Archive for the ‘OASIS’ category

ISO needs to get with the program

March 10, 2008

I am quickly tiring of this rinky-dink European popinjay.  Although they served their purpose for ODF, it appears that they have not read the manual on how to deal with IBM.  The only good thing to come out of Europe is the office of ‘one lie reeks’, which has served us very well.  It’s a good thing that she has never heard of a mainframe.

For example, this guidance I included in a previous post:

[Consensus is defined as general agreement, characterised by the absence of sustained opposition to substantial issues by any important part of the concerned interests and by a process that involves seeking to take into account the views of all parties concerned and to reconcile any conflicting arguments. Consensus need not imply unanimity. (ISO/IEC Guide 2:1996)]

We told ISO in no uncertain terms what the consensus was in advance of the BRM.  It astonished me that they saw the need to go through with this charade at all.  I thought that it was just a ruse to get a week on expenses in Geneva, so did not get too suspicious.  I was looking forward to the opportunity to gloat in person whilst seeing the whites of my enemies’ eyes.

Imagine my horror when I discovered that a rather larger selection of NBs and other BRM attendees than I had hoped had designs on actually going through with it in earnest.

To add insult to injury, after expecting a hero’s welcome from the US V1 committee on my return home, they rudely suggested that we recommend we maintain the Approve position.  I cannot begin to fathom why they didn’t consider the arguments from US BRM delegation members IBM, Sun and Oracle to be a completely balanced view of non-Microsoft interests from neutral parties. 

For the first time, I am starting to worry about the threat my boss made to me:

“Rob, if this gets through ISO, then you’ll be working on Symphony with all your financial incentives based on product revenue, kapeesh?  Being paid by the word on your blog stops the day of ISO approval too.  I have enough big mouths to feed.”

It’s time to disband ISO and recommend to governments they only mandate standards from a body where consensus can be arranged and that is more conveniently located much nearer Sun and Oracle in Burlington and indeed, IBM in Westford, where I am domiciled. 

Fast Track or PAS (or ECMA vs OASIS)

February 22, 2008

I recently explained the difference between the Fast Track and PAS processes in agonizing detail.  It might, however, be illuminating to see how ECMA differs from OASIS.

As I mentioned previously, OASIS is much more amenable to large organizations taking control of specifications by allowing a one “employee”, one member, one vote system. 

ECMA has to charge higher membership fees, since it is unfortunately a one organization, one member, one vote system.  

 The problem with that, of course, is that it is more difficult to arrange a cartel than the sort of dictatorship that can be achieved in OASIS.  This is especially true now that our friend Sun seems to be straying from the path.  Not content with having the chair of the OASIS board, Sun are now bankrolling the ODF 1.2 editor

In any case, as was proven by Sun, ECMA has been proven to be too diligent in trying to wrest control from submitters, so they won’t be getting our business.

In reflecting on the two organizations, it did irk me somewhat that OASIS lacks the ability of ECMA in terms of fast track.  Perhaps the checkered history of OASIS has made ISO wary.

It is certainly galling that our standards lapdog is not one of the “monarchs of JTC1”, outdone by the mighty, world renowned institutions such as the ‘European Workshop on Industrial Computer Systems Reliability, Safety and Security’ or the ‘International Information Centre for Terminology’.  

But all this is moot, as according to our internal ‘Standards Masterclass’, focus groups have indicated that “fast tracking” should be avoided, due to the negative connotations of that term for the submitter.  Shame on you Microsoft, for making this amateurish faux pas.

“Publically available specification” has the wonderful aroma of openness, just the sort of thing to get the Stallmanites and Slashdot sheep on side and give a general warm and fuzzy tone to the proceedings. (This is especially true given the OASIS history outlined above.)

As I pointed out in my previous post, the difference in time of the two methods is negligible, so go for the more low-key and politically correct PAS every time.  If any of you thought the Microsoft developer evangelism playbook was brutal, it is as “Guess how much I love you” is to “American Psycho“, when compared to our Masterclass.

I am now looking forward to the cut and thrust of debate in Geneva, taking on these dullards with my rapier-esque wit.  I was slightly disappointed to see my colleague Bob Sutor denying free speech recently, I must give him my course on rhetoric and debating excellence, so he does not feel quite so inadequate in these situations in future. 

One interesting truism came from Alex Brown, the BRM convenor on Bob’s blog –

“I don’t see how a delegate (or even NB) who is “opposed” to OOXML can contribute in good faith to a meeting whose stated purpose is to produce an improved quality text, if their “opposition” means that they are wanting to take steps to prevent the DIS being passed (no matter what)…”

Ursus, Merda, Silva.

Another fact for the Burton Group

February 13, 2008

I mentioned that the Burton Group had been remiss in not stating the implicit “equally true mathematical fact that IBM plus independent members also control 70% of the votes”

Here is another fact (Sun take note).

There is no mandated limit to the size of the ODF TC and votes are on a per member, not per organization basis.

After accepting a few new members from IBM (we already have 11, compared to Sun’s 7 and Novell’s 3), who then attend 2 consecutive meetings (required to gain voting rights), the voting members could look like this, if a few non-IBM people unexpectedly did not attend 2 consecutive meetings and lost their voting rights :

IBM 355,000

Sun 1 (Co-Chair)

Others 0 

If Sun decided to play hardball, they would be outnumbered by 10:1.

We could easily outvote Sun, Microsoft and Novell combined.

Now that’s control.