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OOXML Vote Tracker and Calculation Guide 66

Posted by kdawson
from the tools-for-the-impatient dept.
Andy Updegrove writes "The vote on Microsoft's OOXML closes today. The final result will not be announced (or leak) before sometime early next week. Meanwhile the votes of individual countries continue to come in, currently with more reported switching in favor of OOXML than against it. For the benefit of those who want to keep track of how the vote is tending until it's official, I'm posting the running tally of which votes have switched, what the net change has been, now many votes have come to light, and how many remain to be announced. It's likely that it will not be possible to know the final result until all votes are in, due to the complex double test for approval, and the complication that the final number of abstentions — and whether they move from 'yes' or 'no' votes — can decrease the total number of votes that need to switch to 'yes' in order for OOXML to be approved. For that reason, I also include the algorithm for arriving at a final result."
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OOXML Vote Tracker and Calculation Guide

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  • OpenMalaysia blog (Score:5, Informative)

    by Adaptux (1235736) * on Saturday March 29, 2008 @02:37PM (#22906188)
    I like the voting overview and discussion on OpenMalaysia blog [openmalaysiablog.com] better.
    • by AberBeta (851747)
      Just came here to say exactly the same thing! Damn you.
      Ditesh has been doing a good job with that...
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by twitter (104583) *

      They have some other interesting observations too [openmalaysiablog.com].

    • by symbolset (646467) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @03:10PM (#22906378) Homepage Journal

      The Register is reporting [channelregister.co.uk] a switch for the UK from "No" to "Yes". If it's true then they've put it over.

      This is bad not only for this standard but for the ISO in general. Their process is no longer trustworthy. We're going to have to go back to the bad old days of every nation setting their own incompatible standards.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 29, 2008 @03:20PM (#22906432)
      I find it intriguing that according to Open Malaysia, Malaysia itself chose to abstain from the vote.

      Their justification:

      ABSTAIN - we're honest enough to -almost- say its a pile of shit, but we've read about Hiroshima in the school textbooks

      *posting as AC because I cba to make an account*
    • by MoogMan (442253)
      Nice, and the pictorial view [iso-vote.com] they link to gives you a nice "yay" or "nay" running result.
  • by Adaptux (1235736) * on Saturday March 29, 2008 @02:39PM (#22906194)
    The decision-making process appears to be highly irregular in many countries, including Poland [polishlinux.org] as well as Germany, Croatia and Norway [groklaw.net]

    I hope that the EU antitrust investigation [slashdot.org] will somehow be successful in addressing this mess and punish Microsoft severely enough to dissuade them from trying such tactics ever again.

    • Why is it tolerated? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Why is Microsoft able to fuck up an international standards process so badly and so deliberately? Why does anyone tolerate this? Companies and governments should just refuse to use OOXML, and should refuse to accept ISO standards for certification.

      Too bad they all care more about money than doing the right thing, huh.
      • by wizardforce (1005805) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @03:07PM (#22906356) Journal

        Why is Microsoft able to fuck up an international standards process so badly and so deliberately?
        their patent pending "Bag o' cash"

        Why does anyone tolerate this?
        The bag o' cash campaign contributions

        Too bad they all care more about money than doing the right thing, huh.
        Well at least in the USA this is true of MS but the EU seems not to take kindly to what MS is doing for the time being.
      • by Adaptux (1235736) * on Saturday March 29, 2008 @03:15PM (#22906404)

        Why does anyone tolerate this?

        In all situations where those who have power (regardless of whether it is primarily economic power or political power or whatever) abuse it to deny others a fair chance, it is easy for those who are thereby suppressed to understand what is going on. In this case, this means that for Microsoft's competitors, for free software businesses in general and for freedom-minded geeks like you and me it is easy to understand what is going on. It's much more difficult to understand the real underlying issues from the outside. In particular, understanding the severeness of the problem does not come easily to standardization organization officials (who typically do not have a background in IT, economics or antitrust law). At the same time, Microsoft partner companies are complaining to the standardization organization officials about their critics in ways which are easy for the standardization organization officials to understand and accept.

        • by pallmall1 (882819) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @04:27PM (#22906818)

          At the same time, Microsoft partner companies are complaining to the standardization organization officials about their critics in ways which are easy for the standardization organization officials to understand and accept.
          Yeah, bribes and kickbacks. Plus, Microsoft has instructed their people on how to stack and rig committees and bribe "experts":

          Our mission is to establish Microsoft's platforms as the de facto standards throughout the computer industry.... Working behind the scenes to orchestrate "independent" praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy's, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. "Independent" analyst's report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). "Independent" consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). "Independent" academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). "Independent" courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.

          I have mentioned before the "stacked panel". Panel discussions naturally favor alliances of relatively weak partners - our usual opposition. For example, an "unbiased" panel on OLE vs. OpenDoc would contain representatives of the backers of OLE (Microsoft) and the backers of OpenDoc (Apple, IBM, Novell, WordPerfect, OMG, etc.). Thus we find ourselves outnumbered in almost every "naturally occurring" panel debate.

          A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select the panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can't expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to get the moderator to agree to having only "independent ISVs" on the panel. No one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies would be allowed just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the "real world." Sounds marvelously independent doesn't it? In fact, it allows us to stack the panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the "independent" panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you've got a major win on your hands.

          Finding a moderator is key to setting up a stacked panel. The best sources of pliable moderators are: -- Analysts: Analysts sell out - that's their business model. But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.

          -- Consultants: These guys are your best bets as moderators. Get a well-known consultant on your side early, but don't let him publish anything blatantly pro-Microsoft. Then, get him to propose himself to the conference organizers as a moderator, whenever a panel opportunity comes up. Since he's well- known, but apparently independent, he'll be accepted one less thing for the constantly-overworked conference organizer to worry about, right?

          James Plamondon, Microsoft
          • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

            by TheNetAvenger (624455)
            Yeah, bribes and kickbacks. Plus, Microsoft has instructed their people on how to stack and rig committees and bribe "experts":

            You and other fools act like ISO can be easily manipulated by any one company or country. Do you even have a freaking clue about ISO? Most people that get on these bandwagons accusing people of manipulating the ISO processes have no idea how old ISO is, what it does, how it works, in fact most people think ISO is a freaking acronym, and that is when I go, ok, and walk away. (hint: l
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Crayon Kid (700279)
              Somebody mod the parent troll down.

              ISO's credibility is shot. Period. When its NB's do whatever they can to approve a specification that is technically and legally impossible to implement, just because one company tells them to, I say ISO is dead in the water. Its work has just lost all meaning.

              The NB's went to ridiculous lengths to pass OOXML. We've seen small companies joining commitees in drones days before the vote and voting to approve without any kind of justification; we've seen commitee chairs openl
              • So if they approve something you 'believe' to be wrong, then it invalidates everything they have ever done?

                This is probably one of the most closed minded and foolish arguments I have ever heard. If you apply this method of thinking to the rest of your life, how do you function day to day? If Starbucks starts promoting a product you don't like, you tell everyone how horrible their coffee has always been and always will be? WTF?

                You like many others have so freaking little understanding of ISO that it makes m
                • So if they approve something you 'believe' to be wrong, then it invalidates everything they have ever done?

                  No, just everything they ever done in the future. Proper standardization involves a level of credibility and reputation. Once that is gone, you're just another organization claiming to produce "standards" that nobody cares about.

                  Granted, ISO was a sitting duck. It's just as much Microsoft's merit for noticing that that it's the rest of the world's fault for not believing that Microsoft would do it. IS

            • by pallmall1 (882819)

              You and other fools act like ISO can be easily manipulated by any one company or country.

              Nobody said it was easy. Microsoft put a lot of time and effort into it.

              Novell and WP had no legitimate claim...

              The Supreme Court disagrees [channelregister.co.uk] with you.

              When it comes to political influence, MS was one of the LAST old school major Technology companies to even have any D.C. lobbyists.

              Try telling that to these guys [wikipedia.org]. Note the "Gates" in "Preston Gates & Ellis" refers to William H. Gates, Sr., the father of Microsoft's

        • Remember this... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @11:19PM (#22909216) Homepage
          Microsoft probably spent as much time on "marketing" the spec as they did on writing it. They've worked out and rehearsed their sales pitch. All the way through the process they'd be, "how can we sell this...how can we get it past the committee?".

          Anybody who thinks otherwise is naive.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by surfi (1196953)

      I hope that the EU antitrust investigation will somehow be successful in addressing this mess and punish Microsoft severely enough to dissuade them from trying such tactics ever again.

      you haven't learned your lesson.. as long as more money flows in than out, microsoft doesn't care. noone can punish microsoft, only their best clients can apply pressure on them (governments and large enterprises), for example now, demanding opendocument support. ang guess what? they have made this ooxml theater to bypass this pressure too, and leave everything as it has always been: all competitors implementing their formats while they screw them up when they feel it's time to slow competitors down and gi

    • You can't punish them enough to dissuade them from this, not monetarily anyway. They would of gladly paid 30 billion for it. It meant the world to them. They we're freakin.
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @03:12PM (#22906388) Homepage
    Microsoft has throw way too much behind this for it to fail. What I would like to see is all the sellouts gets nailed legally for their nonsense. There are a lot of people putting forth ridiculous arguments in favour of OOXML. Valid arguments are cool, but some are just plain paid for. What I would like to understand from one of these people is how ODF can survive in the face of OOXML as an ISO standard.
    • by dpilot (134227) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @03:53PM (#22906606) Homepage Journal
      I agree, Microsoft is going to win.

      ISO and the rest of us are going to lose.

      We now know how much confidence to place in the ISO standardization process.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        "We now know how much confidence to place in the ISO standardization process."
        Exactly. And that's why the Open Source people working against this thing have been so necessary (despite Miguel de Icaza's statements to the contrary). Microsoft has torn the ISO apart, so much for their OOXML standard's credibility.
    • by The Master Control P (655590) <ejkeever&nerdshack,com> on Saturday March 29, 2008 @05:17PM (#22907146)
      Let's wait until more than 16/90 votes are in before pronouncing doom, gloom, and woe unto the world. Care to imagine how much big tobacco spent fighting the trials that ended in them being fined, what, $100 billion?

      That being said... You only have to lie once and all future statements you make are tainted by doubt. The question has moved beyond ODF vs OOXML but to ISO itself. The ISO is like a bank in that their product is trust. The same way I trust the bank to hold my money, I'm supposed to trust that things certified by ISO deserve to have been certified. But if this passes, how can I do that? How can ISO survive in the face of having allowed itself and it's processes to be so transparently perverted? And not just by anyone, but by a known abusive monopolist which has proven for over twenty years that there is no lie it won't tell and no back it won't stab to get it's way?

      I trust that buying film & photo paper whose boxes are labelled "ISO 9001 Certified" means I'm getting a well-made product. How can I trust any ISO standards after this? If this happens, Microsoft will truly be the destroyer of standards.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        How can I trust any ISO standards after this? If this happens, Microsoft will truly be the destroyer of standards.
        No, ISO is the destroyer of standards. If all it takes is one unscrupulous company, the process was broken to begin with. We can't expect a world without bad guys, so they would be proving their own worthlessness.
  • Except for the European antitrust investigation, and other investigations.
    • by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @07:30PM (#22908086)
      So what? Msft has $40 billion in the bank. So what if EU gets $25 million, or whatever.

      And so what if the slashdot/groklaw crowd knows about all the corruption? Msft has hundreds of millions of customers, and 99% of them don't give a damn.
      • Msft has hundreds of millions of customers, and 99% of them don't give a damn.
        That mostly summarized the so called public opinion in Poland. Go out and ask someone, even a person you would think is a geek, a linux-lover etc, what they think about OOXML and the whole standarization hassle, and all you will get, is a stupid expression on their faces, maybe accompanied by "what?". People don't care, as long as they can eat what they want and watch TV.
      • So what? Msft has $40 billion in the bank. So what if EU gets $25 million, or whatever. And so what if the slashdot/groklaw crowd knows about all the corruption? Msft has hundreds of millions of customers, and 99% of them don't give a damn.

        Sorry to rain on your parade, but MSFT has must less than $40 billion in the bank, and hopes to spend more than twice that on stupid new adventures. EU can fine MSFT much more than $25 million, fines so far are approaching $2 billion and that is only a fraction of what EU can fine MSFT if MSFT continues to disobey the laws of the EU.

        I think you are just saying "so what about the rule of law". You play life that way my friend, I will obey the law.

  • You know, early next week could be defined to include Tuesday. April Fools. This sucks because no matter what the article says, we won't know if it is fake or not.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @04:03PM (#22906680) Homepage
    If there has been or even if there is just established process for doing so, perhaps that should be the next move. There's no doubt that these voting irregularities are driven by parties interested in OOXML's adoption as an ISO standard format, but what redress actions are possible after this fraud goes through?

    Further, what is there to be said about the fact that not even Office 2007 complies with the OOXML standard? Doesn't that fact also exclude Office 2007 documents from being used in areas where ISO file formats are required?
    • by Adaptux (1235736) * on Saturday March 29, 2008 @04:34PM (#22906868)

      If there has been or even if there is just established process for doing so, perhaps that should be the next move.

      There is the appeals process in ISO/IEC JTC1 which will certainly be attempted by one or more national bodies if the outcome of the vote is "approval". Valid grounds for such an appeal is provided for example by theh fact that at the Ballot Resolution Meeting, O-members (national bodies who only have "observer" status) were allowed to vote, although according to the rules they shouldn't have allowed to do that.

      More promising IMO would be to file an appeal on the grounds of the WTO GPA (Government Procurement Agreement) and/or antitrust considerations, and at the same time file a lawsuit seeking a court order against ISO and IEC that the appeal shall be granted.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        How about the fact that such an awful, immature, and unimplemented spec should never have been fast-tracked in the first place. Whatever ISO officials okayed that are either corrupt or grossly incompetent.
    • by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Saturday March 29, 2008 @05:06PM (#22907046)
      ISO is (supposed to be) a consensus-making body, not some kind of paper certification mill. What's supposed to happen is that all the interested parties sit down and hammer out a specification for a common interoperability system that they can all agree on; the voting procedure is just to make sure that nobody has derailed the process, and is usually just a final footnote after a long process that has generated real, compatible products by the time it is finished. Given that, there's really no need for a recall procedure - you know it's working because you have a market filled with products that work together by the time the specification is released in its final form.

      This nonsense with OOXML is a gratuitous abuse that makes a mockery of the whole thing. There is not and never has been any attempt to build interoperability here. There is absolutely no value in it. The only ones to benefit are Microsoft, who are using it as marketing.
      • The only ones to benefit are Microsoft, who are using it as marketing.
        This is something that the world at large, especially governments and the ISO, need to understand. Microsoft is, by and large, not a technology company in the sense of developing new things for people to buy and use (a small fraction of their products have been developed from Microsoft proper, not a company they purchased to cannibalize their technology). They are, first and foremost, a marketing company, and it has been true ever since
  • by Vexorian (959249)

    The final result will not be announced (or leak) before sometime early next week.
    I wonder how the guy manages to know in advance it will not leak.

    The coverage kind of sucks, I was hoping this story to link to some dynamic site that would get updated quite regularly, instead it is yet another blog post that gets updated manually ... I think we had many of those already, I also like openmalaysia's better.

  • by Bayesela (1151523) on Saturday March 29, 2008 @07:07PM (#22907932)
    Join ECMA, pay the USD60000 and you can have your own ISO Standard guaranteed, even Fast tracked. For a 2.5% commission, I will file the proposed Standard on your behalf with ECMA, not matter what it is, even if there is no final spec, has never been implemented properly, has many un-documented bits, there already exist standards for the same field, will only benefit your company and the real plus: only you can approve changes to the spec and only you can implement it. Further, we promise complete secrecy on all issues related during the process. No consensus needed and the spec can be patented. Bulk submission welcomed.
  • I don't know if it would matter, it seems that msft makes the rules.
  • by seebs (15766) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @01:55AM (#22909786) Homepage
    I used to have a fair amount of confidence in ISO. I spent roughly ten years involved with C standardization, and you know what? The process basically worked. We consistently ended up adopting things that really did work and had consensus, and rejecting things, sometimes even good ones, if we didn't have real consensus.

    The OOXML "process" is a joke, and it reflects very, very, badly on ISO.

    It's hard to express, in terms that non-standards-weenies would understand, just how absolutely, totally, ridiculous this is. This doesn't even loosely resemble the functioning of a real standards process. The proposed standard is utterly unusable, and furthermore, has no relationship at all to the normal scope of standardization.

    Imagine, if you will, that the C99 standard had specified the exact set of allowed command-line options, and had explicitly defined behavior under dozens of circumstances of "undefined behavior" to precisely match the behavior of gcc. Only, it had versions for "gcc 1 compatibility" and "gcc 2 compatibility". Imagine that the standard dictated the precise form and text of every error message, and required total compatibility with gcc. Furthermore, imagine that it specifically required that the source of your compiler must be distributed under the GPL v2, and must make use of the libgcc glue code.

    And then imagine that, instead of actually being approved by regular participants, this was rushed through at the last minute by a number of entities which had never shown the slightest interest in C standardization before.

    That's pretty close to what's happening here, only it'd have been better, because at least it would be an open standard.
  • I have nothing to really add except to add my voice to the numerous others that think this is disgusting.

    The damage to ISOs credibility is immense. And as for MS, well, if they had any credibility before....
    It really shows what low-life scum they are that they'd do anything to keep their monopoly in place, and what contempt they have the general public.

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