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Subject: RE: [dita] Re: Meeting Request: Issues About OASIS and OASIS-Approved Publications

Hi Mary and everyone,


It's been an interesting past few weeks. Below I've tried to summarize some *potential* issues in publishing OASIS guides to technologies. Not all of these apply to any discussions we've had about this particular guide, however I think it is useful to put them on the table as hypothetical issues for purposes of formulating and clarifying OASIS's general policies on the publishing of technology guides under its name.


- The public might perceive that the products associated with subcommittee TC members are given more prominence than the products of non-members, and consider OASIS to be less credible as a result.

- Vendors whose products have not been included in the guide might complain that they didn't receive adequate notice about the fact that the document was being written, and didn't have a fair chance to have their products considered for inclusion.

- Useful information about a product might be omitted from a guide in order to make it more palatable to the product vendor who holds a vote on whether to accept or reject the guide.

- Claims about a particular product may turn out to be false advertising. If false advertising appears in content published by OASIS, who is responsible for it?

- Is it a good use of TC time and energy to try to evaluate a technology guide written by a subcommittee?

- Can a TC provide a meaningful approval of a technology guide written by a subcommittee if TC members do not have access to some of technologies described in the guide?


Again, not all of these issues have come up in the discussion about this particular guide, but these are the types of things that I think are useful to put on the table for purpose of formulating OASIS policy.


I also want to echo Kris Eberlein’s sentiment appreciating the effort that has been put into this guide so far by Help SC members. Much of the information the Help SC has produced is useful to the public; the question we are trying to address is if and how the OASIS name should be associated with it.


Best regards,



Su-Laine Yeo
Interaction Design Specialist

JustSystems Canada, Inc.
Office: 778-327-6356




From: Bruce Nevin (bnevin) [mailto:bnevin@cisco.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:34 AM
To: Michael Priestley; stan@modularwriting.com
Cc: dita@lists.oasis-open.org; mary.mcrae@oasis-open.org; tony.self@hyperwrite.com
Subject: RE: [dita] Re: Meeting Request: Issues About OASIS and OASIS-Approved Publications


Where angels fear ...


Since my organization is a DITA adopter rather than potential competitor in the vendor space serving adopters, maybe I can dare to be a bit more forthright.


Representatives of member organizations meet on committees and subcommittees in a cooperative spirit to establish standards, guidelines, etc. to the mutual benefit of all.


Might another organization enter such a committee (or view its work and membership from the outside) and construe that cooperative spirit as collusion among an anti-competitive cabal?


Surely in the full breadth of OASIS such issues have arisen before and been addressed. As one possible approach, is "mutual benefit" defined in the broadest sense somewhere in the OASIS umbrella such that no one can construe it in a narrow, exclusionary sense, and can a TC or SC point to that umbrella definition should the issue arise?


    /Bruce Nevin


From: Michael Priestley [mailto:mpriestl@ca.ibm.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 2:01 PM
To: stan@modularwriting.com
Cc: dita@lists.oasis-open.org; mary.mcrae@oasis-open.org; tony.self@hyperwrite.com
Subject: Re: [dita] Re: Meeting Request: Issues About OASIS and OASIS-Approved Publications

Hi Stan,

To clarify, I don't think anyone suggested that an OASIS member organization would sue another OASIS member organization. The question was, are there any concerns about a group of OASIS member organizations writing about the products of other companies (or writing about some products but not others, for that matter).

So much for not characterizing the issues in writing :-) But I wanted to correct the characterization of the chit-chat anyway.

Michael Priestley, Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)
Lead IBM DITA Architect


03/18/2009 01:23 PM




dita@lists.oasis-open.org, tony.self@hyperwrite.com


Re: [dita] Re: Meeting Request: Issues About OASIS and OASIS-Approved Publications


Hi Mary --

Spring is in the air. With chit-chat about OASIS member organizations being open to suing other OASIS member organizations and OASIS individual members, it may not be prudent for any individual to characterize the issues in writing (hence the intentional vagueness in my previous email).

Perhaps the best course would be to have the TC next Tuesday "approve" the minutes of our meeting yesterday, thereby providing an appropriate starting place for defining the issues pertinent to the meeting that we'd like to organize with you.

Sorry ... I wish that it were as simple as summarizing the explicit points of debate.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mary McRae"
To: stan@modularwriting.com
Cc: dita@lists.oasis-open.org, tony.self@hyperwrite.com
Subject: [dita] Re: Meeting Request: Issues About OASIS and OASIS-Approved Publications
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 00:12:04 -0400

Hi Stan,

 It would be most helpful if you could provide the list of issues in advance so I can make sure to have the right people involved - once I have a better idea I can look at schedules and see what will work for everyone.



On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 8:34 PM, <stan@modularwriting.com> wrote:
Hi Mary --
In the process of reviewing the DITA Help Technologies Guide (attached), the DITA Technical Committee bumped into some issues -- some potentially legal -- that are beyond the scope of our TC. We suspect (and hope) that other TCs or working groups in OASIS have encountered and resolved such issues.
We are hoping that you could set up a concall next week with you and with the following DITA people:
- su-laine.yeo@justsystems.com
- tony.self@hyperwrite.com
- Micheal Priestley
- Don Day
- Stan Doherty
Two goals for the meeting --
1. Review the issues.
2. Identify from the OASIS side of things possible precedents, resources, and solution strategies
Stan Doherty

Mary P McRae
Manager of TC Administration, OASIS
voip: 603.232.9090

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