A blogger points out that the documentation for the LHC just comprises 1600 pages. The LHC was built by the CERN and it the world's largest particle accelerator. Open XML's documentation is far more complex. The LHC took ten years to get set up. How long would it take to fully implement Open XML?
What is wrong with the comparison?
While the amount of documentation for Open XML is large, too large, we put emphasis on the size of the corpus as it is written in a documentation style we referred to as "rice pudding". It feeds you well, yes it does, but it's no "real meal". The efficiency of open xml documentation had no good carbon footprint and we exposed serious shortcomings where you would expect the interesting parts.
Generally speaking it was important to us that size does not matter. It does however matter when you expect competitors to implement the standard. The number of pages of the LHC documentation as opposed to the size of the Open XML corpus carries no relevant meaning.
What do they have in common?
The LHC is expected to let "strange things happen" which is the reason why some lunatics oppose the LHC and expect literally the end of the worlds. The public communication around the LHC stressed they wanted to recreate a near-big bang scenario which makes some persons suspicious. The experimental Open XML format had some strange idiosyncratic elements and weird things happened during the ISO process.
Benjamin coined the phrase to compare the Open XML process with physics and thought of the experiments you can make in a classic environment with materia in between the liquid, solid or gazoid phases: "When you increase the pressure strange things happen." The BRM for Open XML took also part in Geneva. Neither the LHC nor Open XML are the end of the world. In fact they are just the beginning of a New World. Our sincere hope is that as of Open XML it will be the unconditional surrender of the format and a landrush move towards open standards and open document format (ODF). The process towards more open and interoperable standards which go beyond ISO started at CERN where Tim Berners-Lee launched the web revolution with its html standard, an early example of a open standards.