2008-02-13, 11:16... for meeting delegates (or followers of the process) ...
1. Read the FAQ
SC 34 has published a FAQ on the BRM. Attendees (and anyone interested in the BRM) should read it.
2. Heads of Delegation have their own preliminary meeting
An invitation has been issued to the Heads of Delegation of all attending National Bodies (NBs) for an informal meeting on the evening before the BRM (other delegates will not be admitted). In this meeting I will cover various points concerning meeting management and logistics. The meeting is entirely optional, and no delegation will be at any disadvantage whatsoever during the BRM itself even if its HoD does not attend this informational meeting.
3. Heads of Delegation have a special role
Given the high level of controversy, HoDs have a particularly significant role in managing their delegations in such a way that the overall BRM is productive and succeeds in improving the quality of the text. ISO and IEC consider it crucial that this principal goal of the BRM should be fulfilled.
4. Don't bank on net connectivity
The BRM venue promises wireless internet connectivity, but experience shows that venues can have difficulty coping when 120 people simultaneously demand connectivity. Plan to bring offline copies of any electronic documents your delegation needs.
5. Remember the scope of the BRM
As this FAQ item makes clear, the BRM can only discuss matters which can result in instructions to the Editor to make changes to the written specification. I will permit no discussion on topics such as standards policy or IPR, unless they can reasonably lead to instructions to the Editor which he is empowered to enact. This is not to deny the fact that NBs may find such topics of interest; but a BRM is not the forum for formally airing them.
6. Be prepared
NBs should know what they want to discuss and know what their position is on the comments/responses which are significant to them. If any NB delegation actively wants to discuss the response to one of its (or any) comment, it should be prepared to state a concern when called on to contribute.
7. Remember the BRM does not vote on DIS approval
It is worth re-iterating, the BRM is a meeting which can approve a new text; it is not a meeting which decides whether the DIS becomes an International Standard. That is determined by the status of NB votes 30 days after the BRM has finished.
Bloggers and commentators take note: properly speaking OOXML is attempting to become an "ISO/IEC" standard, not just an "ISO" standard. JTC 1 is the body which carries out dual standardisation for these parent organisations.
9. Bring photo ID to register
In order to attend the BRM, a delegate must appear on the delegate list which has already been submitted by their national body to SC 34. They must identify themselves at the registration desk with photo ID (e.g. a passport).
In Switzerland, jaywalking is illegal. Let this be symbolic for expected standards of behaviour at the BRM!