Yoon Kit has some insights:
The folk at SIRIM really had enough of this. They can't understand why this monster DIS is being fast tracked. They have never come across a situation where the proposer proceeded with the 5 month ballot despite so many concerns raised against it during the contradiction period. "Normally they give up at that stage" was the remark by a standards expert.
When asked what happens next after the BRM, the response was "This is unprecedented." We are not sure whether we will get a draft document to review before the final vote, and if so would it be reasonable to have less than a month to review 6000 pages of changes? With wholesale movements of sections ripped out and placed in Annexes? Deprecated yet normative annexed items?
— Open Malaysia Blog: February is..
February is a busy month but not only for DIS 29500 aka OOXML. The real topic for policy makers is now the post BRM standard policy of national governments while the standard bodies are facing an unmanageable work load. It is mostly impossible for them to fully address the 3000 issues of a 6000 pages specification in a 5-days Ballot Resolution Meeting or even prepare their national position. Whatever the outcome, it will be suboptimal. On a governmental level we are getting more than a single standards conferences and meetings in Brussels per day.
- Interoperability: Key to International Business, Warsaw, Feb 7/8
- TACD Technical Meeting on Interoperability and Open Standards Feb 11
- Slovenian Presidency's eGovernment conference "Alliance with users" Feb 11
- European ICT standardisation policy at a crossroads: A new direction for global success Feb 12
- Mid-term IDABC Conference 2008 Feb12/13
- BE: CEN/ISSS open meeting – Final report on eGovernment standards Feb 19
- Open Forum Europe Conference, Geneva, Feb 25-27
How will the future of standard policy look like? This is for instance what the European Commission had to say:
The Commission is aware that irregularities regarding decision-making at both national and international levels have been reported in the media. …ISO is an independent international standards organisation. The responsibility for the proper functioning of ISO is primarily with its members, the national standards bodies, and it is for them to verify the reported irregularities and to consider a possible follow-up. Generally, the corrrect functioning of international standardisation is important for the EU standardisation policy. Therefore the Commission encourages ISO and the other recognised standards bodies to respect the World Trade Organisation principles of international standardisation… — Commission communication
It is getting increasingly difficult to control the rebound of the BRM collaterals. Microsoft tries it with little success. It invests into European interoperability lobbying, sponsors a lot of conferences but thus is forced to spearhead the call for Interoperability — and "choice". 26 March an ODF supporter alliance intends to call for a Document Freedom Day.
It is clear that after the BRM the struggle won't be over. First ISO members need to decide whether the really want to adopt a second standard whose alleged main purpose is "backwards compatibility" with an existing corpus of documents in formats controlled by a single vendor. And then the national level needs to decide how to move forward with open document standards.