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JTC1 Improv Comedy Theater

JTC1 has been improvising its Fast Track processing from the start of the DIS 29500 procedure.

The latest “let’s invent a new rule” came at the BRM in Geneva, where a novel approach to tallying meeting votes was surreptitiously foisted on delegations, one which is clearly against the plain text of JTC1 Directives.

The question is how votes should be counted at a Fast Track BRM, where consensus cannot be reached, in this case for lack of time. Specifically, in that final batch-vote on 1027 comments, how should votes be counted. I believe the rules call for positions to be established by the majority of P-members. The leadership of the meeting instead counted both P-members and O-members. In the balance lies the fate of over 100 Ecma proposals which may or may not be included in the final text of the DIS, depending on how this question is resolved.

Let’s review the rules, from the current JTC1 Directives (5th Edition, Version 3.0)

First let’s start with the overriding rule from section 1.2 “General Provisions”:

These Directives shall be complied with in all respects and no deviations can be made without the consent of the Secretaries-General.

Or in plain English — “These are the rules, you can’t just make stuff up”.

So what is a P-member and an O-member? This is covered in chatper 3 “Membership Categories and Obligations”. P-members are defined as:

P-members within JTC 1 shall be NBs that are Member Bodies of ISO or National Committees of IEC, or both. Only one NB per country is eligible for membership in JTC 1. P-members have power of vote and defined duties.

and O-members are defined as:

Any NB that is a Member Body of ISO or National Committee of IEC, or both, may elect to be an O-member within JTC 1. Correspondent members of ISO are also eligible to be O-members of JTC 1. O-members have no power of vote, but have options to attend meetings, make contributions and receive documents.

So clear enough? O-members can attend meetings and contribute, but cannot vote. P-members can vote at meetings.

Section 9 deals with the voting rules, and 9.1.4 speaks about meeting votes in particular:

In a meeting, except as otherwise specified in these directives, questions are decided by a majority of the votes cast at the meeting by P-members expressing either approval or disapproval.

So, in a meeting, only P-members vote and they vote by majority. “Except as otherwise specified in these directives” means that this rule can be overridden in specific cases. But the override must be “specified”, i.e., actually written down that it is an override of the normal meeting voting rules.

So drilling down a level deeper we come to the Fast Track rules themselves in chapter 13, where in 13.8 is covered meeting votes at a Fast Track BRM:

At the ballot resolution group meeting, decisions should be reached preferably by consensus. If a vote is unavoidable the vote of the NBs will be taken according to normal JTC 1 procedures.

So on the surface this seems to be a vague statement. What are “normal JTC 1 procedures”? However, a moment’s reflection on 9.1.4 above shows that the Directives have already declared this as the normal procedure for meeting votes by saying that this is the rule that holds unless specified otherwise.

One can easily seek confirmation of this by looking at the parallel rules for PAS process BRM votes, given in 14.4.3.9. Here it is more explicit:

At the ballot resolution group meeting, decisions should be reached preferably by consensus. If a vote is unavoidable, the approval criteria in the subclause 9.1.4 is applied.

So despite the clear and plain text of the Directives, the JTC1 leadership decided to improvise a new rule, or more precisely the application of a different rule in the wrong context. The argument appears to be that section 9.5 applies to BRM votes. Section 9.5 “Combined Voting Procedure” is introduced as:

The voting procedure which uses simultaneous voting (one vote per country) by the P members fo [sic] JTC 1 and by all ISO member bodies and IEC national committees on a letter ballot is called the combined voting procedure. This procedure shall be used on FDISs, DISs, FDAMs, DAMs and FDISPs.

This is absurd. JTC1 Directives are not a menu. You can’t just pick what voting procedure you want to use from the list. The Directives tell you what procedure to use. First, the combined voting procedure is for letter ballots given to an NB, not for a BRM meeting vote by a delegation. Second, the BRM was not voting on an FDIS, DIS, FDAM, DAM or FDISP. We were voting on whether to include changes into a set of meeting resolutions. We were told repeatedly that the BRM could not take a position on the DIS. Finally, if combined voting procedures are read as applying to Fast Track, then they would also, by that same logic, need to apply equally to PAS, since both PAS and Fast Track are DIS’s. But as shown earlier, the PAS process explicitly calls for P-member majority voting according to 9.1.4.

One does not arrive at the voting rules of 9.5 by any straightforward or natural reading of the Directives.

So again, repeating from JTC1 Directions 1.2:

These Directives shall be complied with in all respects and no deviations can be made without the consent of the Secretaries-General.

I wasn’t in favor of having any batch ballot, because it violates the spirit of the consensus process, as defined in JTC1 Directives 1.2:

These Directives are inspired by the principle that the objective in the development of International Standards should be the achievement of consensus between those concerned rather than a decision based on counting votes.

[Note: 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)]

To resort to “counting votes” on the vast majority of the technical issues of DIS 29500, without discussion or opportunity for objection, this is a failure of the JTC1 process. But if we are to have a vote at all, then let it be done in accordance with the rules.

So, let’s stop the nonsense. Let’s quit the tortuous post facto reinterpretation of the rules. Let’s recount and republish the results of the BRM counted according to the Directives and move on with the process. If JTC1 cannot consistently adhere to its own rules, then it should consider another line of business.

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{ 32 comments… add one }

  • Anonymous 2008/03/06, 14:53

    Well said Rob. If any readers missed the reading of the rules at groklaw, the article is worth a read.

  • Anonymous 2008/03/06, 14:55

    How ironical the ISO/IEC Directive was dedicated to the old man in the orange shirt who is now lobbying for CompTIA while the BRM took place and resided in the other building. Note, the guy who invited OOXML for ECMA standardization. Was he also the person thrown out by the guards in the conference center?

    It looks like the ISO/IEC directive was heavily amended before DIS 29500 could march through the institution.

  • Luc Bollen 2008/03/06, 15:44

    Rob, I’ve asked Jan van den Beld (as you know, previous Secretary General of Ecma, who has been instrumental in the writing of the JTC1 directives) if the rule used at the BRM is written somewhere. He could not provide me with an answer, other than referring to the combined voting procedure (9.5).

    I then asked the same question to Keith Brannon, who is the head of the ITTF at ISO (in charge of supervising the application of the ISO and IEC rules of procedure). I sent him a mail on 5th March in the morning, but I have received no response up to now.

  • Rob Brown 2008/03/06, 16:13

    Rob, now I’m really confused! Could you please explain a little about what this all means?

    As far as I can see, in the block ballot there were some dispositions that received no specific votes at all, and are therefore covered by the “default” votes. For the default vote, you are saying that there were 4 ‘P’ members for and 4 against , so therefore those dispositions covered by the default vote are not adopted.

    Am I close? Apart from producing a different “amended text” for DIS29500, are there any other consequences of this? (yes, I realise that producing a different amended text would be a significant consequence!)

    It’s not clear to me whether you link to Alex Brown’s blog, with the comment “tortuous post facto reinterpretation of the rules”, means that you’ve seen his 06/03 update. Did you?

    His comment, that the “constituency” for voting was determined by the letter ballot in September, seems feasible to me. I take it you disagree?

    In any case, it seems that the ITTF representation approved the rule at the meeting; is there any mechanism for challenging that approval?

  • Rob 2008/03/06, 16:54

    The constituency argument is bogus.

    “These Directives shall be complied with in all respects and no deviations can be made without the consent of the Secretaries-General.”

    There is nothing here that allows one to improvise a new voting procedures in this way. The meeting vote rules are quite clear. And remember PAS votes have the same constituency in their DIS votes as Fast Track, but we don’t use the combined voting procedures for PAS BRM’s. In fact, the rules say to use P-member majority explicitly in that case.

    If someone wants to improvise a new rule, then it must be done in a way that is not discordant with the existing Directives. There is certainly room for acting in the absence of clear rules. But where there are clear rules the must be followed.

  • Luc Bollen 2008/03/06, 17:24

    @Rob Brown

    Let assume that (9.5), aiming at the letter ballot, applies also to the BRM.

    In this combined voting procedure all the NBs vote, but only the P votes are taken into account for the “2/3 criteria” deciding if the DIS is accepted. The O votes are used only for the “1/4 criteria” that could result in **rejecting** the DIS. So, to my understanding, (9.5) gives no voting power to the O-members for **accepting** a resolution.

    ITTF should, at least, let us know if the rule they applied for the BRM is written somewhere, or if this an usual rule, with previous occurrences, but which is not written anywhere. If it appears that this is a new rule applied for the first time and not written anywhere, this casts a serious doubt about the seriousness of the process.

    Now, does this really matters ? With a little bit more dispositions accepted or a little bit less dispositions accepted, the DIS text will remain at a low level of quality. And if this low quality text is approved by the NBs at the end of March, it seems to me that the reputation of ISO to produce high quality standards will suffer.

    Do somebody know if ISO is the owner of an ISO-9001 certification ? If not, it is probably time to think about it…

  • Rob 2008/03/06, 17:37

    @Luc,

    When any organization or government starts asking, “Do the rules really matter?”, then I worry that they are at tyranny’s gate already.

    But you have a good point about the combined voting rule, that it is really a 2/3 P-member approval + no more than 1/4 overall disapproval criterion. So even in arguing that constituency, JTC1 leadership was already cherry picking what parts of the rules it wanted. A little from this clause, a little from that clause, a pinch of salt, etc.

    Of course, this all falls flat in the face of the call for Fast Track BRM votes to use the “normal” voting procedure in 13.8.

  • Luc Bollen 2008/03/06, 17:46

    @Anonymous, about the changes in the JTC1 directives.

    Between Version 2 (2006-04-12) and Version 3 (2007-04-05), I spotted 2 significant differences :

    - First, the way the contradictions are handled was modified. Previously, the contradictions had to be **resolved** (but nothing was said about how to solve them, nor what happen if it is not possible to agree a resolution). Now, they simply must be **addressed**.

    (13.4) [...] If such a contradiction is alleged, the matter shall be **resolved** by the ITTF and JTC 1 Secretariat in accordance with Section 13.2 before ballot voting can commence.

    became

    (13.4) [...] If such a contradiction is alleged, the matter shall be **addressed** by the ITTF and JTC 1 Secretariat in accordance with Section 13.2 before ballot voting can commence. [...] if a resolution cannot be reached, the five month fast-track ballot commences immediately after such a determination is made.

    - Second, the rule about the maintenance of accepted standard now allows a designated maintenance group.

    (13.13) If the proposed standard is accepted and published, its maintenance will be handled by JTC 1.

    became

    (13.13) If the proposed standard is accepted and published, its maintenance will be handled by JTC 1 **and/or a JTC 1 designated maintenance group in accordance with the JTC 1 rules**.

  • Jomar 2008/03/06, 17:52

    More on this mess:

    The OOXML is being analysed by JTC1, but the BRM was organized and handled by SC34.

    When you say “P” members, you mean “P” member from what ? (JTC1 or SC34) ?

    I bet that even ISO can answer this last one !!!

    And the circus goes one…

  • Rob 2008/03/06, 17:59

    @Luc,

    You win the prize on that observation! I’ve been meaning to write about that at some point. But you are correct that in its latest revision, which was not sent to NB’s until after the DIS 29500 process had already started, two important changes where made to the Directives. The first one removed the teeth from the contradiction clause. The second allows maintenance of fast tracks to be reverted back to the submitter. By some amazing coincidence, DIS 29500 is using both new loopholes. How lucky is that? Two random changes made to the Directives,and both are immediately advantageous to Ecma. That is why I continue to say that Ecma is the Fast Track specialists, and membership is well worth the price for the concierge service alone.

  • Inigo 2008/03/06, 18:10

    “In the balance lies the fate of over 100 Ecma proposals which may or may not be included in the final text of the DIS, depending on how this question is resolved”

    I’m pretty sure your numbers are wrong. By my count there are 31 Ecma proposals affected by the O vs P argument, not over 100. Are you counting dispositions that were overridden by resolutions, and those that made no change to the text?

    And, for what it’s worth, I’ve looked through all of those 31 dispositions, and in my opinion all of them improve the text. (Although in many cases I’d have liked them to go further)

    Inigo

  • Luc Bollen 2008/03/06, 18:31

    @Rob, did you spot the interesting discussion currently taking place on http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-45179/alex-brown-updates-the-brm-rules-today, on the same subject ?

    Alex Brown provides there some clarifications about ISO approach.

  • Rob Brown 2008/03/06, 18:35

    Rob, there’s an interesting little thread on Groklaw titled “No resolution to create a revised text”, in the comments for the story “The Edited Notes and the Resolutions from the BRM – Updated”. I won’t quote any of it because I don’t know what it means, but for me this whole procedural analysis of the BRM has been upgraded from “sideshow” to “fascinating” :)

    I’d be very interested in your take on it.

  • Rob 2008/03/06, 18:36

    @Inigo, The original results reported that 1011/1027 Ecma proposals were accepted by the ballot. I haven’t reconciled those with the meeting votes to see which were or were not overridden by meeting votes.

    If I reckon P and O membership as of Sept 2nd, 2007 then I find that there were 7 O-members present and voting at the BRM. If the votes are recounted according to 9.1.4, then only 903 Ecma proposals are accepted. Again, I have not reconciled these with the meeting votes.

    The argument from expediency (the text would be better if we ignored the rules) does not seem wise to me. I’m sure the text would also have been better if we had more time for the BRM, if there were more time to review, if the text had been rejected initially and sent back to Ecma for more work, if the contradiction arguments had been heeded, etc.

    But at every decision point when JTC1 had the opportunity to improve the quality of the DIS, their argument for pushing these 6,000+ pages forward was “Those are the rules, we have no ability to bend the rules.” So I am unreceptive, now that we are at the end of this fiasco, by arguments that the rules be now be bent “in order to improve the text”.

  • Rob 2008/03/06, 18:52

    @Luc,

    Still not satisfactory.

    The fact that heads of delegations were told of this rule invention is immaterial. The Directives say “These Directives shall be complied with in all respects and no deviations can be made without the consent of the Secretaries-General.” It does not say, “You may make up rules so long as you let jet-lagged HoD’s know about it the night before”. The HoD’s had no competency to consider new voting rules, and the Convenor had no competency to offer them.

  • Mauricio Ordonez 2008/03/06, 19:22

    @Jomar

    That’s an interesting choice of words to describe the process.

    Do you agree with Rob’s position that Brazil (as an O-member) should have been excluded from the vote?

  • orlando 2008/03/06, 20:27

    I’m pretty sure your numbers are wrong. By my count there are 31 Ecma proposals affected by the O vs P argument, not over 100. Are you counting dispositions that were overridden by resolutions, and those that made no change to the text?

    i checked the numbers and i obtained the following result if the “only P” directive is correctly applied ( but without excluding the Microsoft manager Wemba Opota bulk approval ):

    comments approved: 903
    comments disapproved: 124 ( of which no more than five were actually overriden )

    hope it helps

    Orlando ( from Argentina )

  • Luc Bollen 2008/03/06, 20:48

    @Mauricio

    Brazil is a P-member at SC34, but a O-member at JTC1.

    So indeed, according to the “P-only” rule (i.e. similar to the PAS BRM rules), Brazil should have been excluded from the BRM votes.

  • Rob 2008/03/06, 21:26

    @Rob, the question of that final resolution was brought up at the end of the meeting on Friday. We were all tired and a bit frazzled at that point. Tempers were getting short. I don’t recall the exact argument but it was decided that the additional vote was unnecessary.

    @Mauricio, remember that P and O membership is entirely at the will of the NB. Either option is available. There is no cost and an NB can change at any time. Each membership category has well-defined rights and responsibilities. So I would not think of it as O-members being “excluded” from the vote, but as O-members participating in the BRM according to the membership category which they themselves selected.

    @Orlando, Your numbers match mine. Again, I have not checked them against the meeting resolutions, which in some cases could override the ballot.

  • Anonymous 2008/03/07, 02:43

    Regarding the voting rules, Alex Brown has posted just this answer on his blog:

    “ITTF explained the voting rules to NB delegation heads before the BRM. If NBs have outstanding concerns they can lodge an appeal and then TMB and SMB will decide.

    Alignment of PAS and FT procedures is ongoing work within JTC 1. As you can see, they are currently not the same on thi topic …

    - Alex.”

    So, there obviously is a discrepancy, and NBs do have the right of appeal…

    -Stefan

  • Anonymous 2008/03/07, 04:48

    >These Directives shall be complied with in all respects and no deviations can be made without the consent of the Secretaries-General.

    The above line is rather critical. If I understand the situation correctly by normal rules only P members can vote, yet the above allow deviations provided that the Secretaries-General agree.

    Alex Brown has before the BRM publically stated in the FAQ that all participants will vote. It does not require any streacth of imaganation to assume that the Secretaries-General had read the FAQ and given his consent to what was written there by not objecting.

    Problem is then…what did the FAQ imply really. The critical question is if Alex Brown had authority or even the consent from the Secretaries-General for the interpretation that he now argues as true. Alex Brown makes a big number out of that no NB did complain at the BRM about the voting rules…but did the NB really know what he intended a interpretation not compatible with the directives or what had previously been written in the FAQ?

    Looking at the FAQ items it is made clear that O and P status matter to BRM. Something the directly conflict with Alex Browns current argument that P and O votes carry equal weight. The FAQ items clearly show that the intention was that 9.5 apply to the voting. Those would mean that 2/3 of the P-votes would be requiered for approval and the negatives votes for O and P votes must must be less than 25%. If 4 p-countries did disapprove then it would take 8 p-countries to approve for the vote to pass. If 32 P and O votes could vote no more than 8 votes could disapprove.

    Actually even if we equal P and O members and count all votes toward the P limit it would need 7 votes positive votes out of ten to get a approval.

    Are there any paperwork at all that support the idea that BRM would deal with simple majority?

  • Inigo 2008/03/07, 05:26

    Rob, Orlando:

    I notice that a spreadsheet claiming to be the combined votes has been linked from Groklaw:

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080306134836706

    So, anyone who trusts that spreadsheet to be accurate can work out some numbers themselves.

    The way that I’d suggest they did it is to:

    a) Remove the O members – a publicly available list is at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_Open_XML_Ballot_Results

    b) Compare the results of the votes with the O members included with the votes with the O members excluded, and make a list of the dispositions that would have been affected.

    c) Go through that list, checking against the dispositions (a public source is at http://www.dis29500.org/). Remove any dispositions that don’t make any alteration to the text, since these are irrelevant in determining the effect of O vs P voting on the text.

    d) Go through that list again, removing the dispositions affected by resolutions that were accepted during the meeting (a public source is linked from http://adjb.net/comments.php?y=08&m=03&entry=entry080306-082306)

    e) The remaining dispositions are the ones that would have changed the text if O members hadn’t been allowed to vote.

    For added bonus fun, go through each of these (again on http://www.dis29500.org/) and see what they were about, whether they should have been accepted or not in your opinion (for context, please see the Ecma-376 spec available from http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-376.htm), and how your own national body voted on them.

    Inigo

  • funnybroad 2008/03/07, 06:28

    The fast track rules are “Chapter 13″?

    Is this an omen?

  • Anonymous 2008/03/07, 08:27

    Alex Brown has in his blog recently stated that 9.5 do apply….

    Let’s read 9.5 and the following item….

    9.5 Combined Voting Procedure
    The voting procedure which uses simultaneous voting (one vote per country) by the Pmembers
    fo JTC 1 and by all ISO member bodies and IEC national committees on a
    letter ballot is called the combined voting procedure. This procedure shall be used on
    FDISs, DISs, FDAMs, DAMs and FDISPs.
    9.6 FDIS/DIS/FDAM/DAM/FDISP Approval Criteria
    For a FDIS/DIS/FDAM/DAM/FDISP to be approved, the count taken by ITTF shall meet the following criteria:
    • At least two-thirds of the P-members voting shall have approved;
    • Not more than one-quarter of the total number of votes cast are negative.
    A P-member which has given appropriate notification that it will abstain from participation in specific work items
    (see 3.1.2) shall not be counted as a P-member when counting votes for drafts relating to such items.
    Abstentions are excluded from the count.

    If Alex Brown is correct the yes votes by brazil, chile,greece, mexico, israel, poland and portugal should be disgarded when counting yes since they were O members in september according to wikipedias list over P and O members.

    Additionally only responses were two third of the P members that did not abstain voted yes will be accepted if we follow 9.6.

    Looking at the values from the unverified spreadsheet it looks to me like about 250 responses manage to better 2/3 P criteria. The criteria for 1/4 of totalt votes does not matter since most participants abstained.

  • orlando 2008/03/07, 08:30

    mmmm… Inigo i stand by my numbers ( i’m using OpenOffice to do the calculations … and i trust this application )

    By the way, are you including the Microsoft manager Wemba Opota bulk approval in the calc? ( i have included him )

    Orlando ( from Argentina )

  • Inigo 2008/03/07, 09:40

    Orlando,

    I am including the votes by Microsoft-employed heads of delegation, and the votes by IBM-employed heads of delegation :)

  • Rob 2008/03/09, 14:26

    @anonymous,

    One must use very tortured logic to arrive at Alex’s conclusions that 9.5 justifies the voting procedures used at the BRM. Here is what you must be willing to ignore to reach his conclusion.

    1) First ignore that 9.5 applies to letter ballots, not to meeting votes. We were not and could not be issued a letter ballot in Geneva.

    2) Then ignore the fact that the combined voting procedure for a Fast Track, when it does apply, require2 2/3 approval of P-members, and no more than 25% disapproval overall (P-members + O-members). Any voting procedure must define who can vote, and what the approval criteria are. Alex appears to take the definition of the former from 9.5, while ignoring the vote criteria listed in 9.6, substituting a criteria from some place else. This Chinese menu approach (pick one from column A and another from column B) to rule making is deplorable.

    3)You must ignore that fact that 13.8 calls for Fast Track BRM votes to be done according to “normal JTC 1 procedures”. How can “normal” procedures be ones which are not even described in JTC1 Directives?

    4) You must ignore that fact that 9.1.4 specifies how meeting votes are to be taken, “except as otherwise specified in these directives”. How can the Convenor then ignore this voting procedure and propose another which is specified nowhere in the Directives?

    5)Finally, the Convenor would need to ignore the fact that PAS BRM votes explicitly call for the use of of the 9.1.4 majority P-member voting procedure. Every argument that the Convenor has made, if it were correct, would need to apply equally to PAS and Fast Track. But since PAS explicitly calls for the default meeting vote procedure, his argument falls apart. A good sign that you made the wrong choice is that your choice starts contradicting other parts of the Directives.

    So, what I’m hearing sounds more like a post facto rationalization of the BRM leadership’s choice than any sort of logical explanation of why that voting procedure was chosen. Remember also that the BRM was offered the choice of other resolution procedures, like requiring 9 votes to pass, or even giving ITTF the ability to include or exclude Ecma proposals after the BRM. These other procedures have absolutely no support in the Directives, and ITTF was bold enough to admit this at the BRM. So the fact that the voting procedure has been similarly improvised is not a surprise to me.

  • James 2008/03/10, 07:54

    Hello again Rob :)

    I have just read that INCTIS is advising the US to maintain a YES vote on MSOOXML

    Link to story

    After all the behaviour at the BRM and the US HoD’s comments… how very disappointing..

    Any comments on your part?

    James

  • Anonymous 2008/03/10, 08:03

    Thank you Rob for your very insightful arguments about the matter.

    I totally agree that tortured logic is needed to reach Alex Browns position. Alex Browns argument does not fly.

    At this moment it might be good to review the alternatives that from my point of viwe are compatible with directives:
    *dis29500 can be rejected and removed from Fast Track process since the meeting held failed to be a BRM formally since it used rules not compatible with the directives and having a BRM is required. This would mean the sepetember vote stands.
    *the BRM might be regarded as a proper BRM, but the proper rules about only P members voting should be applied (result: about 120 Ecma edits will be disregarded)
    *Alex Brown might have his way and use the letter ballot rules. This means if the directives are to followed that the BRM might be regarded as a proper BRM, but the rules in 9.6 must be applied to determine the results (result: about 850 Ecma edits will be disgarded)
    *ISO might make a public statement that Alex Brown failed to follow directives or inform about intended differences and that the dis29500 has not been given proper treatment, but they trust the NBs to do the right thing. If they are smart they might even blame the mistake on that the quality of the submission from Ecma is not suitable for Fast Track procedures.

    In any case it seem quite clear that Alex Brown is the one that will be blamed either way so why stick with the greater evil? Cherry picking of 9.5 but not 9.6 that explains how 9.5 are to be executed is very not folling the directives.

    The only defense that Alex Brown perhaps could raise is that the FAQ imply what he intended…but I am fairly convinced that it did not. The only way I can make the FAQ answers work logically is if the 2/3 rule is to be followed…but from what I have read that mean the BRM operated with wrong instructions about voting rules…something that itself give grounds to argue that dis29500 should be removed since no proper BRM took place. That the NBs are given proper information about if proposals was adopted or not is rather essential for them to determine what they focus on during the meeting.

  • Rob 2008/03/10, 08:23

    @James, The thing to remember is that the US decision is not made by V1. It is made by the INCITS Executive Board (EB), and they have until March 26th to make their decision.

    V1, the technical committee, has been heavily stuffed with Microsoft business partners and the 12 of them comprise over half of the committee. Combined they submitted zero technical comments on OOXML. They have voted as a bloc on every technical and procedural vote since they joined V1 last summer.

    Luckily, the EB is more balanced. They are the ones, for example, that picked the US BRM delegation. So, the EB decision will be the important one.

  • Luc Bollen 2008/03/10, 17:30

    @Anonymous: “it seem quite clear that Alex Brown is the one that will be blamed”

    I don’t see why anybody would blame Alex Brown. Alex was the convener for the meeting, not the responsible for organising the votes and deciding the rules. The votes are handled by ISO ITTF, headed by Keith Brannon.

    If it appears that the rules used for the votes were incorrect, my understanding is that Keith Brannon will be blamed, not Alex Brown.

  • James 2008/03/11, 17:27

    ISO/IEC needs to supervise JTC1 more closely. The idea that a DIS didn’t receive a vote at the BRM doesn’t square with the rule that requires the BR group to do the voting.

    The truth is that since they didn’t take a vote on that at the BRM, fast-track should be over. Worse yet they didn’t even approve putting out a revised edition of the DIS for a vote, therefore one has to admit they didn’t come to resolution at the BRM and no new vote is needed, and thus fast-track is over.

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