From: Wachob, Gabe
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005
Subject: [chairs] OASIS
Organizational Voting is Somewhat Absurd?
An issue about the way OASIS holds organizational votes to
move TC drafts to OASIS specifications has been gnawing on me for quite a
Under the current rules, 15% of organizational members have
to vote yes on a specification. Currently, according to my rough research, this
is 15% of 342 voting organizations or 52 positive votes required *minimum*.
Now, OASIS TCs do work in a number of very specialized areas
yet votes are expected by the general organizational membership. An example is
the recent request to vote on the CAP 1.1 standard. I have no reason to
believe that CAP is not a fine proposal and worthy of approval, and I
personally think it sounds valuable. However, I also have no way of knowing if
there aren't serious problems with it. I am not a domain expert, and I doubt
there are 52 organizations in OASIS that are.
Having been involved in LegalXML in the very early days, I
can only imagine this issue about competence and interest in a specialized area
could be even more acute for other topical areas.
It appears that the only way specifications like CAP can
emerge as an OASIS specification is for parties to approve the spec who have no
domain expertise and no business justification to invest time in reviewing the
specification. An OASIS specification vote then becomes largely a
matter of rubberstamping the TC's output, thus undercutting the value of the
"OASIS Specification" stamp of approval. Additionally, as a TC
co-chair, I'm concerned that getting approval for a specification at the OASIS
level is purely a political "vote for my spec PLEASE" effort which is
a waste of time for the TC chair and a meaningless gesture for the
organizational voters (a role I also play for Visa).
Does anyone else feel this way?
It would seem more rational to have some sort of
process that requires review and positive acceptance by some subset
of the membership (e.g. broken down by topical interest areas, etc) while
retaining the right for *all* organizational members to object as they do now.
Chief Systems Architect
Phone: +1.650.432.3696 Fax: +1.650.554.6817