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

Heavens no, Jonathan.   What I think:

1.  It isn't unprecedented.  What the rules allow, business interests
exercise.   Other companies and keiretsu have done this before.  If this is
what really disturbs people, study the processes and agreements carefully
and improve them.  Pay particular attention to the effects of liaisons and
participation agreements.

2.  Do remember that it is the documents that are being studied and voted
on.  Good analysts can make sound decisions based on those without attending
every meeting.  It is a grasp of technical issues, not attendance that
determines the worthiness of the vote. 

3.  We need to be leery of statements such as "we only need one standard for
X".  That one is easily refuted by example but it has an appeal to the
na´ve.  When people are being driven by passions instead of reason and the
swell of loud voices becomes more important than technical worthiness, every
appeal like that is suspect and so is the source.

4.  Note that passions are habits and where habits are unexamined, they
become necessity.  Endorphin-addiction is a real disease.

But those who believe companies will not vote business interests are
mistaken.  They always have.  That is part of law: fiduciary responsibility.
Where that conflicts with voluntary obligations, we see a murk that is hard
to penetrate and so once again, it will come down to leadership.  All ISO
has is professional editing and clear process.  We should all do what we can
to keep those intact.


From: Jonathan Robie [mailto:jonathan.robie@redhat.com] 
And there's a huge difference between (1) actually getting involved in 
the standards process to develop a technology, and (2) showing up just 
before a vote in organized groups that significantly outnumber the 
members who have been involved in the actual discussion to influence the 
vote, without showing any sign of having actually read the 
specification. This has now happened by parties on both sides of the 
issue, and it completely sidesteps the kind of careful consideration 
that standards bodies are supposed to do, turning it into a pure contest 
of who can best manipulate the process.

Rick, Len - are you actually arguing that this is the way things should 
be done?

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