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Subject: This Old House (OASIS) - Further Response to Peter Brown


Peter Brown asked about other areas that need improvement at OASIS.

I would observe that a standards organization should follow some standard practice in how information about its work is stored. It does not reflect well on OASIS or the work of its TCs if every TC has its own methods for recording information about its work. Such as minutes for example. Minutes should have a uniform format.

Moreover, information about the work of a TC should have a uniform location. Documents should be versioned in some uniform fashion.

OASIS resembles a "This Old House" where rooms (TCs) have been added on to the main house in a haphazard fashion and each one is different that most of the others.

That does not inspire a lot of confidence in the architect or in the rooms.

The argument will be made that TCs need the freedom to organize their work any way they want.


TCs need the freedom to develop the intellectual content to their work. That is not the same thing as being creative with *where* information about their work is stored. Or the keeping of records, versions, etc.

We do want people to find the information and have confidence in our work. Yes?

To do that, we need to decide to remodel our "This Old House" in such a way that documents for every TC are in the same locations (relative to the TC homepage), has the same version numbering, has the same structure for minutes, etc..

Now is the time since discussions are underway about a new technical infrastructure to support TC work.

Personally I would like to see that infrastructure support and require a work flow and structure that provides uniform access to the work of TCs. Save our creativity for the substance of our technical work.

It will take time to transition to a new way of documenting our work but having worked in several TCs, I have confident in the contributing members of our TCs that they are equal to the task.

Hope everyone is having a great day!


PS: I will complain even if my ideas about organizing TC work are accepted the first time the process goddess makes me change the way I am doing something.  But, the purpose of standards is to facilitate access, not make to me (or others) happy.
Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

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