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Subject: Re: feedback requested

At 01/04/05 16:41 -0400, Karl Best wrote:
>The OASIS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC, a committee of the OASIS Board
>of Directors) would like to get some feedback from the TC chairs regarding
>some possible changes to the way we manage our TCs.

My understanding is the "management" was process only, not at all the content.

My recollection in the Process Advisory Committee was that we were setting 
up a process for members to use, not constraining where they can use 
them.  Jon brought up the situation where perhaps a group of Japanese 
subway operators may want to develop a DTD for interchange ... we want a 
process they can use to produce their work without our involvement

>The OASIS TC Process is built around the philosophy of openness: any OASIS
>member can propose and form a TC on any topic, any OASIS member is allowed
>to participate, all TC proceedings are visible to the public, etc. This
>philosophy is extremely important to OASIS and we do not want to do anything
>that would change this.
>On the other hand, we have little oversight of what technical work OASIS
>does. With just about every new TC that we form we get questions from the
>public asking why OASIS is pursuing the new work. It appears that OASIS has
>no technical agenda.

Would we consider the need to do subway operator interchange DTD's as part 
of our technical agenda?  How would we describe what we don't do (or support)?

>The TAC is concerned about this situation, and has been discussing ways in
>which to provide some sort of oversight over our technical work while not
>doing anything to restrict the openness of our process.

I think that is a contradictory statement.

>The TAC has
>suggested the following plan, and would like to hear your comments before
>proceeding any further.
>1. A Technical Architecture Board (TAB) would be organized consisting of
>representatives of the TAC, OASIS staff, TC chairs, invited experts, etc.
>2. The TAB would define a set of "portfolios" or topic areas for technical
>work. For example, there could be a portfolio for e-business, another for
>conformance work, etc. Existing and new TCs would each be assigned to a
>portfolio by the TAB. The TAB would allocate available resources to the
>portfolios to encourage work that OASIS feels is important.

Here is where the openness falls apart ... how would OASIS measure 
importance and couldn't this open up an opportunity for undesirable 
interference by members "against" other members?

>3. Each portfolio would include coordination, management, a common
>architecture as necessary, etc. to ensure that the TCs are working
>We haven't yet worked out all the details of this plan, but like the idea so

I'm uncomfortable with it.  I wouldn't have thought OASIS *had* a technical 
agenda, other than supporting structured information standards which the 
process is designed to support well.  Does it matter what the subject 
matter is if the nature of the work is structured document processing?

>I have looked at the official OASIS TC Process and find little that
>would need to be changed to accomodate this plan. This plan would seem to
>provide some oversight over our technical work without restricting the
>openness of our process.

I don't think those two can be resolved simultaneously.

>We would like to get your comments over the next few days; the board will be
>meeting next week on Wednesday and Thursday and would like to discuss this
>idea further. Feel free to discuss on this list, or send your comment
>privately to me. Please focus on the philosophy rather than the details of
>the suggestion.

Since I've referred to the PAC here, I've cc'ed them in case I've 
misrepresented the PAC committee objectives.  I came in late in the process 
and wasn't there for the formation of the committee, so I may be missing 

.................. Ken

G. Ken Holman                      mailto:gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com
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