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Subject: SC34 WG6 meeting

I've read with some concern Rob's latest blog post, here: http://www.robweir.com/blog/2009/12/relevancy-of-odf-10.html.  Although not an official ODF TC document, it comes from the co-chair of the TC and it's addressing a matter of ODF maintenance, so I expect that many people will see it as an authoritative source of information about recent developments in ODF maintenance.


I’m concerned about this statement in particular, which is essentially the centerpiece of the post:


> Some of the nattering nabobs in SC34 (e.g., Alex Brown) are floating the idea that ODF 1.0 should be withdrawn from ISO,

> claiming it is not implemented and not relevant.  At the recent SC34 meeting in Paris this view was echoed by a Microsoft

> participant (one of many) in the meeting, who additionally urged that a motion to withdraw ODF 1.0 be brought forward

> at the Stockholm SC34 Plenary in March.


I was there at the WG6 meeting, and I don't recall this happening, nor can I find any reference to this in the minutes of the meeting.


I do recall a discussion of Resolution #3 from the Bellevue SC34 plenary in September regarding amendment of ODF 1.0 to align it with ODF 1.1.  Although this resolution is never mentioned in Rob’s post, I’m guessing that this may be the discussion he’s alluding to.


During that discussion, several participants (all non-Microsoft delegates from various NBs) expressing their concern about the apparent lack of progress on OASIS’s response to that resolution.  Some felt that if such an amendment is never delivered then ISO/IEC 26300 would not reflect actual practice among ODF users, in particular as regards accessibility issues.  The theoretical concept of withdrawal of ODF 1.0 only came up in a side discussion about what might happen if the ODF TC never responds to Resolution #3 and ODF 1.2 gets a new IS number, leaving ISO/IEC 26300 as a historical relic that is not aligned with existing practice or existing implementations.


I agree with the way Alex Brown characterized that discussion on his blog recently (http://www.adjb.net/post/SC-34-WG-meetings-in-Paris-last-week.aspx):


> Most significant of all is the work to align the ISO version of ODF with the current OASIS standard so that ISO/IEC 26300 and

> ODF 1.1 are technically equivalent. The National Bodies present reiterated a consensus that this was desirable (better, by far,

> than withdrawing ISO/IEC 26300 as a defunct standard) and are looking forward to the amendment project.


I don't recall any Microsoft employee saying anything at all about this matter in the WG6 meeting.  I listened to the opinions of others, but didn't express any opinion of my own during this discussion, and I believe the same was true of the other Microsoft employees present. Svante, since you were the other ODF TC member present, I'm curious whether you have any different recollection.  And Rob, would you be willing to share the source of your information?  Or name/quote the “Microsoft participant” you have referred to?


As it stands, it seems that WG6’s discussion of the status of an SC34 plenary resolution has been represented by a leader of the OASIS ODF TC as “Microsoft” urging that a motion to withdraw ODF 1.0 be brought forward at the Stockholm SC34 Plenary in March.  This may be creating a perception that a particular OASIS ODF TC member is working against the TC's broad commitment to effective maintenance of ODF, and I think that’s a misleading and inaccurate characterization of what happened in the WG6 meeting.


- Doug


Doug Mahugh    |    Lead Standards Professional   |   Office Interoperability    |   425-707-1182   |   blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh


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