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Subject: Draft Jan 2009 TC Process changes summary


   The Process Committee is proposing some additions and modifications  
to the TC Process and is soliciting feedback and comments on this  
"almost" final draft. I've tried to summarize the major and minor  
changes in this email, but you should read the real docs (attached) if  
you'd like to see the detailed changes.

A major focus of the Process Committee for the last two years has been  
to add a "non-standards TC approval" track to the process. There were  
conflicting requirements involving trade-offs between IPR Policy,  
approval processes, reviews, etc. The result which you see before you  
is not quite as delicate a compromise as that surrounding the current  
US health care debates, but its close. :-) I've broken down the  
changes into 3 major components, but please keep in mind that they  
interact with each other, and that they are intended to work together.  
(I've always wanted to use the phrase "synergistic changes" but i will  

   The plan is to consider these changes at the next Board f2f meeting  
at the beginning of February, so we'd like to have feedback and  
comments available by January 25 ( a week or so before the Board  
meeting) so that they can be considered by the Process Committee and  
the Board.

   Attached you will find a redline showing the changes from the  
current policy, and a clean copy. The current policy is on the OASIS  
web site.

Thanks and appreciation are due to Mary McRae (the OASIS TC admin) for  
a yeowoman's job in editing the TC Process doc, and keeping up with  
the various gyrations, drafts, and proposals that the Process  
Committee have produced, debated, thrown away, and finally settled on.

Disclaimer:  Also please note that this email is MY attempt, as TC  
Process Chair, to describe the changes and has not been formally  
approved by the TC Process Committee. (And I'm sure its members will  
chime in with their own comments if they are so moved. ;-)

   Jeff Mischkinsky, Chair, OASIS Board TC Process Committee


The Public Review requirements for TC level approvals have been  
simplified and streamlined, partially to accommodate the addition of a  
non-standards track.
Basically the minimum for initial public review will be 30 days (down  
from 60 days) with subsequent reviews being at least 15 days. ANY  
changes made after a review closes must be submitted again for public  

Section 2.18 has been split to distinguish between Committee Spec (no  
change) and Committee Notes (new)

COMMITTEE NOTES aka "non-standards track work product", aka "info  
docs"  (Section 2.18 B and 3.3)
The Process Committee has been working for almost 2 years to add a  
"non-standards" TC approval track.

The basic idea is that we've added a means whereby TC's will be able  
to approve as a Committee Note any material that is not intended to be  
a standard. These could be primers, explanatory material, best  
practices (how to use a standard), presentations/papers, test suites,  
etc., that can be "officially" approved as representing the views of  
the TC, etc. They will be covered by the IPR policy. The mechanics of  
the approval process are the same as for a Committee Specification so  
that there is no incentive to classify something as standards track  
vs. non-standards track because one is easier to get approved, i.e.  
can't "game the system".

A non-standards track work product stops at the Committee Note level.  
Therefore it may NOT be put up for an OASIS-wide vote, unlike a  
standards track work product, nor submitted to an outside (de jure)  

Committee Notes will have different templates, cover pages, etc. to  
distinguish them from specifications/standards. They are not intended  
to be normatively referenced by other standards (either inside or  
outside of OASIS), though of course there is no way to actually stop  
someone from doing so (hence the IPR safeguards and rigorous review/ 
approval process).

A TC can choose to "re-target" a work product by deciding to switch  
templates and going back to the CD stage.

Section 2.18 B, which is new, describes the required parts of  
Committee Note. Essentially they are the same as for Committee Specs  
except that a Conformance Clause (B1) and external files for  
programming language artifacts (B5) are optional.

The process from going from Committee Spec to OASIS standard has been  
modified. We've identified a new state for a Committee Spec that a TC  
wishes to advance to OASIS Standard, called a Candidate OASIS Standard  
to clarify things.

The main change is to now require a 60 day public review of the  
Candidate OASIS standard, to ensure that OASIS standards that are  
submitted for international (de jure) standards processing meet their  
review requirements.  This replaces the "familiarization period" under  
the current policy. Candidates may now be submitted at any time (not  
just once a month) and TC admin now has at most 15 days to complete  
processing and start the Public Review.

Once the public review has completed, there are now shortened  
timelines for conducting the subsequent approval votes. The possible  
outcomes of the public review (no comments, comments but no changes  
made as a result, changes made as a result) and the subsequent  
processing rules have been clarified.

Note: The minimum time lines for the public reviews and votes should  
be approximately equal to get to OASIS standard and shorter for  
Committee Spec under the new system.

The Process Committee is going to recommend that non-standards track  
be added "immediately", where "immediately" means something like the  
beginning of the month following Board approval.  Changes to currently  
"in flight" standards track documents will be phased in so that work  
product that is currently "close" to being approved will be subject to  
the old rules. The exact definition of "close" contained in the first  
para of Section 3.4 are still somewhat tentative. (I think it is safe  
to say they would only be loosened, not tightened.)


1. Uniform 7 day membership deadline for initial TC meeting whether  
f2f or telecon. (2.3)

2. Clarified requirements for comment processing and made clear that  
once a doc is out for public review if someone discovers a major  
"oops" that requires a change before the review period ends, then it  
must be withdrawn and resubmitted for a new public review (if the TC  
so desires). (3.2 2nd and 3rd para)

3. Clarified requirements around which versions of oasis templates to  
use. (3.4.1)

4 Clarified rules around the mechanics of OASIS standard ballots(3.4.3)

5. Various other more minor clarifications, editorial changes, etc.,  
some of which i've probably missed in the above list.



Jeff Mischkinsky			          		jeff.mischkinsky@oracle.com
Sr. Director, Oracle Fusion Middleware 				+1(650)506-1975
	and Web Services Standards           			500 Oracle Parkway, M/S 2OP9
Oracle								Redwood Shores, CA 94065

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