So, what is the real US vote?

In this article, it notes that the US would agree to the ooxml and that the BRM was a success. How would this be? Did they, or did they not? Those of us humans who attended say it failed, the spin doctors (no doubt being fed by Microsoft) say otherwise. Will the Real US Vote please Stand Up (and say NO)!


  1. Votes and Votes
    The vote at the BRM was not a vote for or against OpenXML… the BRM was an editorial meeting only, and the vote was in support (or otherwise) of editorial changes.
    INCITS V1 is the technical commitee in the United States and they are indeed putting forwards a vote of APPROVE for OpenXML, maintaining the current US position. This is a recomendation to the INCITS Executive Board, who supported OpenXML on the 2nd Sep.
    If you want a little extra light reading on the BRM you might also want to to take a look at the report that the US HoD submitted when he returned from the BRM, it contradicts some of the grandstanding that took place for the benefit of the press on the Friday afternoon.–20080307.

  2. USA delegation dissaproved DIS 29500
    “If you want a little extra light reading on the BRM you might also want to to take a look at the report that the US HoD submitted when he returned from the BRM, it contradicts some of the grandstanding that took place for the benefit of the press on the Friday afternoon.”
    i don’t see a contradiction but an *affirmation*
    Farance said in press:
    “Eighty percent of the changes were not discussed, It’s like if you had a massive software project and 80% of it was not run through QA. It’s a big problem, I’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve been doing this for 25 years.”
    Farance said in HOD report:
    “Given the circumstances of a 6000-page DIS text, 3500 National Body comments, and 1000 proposed dispositions scheduled for a 5-day meeting, it was difficult to give full consideration to every proposed ballot disposition. A “default vote” ballot procedures was developed which allowed National Bodies to specify their explicit instructions on proposed ballot dispositions that were not discussed, and to specify their instructions en masse the remaining ballot dispositions that were not discussed.”
    “Considering the large number of ballot comments, the timeframe in which National Bodies received the proposed dispositions, and the length of the BRM, the US was unable to prepare a position on every ballot comment. The US delegation had positions on proposed dispositions to its own (US) ballot comments.”
    “All US delegates contributed substantial efforts towards the BRM, […] the US delegation was in unanimous agreement almost all [NBs] positions. One notable exception was the diversity of opinions on the what the US position was on the “default vote” ballot. This decision by the US delegation was documented and transmitted separately to the US”
    Regarding the phrase “US delegation specified their instructions en masse the remaining ballot dispositions that were not discussed”, you can see what was the net result of the “instructions”:
    61 dispositions approved by USA
    966 dispositions DISSAPROVED by USA
    ( USA submitted 288 comments to ECMA )
    Is clear for you Oliver?
    By the way, don’t take V1 advices … this committee is plagued with Microsoft partners [1] , the not represent consensus in its true meaning
    Franco Merletti

    • Re: USA delegation dissaproved DIS 29500
      … and of course, the biggest partner of Microsoft’s on that list is IBM. It is a funny old world.

      • Re: USA delegation dissaproved DIS 29500
        But that is not the same is it, Oliver? Merely pointing that out does not distract the fact that the bulk of the other members are “sponsored” in one form or another by some marketing slush fund. And with their bulk presence, they can do as they masters please. Please, come up with some real substance in this discussion.

      • Re: USA delegation dissaproved DIS 29500
        First of all, if you have any evidence of wrong doing you should take that straight to our corp compliance folks, we take allegations like that very, very seriously and will deal with them. Hit the contact button on my blog and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.
        If you’re just making a general statement then I struggle to tabulate it. Microsoft has some 900,000 partners around the world, so there is a high chance that any IT firm turning up anywhere for any purpose will have a business relationship with Microsoft, including your own company. It is fun to watch sites like noooxml take these data sets and spin them into scandal.
        Given that this particular standardization process involves technology that originated from Microsoft it is hardly surprising that several partners are bringing forward expertise on the topic. To suggest that Microsoft partners, many of whom are using the draft of the spec today to build solutions and support their customers, shouldn’t be at the table just does not make sense.
        Standards, on this level, are voluntary. A bunch of people who want to solve a problem get together and build consensus around how it will be solved. The output then ends up on a library shelf somewhere to be used by those who want to use it and ignored by those who don’t.
        Those who are most likely to use the standard at the end of this process are the very people that you’re objecting to the presence of.
        As I say, the argument just does not add up.

      • Re: USA delegation dissaproved DIS 29500
        I am sure your compliance folks are overworked and under appreciated. Just because there a lots of partners MS works with, does not still preclude any form of commonsense engagement. See the following:
        I have seen exact word for word documents sent to the ITSC in Singapore by “partners” of Microsoft in Singapore. I have even seen a document still in the template [PUT YOUR NAME HERE] tags still left in it and submitted.
        Are your partners so void of any form of independent thought and argument that they have to be provided templates? How would that NOT be a compliance issue?
        I think it is important that the entity I work for not be part of this discussion. I represent myself and the open source community, my current employer notwithstanding. I have been on the Singapore ITSC before being part of the organization I am with so they are just coincidences. My current employer might have relationships with Microsoft, but that is entirely secondary to this discussion.
        So, do do us a simple favour. Do you, honestly now, think that the thousands of issues that were raised for discussion at the BRM will have any chance of being resolved in the time alloted? Knowing that, why do you defend the charade and abuse of an international organization by your employer? I would like ooxml to succeed, but not in a way that it has been bandied around by your organization. Take it out of the fast track. Work on it. Fix the issues. Come back. Let’s stop playing games and semantics.
        There *may be* “billions of archived documents”, but heck, oo.o does a remarkable job extracting it. Why is it still so difficult for MS to come out and help make ODF the best deal yet? Is this another lame attempt?
        Microsoft has no more credibility left. Microsoft’s actions now have to been seen to be truly honest and transparent. Until then, we have to collectively waste valuable resources in combating lock-in and try to explain to people who just don’t (or perhaps can’t) get it or can’t add things up!

      • Re: USA delegation dissaproved DIS 29500
        Much easier to just run a google search on the specific words. Including similar results I get 6 pages of results, and that on a pretty long sentence:
        That doesn’t seem a great indication of impartiality

      • Re: USA delegation dissaproved DIS 29500
        I was holding back this bit, but perhaps since you asked for proof points, please see this this MS NGO link.
        Don’t tell me that this was done by some overzealous marcom folks. This has clear support from your management. Likewise the many “visitations” by MS folks in this region as well to standards committee members.
        I hope you had time to read this episode. That conversation has annoyed some of your colleagues as is, but I stand by the need to put information like that out in public.

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