Re: OOXML [was Re: GNOME Foundation Board Meeting Minutes :: 7/6/07]

On Thu, Nov 01, 2007 at 07:08:30PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
> Here's something IBM's Rob Weir said about what ECMA is doing now:
> robert_weir us ibm com
>     The practical difficulty here is that of timing.  While I have no doubt 
>     that Jody was instrumental in getting additional technical disclosures 
>     from Microsoft back in 2006, Ecma TC45 is not in that mode of operation 
>     right now.  The OOXML standard Ecma 376 has already been approved by 
>     Ecma.  It is now before JTC1 as DIS 29500 and the text is essentially 
>     frozen since December 2006.  The only changes that can be made to it 
>     must be in response to specific JTC1 national body ballot comments. 
>     Jody can no longer go to a TC45 meeting and say, "Gee, I'd like more 
>     information added on X, Y and Z".  JTC1 rules forbid changes to the 
>     standard that are not traceable to a national body comment.
>     Certainly, Jody or any other Ecma TC45 member so inclined can help 
>     Microsoft address the thousands of ISO comments that were received, and 
>     help prep OOXML for approval by JTC1.  There is certainly a lot of grunt 
>     work to be done there.  But let's not call that anything but what it is 
>     -- helping Microsoft gain ISO approval.
> If this is accurate, then it is impossible for participation in ECMA
> _today_ to serve the goal which has been presented here as the motive
> for GNOME's membership.

That is partially true,  Which is why I am not participating
currently.   It was not true in the run up to the ISO fast track
vote, when the ECMA TC was still reviewing issue that Novell and I
had reported, that they will submit at the BRM with the same
standing as a national body.
> This means it might be useful to keep the GNOME Foundation ECMA
> membership open for future work.  But Jody should not help with the
> current activity, because that activity can only do harm.

That is a reasonable characterization of my current role.

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