Another ISO/IEC JTC1 P member decides to approve DIS29500.
SFS's press release is here Suomi puoltaa toimisto-ohjelmien OOXML-standardia.
Tero Lehto has the news on TIETOKONE: Suomi kannattaa Microsoftin Office-formaattia
Greetings from Finland!
It would be fair to mention some details: last year, there was a vote and it ended more or less even so Finland said "Abstain". Afterwards the chairman who had said negative comments about OOXML got fired.
Now, there was no vote and decision was made the basis of consensus, just ignoring that one third of the participants were opposed to the proposal. Also, this time the chairman was not from SFS but from Ministry of Finance (which was the loudest supporter last year). No idea why.
In general, the meeting was very tense and there surely will be a lot of discussions in Finland in coming weeks about it.
One more important observation from Finland:
The SFS meeting was made "public" so anyone could participate. There were around 40 attendees and only minority of them were members of the SFS. So now organizations like HUS (roughly "Helsinki Area Hospital") were supporting OOXML.
I mean, come on, all of those 40 organization were technical experts and could determine that the world needs another ISO document standard? Yeah, right. It was not a technical board meeting, it was a shouting contest. This stinks, badly.
Matti I think your information is incorrect. There was a vote. Did you attend the meeting?
Hi Stephen, I did not participate but all the Finnish sources clearly indicate that there was no vote - none of them says anything about voting. For example, the "Tietokone" article you provided says that the chairman made the decision after over five hours of heated conversation. Below is another article from Digitoday, perhaps the most read Finnish IT site, which clearly says that there was not vote:
Official SFS bulletin does not mention voting at all either so based on all these things I think it is clear that, indeed, there was no voting.
Hi Guys - having been at the meeting yesterday maybe I can try to bring some clarity to this - When SFS sent the invite to the meeting, they stated that the decision will be made based on consensus, and that there will be no formal voting during the meeting. What happened at the meeting was that each organization participating was allowed to state what was their position, whether they approved or disapproved DIS 29500, or wanted to abstain, and then based on this the chair of the meeting concluded whether there was sufficient consensus one way or the other.
So while it is true that there was no formal vote, and no tally of the positions was not announced, this was a) what was announced prior to the meeting as to how the meeting was to reach a decision, and b) exactly the same process that was used back in August of last year. Last August the chair of the meeting determined that there wasn't sufficient consensus either way, and therefore SFS cast the Finnish vote as ABSTAIN. This time around the chair determined that there was a sufficient number of organisations approving DIS 29500 that Finland has reach consensus for approval and therefore could change its vote.
Tomorrow ( March 29th 2008 ) is the final day in which national bodies can reconsider their position