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

I've found this to be an admirable and informative discussion without any
need to chime in.

There are two things of note in this latest thread that I find interesting,

1. I find the manufacture of proper nouns to be an useful device that I see
in documents around OASIS procedures.  
  1.1 It is a very useful device to signal specific, technical use of a
term.  I concede that use of capitalized proper nouns can be linguistically
difficult in English documents that are destined to being used by non-native
speakers and also transposed into other languages not so fond of capital
letters (even when using the Roman alphabet). 
  1.2 For myself, I do distinguish Specification from specification, but
even using "Specification" without qualification is too prone to confusion.
I think that was missing in some of the discussion earlier.  
  1.3 This is a roundabout way to +1 Robin Cover's plea not to
misappropriate "specification" when we mean to be talking about Committee
Specification and OASIS Standard. 

2. Whatever use people might make of a Committee Note, I don't believe there
should ever, ever be a Conformance Section, Conformance Clauses, or
Conformance Targets.  Not ever.  I also think that normative language should
be avoided except in whatever is comparable to nominative use in guidance,
examples, maybe even quotations of bits of approved standards from some
source.  One of those boilerplate statements about should, shall, must, need
not, can, etc., should not be present except perhaps in discussion of how
that special language is being used somewhere else.

 - Dennis


3. My reasoning for (2) is that there is a tendency to want to instruct and
dictate that sometimes creeps into materials meant to be informative rather
than prescriptive.  So long as Committee Notes do not have the same standing
as an OASIS Standard and are meant to be distinct from Committee
Specifications, I think we should not countenance any such temptation.  We
should not be ambiguous or wishy-washy about this.

4. I am not competent to consider the IPR ramifications of processing
Committee Notes (nor of Committee Specifications that are not taken to OASIS
   4.1 I note, however, that in current procedures the call for IPR
disclosure is concurrent with the submission of a Committee Draft as a
Public Review Draft.  (I'm a little worried about the shortened minimum on
the initial Public Review period too, but then I work on documents with
several 100s of pages.)  That seems appropriate and it would seem, in my
shallow understanding, to be applicable at the time of submission of a
Public Review Draft (however named) for a Committee Note.  The situation is
no more stickier than it might be for a potential Committee Specification,
however sticky that might be (and already is).  Issuance of a Committee Note
without that stage seems perilous.  

5. I am nervous about using informative versus normative as the
differentiation and I am not certain that a hard-core position such as (2)
will alleviate that uncertainty.  There may need to be further disclaimer.
  5.1 I sense a concern that obligated parties (if I understand that
terminology) might be seen as obligated in some way by a Committee Note
where they are not in terms of any of the (draft) Committee Specifications
they are contributing too.  There might be some worry about an IP holder
being [reverse-)submarined by a Committee Note, so to speak?  This seems to
be an invariant for anything that is issued by an OASIS TC to the public.  
  5.2 On the other hand, don't we always have the risk of being seen to
encourage an unsuspected intrusion on some non-obligated party's necessary
claims under the imprimatur of OASIS?  I guess now that contributory
infringement is becoming an attractive legal theory, we have to worry about
that too?  Still, we all have to get out of bed each morning to great the
new day, whatever it brings, aye?

I'm sure I have said enough to establish my naivety on this subject and I
will now shut up.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Laskey [mailto:klaskey@mitre.org] 
Sent: Saturday, January 23, 2010 14:36
To: Robin Cover
Cc: Jon Bosak; Jim Hughes (LCA); Patrick Durusau;
Subject: Re: [chairs] Draft Jan 2009 TC Process changes summary

Would it be useful to discuss this in terms of normative vs.  

Things that are normative become so by being labeled as such in  
"specifications" that are identified as "standards".  In most cases,  
the entire standard's specification is assumed normative except for  
those portions specifically labeled as not.

Things we look to publishing as Notes are informative, i.e. these will  
provide guidance for how to effectively use the standards but are not  
required usage as far as OASIS is concerned.  This does not stop  
someone else from declaring these required for their domain of use,  
but that is outside OASIS control pr responsibility.

IPR issues apply most directly to things that are normative because  
there is no way around the normative specifications.  Things that are  
informative may be very detailed, but these are not required.

Note, you could have conformance statements for either normative or  
informative work.  These tell you whether you conform, nothing more  
and nothing less.


On Jan 23, 2010, at 3:42 PM, Robin Cover wrote:

> [Jon Bosak]
>> As I said earlier in this thread, the word "specification"
>> applies to a lot of things that we're going to be calling
>> Notes.
> +1 in the extreme
[ ... ]

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