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Subject: OASIS on statements of use vs implementations

At the last meeting, one of the questions during the meeting was what
exactly is required by an organization "endorsing" the use of a new spec?

OASIS covers the practicality of standards in the TC Process document under
section 3.4, Approval of an OASIS Standard:

3.4 Approval of an OASIS Standard

Simultaneously with the approval of a Committee Specification or at a later
date, and after three Statements of Use have been presented to the TC, a TC
may resolve by Special Majority Vote to submit the Committee Specification
to the Membership of OASIS for consideration as an OASIS Standard.

The phrase "Statement of Use" is defined thusly:

"Statement of Use", with respect to a specification, is a written statement
by an OASIS Organizational Member stating that it is successfully using or
implementing that specification in accordance with the conformance clauses
specified in Section 2.18*, and stating whether its use included the
interoperation of multiple independent implementations.

And that section regarding conformance states:

2.18 Specification Quality

A specification that is approved by the TC at the Public Review Draft,
Committee Specification or OASIS Standard level must include a separate
section, listing a set of numbered conformance clauses, to which any
implementation of the specification must adhere in order to claim
conformance to the specification (or any optional portion thereof).

The main requirement for a specification then are statements of successful
use or implementation of the spec. Any implementor must comply with
conformance clauses, if any.

"Endorsement" is not really what OASIS wants--they are looking for evidence
of viability and quality. I believe that we should be careful about using
the term "endorse" in place of the specific OASIS concept of "using or
implementing" for SubCommittee contribuations to the Specification. The
formula as given is simple and met by any combination. At most, we might
recommend that at least one of the three minimum statements on behalf of an
SC deliverable include an implementation. We should prefer much more to see
that the specification itself is of value to more than one user.

Don Day
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Chair, IBM DITA Architects Board
Email: dond@us.ibm.com
11501 Burnet Rd. MS9033E015, Austin TX 78758
Phone: +1 512-244-2868 (home office)

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
 Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
   --T.S. Eliot

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