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Subject: Re: [office-comment] ZIP specification for ODF 1.2

marbux wrote:
> Here is an informed  guess on the meaning of "emerging" as used in the
> Directives Annex N. The annex uses the phrase "emerging international
> standard" in three places.
> The governing body of law is the Agreement on Technical Barriers to
> Trade ("ATBT"). Its Article 2 has this requirement:
> "2.4        Where technical regulations are required and relevant
> international standards exist *or their completion is imminent,*
> Members [nations and the E.U.] shall use them, or the relevant parts
> of them, as a basis for their technical regulations [exceptions
> omitted]."
> <http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/17-tbt_e.htm#articleII>
> (emphasis added).
> I suspect that "emerging international standard" in Annex M would be
> read co-extensively with the highlighted passage in the  just-quoted
> section of the ATBT, else conflicts would result between the ATBT and
> JTC 1 Directives.
Thanks for that.

JTC1 is an independent organization to the ATBT process, and with 
different parties involved (NBs rather than states), so conflicts could 
happen. I think it would be a mistake to treat them as if they were 
simply two sides of the same coin, which I don't think Marbux was doing.

Yes, I would hope that ATBT "completion is imminent" would indeed only 
relate to the period immediately prior to publication of an approved 
standard. Anything else would be daffy. (Indeed, ISO makes the draft of 
a spec under ballot private, so that there can be none of that "but we 
have already implemented the draft therefore you cannot change it" kind 
of line from developers.)

A normative reference to some specification in a JTC1 standard does not 
make that specification somehow into a JTC1 standard, whether or not the 
specification is itself a proper standard. So I don't know that merely 
having an approved normative reference to an as-yet-unstandardized 
technology counts in making a standard "incomplete".  I don't see that 
"emerging" can just mean "incomplete" as far as its status in the 
standardization process goes.

You cannot change a normative reference in a published standard without 
a ballot, so the Annex N measures cannot merely apply to drafts. So I 
don't see that "emerging" means "pre-publication". You use the Annex N 
approach when the external specification still won't be a standard at 
the time that your standard is approved (and after any final comments on 
the approved specification in the ballots have been disposed of.)

Rick Jelliffe

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