I am learning a lot from all this standardization process.
I was a member of the brazilian committee and I also analyzed the specification. My country disapproved OOXML and I think this was a decision based on logic lead by the process.
The JTC1 rules page 49 item 9.8 says:
NBs may reply in one of the following ways:
- Approval of the technical content of the DIS as presented (editorial or other comments may be appended);
- Disapproval of the DIS (or DAM) for technical reasons to be stated, with proposals for changes that would make the document acceptable (acceptance of these proposals shall be referred to the NB concerned for confirmation that the vote can be changed to approval);
- Abstention (see 9.1.2).
[Note: Conditional approval should be submitted as a disapproval vote.]
In other words, from my understanding, if there is one or more technical problems, the NB must disapprove the DIS. Many countries found many technical problems in OOXML that are still unresolved even after the BRM.
I also understand that such an important matter as an International Standard for Office Documents can’t be defined by 10 or 30 opinions collected as votes in a committee. Thats why the JTC1 process above talks about technical content, not opinion or vote. What I learned from studying the OOXML specification is that it is not ready for acceptance since many countries have found and reached consensus that the spec has problems, even after the BRM. If the NB-leveraged technical team — formed by people that would vote YES and NO — has produced a list of submitted problems in the spec, this list is by itself the consensus that the spec is still problematic.
I would like to understand why an NB that has produced technical comments voted YES or ABSTAINED. I thought abstention is a position for countries that were not able to create a committee to technically discuss the specification for reasons such as logistics or lack of quorum.
I am learning about all this and I’d like to have more solid arguments to build an opinion about these NB’s maturity to run a well documented process.