I agree that withdrawing the document is the best way to proceed
at this point.
This unfortunate episode has exposed a more general issue with
the OASIS standards development process that OASIS itself will have to work
out. OASIS will have to decide if it is willing to let one or two members of a
committee derail the process due to the competitive concerns of that member’s
corporation or organization. We brought the document in good faith to these
committees, and every member organization has the right to join our
subcommittee and contribute articles to our survey of DITA help technology. I
am frankly baffled why another member organization would raise such a hue and
cry, instead of just adding their own article to a future revision of our
In any case, as you say Stan, this fire drill is just
distracting us from the real work of this subcommittee which is to improve the
application of DITA for use in help systems. We do not need the rubber stamp of
the DITA and DITA Adoption committees to get the very useful information in our
guide out to the broader development community. It would be nice, but it is not
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:11 AM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: [dita-help] DHTG Followup Poll ... please read
This email is a follow-up to a discussion and informal consensus/resolution at
the DITA Help SC meeting yesterday afternoon (03/18/09). The following motion
was discussed and affirmed by consensus of four meeting attendees.
RESOLUTION: The DITA Help SC withdraws the current draft of the DITA Help
Technology Guide from both the DITA Technical Committee and DITA Adoption TC
for review and approval. We will notify the TCs before they meet again.
CONTEXT: The DITA TC has reviewed and discussed the DHTG at two of its weekly
meetings. At least two TC members believe that the inclusion of information
about DITA help implementations by commercial vendors in an
"OASIS-approved" document opens one or more parties to perceptions of
vendor bias and/or anti-trust legal complications. The DITA TC has not voted to
approve/disapprove the current draft and has deferred the issues of precedence
and liability to the OASIS staff and any counsel they choose to involve. The TC
discussions and emails on these issues have been spirited and somewhat
fractious. In the face of a potentially protracted legal review in OASIS, the
likelihood of resolving this crisply is quite low. Continuing to seek a vote
from these TCs to approve/disapprove the DHTG when they perceive that they are
not in a position to resolve perceived or real legal issues is
counterproductive. Let's withdraw the DHTG from TC review, defuse the
situation, and let the OASIS staffers and lawyers establish/clarify relevant OASIS-wide
policies. The TCs have other pressing DITA 1.2 business and our SC has numerous
initiatives involving features and gathering feedback from the Help community.
It's time to move on.
FEEDBACK: DHTG authors especially -- please email the list with your thoughts
on this motion by Monday, March 23 by 12:00PM/EST (noon). The DITA TC meets on
Tuesday morning at 10:0AM/EST.