DIS 29500 Recommended for Approval by The United States V1 Committee

I just saw this come through in email, and would point you to Doug Mahugh's blog that the US V1 technical committee voted today regarding DIS 29500. I wrote about the V1 committee and the US position back before the Sept. 2 ballot here and here. I also posted on the Executive Board decision for INCITS here.

Comments (8)
  1. Andy says:

    You can make a puppet bark but it would never be your dog. What a shame.

  2. The OOXML should be rejected by ISO because it will create dual-standards.

  3. techno-confusion says:

    I notice that Arnaud Le Hors (who works for IBM, but is writing in a blog where he says the opinions expressed do not necessarily represent his employer’s positions, strategies or opinions) has just written an article entitled "Conflict of Interest", where he points out that the committee that produced this recommendation has a significant number of members with commercial ties to Microsoft:


    I’m also interested in the information that the US V1 committee used in forming its opinion.  The announcement came through on Friday, 7 March; was the BRM-modified text of DIS 29500 available at that point?  

    I notice that the files posted by Alex Brown on his blog ( http://adjb.net/ ) have interesting date stamps:

    – 0989.pdf and 0990.pdf (edited notes of the meeting and resolutions of the meeting) have date stamps of Thursday, 6 March 2008;

    – 09891.pdf (Result of proposed disposition of comments (SC 34 N 980)) has a creation date stamp of Monday, 10 March 2008.  

    [As an aside, the zip file 0989_reference_docs.zip contains some March 2008 date stamps, but the fidelity and authenticity of these date stamps these are inconclusive; in any case, the files in this archive, especially the ones with late-BRM or post-BRM date stamps, make for entertaining reading.]  

    So my question is, was the fully-updated DIS 29500 document available to the US V1 committee members at the time they made their technical recommendation?


  4. hAl says:

    [quote]So my question is, was the fully-updated DIS 29500 document available to the US V1 committee members at the time they made their technical recommendation? [/quote]

    That is not needed as they have already voted on the draft and can now vote on the draft plus the improvements accepted by the BRM. Since the vote on the draft without improvements was already nearly 2/3 in favour before and even OASIS ODF editor Patrick Durusau this time around changed his vote to approval  there was never much doubt about the outcome.

  5. techno-confusion says:


    The BRM meeting was not about applying improvements to DIS 29500 — it was about finding changes to the specification that would increase its chances of being accepted as a standard.  Taking each change individually in turn, some parties might find the change an improvement, others might find the change a new burden — depending on the point of view and the vested interests of the party making the evaluation.  

    Writing programs, I find that minor changes in wording can make a huge change in meaning — one bug that caused significant heartache was simply the omission of a single line (a call to initialise some processing tables); this line was in the development test rig, but was omitted when the code was transferred to the production equipment.  

    So I believe that details, and exact wording, matter significantly when evaluating the worthiness of a document.  It is in this context that I am interested in the inputs, process and deliberations of the US V1 technical committee leading to their approval vote.  

    As an aside, I find your "changes are obviously an improvement" implication quite similar to Microsoft’s frequent mantra that "innovation is good for everyone".  In both cases, details matter, and there can be a significant amount of good work done in the past that might not be able to be carried forward if an innovation significantly changes the operating environment.  In this case, having a number of alternatives helps people make trade-offs that are relevant to their situation.  


  6. Ian Easson says:

    Waleed, you said that ISO should reject OOXML because it would create "dual-standards".  

    Those of you who have voiced this opinion may (or may not) be interested in the comment on this point by Jan van der Beld’s blog.  From 1991 to April 2007, he was Secretary general of ECMA, and knows ECMA’s and ISO’s standards approaches in utmost detail.

    Here is what he wrote on Feb 18:

    "Moreover, competing standards in ICT are more the rule than the exception: see the study by Prof. Blind in Germany: An economic analysis of parallel standards illustrated using the example of the Ecma OpenXML Standard and the ISO/IEC ODF Standard, August 2007.

    Free copies are available in English and German.

    Contact: http://www.blogger.com/Knut.Blind@TU-Berlin.de%20"

  7. Ian Easson says:


    You are clearly trying to make a distinction between changes and improvements to DIS29500.  (Conjecture — perhaps because you don’t like the changes that were adopted at the BRM???)

    Please consider the following:

    – It was the *purpose* of the BRM to decide on *improvements*

    – The decision as to whether any proposed change (from ECMA or whatever) is an improvement was made by the BRM itself

    – The "changes" submitted by ECMA received 98.7% approval, and are thus "improvements", according to the rules of the BRM

    I hope this clears things up.

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