29 February 2008

Geneva BRM Vote Result: It's Clearly "Zlthoy"

If anyone can make sense of what happened this week in Geneva during the BRM process it's Andy Updegrove. He has an unrivalled grasp of both standards in general and the specific background to the whole sorry business. So the fact that I don't really understand his post of what exactly the final result of the meeting was is a worrying indication that my brain has started to rot.

Here's the summary:

There are two ways in which you may hear the results of the BRM summarized by those that issue statements and press releases in the days to come. Perhaps inevitably, they are diametrically opposed, as has so often happened in the ODF - OOXML saga to date. Those results are as follows:

98.4% of the OOXML Proposed Dispositions were approved by a two to one majority at the BRM, validating OOXML

The OOXML Proposed Dispositions OOXML were overwhelmingly rejected by the delegations in attendance at the BRM, indicating the inability of OOXML to be adequately addressed within the "Fast Track" process

Oh, thanks, Andy. I think what I'm looking for here is a kind of Hegelian synthesis of those two contradictory statements.....


johndrinkwater said...

I’ve read it through a few times just to make sure.

From what I can see, they block-voted for 900 dispositions, with a result of 6 agree & 4 disagree (with 22! abstaining from voting).
Unfortunately, this is counting the O countries aswell, those normally not allowed to affect the standards process.

It boggles me that more isn’t said about this line from
Andrew’s post: “1. Under Directive 9.1.4 under the standing rules of ISO/IEC JTC1, only the votes of "P" members are to be taken into account. However, Alex Brown, the Convenor, decided in advance, notwithstanding the rules, to allow all attending delegations to vote.”

So, following 9.1.4, the 900 dispositions wouldn’t have been accepted. But with this flaunting of the directive, they get accepted? o.O

So, it looks like the changes got voted through. Now I guess it’s down to the NBs to accept or reject the standard (as well as the changes).

Glyn Moody said...

So, the changes got through except that the vote was illegal under ISO rules, and that under the rules the changes wouldn't have got through, and also practically none of the problems in the proposed standard were resolved in the BRM, whose purpose is to resolve problems?

Me, I still think the result is "Zlthoy".

Anonymous said...

Got to agree with Bob Sutor on this one:

“Well, sir, we spent a week at great expense and only resolved 18% of the problems. But it looks good because we approved most of the rest of the proposals without discussing them in detail, including how they might impact the spec, contradict each other, or even be implementable.”

If this were a plane, would it even leave the ground?

If this were a medical device, would a patient survive its use?

If this were a car, would you drive it at highway speed?

If this was your information, would you bet that your citizens’ and your government’s data would be preserved for years to come?

Do you want to bet your job on that?

Do you want to bet your professional reputation on that?

Do you know enough about the state of OOXML today to place either of those bets wisely?

Glyn Moody said...

Yes, they have gone too far even for Microsoft's heartland to swallow...