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Subject: Re: [dita] summary of last Friday's call to talk about a DITA Member section

Hi Jeff,

This version looks very good.

Thanks for emphasizing the possibilities for informal communications via overlapping membership.


On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 7:00 PM, Ogden, Jeff <jogden@ptc.com> wrote:

Last Friday Jim Earley, Stan Doherty, Bob Doyle, Michael Priestley, and I met by conference call for about 40 minutes to talk about the pros and cons of creating a DITA Member Section as a way to provide a forum where the work of the DITA TC and the DITA Adoption TC could be coordinated and any conflicts that may arise could be resolved.


The conclusion that we came to at the end of our discussion was that we would not recommend creating a DITA Member Section. We were concerned about the overhead and time commitments that a new "committee" could make on people who are already overbooked and we were not convinced that a DITA Member Section would actually accomplish what we hoped it would.


There was a feeling shared by the people on the call that we do want to take steps to ensure that there is good coordination between the separate DITA TCs and that any conflicts that arise are resolved quickly—that there is a strong need for the two DITA TCs to present a single face to the public. And the best way to accomplish this is probably informally through overlapping membership between the two TCs with the joint members providing communication, coordination, and, if needed, informal conflict resolution between the two TCs. With a bit of luck most, or even all, of the necessary coordination can be accomplished in this informal fashion.


There was also a desire shared by several people on the call to find ways to somewhat formalize the process of cooperation and coordination between the two TCs to cover cases where informal coordination and cooperation do not entirely resolve some issues. One suggested approach was to work with each TC to amend their charters to include reciprocal language that would (i) establish at least one, and ideally two, joint liaison positions; (ii) allow one TC to review and comment on the work of the other TC prior to any formal vote approving materials for publication/public review; and (iii) to give both TCs the ability to request a meeting with the other TC to resolve any conflicts that cannot be resolved by less formal means.


The initial charter for the DITA Adoption TC already contains some of the desired language. Similar language would need to be added to the charter for the DITA TC. And some of the desired language isn't present in the charter for either TC at this point.  There was also a feeling that other changes to the DITA TC's charter should be made to harmonize that charter with the new charter of the DITA Adoption TC. OASIS staff would need to be consulted to figure out how best to accomplish all of this within the OASIS rules.


The group did not discuss the possibility of promoting existing or future DITA TC subcommittees to full TC status and using a DITA Member Section as a way to coordinate the work of those new TCs with the existing DITA TCs.  I don't think we would rule out the creation of a DITA Member Section in the future to provide this coordination, but it would be better to discuss this at the time when creating a new TC is considered.


I expect that we will discuss this during the DITA TC call next Tuesday, July 8th.



Bob Doyle
Editor In Chief, CMS Review - http://www.cmsreview.com
Founder, DITA Users - http://www.ditausers.org
Contributing Editor, EContent Magazine -
Information Philosopher
President and CEO, skyBuilders - http://www.skybuilders.com
77 Huron Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: +1 617-876-5676 Skype:bobdoyle

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