible security (by design) of Microsoft Windows is causing all sorts of very serious and collectively expensive issues

  21. Black Duck Continues to Pile FUD on Free/Libre Software

    Having spent nearly a decade promoting the fear of Free software licensing, Black Duck now does the same regarding Free software security

  22. Links 30/9/2015: New Kernels, Nexus Devices

    Links for the day

  23. Links 28/9/2015: Last News Catchup Before Resumption

    Links for the day

  24. Links 25/9/2015: GNU/Linux in Indian Government, NeoKylin in China

    Links for the day

  25. Süddeutsche Zeitung Explains Imminent Federal Scrutiny Against Battistelli's EPO in Germany

    The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reveals that actions by the German government may be imminent against the EPO's cliquish management, including its ringleader Benoît Battistelli

  26. EPO Managers, Patent Lawyers, Commissioners and Other Non-Technical Personnel Tackle Democracy, Alter Laws in Bulk and in Secret

    The reckless assault on European democracies and long-established laws across Europe are now lucidly demonstrated when it comes to patents

  27. Europe's Acceptance of and Resistance to Software Patents, Courtesy of Corporate Front Groups and Courtrooms Respectively

    A snapshot of recent developments and upcoming developments in Europe, regarding software patents in particular

  28. German Press Explains EPO Investigation Unit (I.U.), Struggles to Openly Speak to the Secretive EPO

    The secretive Investigation/Investigative Unit (I.U.) of the European Patent Office (EPO) is further studied/explored by a recent article from junge Welt, an old and well-established German newspaper (since 1947)

  29. Links 24/9/2015: GNOME 3.18, Fedora 23 Beta, New Firefox

    Links for the day

  30. Translation Needed of Article About EPO Threats Against SUEPO's Elizabeth Hardon

    A call for translation of an important article that may help shed light on the modus operandi of the Investigation/Investigative Unit of the EPO, which works with Control Risks Group (CRG), the 'British Blackwater'


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts