Physical meetings are the ISO way to exclude participation. Don't expect public online discussions on how HP and Microsoft will change the ISO rules for Fast Track. Mr ECMA has already been the responsible person to change the ISO Fast Track rules in 2006 for his Redmond client, remember?:
In accordance with Recommendation 3 of the March 2007 SWG-Directives meeting, this version of the JTC 1 Directives is dedicated to Mr. Jan van den Beld for his many years of service to JTC 1, specifically his unwavering dedication to the development and evolution of the JTC 1 procedures.
Jan van den Beld works now for CompTIA, a well know Microsoft lobby proxy in Brussels and Washington, which claims to defend the interests of software SMEs.
SWG-Directives is the "special working group" that proposes changes to JTC1 Directives. They met at the end of July. In advance of the meeting many NB's submitted proposals for fixing Fast Track and BRM procedures, base on the obvious flaws in the process brought out by the processing of DIS 29500 OOXML. However, when they arrived at the meeting, the Chairman, Scott Jameson (from HP) ruled that these items must be removed from the agenda because the OOXML appeals were still in progress. Page 7, Adoption of the Agenda is where it gets interesting:
29-31 July 2008
Mont Tremblant, PQ, Canada
Hotel du Lac / Club Tremblant
121 Rue Cuttle
Ville du Mount Tremblant,
1. Opening of Meeting (09:00 hrs)
2. Introduction of Participants
3. Adoption of Agenda
DOCUMENT: JTC 1 N 9178
The Chairman opened the discussion by noting the concern about postponing agenda items related to Fast Track and Ballot Resolution Meetings expressed by some delegates. The Chairman agreed that these topics are important, and acknowledged that National Bodies had done significant amounts of work on contributions related to these topics, but because of the pending appeals on ISO/IEC DIS 29500 (OOXML), discussion of these topics would be inappropriate. The Chairman informed attendees that as per the note on the draft agenda, items 9, and 15-21 would not be discussed. He then opened the floor for comments from attendees.
Mr. Barta of the ITTF expressed support for the decision of the Chairman, as the appeals address the Fast Track process, and discussing them would impede members of the IEC SMB and ISO TMB from doing their jobs.
The National Body of Japan requested a clarification about exactly would and would not be discussed; and expressed their concern about delaying these discussions. It was recommended that discussions on these topics occur, but making official decisions would not be made. The Chairman again stated that because of the open appeals, these topics would not be discussed.
The National Body of Germany suggested that as the appeals are related to the procedures in place when the Fast Track ballot of ISO/IEC DIS 29500 began, any discussions that might occur at this meeting are unrelated, because these are future procedures. The National Body of Germany further stated that the amount of contributions on this topic indicate that National Bodies are dissatisfied with the Fast Track process, and that the IEC SMB and ISO TMB should be made aware of this dissatisfaction.
The National Body of Canada supported the German position; stating that if the Fast Track process was not discussed, it would be interpreted as a show of support for the current process.
The National Body of Canada further noted that the SWG-Directives does not make decisions, but makes recommendations that are forwarded to JTC 1 for approval. It was suggested that any ballots on changes to the Fast Track or Ballot Resolution Meeting procedures be deferred until the close of the appeals.
The National Body of the United Kingdom stated that it recognized the difficulties and possible misinterpretations of any discussions that might occur, but wished to have a firm timeline for when such things could be discussed. The UK expressed concern about postponing discussions until the March 2009 meeting.
The Chairman explained the appeals process, and the timelines associated with it. The IEC SMB and ISO TMB will conclude their votes on whether or not to move forward with the appeals on 4 August 2008. Upon the close of this ballot, there will be a two-month window where appeals to this decision can be submitted. If no further appeals are received, the process will be concluded.
If the SMB and TMB agree to consider the appeals, conciliatory panels will need to be established. Should this occur, a final decision may not be reached for as long as a year.
The National Body of Japan suggested planning a meeting of the SWG-Directives to be held in conjunction with the October 2008 JTC 1 Plenary in Nara, Japan. The Chairman thanked Japan for this suggestion, and informed the group that a decision would be made on an additional meeting in Japan later in the agenda.
The Chairman asked attendees if there any objections to approving the agenda contained in JTC1 N 9178 with the deletion of agenda items 9, and 15-21. While no National Bodies objected to the adoption of the agenda, the National Bodies of Canada, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom expressed their disappointment with the deletion of the items.
4. Chairman's Remarks
The Chairman informed attendees that a discussion of the draft JTC 1 Supplement, circulated to attendees via email in advance of the meeting, would take up the bulk of the meeting. He further informed attendees of his intention to circulate the text to all of JTC 1 after an initial review by the SWG-Directives.
The Chairman also suggested that the SWG-Directives might want to adopt a more ambitious schedule to ensure that the JTC 1 Supplement is published in conjunction with the 2010 edition of the ISO/IEC Directives.
4.1 Report of the June ISO/IEC Joint Directives Maintenance Team meeting
The Chairman reported on the 2 June 2008 meeting of the JDMT. He reported that some corrections of ambiguities for the clauses on the roles and responsibilities of Chairmen and Secretaries were made, but no other changes will affect JTC 1.
The Chairman also informed the group that Ad Hoc 25, which was established to review the length of ballot periods, reported to the JDMT and it was agreed that there will be no change to the length of the DIS ballot.
5. Review of Recommendations of March 2008 SWG-Directives meeting
DOCUMENT: JTC 1 N 8987
The Chairman noted that Recommendation 5 from the March 2008 meeting is not complete but that the JTC 1 Secretariat would work to complete it.
ACTION: See Recommendation 1.