Bonum Certa Men Certa

From the OOXML BRM: “I Have Never Seen a Person So Nervous and Ashamed in My Life”

When the dam of secrets bursts, reality flows

Most people have grown tired of retrospective writeups about the BRM in Geneva [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], which was a bad idea from the very start [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. However, now that the EU is investigating the abuse not only by Microsoft and ECMA, but at delegation level as well, it is important to have some updates documented.

The first item from from the Brazilian team, whose member reveals just how irregular (or corrupt) the process has been.

This person tried in saying that believes that we should not submit our proposal that asked the mapping, since there was no time at the meeting (just over three hours) to write the mapping document. We’ve said that our proposal stemmed from the premise that the ECMA had this document because they justifies “the need” of OOXML because it supports the binary documents legacy and it is also stated that there are still things that can not be translated (deprecated), they should have thoroughly studied this and at least have made the mapping.

I have never seen a person so nervous and ashamed in my life… He said that Microsoft should have this mapping and if we want, we can ask it to Microsoft but not ask it to ECMA. He said that ECMA was only responsible for creating the new XML schema and who do not have this mapping documentation.


The writer was apparently too worried to write about this due to fear of being sued, but it's good that such information is out there for Bob Sutor and Groklaw to scoop up and then share.

ISO Statement on the BRM: Public Stay Out



[...]

So much for an open standard. I have a question for the ISO. Have all prior meetings been run like this? In the deepest shade you can find? You know they have not, and I know they have not.

So, how about letting us listen to audio of the meeting, so we can compare claims now coming from all sides? There are so many different accounts, and they don't all sync up. Given that this format, if accepted, will impact us little people, not just a bunch of vendors, how about letting us in enough to make it at least possible to figure out who is telling the truth?

Hey, EU Commission. Did you know that there is reportedly audio made of the BRM meeting?


What was the big secret and is there anything damaging hat has not been leaked out yet?

In any event, another event took place in Geneva and it actually thrived in openness. Here are the conclusions from Open Forum Europe. [thanks to an unnamed reader for the pointer]

Recognising the dangers that loss of Openness of the Internet could mean, the signatories of this Declaration call upon the European Commission, National Governments, Standards Bodies, Industry, the Community and the Market:

* To collaborate such that the Internet remains fully open, without proprietary pressure, and based on Open Standards.

* For clarity within the role of standards bodies to ensure the avoidance of competing standards which will inhibit competition and loss of innovation.

* To mandate the use of Open Standards for interoperability.

* To drive up the quality, transparency and perceived independence of the Standards development and approval process, both at International and National level.

* To establish a clear link between the public interest and work of standardisation bodies.”


This relates nicely to Andy Updegrove's recent piece about "Civil ICT Standards", which we wrote about here.

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