Some preliminary tidbits from Andy Updegrove on the just-concluded OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting at Geneva, with PJ jumping on the bandwagon really quickly. Updegrove down-beat assessment is in contrast with Brian Jone’s upbeat assessment. Both, however, agree that National Bodies carried out their responsibility admirably. They deserve a rest. Of course, for us casual blogger the day had just began!
Now that the 30 day period for NB to consider their position had began, only one thing is for certain: Let the lobbying begin (again)! Ballot Resolution Meeting is interesting but in the end, what counts is procedures and final votes tally. Given that the very close September vote to reject OOXML approval in favour of Ballot Resolution Meeting, everything is up in the air. Please take note that my comments below is based sololy on Updegrove’s report, whose integrity as a journalist on OOXML is beyond reproach. But it is still a second hand account of the event.
Nobody in their right mind expects to resolve 1100 comments in 5 days. It appears that, after approving 200+ trivial and non-controversial issues, only 20 out of the approximately 900 remaining comments were discussed. It surprised me. I was expecting a figure close to 400. Given this rate of progress, if we were to persist in resolve all remaining issue, it will be financially better if we rent apartments on medium term basis for the delegates. The large number of undiscussed issues is what lead PJ to argue that the BRM should not change results of the September vote. Unfortunately for PJ, that is not what that’s count, but the final vote tally in 30 days time.
Of course, ISO might simply decided to stop this process based on this. In my opinion, that is the correct thing to do. I do feel the Fast Track process is being abused here for OOXML, but in the end, it does not really matter. I feel that I do not have to make the argument that the process is being abused as this is a subjective judgement and more difficult to prove. I only have to strike for the easier argument that the whole process from beginning to end had been shown to awfully inadequate in this case of OOXML. Evidence of this so abundance that I have the luxury to pick-and-choose my favourites.
One other thing is for sure, I did not envy the chairman’s, Alex Brown’s, job before the BRM; Now, I would not touch it with a barge pole. So far, Undegrove’s account showed that he had done a good job given the circumstances. In my opinion, he took steps to gauge the level of consensus and kept several options open for ISO. Of course I have my own idea on what he should report back to ISO, but I will keep it to myself until either the whole thing is over, or he decided to show us his card.