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Subject: RE: [chairs] need your comments on DocMgmt system requirements

Just to note, Moin Moin (and most other third-generation wikis) support
access control at any level, i.e., read, write to existing pages, create new
pages, etc.


-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher B Ferris [mailto:chrisfer@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 8:50 AM
To: drummond.reed@cordance.net
Cc: 'Chairs OASIS'; 'Jeff Lomas'; karl.best@oasis-open.org; 'Norman Walsh'
Subject: RE: [chairs] need your comments on DocMgmt system requirements

+1, although it would need to be access controlled IMO to limit access to
TC members.

Christopher Ferris
STSM, Emerging e-business Industry Architecture
email: chrisfer@us.ibm.com
blog: http://webpages.charter.net/chrisfer/blog.html
phone: +1 508 377 9295

"Drummond Reed" <drummond.reed@cordance.net> wrote on 02/18/2004 11:35:15

> Karl,
> In response to your question about whether TCs would use a "sandbox" or
> "loose collaboration" system in addition to a "final publication
system", my
> answer on behalf of the XRI and XDI TCs is "Yes".
> I know I've brought it up before, but the best model I've seen for truly
> loose collaboration, and one OASIS could adopt virtually overnight to
> how it would work for different TCs, is wikiwebs. The software is
> quite mature - see http://moin.sourceforge.net/ for the Sourceforge Moin
> Moin wikiweb project and especially http://moinmoin.wikiwikiweb.de/ for
> overview of Moin Moin.
> It's possible that adding wikiweb support could virtually eliminate the
> for the doc management system to handle the "loose collaboration" phase,
> freeing the resources to all focus on the requirements of the final
> publication stage.
> =Drummond
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Karl F. Best [mailto:karl.best@oasis-open.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 7:05 AM
> To: Norman Walsh
> Cc: Chairs OASIS; Jeff Lomas
> Subject: Re: [chairs] need your comments on DocMgmt system requirements
> Norman Walsh wrote:
> > / "Karl F. Best" <karl.best@oasis-open.org> was heard to say:
> > | I've put together a draft functional requirements document for this
> > | doc mgmt system and would like to get your feedback. It is very
> > | important that we have the requirements correct and complete before
> > | start development of the project -- many of you are developers so
> > | sure that you understand the importance of this.
> >
> > High level comments:
> >
> > - I don't think these requirements adequately address the distinction
> >   between a development system (where TCs actively revise documents,
> >   schemas, etc.) and a publication system (where TCs post working
> >   drafts, standards, and other "finished" work products).
>  >
>  >   Is the proposal to develop one or the other, or both. If it's one
>  >   the other, then I think some of these requirements are completely
>  >   inappropriate. If it's both, I think it might be useful to specify
>  >   them separately. (And whether you imagine having resources to do
>  >   them in sequence, or at the same time?)
> I've previously thought of having a two-phase system, the first of which
> would provide a "sandbox" for the TC members to collaborate in
> developing a document. Then once the doc reached a certain stage it
> would then go into a more controlled environment with e.g. versioning
> and edited only by the TC. I've gotten the impression that most TCs
> would only use the second phase, but I could be wrong.
> Chairs: would you prefer having both of these phases built into the doc
> mgmt system (open collaboration, followed by more rigourous control)? or
> would you only use the second?
> > - There are several places where the requirements seem to be
> >   self-contradictory.
> Specifics? This is obviously a draft so needs polishing, so suggestions
> are welcome.
> > - I think meeting all of the requirements listed below will be a
> >   significant challenge. A more detailed roadmap, showing staged
> >   progress with realistic time estimates would be very helpful.
> Yeah. That's the next step. But right now I'm just gathering
> requirements. I can't very well write a development schedule until I
> know what it is that we're trying to build.
> I'd also like suggestions on which parts of this are most important. I'm
> debating whether we should try a phased development approach (i.e.
> provide base functionality now then add a more functionality over time).
> Looking through the requirements that I have now, though, I'm not sure
> which ones we could put off until later.
> Chairs: suggestions please.
> > - A number of the features that you describe would seem to be at least
> >   partially addressed by open source efforts like G-Forge (an open
> >   source version of SourceForge). Are you considering a system like
> >   that, or are you expecting to "roll your own" from scratch.
> I'm intending for us to build on top of an existing system. That's why I
> said "probably CVS". We'd be silly to build something from scratch when
> the engine already exists. We'll build some sort of customized web
> interface on top of the engine. Once we have the requirements we'll know
> what it is that we need to build. I'd also like suggestions for the
> engine; is CVS the way to go, or do people recommend something else?
> >>OASIS DocMgmt Functional Requirements
> >>
> >>(17 February 2004)
> >>
> >>General Description: A repository providing storage/management of
> >>files created by TCs, SCs, and other OASIS groups
> >
> > Technical committees need to be able to store and manage a collection
> > of resources. Principal among these resources are documents, but it's
> > reasonable to consider other, related resources as well, including
> > issue lists, archives, news items, and syndicated content.
> The doc mgmt system would store any type of file. Not just specs, but
> also the other doc types you mention.
> Would some of these stored objects be links and not files?
> >> o Probably based on CVS
> >
> > The requirements for a "development tree" are likely to be somewhat
> > different than the requirements for a "publishing tree". In
> > particular, I would expect published standards to be more-or-less
> > immutable, to have persistent URIs, etc. In a development tree, those
> > constraints might be quite stifling.
> >
> > CVS supports a development system very well. It's not immediately
> > clear to me if it supports a publication system equally well.
> I'm certainly not a CVS expert, though I'm aware that it was built for
> development rather than documents. So it may not be ideal for what we
> Does anyone have suggestions for a better engine, better suited for doc
> development and publishing, upon which to build our system?
> >> o A separate area in the repository for each TC/SC/group; both
> >>   default and definable hierarchy within each TC area
> >
> > Can you elaborate on what you mean by "both default and definable"?
> > What do you have in mind for "default"?
> When we create a new TC we would define hierarchy branches for such
> things as e.g. "drafts", "minutes", "contributions" etc. (TBD). Then the
> TC chair could define additional branches as required. We'd want to keep
> the hierarchy as flat as possible to keep the URLs short, and we'd want
> some consistency, but I want to give the TCs some control over there
> >> o All documents are permanently archived (only Admin has delete
> >>   rights)
> >
> > In CVS terms, you can delete a document, but you can always recover
> > it. In a development tree, it's not uncommon to reorganize some code
> > or a document and want to remove modules from the current "head" of
> > the development tree. This goes back to my comment before that the
> > requirements for publication and development are somewhat different.
> Maybe this is where the "sandbox" (above) comes in. I don't see the need
> of permanently archiving early drafts, but once a doc is checked into
> the permanent repository it should be permanent.
> >> o All documents are publicly viewable, downloadable
> >>
> >> o Repository has a web interface for uploading and tree browsing,
> >>   searching, and retrieval
> >>
> >>     + Support for all major browsers
> >>
> >>     + Listing of single files includes filename, title, description,
> >>       date, creator, and language; listing of packages includes the
> >>       list of single files in the package
> >>
> >>     + Search by filename, title, date, creator, and language; and
> >>       full-text search of description and contents.
> >
> > Does it have other interfaces? Are you describing a front-end for CVS
> > here, or something else? Does it support Web-DAV?
> I would expect that most people would want to use a web interface, but I
> suppose that power users may want to deal more directly with the engine.
>   But there's also certain safeguards (permissions, restrictions on
> naming, etc.) that may require that we use an interface. I don't know
> yet; this may depend on the engine.
> What are the benefits of Web-DAV? (I'm not an expert on this.)
> > I think it would make sense to address searching as its own top-level
> > item. In particular, the description above suggests that every item
> > will have a set of metadata that can be searched. Where/when is this
> > metadata created? Can I add my own? Is it expressed in an open format,
> > an XML vocabulary or RDF or a topic map, or is it proprietary? How
> > does this metadata evolve as documents change in CVS?
> I see the metadata as comprised of the fields listed above. TBD. I don't
> know yet how this would be expressed because we havne't selected an
> engine yet.
> How does this matter? Yes, we should use XML on principle, but I don't
> see it as a requirement.
> > As for searching the content, that's clearly going to depend on the
> > type of content. What types will the system support?
> Obviously not all content will be searchable. If somebody uploads a blob
> there's not much we'll be able to do with it besides just store it.
> We will store whatever types of files the TCs need to store.
> >>Persistent URLs
> >>
> >> o At file creation the document is assigned a URL according to the
> >>   OASIS file naming scheme. The URL will always resolve to the latest
> >>   version of the document, regardless of the documents (versioned)
> >>   filename; a URL will identify a specification throughout its entire
> >>   lifetime from working draft to OASIS Standard. Previous versions of
> >>   the document will be accessible via a variant of the URL containing
> >>   the version number.
> >
> > This is fine for storing standards but it's in conflict with the use
> > of CVS and the reference above to a "definable hierarchy".
> Again, I'm not an expert on what you can and can't do with CVS.
> Suggestions welcome.
> > I think this should apply to published standards and work products,
> > but I don't think it can practically be applied to a development
> > space.
> If we have a "sandbox" phase then we wouldn't expect a persistent URL
> for those items. Only once a doc is checked into the permanent
> repository would we do this.
> > This suggests that the interface to the published standards space
> > might require more constraints. I hope that these constraints can be
> > imposed without requiring me to interact with the system only through
> > a web interface.
> As above, power users like yourself may wish to talk directly to the
> engine, but there will be some constraints for security and consistency.
> If it is practical to enforce those constraints via both a web interface
> as well as a native interface then we will. But if it's not practical
> then we'll have to do everything through a browser.
> >>Multiple file types supported
> >>
> >> o TCs will store both source (e.g. MSWord or HTML) and compiled (e.g.
> >>   PDF) versions of each file; i.e. the repository should not allow a
> >>   PDF to be checked in without a matching .doc or .html file
> >
> > Uhm, what about documents that have a source which is neither a
> > proprietary tool or HTML?
> The above is not an exhaustive list. I'm just suggesting that both
> source and compiled versions should be in the repository. Any
> responsible developer should agree with this philosophy.
> > Imposing the requirement that the system check for classes of
> > dependencies between files of different types is going to be tricky,
> > especially as the specs evolve. Suppose I rebuild the PDF, can I check
> > it in without checking in a new source document? What if I only
> > corrected a formatting bug? If I check in a new source, what happens
> > to the PDF?
> Yeah, we'll have to figure this out. How do you do it when you write
> > I think a lot more detail is required in this part of the
> > requirements.
> That's why I'm asking for input.
> >> o HTML files may include graphics which will be stored with the file
> >>   (use relative URLs?)
> >
> > What about other cross-document links? What about XML files that refer
> > to both HTML and PDF presentations? What about document trees that
> > consist of multiple chapters in a hierarchy with a common set of
> > figures?
> >
> > More detail, please.
> More input, please.
> >> o use MIME types
> >>
> >>Packages
> >>
> >> o A specification may be composed of multiple documents. The entire
> >>   package may be uploaded or downloaded in a single operation.
> >>   Individual documents in the package may also be uploaded or
> >>   downloaded.
> >
> > I don't understand what you mean here. Are you suggesting that I might
> > upload a package (as a ZIP file? as a MIME multi-part related stream?)
> > and then several days later upload a new version of one component in
> > that package. Having done so, what "version" does the package have?
> > Can I still download the original? Can I download the revised version?
> Probably the package will just be an HTML file with links to all of the
> components. In that case the package is updated by editing the links in
> the package file. Each of the components are maintained by editing them
> individually. Each component, as well as the package file, could have
> its own version number or date, but the entire set would collectively
> have to be versioned. Would this work?
> >> o Support for chapters or parts of a multi-part document (with links
> >>   between parts); a package could have a ToC with links to the
> >>   individual files
> >
> > I think any attempt to describe the size and shape of a package ("it
> have
> > a ToC and chapters" or "it will have a starting page and parts") will
> > problematic. Best just to accept that a multi-part document is a
> > graph (a web).
> Would my description (above) of a package work for this? The TC can
> decide how it wants to structure the multi-part spec.
> >> o Support for modular DTDs (e.g. DocBook)
> >
> > What does this requirement mean? Do you also mean modular W3C XML
> > Schemas and RELAX NG grammars? Does this requirement differ from the
> > preceding one in a particular way?
> Pretty much the same, I think, but I'd be happy to hear other
> requirements not met by the above.
> >> o The entire package is addressable via a single URL, as are the
> >>   individual documents. The package URL will link to an HTML page
> >>   listing the package contents.
> >
> > Is that an HTML page constructed by the author of the package, or
> > automatically from the content of the package? If it's the latter,
> > what constraints, if any, does that impose on the contents of the
> > package?
> >
> >
> >>Security
> >>
> >> o Check-in/out based on Kavi user authentication; different
> >>   permissions for public, TC members, chair/secretary, etc.
> >>
> >> o TC members have ??? rights (TBD)
> >>
> >> o TC Chair and Secretary have create, edit rights for folders and
> >>   checkin/out rights for documents in their respective TC area
> >>
> >> o Admin has admin rights (create, checkin/out, delete of all folders
> files)
> >>
> >> o Public has read rights for all documents
> >
> >
> > How does "admin" differ from chair/secretary?
> "Admin" is the OASIS staff administrator of the dc mgmt system.
> >>Kavi integration
> >>
> >> o Kavi user acct/pswd used for authentication in doc mgmt system
> >>
> >> o Notification to the Kavi group when a document is uploaded (same as
> >>   current Kavi notification)
> >>
> >> o The current Kavi doc repository is disabled; links within Kavi will
> >>   go to this doc mgmt system instead (i.e. Kavi doc repository is
> >>   hidden, this one drops in to replace it).
> >>
> >> o Docs currently in the Kavi repository will continue to be
> >>   addressable and viewable by their Kavi URL (allow for migration
> >>   time)
> >
> > This requirement and the previous requirement seem to be in conflict.
> > Can you explain how "the links within Kavi will go to this doc mgmt
> > system instead" supports the goal that "the Kavi repository will
> > continue to be addressable and viewable by their Kavi URL (allow for
> > migration over time)"?
> Right now when you're in Kavi you can click on a link for "doc
> repository" and it will take you to that page in Kavi. I'd like it to go
> to the new doc mgmt system instead. But we should allow current docs in
> the Kavi repository to stay where they're at until the TC wants to move
> them, so these docs need to remain addressable by the current URLs.
> We'll have to keep the Kavi search/browse accessible, but the default
> would go to the new doc mgmt system.
> >> o When new Kavi group (TC/SC) is created, a doc mgmt area for that
> >>   group and default folders are automatically created
> >
> > This goes back to the question of defaults before. What hierarchy do
> > you have in mind, and what are your motivations for creating it? I
> > think it'll be easier in the long run to simply create an empty
> > hierarchy and let the TCs populate it.
> >
> > If you have in mind that minutes should go in /minutes and press
> > clippings should go in /press, etc., then I think a detailed
> > description of the default hierarchy is required.
> See above. Still TBD, but we need both consistency as well as
> >>File naming (automation of this done in a later phase; just do this
> manually at first?)
> >>
> >> o Naming and versioning of documents follows OASIS file naming scheme
> >>
> >> o When a new document is created it will be named according to the
> >>   scheme; automated helps to create/assign a name
> >
> > This seems to duplicate the requirements expressed under "Persistent
> > URLs". Is it intended to be different? I believe my comments there
> > apply here as well.
> Th eintent is to provide (eventually, maybe a bit later) a GUI to help
> name new files conformant with the OASIS doc naming scheme. I envision
> pull-downs to select each of the components of the name. But this will
> probably be later; the file creator would have to manually name the file
> for now.
> >>Localizable interface, with localization to occur in a later phase
> >>
> >>Later phase: Count/traffic report of downloads (how many people have
> >>downloaded a particular doc?)
> >
> >
> > Other later phase items?
> >
> >   - Issue tracking?
> Sounds like a separate tool. Yes, we need this. Suggestions?
> >   - automatic generation of PDF/HTML from source formats?
> Yeah, we could add this, but is there a need? Can't people do this
> >   - validation?
> Ditto. Can't you do this already?
> But, yes, I see the utility of having validation on checkin, and
> publishing, as part of a doc mgmt system.
> >   - interactive forms (e.g., the ability to support an interface that
> >     asks a number of questions and then builds an appropriate schema
> >     customization layer)?
> That's the sort of interface I had in mind for the file naming (above).
> But I see this as a separate tool for later.
> >   - Syndication of announcements
> >   - An informal "journal" space (or blog, if you will) for TC members
> >     to outline their thoughts and ideas?
> Both of those are separate tools. Not sure how those would be part of a
> doc mgmt system.
> Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.
> -Karl
> >
> >                                         Be seeing you,
> >                                           norm
> >
> > P.S. I'm happy to report that your requirements document can be nicely
> > presented in an open format (plain text, in this case) instead of a
> > proprietary format. I hope that its greater accessibility in this
> > format (and the fact that it's six times smaller) can be used to
> > demonstrate once again the value of open standards.
> >
> > (For even more thoughts on this topic, see
> >  http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html)
> >
> --
> =================================================================
> Karl F. Best
> Vice President, OASIS
> office  +1 978.667.5115 x206     mobile +1 978.761.1648
> karl.best@oasis-open.org      http://www.oasis-open.org

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