Monday morning: OOXML BRM tidbits

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I’m in Geneva this week because I’m taking part in the Open Forum Europe conference “Standards and the Future of the Internet.” In addition, of course, the ISO/IEC OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting is taking place this week. The OFE organizers have to gone to great pains to make it clear that BRM delegates are welcome to conference activities that fall outside the BRM meeting hours, but otherwise no distraction is intended for them during the day. That said, Geneva is a big city and OFE is expecting many conference participants from outside the BRM.

OFE has a welcome reception tonight and then a roundtable table discussion and reception tomorrow night, both of which have been scheduled for some time. Seemingly at the last minute, ISO scheduled their reception for Tuesday evening as well. ECMA has a reception for delegates on Thursday night, I’ve heard. Worse comes to worse, delegates could shuttle between the two events on Tuesday evening.

To be clear, I’m not participating in the BRM but there is a tremendous buzz and a lot of murmurs about it. I hope that people who are taking part in the meeting will be blogging throughout the week. We want openness and transparency, right? Appropriate European privacy and copyright laws should be respected, needless to say.

The most concerning thing I have heard about the BRM is that if they do not get to all the comments, they may take a ballot to accept or reject the remaining ECMA proposals without discussion. This could cause big problems if delegates feel that they came all the way to Geneva to do something they could have done from home, at much less trouble and expense.

The ECMA resolution proposals are just some possible ways of dealing with the comments. If there is not time to deal with all the comments then maybe, just maybe, people might realize that OOXML should not be in the Fast Track process. Of course, there has been evidence for that from the beginning.

ISO has published a press release about the BRM.


  1. I’m not enormously certain that I know what all the appropriate European privacy and copyright laws are. But presumably United States corporations have to obey United States laws as well (whatever they may be); and globally-integrated corporations should think about Chinese laws, too, because that’s where all the money is at the moment.

    The differences all seem to stem from the fact that I have a King (or a Queen, depending on circumstance), I’m a Loyal Subject, and the judges and courts all swear allegiance to the monarch. You lot went to the New World to get away from that sort of thing; you have a President who you can change every 4 years if you want; and your judges and courts are a bit of a law unto themselves but it sort-of comes down to allegiance to your Constitution and its various amendments over the last couple of centuries or so.

    So we’re welcome in each others’ domains, but as tourists. Long may it stay that way.

    Switzerland has always been a ‘trade crossroads’, a neutral ground where these kinds of differences can be sorted out.

    Enjoy your deliberations there.

  2. I just got a very amusing and earnest sounding troll comment which I rejected. My troll filter is still in effect. One of the reasons why this was funny was that the sender used a yahoo mail account while his IP address clearly showed he worked for another company, though they may not be different in the future.

  3. You ought to see the troll-flood in USENET. I don’t read Slashdot’s comments, but I hear it’s the same over there. Return of the Munchkin?

  4. So let me get this straight. MS-OOXML is so bad that because there will be so many comments that they cannot address, they’ll take an up-or-down vote on whether to accept or reject them without discussion?

    Isn’t that the definition of “failing upwards”? Oy.

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