I’ve tried to understand what has happened in Geneva during the Ballot Resolution Meeting, a very important step during the Fast Track process for the standardization of the Office Open XML document format.
I’ve gone through dozens of posts with the clear feeling that the report was biased, either in a sense or the other. Unfortunately, the voting process doesn’t help at all in understanding, as the effects of abstention – for instance – can be different from the norm, as they may express a vote.
At the end, I’ve found only two posts which are worth reading, as they try to be balanced in their opinion, although they’ve been written by people against OOXML: Tim Bray (Canada) and Yoon Kit (Malaysia). They try to give a feeling of the work done by delegates during the BRM, and of the short time available to achieve the huge task of going through over 1.000 comments.
They both underline their negative opinion on the Fast Track process in relation to a document format with a description of the size of OOXML, which is a whopping 6.000 pages (you can even find pictures of the printout).
I’ve decided to avoid linking the biased posts, which can be easily found Googling “BRM Geneva” or “BRM OOXML”. You can find the entire spectrum of marketing hype, from “it was an unbelievable success” to “it was a complete disaster”, and you can get a sense of the commercial interests behind document standards.