OOXML clears ISO voting

That's it. An official announcement is awaited, but it seems certain now that Microsoft's OOXML specification has made its way through the ISO fasttrack process, albeit with many serious concerns over the way in which the voting unfolded.

That's it. An official announcement is awaited, but it seems certain now that Microsoft's OOXML specification has made its way through the ISO fasttrack process, albeit with many serious concerns over the way in which the voting unfolded. This ain't over yet.

Several sites have been superb at tracking and explaining this convoluted process, including: Pamela Jones' Groklaw, Andy Updegrove's ConsortiumInfo Standards Blog, the OpenMalaysia blog, and the Command Line Warriors blog. My analysis as it stands right now is based on what I'm reading across those sites. We're not talking official final tallies here, so I hope I'm wrong in saying OOXML made it, but it looks to be the case.

To reiterate the voting process, there are lists of Principal Countries (the P-votes) and Observer Countries (the O-votes). For the standard to make it through the fasttrack process, at least two-thirds of the P-votes must be "approve" and less than a quarter of the O-votes must be "disapprove" (this is why "abstain" can count in the standard's favour).

Based on what I can see on those aforementioned sites on this dreary Sunday morning (now extra-dreary), OOXML has achieved both those criteria. Open Malaysia has the P-vote criterion passing at 68.75 percent, and the O-vote criterion at 20.29 percent. Command Line Warriors is (are?) putting P-vote approval at 69.6 percent and O-vote disapproval at 20.2 percent. Of course, these figures are not final, but it looks likely that they're in the right ballpark.

Some countries did change away from approval. It looks like Venezuela went from "approve" to "disapprove" and Kenya went from "approve" to "abstain". However, going from "abstain" to "approve" was Finland, and going from "disapprove" to "approve" were: Denmark, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Korea, the Czech Republic and Norway.

However, as mentioned previously, the way in which these disapprovals turned into approvals is going to continue to be a matter of contention for a while yet. Beyond what you can see in that link, it now looks (thanks again, Groklaw) like there are more serious allegations of irregularities regarding the German, Croatian and Norwegian votes. Add those, then, to the Polish vote and the...

You know what? It's Sunday. See you tomorrow!

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