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Subject: Re: [chairs] Draft Jan 2009 TC Process changes summary

Jim Hughes (LCA) wrote:
> +1 to Jeff's comments. And we should be very precise with
> terminology in these discussions...

Then let's start with the word "specification."  This is not a
word that OASIS invented; believe it or not, it has a prior use in
English. The ordinary English meaning of the word is: "a specific,
explicit, or detailed mention, enumeration, or statement of

As I said earlier in this thread, the word "specification"

    applies to a lot of things that we're going to be calling
    Notes.  For example, the UBL Guidelines for Customization
    constitute "a specific, explicit, detailed mention,
    enumeration, and statement" of our guidelines for
    customization.  The document is a specification of our

I would go so far as to say that *most* things that TCs are going
to want to publish as "Committee Notes" are, in fact,
specifications according to the ordinary English meaning of the
word -- the meaning that speakers of English who are not OASIS
members intend.

This wouldn't be terribly important if we didn't make statements
like this:

> I'm not questioning the presence of Conformance Clauses, if you
> have a specification - the point is that when we start talking
> about them in the context of *non-specifications* it becomes
> much murkier.

This implicitly argues that because Notes are not Specifications
in the special OASIS-only use of the word then they are not
specifications in any sense of the word.  This is not true, and it
begs the question of what constitutes a specification.  Try
substituting the term "Non-standards-track Specifications" for
"Notes" and see what happens to that argument.

I'm not saying anything here about whether conformance clauses
should be allowed in Notes.  I'm saying that equivocation and
arguing in circles is not a good way to sort this out.
There may be a good reason to exclude conformance clauses from
Notes, but it's not just because they're called Notes.


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