Sorry about the dreadful pun! I’m on my way to Geneva to represent New Zealand at a meeting of the International Standards Organisation, ISO.
Geneva was the home of the protestant reformer John Calvin. Calvin held that adherence to biblical precepts was far important more than any act of charity or kindness. These days, we’d call him a fundamentalist. And, like so many charismatic religious leaders, he got to define exactly how people lived according to those precepts. People who opposed him, or whose theology was a little different, tended to come to a sticky end. He gave his name to particularly dour branch of protestantism. There are echoes of Calvinism in a lot of modern Christian thought.
Anyway, I’m going to Geneva to attend a Ballot Resolution Meeting for a draft standard – DIS29500, commonly known as OOXML. New Zealand voted “no” on this standard last time round, as did sufficient other countries to prevent it being made a world standard on the spot. This meeting is to discuss the various objections that the different countries have to the technical quality of the draft standard and to see if changes can be agreed to it. Countries which have already voted, like New Zealand, then get 30 days to decide whether they wish to change their votes.
This will be a very solid 5 day meeting. Even so, at 6,000 pages with another 2,300 pages of comments the draft standard is so big that the meeting can’t possibly do justice to the whole thing.
According to ISO rules I’m not allowed to blog or broadcast about the contents of the meeting, which is closed to the public and the press. I’ll do my regular Thursday radio broadcast from Geneva (Wednesday night, my time) and I’ll talk about the process and about what it’s like to be involved.
I’m looking forward to the meeting, and I’m also looking forward to meeting some people I have worked closely with round the world, but have never actually met. Ain’t the Net marvellous?