Via Alex Brown Blog Entry, we now know what ISO’s Secretary General thinks about the ISO OOXML process. I agree with Brown for saying that it is now important for ISO to learn from the process, and will go further by saying that whatever changes tha comes, it should not be retrospectively applied to ISO OOXML. The only way ISO OOXML should be changed now is that it is demonstrated that current procedures (in spirit or in words) are violated and the violation are serious enough that intervention is warranted.
One other thing to note is that Secretary General Alan Bryden is unlikely to say that the Fast Track process is abused. That would be admitting something wrong with a process he is tasked to supervise. It is true that Europeans are more likely than Chinese, i.e., me, to admit mistakes, but there is still something we Chinese call “faces” that is universal whereever you come from. However, most importantly, even if he personally thinks that the process is abused, and there is NOTHING that says he does, he cannot say it as it will be rightly seen to seriously prejudice the current appeal process.
And of course, his job is like that of Alex Brown when he was the convener of the BRM: He must not take side and stick to his job of smoothing everything over, trying to reconcile conflicting view or in other words, do whatever a aribitrator/manager is suppose to do. As such, he is duty bound not to make any statement that will cause resentment from anyone involved in the process, ranging from Microsoft to the National Bodies that appealed.
I could also choose to follow Alex Brown by emphasizing Sec Gen Bryden’s comment on “experience learned … improvement to follow” but I am worried that I would be making a wrong emphasis on his comments. I do, however, hope that this is indeed what Sec Gen Bryden is going to do. All I will say is lets see what ISO does in the near future. Changes in an organization as large and diverse as ISO will no doubt be a very slow moving train. I would not be surprised if the changes originating from this experience only starts to trickle in from the end of next year.