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Subject: OASIS TC process rule changes 1 March 2007 (and some later)

   Our Board of Directors, working through its Process Committee, 
reviews and examines our OASIS TC Process rules periodically, to 
optimize the working environment for our members & TCs.  As you 
know, we've been reviewing changes over the past year.  Our Board 
has approved one set of revisions, marked in the attached PDF file, 
to be effective as of 1 March 2007 (except as noted below).  The 
revised rules will be posted shortly to our official web rules 
location [1] as well.  Other changes are still under discussion, as 
noted below.

   Mary and I do not expect this current set of enacted changes to 
significantly alter the practices of most TCs.  Of course, TCs and 
members should review them to confirm their application to specific 
plans for spec production and approval.  The following principal 
changes have been made, and are marked in the attached document:

   1.  Defined terms referring to OASIS members (often 
organizations) and TC members (the individual persons participating) 
have been cleaned up and harmonized throughout.  Many of the edits 
shown in the attached document implement the clarified definitions, 
without changing the substantive rules.

   2.  We have added a requirement in Section 2.18, the spec quality 
rule, that TC specifications at the Public Review Draft stage or 
above must include a set of numbered conformance clauses. (Line 
567-571.)  We are excited about this improvement to the usability 
and quality of our specs, though of course many TCs already comply 
electively.  For those that do not, please *note* that we're likely 
to postpone the effectiveness of this rule for several months, so as 
not to thwart current work in mid-approval.  The Board's process 
committee has unanimously recommended to our Board that the 
conformance clauses requirements will be applied only after 1 June 
2007, and only to specs not approved as a Committee Specification by 
that time.  I will report further on this to you when the Board acts.

   3.  The required contents of a "statement of use", to be provided 
by 3 or more OASIS organizational members in support of a proposed 
OASIS Standard, have been defined in more detail.  (Lines 90-94.) 
The aspects of this change that relate to conformance clauses also 
are likely to be phased in over several months, as noted above.

   4.  The minimum notice period for members to notify us that they 
plan to join a new TC has been shortened in some cases.  (Lines 

   5.  Failure to elect a chair for 120 days has been added to the 
list of mandatory TC closure triggers.  (Lines 323-325, 479-480.)

   6.  The obligation of TCs to administer meetings so as to 
optimize logisitical and schedule accessibility for observers, as 
well as members, has been made explicit.  TCs, which have the power 
to set their meeting schedules and venues by formal action, already 
are expected to do so in a way that optimally addresses the needs of 
all TC members.  (Lines 401-403.)

   7.  The manner in which TCs and their editors are obliged to use 
the OASIS document templates in spec production has been clarified, 
using language suggested by our Technical Advisory Board (TAB). 
(Lines 563-565.)  The posted templates [2] should be used in the 
*creation* of specification drafts on track for submission to our TC 
Administrator, because last-minute retrofitting often fails and 
unfortunately can result in rejected submissions.

   8.  Several improvements in notice and response metods have been 
addde to our public review process. (Lines 610-620.)  TCs will be 
obliged to wait at least 7 days to re-approve a spec after public 
review, after the last day of that review, as a cooling off period 
for consideration of any public feedback, if received.  (Lines 639-641.)

   9.  We also adopted the TAB's suggestion that, in an OASIS 
Standard submission, the minimum number of required statements of 
use should be presented before the TC vote.  (Lines 646-648.) 
Previously, the vote to submit as an OS could precede the 
acquisition of the statements.

   A number of other suggestions from our TCs and members still are 
being reviewed and evaluated for a next round of proposed revisions, 
likely during 2007.  Among the significant changes still being 

   *  A possible change to the voting structure of TCs, discussed 
with OASIS members in a member review cycle last October [3].  Our 
Board  continues to discuss this "1-org-1-vote" proposal.

   *  More detail regarding the use of XHTML, PDF, etc. as file 
formats for uploading the official forms of approved specifications.

   Thanks for your attention, and your assistance in leading the 
open standards community.  Feedback always is welcome.

   Regards  JBC

~ James Bryce Clark
~ Director of Standards Development, OASIS
~ jamie.clark@oasis-open.org

[1] Official location:  http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/process.php
[2] Posted templates:  http://docs.oasis-open.org/templates/
[3] October 1-org-1-vote proposal, see: 


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