OOXML Appeal Synchronicity 
2008-07-09, 16:06
Groklaw has published a leaked ISO document to the web regarding the ongoing appeals over the 29500 project. Reading it, it is clearly not (as originally reported) the recommendation of the ISO TMB, but recommendations to the TMB. The appeals process continues.

Bearing in mind the fuss that was made about "form letters" earlier in the project, something new that immediately leaps off the pages is some common text in two of the appeals:

From SABS (South Africa; letter dated 22 May) :

we challenge the validity of a process that, from beginning to end, required all parties involved to analyze far too much information in far too little time, involved a BRM that did not remotely provide enough time to perform the appointed purpose of that procedure, and for which an arbitrary time limitation was imposed to discuss and resolve a significant number of substantial responses, despite the Directives not requiring any such limitation as to duration.

From FONDONORMA (Venezuela; letter dated 30 May):

Venezuela challenges the validity of a process that, from beginning to end, required all parties involved to analyze far too much information in far too little time, involve a BRM that by far did not provide enough time to perform the appointed purpose of that procedure, and for which an arbitrary time limitation was imposed to discuss and resolve a significant number of substantial responses, despite the Directives not requiring any such limitation as to duration.

Both NBs were asked to specify what specific remedial actions they were seeking and ISO got (among other things), from Venezuela (letter dated 23 June):

Change the title of DIS 29500 to "Converting legacy Microsoft documents to Office Open XML" in order to reflect the fact that it is only intended to convert such legacy documents and is not intended to conflict with ISO/IEC 26300. This change should be made to he scope of the DIS as well.

and from South Africa (letter dated 24 June)

We request that the title of DIS 29500 be changed to "Converting legacy Microsoft documents to Office Open XML" in order to reflect the fact that it is only intended to convert such legacy documents and is not intended to conflict with ISO/IEC 26300 [...]

As with the "duplicate" comments submitted in the 29500 letter ballot, it's difficult to know how this happened. Is one country copying the other, or is there a common source for both? One would have thought any self-respecting standards body would not brazenly crib the text of an appeal (an appeal!) from outside its own walls ...

- Alex.
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