INCITS Executive Board to vote on "Approval with comments"


The INCITS executive board has been meeting this week, and today they decided to issue a ballot for “Approval with comments.” They’ll reach a decision within the executive board on this proposed position by mid-August, which allows plenty of time for subsequent discussion or another vote if needed before the final US position is due on September 2.


As Tom Robertson, Microsoft’s GM of Interoperability and Standards, said today:


“The decision by the INCITS Executive Board to issue a ballot of “yes” with comments shows positive momentum behind ISO/IEC ratification of Open XML. It reflects the importance of allowing users to choose the format that best meets their needs, and the fact that innovation and evolution will take place over time. We respect the INCITS process and look forward to working within it over the coming weeks.”


Note that the “Approval with comments” position would include all of the comments submitted to V1, including both the processed and unprocessed comments, as well as the comments submitted through the public INCITS web site.

Comments (12)

  1. Well, it has been a busy week as can be expected leading up to the early September finish to the 5 month

  2. There is great news coming from Doug today. The INCITS executive board in The States which handles the

  3. marc says:

    This is my interpretation of -> JTC1 Directives, pages 112-113: http://www.jtc1sc34.org/repository/0828.pdf

    There are three possible votes:

    i) "We approve the technical content of the draft"

    ii) "We disapprove for the technical reasons stated"

    iii) "We abstain"

    "If a national body votes affirmatively, it shall not submit [technical] comments" ( page 113 )

    If you have technical comments "fixable", NBs should vote ii), i.e "We disapprove for the technical reasons stated" and NB should check the "Acceptance of specified technical modifications will change our vote to approval" checkbox ( page 113 ).

    So, according with Mahugh news, INCITS Executive Board vote would be "We approve the technical content of the draft and submit technical comments".

    It seems that this is contradicting JTC1 rules.

  4. Doug Mahugh has another update on what’s going on with the US review of the Open XML standard. They’ve

  5. zoobab says:

    All adopted technical comments should be put in a NO vote, which is something like a conditional Yes vote if the comments are resolved.

    Not doing that is just ignoring that there are severe problems in OOXML.

  6. dmahugh says:

    Marc,

    As I said when you brought this same topic up earlier in the week, there seems to be some debate about how to interpret these ambiguous directives, and also about how those directives relate to the mandate INCITS gave to the TC.  I sure don’t have any expertise in this area, nor any control over any of the parties involved, but if you have suggestions for INCITS please feel free to forward those along to them.

    Here’s a screen shot of page 113 of the document you’re quoting from:

    http://www.mahugh.com/images/blog/2007/07/20/directives.jpg

    It says “If a national body votes affirmatively, it shall not submit comments” as you’ve pointed out, but a few lines below, where there are checkboxes for the various possibilities, it offers under “We approve the technical content of the draft” the option of “with comments (editorial or other) appended.”

    Also note what it says under “Votes on Fast-track DISs,” which is covered in section 9.8 of the same document, as the first option for the ways the National Bodies may reply: “Approval of the technical content of the DIS as presented (editorial or other comments may be appended)”

    http://www.mahugh.com/images/blog/2007/07/20/directives2.jpg

    I agree that that “should not submit comments” sentence on page 113 is inconsistent with the other two references mentioned above.  It’s my understanding, however, that the relevant section of the directives is section 9, which covers voting procedures, and there is no ambiguity or inconsistency in what it says there regarding this issue.  In any event, I can’t personally answer for how the National Bodies interpret these directives or apply them.  Like you, I’m just observing the process.

  7. marc says:

    doug

    "Also note what it says under ‘Votes on Fast-track DISs,’ which is covered in section 9.8 of the same document, as the first option for the ways the National Bodies may reply: ‘Approval of the technical content of the DIS as presented (editorial or other comments may be appended)’"

    Yes, but the same section says "[note: Conditional approval should be submitted as a disapproval vote]"

    So, if Incits votes "approve with the condition that this comments be impacted in DIS 29500" they should vote "disapprove with comments" according to this note.

    I’m not trying to force an interpretation against DIS 29500’s fast-tracking, i’m only quoting and giving a reasonable interpretation of the text ( and intention ) of JTC1 directives, i don’t see any section where an "approve with technical comments" vote is allowed, and other people ( with background in this kind of process) are saying the same. Examples:

    James Mason ( char of ISO JTC1 SC34 ):

    "

    The JTC1 Procedures say:

       2.7.2 Votes submitted by national bodies shall be explicit: positive, negative, or abstention.

       If a national body votes affirmatively, it shall not submit any comments.

       If a national body finds a final draft International Standard unacceptable, it shall vote

       negatively and state the technical reasons. It shall not cast an affirmative vote that is

       conditional on the acceptance of modifications.

    That is to say that there should not be technical comments with a "Yes" vote. If there are technical comments, then the vote should be "No."  (It has always been a general practice for a SC to accept editorial comments with a "Yes" vote, but these have been things like spelling and grammar issues, requests for clarification of glossary items, and other things that do not affect the normative substance of a standard. If there are requests for normative changes, then the vote must be "No." The rationale for such a rule is that the normative substance of a standard is expected to be settled before it gets to DIS status. In the present case, since we are working on a document that is already at DIS status, if we find something that needs to be changed in the normative substance, then we must act in a way that pushes JTC1 into a second round of DIS ballots.)

    "

    (http://www.ibiblio.org/bosak/v1mail/200707/2007Jul02-080502.eml)

    Alex Brown of BSI:

    "Comments may accompany a "yes" vote, as you note, but my reading of this is that "editorial or other" comments excludes "technical" comments; hence the qualification that yes means "approval of the technical content".

    This reading (which I have not discussed with anybody else) would mean that if a NB had any technical comments then it would have to vote "no".

    "

    (http://www.adjb.net/comments.php?y=07&m=07&entry=entry070714-190937 )

  8. dmahugh says:

    Marc, I think these interpretations lead into the question of what is meant by "other" comments, and what constitutes a technical comment as opposed to an editorial comment.  I don’t know enough about these details to have a meaningful opinion, so I’m going to leave debate on interpretation of JTC 1 directives to the experts.

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  10. Wictor Wilen says:

    Here are some interesting links on the (summer) hot OOXML vs ODF discussion. INCITS issues a ballot of "yes" with comments by Doug Mahugh South Africa votes No with comments on the standardisation of…

  11. Doug Mahugh says:

    The various members of INCITS here in the US have been busy the last two weeks, with the technical committee

  12. The various members of INCITS here in the US have been busy the last two weeks, with the technical committee