05.21.08

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

flickr:2400034217

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/05/21/alex-brown-admit-iso-fails/

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

10 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    May 21, 2008 at 4:13 am

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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

    Gravatar

    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. How We Process and Upload Videos Hosted in Techrights

    With ffmpeg as the Swiss army knife (and various other utilities/programs ‘in between’) it’s possible to automate much of the pipeline associated with video production and self-hosting



  2. Richard Stallman's Free Software Speech in 2020 (FSF Turning 35)

    We've re-encoded (as WebM) the likely sole/only speech Richard Stallman gave about his movement last year; today seems like a suitable time to republish it because tomorrow a British university/group will replatform him (to use their term)



  3. The Chaos Theory

    Making GNU/Linux less stable and less predictable isn't good for GNU/Linux users; but it certainly helps sell Red Hat support contracts and vexation inside the community weakens Red Hat's competitors



  4. Gemini and Techrights: Still Growing in Gemini Space and Always Supporting/Loving the Protocol

    As we continue to expand in Gemini space (where our very large site became a very large and likely the largest capsule) it's worth explaining some of the overlooked merits of the protocol; unlike the World Wide Web (WWW) it does not impose things on the user/visitor, who is more or less in charge



  5. Links 9/5/2021: KDE Frameworks 5.82.0 Release and Patents Related to COVID Subjected to Waivers

    Links for the day



  6. Act More 'Professional' to Appease Mobs

    We should all think alike, dress alike, and like everybody (especially the business overlords)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 08, 2021



  8. Some Background on the Free Speech Society at the University of Buckingham, Where Richard Stallman is Being 'Replatformed'

    A private British university, the University of Buckingham, will 'host' (virtually) the most-defamed person in the Free software world; the Free Speech Society is only two years old and rationality for its existence is explained by its co-founder James Oliver



  9. Web Sites or News Sites Perish When Their Arguments Are Weak and/or Invalid

    "Just be honest!" is a simple motto for any site; but some sites sell out in pursuit of money or grandiosity, unlike us (we turned 14.5 years old on Friday)



  10. GNU/Linux Turns 38 (in 4 Months From Now)

    Contrary to what the Linux Foundation wants you to think, the operating system turns 38 later this year



  11. Richard Stallman: Steve Jobs Did Some Very Bad Things

    Dr. Richard Stallman told me about Steve Jobs that he had helped digitally imprison computer users



  12. GNU/Linux Founder Richard Stallman to Give a Talk at the University of Buckingham Tomorrow (Live Stream)

    Tomorrow it will be possible to watch this new talk live using Free software



  13. Then We Take Berlin...

    Homage to EPO, based in Munich and Berlin (and defended by the government in Berlin)



  14. The Right to Assemble, Fundamental Rights of Ownership, and Many Other Rights Are Under Attack

    Techrights will be dealing a lot more with erosion of what people have come to assume were “rights” (real rights, such as human rights, labour rights, not copy “rights” or patent “rights”); when rights are reduced to rubble the long-term consequences are severe, shows history



  15. TechBytes Episode 91: End of Privacy and End of Windows 10X

    Tim and Roy produce their 2nd audiocast since TechBytes returned



  16. The Cancel Song

    People who work for (or receive funding from) Nazi-associated IBM are still trying to turn the work/legacy of Richard Stallman (RMS) into dust/ashes



  17. Pro-Software Freedom Advocates and Free/Libre Software Supporters Face Barriers Due to Domination of Communication Channels (Beyond the Media)

    A carefully-checked assessment of an overlooked aspect surrounding the 'cancel mob', which incites and brainwashes people based on lies; there's an attempt to control channels of communication (e.g. Open and Free Technology Community and Freenode) and to generally suppress people who support the founder of GNU/Linux



  18. Bashing Free Software and GNU/Linux is a Terrible Business Model for Publishers

    Contrary to unflattering portrayals by hostile media that's sponsored by foes of Free software, the usage of Free software grows, even if things such as DRM and surveillance stand in the way of software freedom (which was wrongly assumed to be ushered in by Free software, irrespective of malicious features like 'telemetry')



  19. Links 8/5/2021: GIMP 2.99.6, Wine 6.8 Released

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, May 07, 2021



  21. [Meme] Outsourcing Audacity Development to Microsoft Proprietary Software and Then Copying Microsoft Tactics (and 'Telemetry')

    They've had the audacity to call it "telemetry" and pretend that surveillance companies (spying giants) cannot figure out who you are based on IP addresses



  22. Links 7/5/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 156 and Diffoscope 174 Released

    Links for the day



  23. The New Microsoft? No, the New IBM.

    Microsoft GitHub and IBM: a strategic alliance between a monopolistic duo



  24. The Audacity Takeover by Muse Group is No Cause for Celebration

    Audacity is now part of an entity called Muse Group and if it doesn’t take or suck freedom out of Audacity, it will certainly deny users rather basic concepts (or anticipation) of privacy



  25. King of Linux

    If the entire operating system is being called "Linux", then we fall for a publicity or misattribution stunt



  26. The Biggest Troll is the Linux Foundation, Still Looking to Provoke and Defame Free Software Communities in Order to Help a Monopolistic Takeover and to Shoehorn Tyrants Into Leadership Positions

    Contrary to what the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is trying to say, the most toxic element is itself; it’s maligning the real community while protecting abusive and racist corporations that profit from war and tribalism-motivated hatred



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 06, 2021



  28. “The Lolita Express” and Prince Bill

    “The Lolita Express” scandals return to haunt pool old Bill, as it turns out his wife was upset and it's quite likely the reason for their divorce



  29. Links 7/5/2021: GNU/Linux Preinstalled, Plamo 7.3, LibreOffice 7.1.3

    Links for the day



  30. The Latest Reports About Bill Gates Serve to Confirm or at Least Reaffirm Many People's Suspicions

    So, just as many people suspected, Melinda Gates did not appreciate her husband sneaking behind her back to meet someone who had trafficked thousands of underage girls for sexual exploitation and there are high-profile calls right now for greater transparency, seeing the impact on the world’s biggest tax evasion vehicle


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