“Commiserations to my successor” – OOXML Strikes Again!
In what is an astonishingly outspoken report, Martin Bryan, Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1 has given us insight into the total mess that Microsoft/ECMA have caused during their scandalous, underhand and unremitting attempts to get – what is a very poorly written specification – approved as an ISO standard.
This year WG1 have had another major development that has made it almost impossible to continue with our work within ISO. The influx of P members whose only interest is the fast-tracking of ECMA 376 as ISO 29500 has led to the failure of a number of key ballots. Though P members are required to vote, 50% of our current members, and some 66% of our new members, blatantly ignore this rule despite weekly email reminders and reminders on our website. As ISO require at least 50% of P members to vote before they start to count the votes we have had to reballot standards that should have been passed and completed their publication stages at Kyoto. This delay will mean that these standards will appear on the list of WG1 standards that have not been produced within the time limits set by ISO, despite our best efforts.
These people, who do such important work in developing and specifying globally useful standards – that ultimately benefit all of us – are usually very circumspect with their choice of language in any public communication.
For Martin to write:
The second half of 2007 has been an extremely trying time for WG1. I am more than a little glad my 3 year term is up, and must commiserate with my successor on taking over an almost impossible task.
and even more:
The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting “standardization by corporation”, something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees. I am glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible. I wish my colleagues every success for their future efforts, which I sincerely hope will not prove to be as wasted as I fear they could be.
is really quite amazing.
I really can’t believe that Microsoft can be allowed to get away with this any longer.