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Re: [xml-dev] Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

Elliotte Harold said:
> Several people have proposed that vendors be required to join the
> process 45 days, six months, a year or whatever before the vote to avoid
> these sorts of shenanigans.

Many committees have a two or three session rule: you need to attend two
sessions before being accredited and if you miss two or three you lose
your accreditation and need to start again. Many committees scheduled
extra meetings, so that rather than once every three months they met, say,
every week.

Why is the amount of time so special, if the aim is to prevent
single-meeting participants?  If the intent is to prevent single-interest
participants, then time is more important, I suppose, but you are talking

There is certainly scope for saying that people should not vote on issues
where they were not present for the discussions, though. However, one way
to handle that is to have fixed membership task forces. The downside
(Portugal) is that then it is difficult for people who find out about
things late or whose interest was not known at the start to participate.

> Anyone (natural person, not company) voting on a proposed standard
> should be required to affirm, under oath, that either:
> 1. They have read the entire standard and feel they understand what it
> says.
> or
> 2. They have read the entire standard, and feel that it is
> incomprehensible in significant respects.

That is not the way committees work. There is a division of expertise,
energy, interests and labour. So I might know about publishing and you
might know about programming, and we tend contribute and concentrate on
our areas of expertise etc.

In the Schematron standard, we have a (hopefully) formal description using
predicate logic, and under your rules that would not be allowed, it seems.
Would every reviewer would have to learn predicate logic to a level to be
able to find errors? Must every reviewer become an expert in XML Schemas
for any standard that has a schema? IMHO it does not matter that each
reviewer understands all parts, or even that anybody on a particular
national body understands parts that don't relate to that National Body's
interests, all that matters is that every part has adequate review in
toto. Division of labour.

Furthermore, people or National Bodies review from different angles: they
have different requirements and technical principles. So one person might
review based on internationalization issues, and just skip the parts that
are not relevant. It is these multiple nets that are important: a
line-by-line approach is OK but unsystematic and can be much more
haphazard than people think. You can end up with lots of trivial changes
while the important or systematic ones are left dangling.

Rick Jelliffe

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