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RE: [xml-dev] "Open XML" et al... Blech... Re: [xml-dev] Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan Robie [mailto:jonathan.robie@redhat.com] 
> Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 10:25
> To: Len Bullard
> Cc: Stephen D. Williams; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] "Open XML" et al... Blech... Re: 
> [xml-dev] Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?
> Len Bullard wrote:
> > Process is ALL you have.  If MS despite their bungling plays to the 
> > process in accordance with the process, then they implement products
> > that meet the market needs, they win fairly.   If in the face of 
> > competition, companies like IBM, Red Hat, Sun and others put FUD on 
> > the street, fund the attacks, and encourage the pile on in 
> the face of
> > process, then they are the villains in this piece.   I've 
> friends in 
> > all of those companies but at some point the ethics have to 
> match the 
> > actions or the willingness to submit to process dies.  The 
> magic dies.
> >
> >  
> >
> > So here we are waiting for comments to be resolved. 
> >
> Standards bodies are supposed to make decisions. Process is a way of 
> making decisions. "Yes" and "no" are both examples of 
> decisions that a 
> standards body might legitimately make. Somehow, you seem to 
> imply that 
> "no" is not a valid decision.
> Standard bodies are supposed to reach agreement among the 
> major players. 
> Sometimes, when one company proposes something,  it doesn't yet 
> represent agreement. Sometimes objections by the other major 
> players are 
> an indication that you don't yet have agreement. Usually, 
> parties on all 
> sides have commercial interests. A standards body has to be extremely 
> careful that players on either side of a controversy are not 
> allowed to 
> play games like the ones we've seen lately.

I think things are a little different in this case.  The members of ISO are
countries (national bodies), not companies.  There are no major players, as
each participating national body has one voice and one vote.  Of course,
each national body may have commercial and other interests, but that is not
the same thing as the commercial interests of a company or a group of

I am wondering, though, if anyone has made a formal objection about the fact
that OOXML may contain portions that are not fully specified, or that it may
contain normative references to essential artifacts that are not allowed, by
the ISO/IEC rules, to be normatively referenced within an ISO/IEC standard.
(I haven't read the specification and therefore I am not sure whether that
is the case, but this is what I get from many postings that I have read, and
I would be happy to hear this is not true.)  If there is a formal objection
along those lines, I don't think the specification can progress to an
ISO/IEC standard.


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