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Subject: RE: [dita-help] DHTG Followup Poll ... please read

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 guide.


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 necessary.




Chris Goolsby


From: stan@modularwriting.com [mailto:stan@modularwriting.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:11 AM
To: dita-help@lists.oasis-open.org; joewe@writersua.com
Cc: stan@modularwriting.com
Subject: [dita-help] DHTG Followup Poll ... please read


Hi --

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.

Stan Doherty
Thursday, 03/19/2009

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