OOXML clears ISO voting

OOXML clears ISO voting

Summary: 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.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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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!

Topic: Telcos

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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5 comments
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  • OOXML clears ISO voting

    Irregularities have been reported just about anywhere a national body, or anybody else for that matter, has voiced support for OpenXML.

    Some members of the technology community are so emotionally committed to their own point of view that they cannot possibly accept that somebody would do anything contrary to that without coercion of one form or another.
    bobby_the_poster
  • OOXML clears ISO voting

    To change from an approval vote to an disapproval vote after a BRM which solved a lot of issues is almost unheared of.
    The Venezuela national body behaviour is very unusual and in ISO terms almost unheared of. And Kenia moving back in their vote is strange as well. But then again Kenia produced some clear IBM anti-ooxml influences earlier in the standardization proces.
    With such strange voting behaviour (where countries change approval votes to disapproval after improvements are made) anything can still happen.
    Albert-a090a
  • OOXML clears ISO voting

    bobby_the_poster seems to be suggesting that the ISO approval process was normal, or close to normal, in the OOXML approval process.

    Be aware, this process was as far from normal as can be imagined. The ISO made up new rules ad-hoc just to benefit microsoft. The ISO ignored their own rules just to benefit microsoft. The entire process was completely corrupted.

    Below are a few of the serious irregularities that have been documented.

    0) Bill Gates contacted the president of Mexico and ask to approve ms-ooxml
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080327104739103

    1) Finland change is vote from Abstention to Yes without voting
    http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=20080327104739103&title=Finland+Changes+Vote+to
    +%26quot%3BYes%26quot%3B+after+Questionable+%26quot%3BConsensus%26quot%3B&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=682930#c682940

    2) Polish NB Chairwoman has changed the voting rules for the email ballot to "If you don't vote, it is counted as a YES", and she has threatened to sue committee members if they spread accusations
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-49455/polish-chairwomen-distributes-microsoft-propaganda

    3) Romania voted Yes. There is strong suspicion of ballot-stuffing and the Romanian Standardization Organization has so far refused to offer any information other than the vote distribution.
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-49319/romania-votes-yes-again-ballot-stuffing-lack-of-transparencyro
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-47722/last-minute-committee-stuffing-in-romania

    4) Cuba voted No in September but that its vote was counted as Yes
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080324121844682

    5) Brazilian representative alleges that he believes Microsoft has itself violated the "Law of Silence". It relates to Microsoft's claim that 98% of issues were resolved at the meeting, which he says is inaccurate, but his question relates to why Microsoft can talk about the BRM and no one else can. The Brazilian delegate has written to ITTF
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080324220213437

    6) Belgium: Yes man invade Technical Committee
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-48345/belgium-also-stuffed-with-microsoft-business-partners

    7) Pakistan and Egypt stuffed?
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-48053/pakistan-and-egypt-stuffed [noooxml.org]

    8) USA: The Yes men are back for voting in the United States. OOXML was adopted 17 votes against 4, thanks to Microsoft and their 11 Business Partners.
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-46044/committee-stuffing-also-in-the-united-states:11-microsoft-business-partners

    9) German vote Yes: only Yes and Abstain vote admitted. Without very strong pressure from Microsoft Germany would have voted "ABSTAIN", with 9 to 8.
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080327231223154
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-49525/limited-choice-at-german-din

    10) Sweden: the vote is annulled because one member vote two times. No new vote will be cast because there are no time for a new vote (sorry no-link)

    11) ISO has violated WTO rules accepting ms-ooxml as possible standard. Tineke Egyedi, president of the European Academy for Standardisation, is critical of OOXML being made a standard when ODF exists already, and she believes duplicative standards conflict with WTO rules
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080327170359776

    12) Denmark vote Yes ... but in the vote there was be about 50% Yes and 50% No
    http://www.ds.dk/4225 [www.ds.dk]
    http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=20080327231223154&title=Rough%20summary%20of%20
    the%20Dansih%20announcement&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=0#c683351


    13) OOXML Vote: Irregularities in Germany & Croatia and a Call for an Investigation of Norway
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2008032913190768
    walterbyrd@...
  • OOXML clears ISO voting

    bobby_the_poster seems to be suggesting that the ISO approval process was normal, or close to normal, in the OOXML approval process.

    Be aware, this process was as far from normal as can be imagined. The ISO made up new rules ad-hoc just to benefit microsoft. The ISO ignored their own rules just to benefit microsoft. The entire process was completely corrupted.

    Below are a few of the serious irregularities that have been documented.

    0) Bill Gates contacted the president of Mexico and ask to approve ms-ooxml
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080327104739103

    1) Finland change is vote from Abstention to Yes without voting
    http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=20080327104739103&title=Finland+Changes+Vote+to
    +%26quot%3BYes%26quot%3B+after+Questionable+%26quot%3BConsensus%26quot%3B&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=682930#c682940

    2) Polish NB Chairwoman has changed the voting rules for the email ballot to "If you don't vote, it is counted as a YES", and she has threatened to sue committee members if they spread accusations
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-49455/polish-chairwomen-distributes-microsoft-propaganda

    3) Romania voted Yes. There is strong suspicion of ballot-stuffing and the Romanian Standardization Organization has so far refused to offer any information other than the vote distribution.
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-49319/romania-votes-yes-again-ballot-stuffing-lack-of-transparencyro
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-47722/last-minute-committee-stuffing-in-romania

    4) Cuba voted No in September but that its vote was counted as Yes
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080324121844682

    5) Brazilian representative alleges that he believes Microsoft has itself violated the "Law of Silence". It relates to Microsoft's claim that 98% of issues were resolved at the meeting, which he says is inaccurate, but his question relates to why Microsoft can talk about the BRM and no one else can. The Brazilian delegate has written to ITTF
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080324220213437

    6) Belgium: Yes man invade Technical Committee
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-48345/belgium-also-stuffed-with-microsoft-business-partners

    7) Pakistan and Egypt stuffed?
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-48053/pakistan-and-egypt-stuffed [noooxml.org]

    8) USA: The Yes men are back for voting in the United States. OOXML was adopted 17 votes against 4, thanks to Microsoft and their 11 Business Partners.
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-46044/committee-stuffing-also-in-the-united-states:11-microsoft-business-partners

    9) German vote Yes: only Yes and Abstain vote admitted. Without very strong pressure from Microsoft Germany would have voted "ABSTAIN", with 9 to 8.
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080327231223154
    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-49525/limited-choice-at-german-din

    10) Sweden: the vote is annulled because one member vote two times. No new vote will be cast because there are no time for a new vote (sorry no-link)

    11) ISO has violated WTO rules accepting ms-ooxml as possible standard. Tineke Egyedi, president of the European Academy for Standardisation, is critical of OOXML being made a standard when ODF exists already, and she believes duplicative standards conflict with WTO rules
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080327170359776

    12) Denmark vote Yes ... but in the vote there was be about 50% Yes and 50% No
    http://www.ds.dk/4225 [www.ds.dk]
    http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=20080327231223154&title=Rough%20summary%20of%20
    the%20Dansih%20announcement&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=0#c683351


    13) OOXML Vote: Irregularities in Germany & Croatia and a Call for an Investigation of Norway
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2008032913190768
    walterbyrd@...
  • OOXML clears ISO voting

    And for those whose attitude is based solely on what "religion" or which "team" they follow, have a look at the table in this blog for a clear, simple example of OOXML deficiencies laid bare.

    http://www.robweir.com/blog/2008/03/disharmony-of-ooxml.html

    It represented an epiphany for me let me tell you.
    To quote colonel Kutrz from Apocalypse Now-
    "The horror, the horror."
    takinter@...