[odf-discuss] Gnome, Ecma, and what governments (and FOSS?) should have done

Chris Puttick cputtick at gmail.com
Fri Nov 2 08:02:39 EDT 2007

On 02/11/2007, Daniel Carrera <daniel at zmsl.com> wrote:
> Daniel wrote:
> > - I do not believe you have supported your argument that Gnome is
> > helping OOXML become an ISO standard, given that Jody is not
> > participating in the conflict resolution process.
> Marco wrote:
> > I admit I has missed this last information earlier. However, I believe
> > I have explained this concern in a reply to Jody. Not helping
> > directly, of course, but as Ian puts it, this is a political/
> > perception fight, and an indirect one, hence the concern.
> The ISO ballot resolution process is not a political or perception fight. Market share and government acceptance are political, fine, but the ballot resolution process is strictly a matter of going through every conflict raised by a National Body in the previous stage and addressing it directly. None of the issues raised was "not enough supporters". Showing more supporters and convincing everyone that FOSS guys love OOXML will not remove any of the conflicts raised by National Bodies.
But of course it is political - you think ANSI's vote was inspired by
acool tehcnical evaluaiton of the state of DIS29500? You think
government bodies are beyond influence of politicians (many standards
bodies are government funded)? You think that standards bodies that
are made up of people are beyond being influenced by pressure from
outside? If Microsoft do their PR work well, very few comments will
have to be addressed to persuade disapproves to become abstains and
abstains to become approves.

There is *no* requirement to resolve all submitted comments for a
change of vote. The BRM is there to come to a consensus on the
submitted comments, whether with a change of text, a change of spec or
a "not relevant". But without a consensus votes can still change, and,
just as it was clear in the first round, votes will not all be cast
based on actual technical evaluation. Even if no technical comments
are addressed, votes can still be changed. Political pressure will
play a part. My hope is that peer pressure among the standards bodies
will play a far greater part, with the result that the predicted Ecma
submission of "no material changes required" will result in a lot more
disapprove votes. My fear is that peer pressure and a commitment to
quality of standards will meet the Microsoft big billion dollar stick
and lose.


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