Better late than never

ISO finally revises the voting directives for open standards after the OOXML debacle in 2007 / 2008. One of the changes is that the national bodies should no longer vote with “Yes, with comments” if they encounter serious flaws and trust on the ballot resolution meeting to get their issues solved (which evidently did not happen for OOXML), but should vote “No, with comments” instead.

Furthermore, if the “standard” receives more than 25% disapproval, it should now officially “be over” as well – if these rules would have been applied in the past, OOXML would not be an ISO certified standard as it is unfortunately today.

There are also smaller, less substantial changes. For example, the dedication to Jan van den Beld, the former head of Ecma, for his “unwavering dedication to the development and evolution of the JTC 1 procedures”, has been removed. Ironically, both Ecma and Microsoft have indeed made long-term contributions to the evolution of Fast Track in JTC1, but probably not the way they intended.


Now the only paragraph I’m missing in the new rules obviously is a way to revoke a broken standard, but I guess this won’t happen. Lets just hope that OOXML sinks into insignificance in the next couple of years.