CyberTech Rambler

August 22, 2007

Sorry… Too late

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:02 pm

Jason Matusow blogged that ECMA TC45 will review ALL comments, arguing that this should justify “Yes with comments”.

Personally I think this offer of review is insufficient to justify “Yes with comments” vote if one think that there is issues. It is based on the definition and the intended use of “Yes with comments” and “No with comments”.  In short, “Yes with comments” says the proposer can choose to address the comments, but “No with comments” compel proposer to address the issue to National Bodies’ satisfaction. Thus, if you want an answer, use “No with comments”. In fact, I will go as far as saying “No with comments” as the default position when considering any vote, moving to “Yes with comments” only when you are satisfied that all your concerns are addressed. This is the way ISO voting process was designed to function.

With respect to OOXML, if you have issues, than “Yes with comments” is not the appropriate vote. This offer of review is inadequate. Anti-OOXML people like me believe we raised a lot of legitimate issues and they should had been addressed before the “fast track” process. To accept this offer is wrong in principle. The correct response, if they want a shot at fast-track, is to withdraw, address these issues and resubmit.

Moreover, I think this offer also too little too late for standardization process in general, fast-track in particular.  Fast-track process more-or-less requires that the proposed standard to pass as-it-is, giving little scope for modification. This is by design and reflects the “fast” nature: There is no point allowing the standard bogged down by modification proposal. As I see it, it is a “take it or leave it” choice for National Bodies. In return, the proposer has the onus of making sure there is no significant problem with the proposal. If there is, then the correct response is for National Bodies to take the “leave it” vote.

Therefore, ECMA TC45 should had answered ALL public comments to reasonably satisfaction before submitting this to the fast track process. I don’t care whether ECMA has a public comment process or not. Whether ECMA listens to public comments or not and if so, the question of how and when is ECMA’s decision. ECMA can choose to  listen to the public comment at any time, including now. Unfortunately, now is too late for the fast-track process.

In fact, the ECMA offer to review public comments is what they have to do after receiving national body comments. Nothing more. What is worse is that the second paragraph can be read as it is NOT going to consider public comments in the evolution of OOXML.

ISO’s “Yes With Comments” vote does not requires the submitter to answers question submitted by National Body. Hence, if any person wants their National Body’s comment to be considered and answered by submitter, they should ask their National Body to vote “No with Comments”. “Yes with comments” should only be used when the questions asked are trivial.

Bottom line… if you want ECMA to answer any question you have, do not give them the chance to choose whether to answer or not. COMPEL them with “No with comments”.

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2 Comments »

  1. The no with comments is only usefull if you can send someone to the ballot resolution meeting with a mandate for changing it in a yes vote.
    A consensus is wanted at the ISO meeting.
    Not a group of people purely marking of their comments list.

    I don’t think that many committe can agree on a list of comments that canbe addressen at a ballot resulotion not is it likely that they can agree on when to change the vote in a possible yest vote.

    Comment by hAl — August 22, 2007 @ 6:56 pm | Reply

  2. Dear hAl

    “The no with comments is only usefull if you can send someone to the ballot resolution meeting with a mandate for changing it in a yes vote.”

    I disagree. You can still vote “no with comments” if you do not want to attend any meeting. It just means you oppose it and is not interested in changing your vote.

    Of course, respectable and NB who take their responsibility seriously should attend the ballot resolution meeting AND send someone neutral there. In case of OOXML, the controversial nature means NB representatives presence at ballot resolution meeting is even more important.

    Another view is NB elected to be members of ISO, they have the duty to attend those meeting. Especially where decision can go one way or another.

    “I don’t think that many committe can agree on a list of comments that canbe addressen at a ballot resulotion not is it likely that they can agree on when to change the vote in a possible yest vote.”

    Part of the point of a ballot resolution meeting is to find out whether it is likely, within reasonable timetable, that the comments that most member felt need to be addressed can be met. If so, then there is a point to let the proposer amend the proposal.

    A consensus should not be forced by preferring “Yes with Comment”.

    The truth is, “No with comments” only means the proposer has to comment on the issue. It does not mean it has to change it to the NB’s satisfaction. Since majority vote is required, not unanimous, the proposer still have some leeway on what it wants to do.

    Comment by ctrambler — August 22, 2007 @ 7:19 pm | Reply


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