Bonum Certa Men Certa

Tim Bray Calls the ISO Process “Brutal and Corrupt”

OOXML is fraud



Tim Bray was clearly dissatisfied the last time his words were carefully selected and then used to describe the terrible state of the OOXML BRM in Geneva [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. To be more specific, it was the "cherry-picking" as he later called it that had him disappointed by articles quoting him. This probably makes him feel a little responsible if not liable and might have him perceived as foul-mouthed. But still, this whole situation was a muchly expected failure that ISO never bothered to avoid [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It could. It didn't.

A month and a half later comes another post from Tim Bray, who shares with he considers his"ISO Fantasy". In reality, as the following shows, it was far from a fantasy.

What OOXML Is €· The ISO process, brutal and corrupt as it was, has been covered to death by everyone. Its output, soon to be known as ISO/IEC 29500, differs from ECMA-376 in two ways. €¶

[...]

What Microsoft really wanted was that ISO stamp of approval to use as a marketing tool. And just like your mother told you, when they get what they want and have their way with you, they’re probably not gonna call you in the morning.


Following this detailed post, Glyn Moody takes another shot at ISO.

One of the arguments adduced in favour of making OOXML an ISO standard was that it would place control of the former in the hands of an independent ISO group, which was a much better situation than the present one.

Anyone who believes this has clearly learned nothing from Microsoft's history of unremitting subversion of practically every independent standard it has been involved with. Microsoft will continue to develop OOXML as it wishes, taking only token notice of anything the ISO committee says. It will, however, bask in the glory of the ISO approval (assuming it stands after the various challenges currently being made to it), irrespective of the fact that its own products won't support the standard properly.


“ISO might come to regret all of these snobby denials at the end.”Glyn does not neglect to make a mild accusation against the BSI, which is still being grilled by (or put under scrutiny) from three separate and independent directions.

It will be very interesting to see what happens up until June. ISO is still 'under probation', so to speak, and it continues to aggravate its critics. ISO might come to regret all of these snobby denials at the end. You can sweep a lot of dirt under a carpet, but when it all accumulates to form a mound, someone suspicious will come around and lift up the carpet.

"This was horrible, egregious, process abuse and ISO should hang their heads in shame for allowing it to happen. Their reputation, in my eyes, is in tatters. My opinion of ECMA was already very negative; this hasn’t improved it, and if ISO doesn’t figure out away to detach this toxic leech, this kind of abuse is going to happen again and again."

--Tim Bray

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