The Art of Being Mugged

by Sander Marechal

Last week was the Ballot Resolution Meeting on the 3,522 comments that were submitted on the failed Ecma proposal. Microsoft is spinning it as a victory, with over 99% of the comments approved with a 3-2 majority. But really, this is simply the most spin I have ever seen anyone give on a story, including SCO's spin on it's own laswuits. The reality is that from the 104 delegates, 6 voted to approve 90% of the comments without discussing them, 4 voted against it and the rest either abstained or refused to vote out of process. How does 6 out of 104 even come close to “consensus”?

Rob Weir was at the BRM in Geneva and has written an excellent story called “The Art of Being Mugged” on the proceedings at the BRM. To call it an utter failure would be kind. Now the National Bodies have 30 days to recast their vote on Ecma's OOXML proposal. My gut estimate is that it will be defeated again, and by a larger margin than the last vote.

But really, it should not even come to a vote. The BRM story clearly shows why ISO is quickly becoming the laughing stock of the IT industry. ISO needs to pull itself together now and remove OOXML from the fast-track process if it wants to have any credibility left. Practically all JTC-1 rules were violated at the BRM so there are plenty of excuses for ISO to act on this. Act now or become irrelevant.

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