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Subject: RE: [chairs] OASIS Organizational Voting is Somewhat Absurd?

-----Original Message-----
From:	Philpott, Robert [mailto:rphilpott@rsasecurity.com]
Sent:	Thu 9/29/2005 9:48 AM
To:	Wachob, Gabe; chairs@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject:	RE: [chairs] OASIS Organizational Voting is Somewhat Absurd?
+1.  It's not easy for even moderate-sized TC's to avoid having to send
out the plea for votes.  I can imagine that's a huge pain for small
TC's. Especially since I seem to recall the rule used to be 10%, right?


Perhaps OASIS could establish official subject matter domains (e.g. the
categories under which TC's are listed on the web page).  Then each
organization could declare as part of its membership, which of those
domains it wishes to have votes in (perhaps an organization is required
to choose some minimal number of them?).  Then the organizational votes
for standardization could require some higher % of domain-qualified
organizations to vote for the standardization of a spec.


There would need to be some mechanism to ensure a minimum level of
participation in each domain, but it seems that could be worked out.


Rob Philpott
Senior Consulting Engineer
RSA Security Inc.
Tel: 781-515-7115
Mobile: 617-510-0893
Fax: 781-515-7020
Email: rphilpott@rsasecurity.com <mailto:mrphilpott@rsasecurity.com> 
I-name:  =Rob.Philpott <http://public.xdi.org/=Rob.Philpott> 


From: Wachob, Gabe [mailto:gwachob@visa.com] 
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 12:28 PM
To: chairs@lists.oasis-open.org
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 while.


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 
Innovation Group
Visa International 
Phone: +1.650.432.3696   Fax: +1.650.554.6817 


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