10.04.08

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Alex Brown, Microsoft OOXML Cenvenor, Steps Down?

Posted in ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 7:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alex Brown, the man who was hostile towards ODF and ushered the arrival of Microsoft OOXML (even recommended it) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21], seems to be following the footsteps of Martin Bryan and potentially retires.

If true, this looks ugly for ISO and it looks very ugly for OOXML. Nobody wants this job anymore.

“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, ISO ‘Escapee’
Formerly Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1

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2 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    October 6, 2008 at 7:27 am

    Gravatar

    Following the link you gave shows “Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)”

    However I found the page through google cache and got this:

    >> With the arrangements made for WG 4, a vacancy arose for the convenorship of WG 1, and I was pleased to accept the honour of taking this role. It is a great responsibility, following in the giant footsteps of preceding convenors Charles Goldfarb, Martin Bryan, and Murata-san himself.

    >> On a personal level it must also be said it is a relief to step away from the standardisation of OOXML. Whatever one’s views about the merits of the spec, I think there can be no disagreement with the thought that being heavily involved with its passage is both tiring and stressful. For now, I’ve had enough.

    Also

    >> So, after a tough year, what is the mood in SC 34? Positive, is my impression. The tensions surrounding ISO/IEC 29500 have dissipated and all agree that we have made the best arrangements we could for stewardship of the Standard and progression of work around it. … The future is bright, and we look forward to meeting up again

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 6, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Gravatar

    http://adjb.net/ : “Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)”

    The site is down. Maybe it’s a fictional leap year today. ;-)

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