Pressure mounts as Brazil appeals OOXML
Brazil has become the latest country to appeal against the ISO’s ratification of Microsoft’s OOXML document format as a international standard. In a damning letter to the international standards body yesterday, the Brazilian national body says that the ballot resolution meeting was flawed and processes were pushed through.
Just one week ago South Africa started what looks to become a growing list of appeals against the voting process that accepted Microsoft’s document format as an ISO standard.
In a letter to the ISO standards body late yesterday [copy here], Marcia Cristina de Oliveira, manager of standardisation processes at the ABNT (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas), says that Brazil considers the disputed ballot resolution meeting (BRM) as “inconclusive” and that the final text of the standard must be published “immediately”. In the letter, a copy of which Tectonic has, the Brazilian delegation says that it is appealing for the “reconsideration of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 final result”.
De Oliveira says that “at the BRM, the Brazilian delegation was not allowed to present an important proposal regarding the legacy binary mapping.
“Brazil had tried to present this proposal, during the debates, on the first day of the meeting … On Friday, when USA ended their part of presentation and asked for Brazil to present its part of it, the convenor denied this opportunity to Brazilian delegation.”
De Oliveira says that several delegations had protested the arbitrary decision, but those appeals were in vain. The main reason put forward by the convenor for denying Brazil the chance to raise the issue was “lack of time”, says De Oliveira.
The letter goes on to say that “most of the decisions taken during the BRM were based on the ‘lack of time’ argument, and we think that this is completely incompatible with the kind of decisions that should have be taken on that meeting”.
The Brazilian national body says that it considers that the elected “default voting criteria” was “only elected because it was the ‘less bad’ criteria … and we do not consider that this voting decision represents the intent of the vast majority of BRM delegates. They went there to discuss the technical propositions”.
Echoing South Africa’s concerns over the delaying publishing of the final version of the OOXML standard, the Brazilian national body says that in terms of the ISO/IEC guidelines the final version must be published no more than one month after the final decision.
“Seeing that almost three months have passed after the end of BRM, without any final version of the text distributed or published, and based on directive subclause 13.12, Brazil request the distribution of ISO/IEC DIS 29500 final text.
“For all those reasons presented, Brazil kindly request that the final result of ISO/IEC DIS 29500 should be reconsidered by ISO/IEC/JTC1 and ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC34,” writes de Oliveira.