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Subject: Re: [chairs] What can Standards Development / TC Administration doto help?

On Fri, 23 Apr 2010, Frederick Hirsch wrote:

> Example:
> An example of how new tools can evolve is the new emerging use of ReSpec in 
> W3C, not mandated by the organization. This is HTML 5 with special markup 
> that is processed within the browser by Javascript to create all the markup, 
> boilerplate etc automatically, including shared bibliographic references and 
> formatting. Makes editors life much easier, while also enabling conformance 
> to organizational publication rules and style. (Previous efforts to 
> hand-craft HTML or use XML in a build environment were not very editor 
> friendly)
> No makefile, no build, no special tools other than support for Javascript in 
> the Browser and the use of HTML 5.
> I'm not saying this is the tool for OASIS, but an example of grass-roots 
> adoption of a tool to ease editing and publication to solve this sort of 
> problem (thanks to Robin Berjon for creating it). I understand a v2 is in the 
> works.
> http://dev.w3.org/2009/dap/ReSpec.js/documentation.html
> regards, Frederick
> Frederick Hirsch
> Nokia

Thanks, Frederick.  Indeed, W3C has an extensive set of tools (and a couple different
tool chains) to assist spec authors/editors in writing specifications,
automatically including correct citations and references (using a citation-
picker that addresses a bibliographic database), etc.  I think it's relatively
easier to create tools for documents that use descriptive markup than
for word-processor files.  Well... easier for most people.

Anish Karmarkar [Anish.Karmarkar@oracle.com] notes the benefits
of using the W3C environment, but mentioned that use of the
XML Spec tool chain can require (or did, at one time) a bit of
a learning process:

   The biggest issue that I found in w3c (this was a few years
   ago and things may be better now), in working in XML and
   using XSLTs to generate HTML was that the diff-ing of the
   output (HTML) was woefully inadequate. So when an editor
   made large scale changes, it was hard for the WG members to
   figure out exactly what changes were made by looking at the


But in recent times, the W3C Staff have provided additional tools
for generating colored diffs, and these are regularly published
as non-normative format:


More broadly speaking: both W3C and IETF have built up considerable 
resources for using structured information standards (e.g., XML, XSLT,
CSS, XHTML) in the authoring, QA checking, and publication process.
It's a chicken-and-egg problem, though: nobody wants to support
the development of tools they believe might be too difficult to use.
Some 18,000 people in IETF use the IETF tools without (? much)
complaint, and that includes several key XML tools.  Naturally,
someone can point out that IETF people and specs are different....

Everyone is probably familiar with the W3C Validiation Tools,
including the Link Checker, which I strongly recommend for use
by OASIS TCs where the editors do not have local-computer tools:


For a survey (not up-to-date) of W3C and IETF tool chains based
upon standards, please see:


If we set some goals (viz., requirements), we might be able to
conscript more OASIS members who have coding talent to help
improve the OASIS spec-production tools.  I note for example,
that one member of an OASIS TC maintains a tool for XSLT
transformation of concert RFC 2629-compliant XML (see [RFC2629])
to various output formats, such as HTML, PDF, CHM.


Finally: some of the desiderata mentioned in this 2010-04 thread have
been incorporated (months ago) into the formal requirements for
an OASIS document management system -- while languishing in
the execution, this system should provide a range of workflow
and automation tools for support of specification authoring,
editing, reviewing, QA checking, and publication (viz., through
the entire specification lifecycle).  Send email if you would
like to become involved in that design and development

  - Robin

Robin Cover
OASIS, Director of Information Services
Editor, Cover Pages and XML Daily Newslink
Email: robin@oasis-open.org
Staff bio: http://www.oasis-open.org/who/staff.php#cover
Cover Pages: http://xml.coverpages.org/
Newsletter: http://xml.coverpages.org/newsletterArchive.html
Tel: +1 972-296-1783

> On Apr 23, 2010, at 3:10 AM, ext Mike Edwards wrote:
>> Folks,
>> If an XML publication format is proposed, what are the tools that you 
>> expect the folks
>> developing the specs to use?
>> There is no point in automating the back end of the process if we make the 
>> front end of
>> the process slower.
>> Yours,  Mike.
>> Strategist - Emerging Technologies, SCA & SDO.
>> Co Chair OASIS SCA Assembly TC.
>> IBM Hursley Park, Mail Point 146, Winchester, SO21 2JN, Great Britain.
>> Phone & FAX: +44-1962-818014    Mobile: +44-7802-467431
>> Email:  mike_edwards@uk.ibm.com
>> From:
>> Bob Freund <bob.freund@hitachisoftware.com>
>> To:
>> Dave Ings <ings@ca.ibm.com>
>> Cc:
>> Mary McRae <mary.mcrae@oasis-open.org>, "chairs@lists.oasis-open.org" 
>> <chairs@lists.oasis-open.org>
>> Date:
>> 22/04/2010 17:41
>> Subject:
>> Re: [chairs] What can Standards Development / TC Administration do to help?
>> How much of this review might be automated?
>> might be a lot if we had an xml publication format.
>> On Apr 22, 2010, at 9:24 AM, Dave Ings wrote:
>> +1
>> This would really cut down on the iterative churn that seems to frustrate 
>> the people involved in the publication process. Great idea!
>> Regards, Dave Ings,
>> Emerging Software Standards
>> Email: ings@ca.ibm.com
>> Yahoo Messenger: dave_ings
>> <graycol.gif>Hanssens Bart ---2010/04/22 09:02:30 AM---> Would you like us 
>> to review your specifications prior to TC ballots so you don't need to go 
>> back a
>> From: Hanssens Bart <Bart.Hanssens@fedict.be>
>> To: Mary McRae <mary.mcrae@oasis-open.org>, "chairs@lists.oasis-open.org" 
>> <chairs@lists.oasis-open.org>
>> Date: 2010/04/22 09:02 AM
>> Subject: RE: [chairs] What can Standards Development / TC Administration do 
>> to help?
>>> Would you like us to review your specifications prior to TC ballots so you 
>>> don't need to go back and fix stuff afterwards?
>> That would be very helpful indeed, especially for new TC's / people 
>> submitting specifications for the first time...
>> Best regards
>> Bart
>> Unless stated otherwise above:
>> IBM United Kingdom Limited - Registered in England and Wales with number 
>> 741598.
>> Registered office: PO Box 41, North Harbour, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO6 3AU

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