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Subject: RE: [chairs] When is a TCs work =?UTF-8?Q?done=3F?=


I agree - that would be nice if OASIS was doing some help here - we've noticed you've not held a meeting for six months - would you like us to set one up and chase folks to attend?

Each TC is different - some folks love chatting every few weeks - others want to mostly use email and the lists.  And again geography can be a challenge - if you have members in Australia, California and Europe then any telephone calls are tough to coordinate.  Add to that if corporate bean counters are not allocating time during business hours for calls.

Anyway - to your point on the charter - that really only covers the delivery of an initial specification and schema.  So we do need to have a feedback loop with humans involved - and I'm assuming here that the TC chair is the primary point of contact - to determine what the status of the actual work is.

For example - perhaps the specification has advanced to committee specification - but to move to OASIS standard now requires five member validations - and that could take six months to a year with little to no apparent committee activity - but a lot of coding and implementation offline - to facilitate.

So - having procedural trip wires is not helpful - but counter productive - as the committee members are actually really committed and working hard on using the specifications - finding out what is needed next - prior to going those next steps.

At the end of the day there is no point to an OASIS standard if noone is using it - and hence the bigger piece of the work is making that happen as a TC.

Similarly you can be victim of success - where you are spending a ton of time doing outreach and adoption support - working with other TCs - and so eventually more work will come back into the TC from that.

Bottom line is arbitrary cut-offs are not working.  We need better ways of the TCs themselves declaring victory and requesting a shutdown.  Quite apart from anything else - you need to make sure there are no hanging issues that would prevent a shutdown and smooth finish product being complete.

Thanks, DW

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: [chairs] When is a TCs work done?
Date: Fri, July 16, 2010 12:22 pm
To: "David RR Webber (XML)" <david@drrw.info>,

So what is the exit strategy for your TC?
IMHO, the only way to avoid these automatic shutdowns  is for every charter to be explicit enough so that TC members themselves can declare victory and shut themselves down. Also the criteria isn’t that onerous: maintain minimum membership (I’m sure temporary lapses are tolerable), and hold a quorate meeting every six months!
From: David RR Webber (XML) [mailto:david@drrw.info]
Sent: 16 July 2010 12:58
To: chairs@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [chairs] When is a TCs work done?
I'm reminded of the maxim in any good initial business plan asking - what is the exit strategy?
Seems that OASIS has criteria based mainly around number of emails posted, who's posting them (apart from the TC chair) and how many meetings and minutes you have posted.
As TC chairs however - I think we deserve more support than OASIS hitting our TC with FUD messages to bolster continuation of the technical work.
Several members I recently canvassed told me they would like to do more than observer but their company is restricting hours and requiring formal manager approval and justification for any new TC related work - even just reading emails or joining a group.  Given those types of challenges its little wonder that typical TC work is being driven by just a handful of individuals.
OASIS needs to therefore do more in terms of assisting garnering support for our work.  So for example - one simple thing I notice that is misleading - is that Kavi only shows voting members - what should be shown also is the total number of observers (just the count), and non-voting members underneath that also on the whole roster.
Clearly TC chairs have a huge role in continuing work of a TC.  In the lifecycle of a standard it is way more than just calling meetings, writing specifications and publishing schema.  
Rather than FUD messages from OASIS staff to our TC - we need more informal coordination to help with members who may be contemplating contributing - or just testing the pulse = looking to help get more involvement and so on by working with the TC chairs and reaching out to potential new resources.
Also - chairs usually know way more about what is really going on.  The mailing list only tells one small part of the picture - in terms of what is external parties are doing, or planning to do with a specification, or additional potential resources to advance new work.
The current administrative door slamming by OASIS seems to be based solely on reducing the number of TCs to some acceptable lower number - rather than any rationale based on the importance of work - and need to actively foster and help TC chairs gain support either within their TC or with external industry groups or academic institutes who may benefit or contribute further.
Everyone is burned out of course on standards work - and its now layers of burn out over burn out.  Now in tough economic days it seems that bean counting and ROI have totally taken over the equation of specification development - rather than anything else relating to technical value and incubating potential groundbreaking or interesting XML capabilities within OASIS.
Ironically the small independent members would appear to be those that have the most flexibility to continue OASIS work and yet OASIS itself it set to penalize them for trying!
Thanks, DW

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