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Subject: Groups - Minutes, 17 March 2009 (DITA_TC_meeting_17_March_2009.txt) uploaded

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      OASIS DITA Technical Committee Minutes
                Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Minutes recorded by Kristen James Eberlein.

Quorum is present.

2. Approve minutes from previous business meetings:
*  http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/dita/200903/msg00027.html (10 March
Motion made to approve minutes; seconded by Stan Doherty; motion carried by


* OASIS DITA Translation Committee
JoAnn Hackos reported that the subcommittee is currently making good
progress on a best practices document for glossary.

Action: Don Day to speak to John Hunt about having a report from the OASIS
DITA Learning Content Subcommittee next week.

No progress on these items.

Action: Michael Priestley will send send background information to Gershon
about previous discussions with OASIS about the possibility of using the
dita.xml.org site to comment on the language and architectural

5. ITEM: Cross-references to Topicheads and Implicit Title-only Topics
* http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/dita/200901/msg00039.html (Eliot,
Don Day asked whether we needed additional list discussion before bringing
this to resolution. Elliot commented that he and Michael Priestley needed
to come to agreement on some points, including clarification about what are
the implications for the chunk attribute.

Action: Elliot Kimber will post something to the list.

6. ITEM: Hazard Statement Width
* http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/dita/200902/msg00029.html (Grosso
and ongoing)
* http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/dita/200903/msg00008.html (Kravogel
suggested actions) 
Deferred to a meeting when Chris Kravogel is present.

7. ITEM: Mapref attribute resolution
* http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/dita/200903/msg00007.html (Anderson)

Don Day asked what are 1.2 items and what are 1.3 items? Robert Anderson
restated the tenor of the last discussion: That an attribute set on a map
reference is equivalent to overriding that value on the target of the map
reference, that it cascades within that target map as it normally cascades.
One clarification: If you have a map reference that has a scope or toc or
linking attribute, is that the same as a map reference that inherits that
value within a map? For example, a topicref with toc=no that contains a
nested map reference, is that the same as setting toc=no on the map
reference? Robert thinks that  the answer is yes, but wants to verify it.
Anything beyond clarifying the language in the 1.2 spec, such as additional
use cases, would be 1.3-level work.

Action: Robert Anderson will write a clear summary and send it to the

8. New ITEM: DITA Help Technologies Guide (DITA Help SC item for TC
* http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/dita-help/documents.php
Stan Doherty has replied to the list with information about a new preface
to the document. Kris Eberlein was unable to attend the Adoption

Stan Doherty made a brief pitch, explaining why the TC should vote on the
guide. He clarified that the subcommittee is not looking for advice about
publication or distribution, but is looking for the TC to vote on the
guide. There are three reasons why the TC should approve the guide:
1) Demonstrate to the broader community that the TC is serious about
outreach to people using DITA for help
2) Lay the foundation in the 1.2 framework for specializations and
customizations intended for DITA 1.3
3) Want the support of the TC; the subcommittee is working in an area that
is not traditional DITA country. The subcommittee has made an assessment,
gone to conferences, talked with people, and has created enthusiasm around
the topic; they want to capitalize on that energy. The guide is not perfect
-- it is a first version -- but it is a very good effort and congruent with
our charter. As such, Stan and the subcommittee ask that the TC vote today
on the guide.

Don Day opened the floor for general discussion on the guide and Stan's

Su-Laine Yeo commented that the order of the technologies mentioned in the
guide is not alphabetical nor is it sorted by level of adoption. She asked
why Arbortext Digital Publisher was listed first? Stan Doherty stated that
he was not aware of a reason for placing Arbortext Digital Publisher first,
reminded people that of the 15 tools discussed in the guide 13 are open
source or free, only 2 are commercial, and that he is willing to go back to
the committee and reorder the map, if there is a perception issue. Su-Laine
went on record stating that she believes that there is a perception issue
associated with listing Arbortext Digital Publisher first. It is the most
commercial technology, not yet released, and not yet in use by adopters.
She thinks that it should be listed last. Stan Doherty stated again that he
would be glad to go back to the subcommittee and consider the sequence of
the map. Don Day asked whether Su-Laine had a suggestion for a fair way to
order the technologies in the guide. Su-Laine suggested listing
technologies in the order of popularity of adoption, or listing the open
source tools first and the commercial tools last. Don Day commented that
popularity changes, and asked whether alphabetical order would be
acceptable as a simple and unequivocal sorting order. Su-Laine Yeo stated
that she would find it acceptable if the tools were divided into open
source and commercial sections (open source to be listed first), and then
alphabetized within those sections.

Su-Laine stated that there are issues with trademarks, for example, XML is
marked with (TM). Stan Doherty commented that all the trademarks have been
reviewed by OASIS. About two months ago he sent the whole thing to Mary
McRae, and Mary passed it on to a couple of people internally who said that
there wasn't a formal process, and that if the subcommittee had done its
best, that was due diligence. The general consensus of TC members on the
call was that trademarks need not be marked with symbols in running text;
that it is adequate to list them on a single page. Don Day commented that
Stan has done due diligence, and that we shouldn't make this document
adhere to higher standards than those applied to previous documents. Stan
offered to remove all trademark symbols from the running text and send the
list of trademarks to the list for additional review. Motion made,
seconded, and approved by acclamation to make this standard editoral policy
for TC documents.

Action: Stan to remove trademark symbols from the running text, list
trademarks in one place, reorder the tools, and add the preface. 

Don Day asked whether people on the call had any additional comments for
Stan. Su-Laine commented that Just Systems has many concerns about the
scalability of the model -- people getting together and coming up with
consensus statements about technologies. She stated that she understood
that their had been one consultant and one product vendor in the group so
far, and that several other product vendors have asked to be involved. Just
Systems has serious concerns about the ethical and legal issues that are
likely to arise if you try to get direct competitors together in a room and
evaluate descriptions of each other's products. OASIS works very well for
direct competitors to get together and come to agreement about things that
are of mutual interest to their customers -- on many issues, it's quite
obvious to all vendors what is in the best interest of the DITA community
-- but that's quite different from talking about how to describe each
other's products.

Stan Doherty responded that this is a future and contingency issue that can
be dealt with down the road, when and if it occurs. He suggested that Just 
Systems get involved in the subcommittee if they have interest. He urged
the TC to move forward and approve the document.

Su-Laine asked whether there was a maintenance plan. Does the subcommittee
plan to keep this document up-to-date? If so, what is the plan? Stan
commented that the plan is listed in editorial preface, and that the
subcommittee intends to update the document quarterly, if possible.

Su-Laine stated that the potential problems relating to competitors getting
in a room and talking about each others products (especially future
products), reviewing these products, negotiating with each other about what
will be said about the products is a large and significant issue. She is
concerned with possible violations of anti-trust laws. If we do not have a
model for dealing with this, we don't have a maintenance plan.

Don Day suggested we table discussion on this issue for now, but wondered
whether the way forward might entail having Su-Laine work with the
subcommittee to establish policy for maintenance and avoidance of
anti-trust issues. Su-Laine responded that she wants to get OASIS more
involved. The guide is not the type of document that they are accustomed to

X asked "In what way does this document or future incarnations of this
document prevent additional competitors from entering the arena? That is
what anti-trust is about." Su-Laine responded that the document itself does
not prevent additional competitors from entering the arena, but that she is
concerned about is the kinds of discussions that will be necessary in order
to produce another version of this document that reviewed competitive
products, where competitors would be reviewing each others' products. X
replied that that is a different matter than anti-trust; that anti-trust
has to do with a kabal freezing people out and setting prices. Su-Laine
responded that anti-trust is anything that restricts fair competition and
fair criticism of each other's products.

Stan Doherty commented that final editorial control is with the
subcommittee. Also, none of the pieces in the guide are about one
competitor making comments about another competitor's products. The
subcommittee set clear ground rules to prevent that from happening. The
subcommittee has developed good guidelines and working patterns. Stan
begged the TC to trust the subcommittee.

X asked whether Su-Laine's concern has not with anti-trust but with
disclosure of proprietary information. Su-Laine replied that anti-trust is
when competitors get together and talk about what will be said about each
others' products; then the potential for collusion with competitors

Don Day asked whether the next step might be to ensure objectivity of the
subcommittee, perhaps by excluding vendors from participating in the

Stan Doherty stated the subcommittee has talked about these issues. If
Vendor A talks about vendor B, that's a problem. The subcommittee knows
that. Vendor A  comes in, does a demo, and then Vendor A writes it up. In
the editorial process, everyone sees what others are writing about. He
reiterated his plea to "Trust us and get involved."

Michael Priestley stated that while he wants the document published, we
need to have an answer prepared in case another company that is not on the
TC and is not familiar with subcommittee guidelines decides to sue OASIS
for collusion, because they were not involved, are losing market share, and
decide it is a conspiracy. We need to protect everyone on the TC and their
companies from law suits. We should take this to OASIS; legal issues are
their responsibilities.

Stan Doherty reminded the TC that the subcommittee is seeking approval from
the TC. If it's the will of the TC to make approval pending on a legal
review by OASIS, let's go ahead and vote to do so. He doesn't want this
matter to continue in limbo. Stan is not confident that OASIS will care
about this issue; this is outside of OASIS's comfort zone. When he
approached Legal two months ago, he didn't hear much. He sent the guide to
OASIS Legal and asked for help with copyrights, etc. He and the
subcommittee were aware of these issues and attempted to engage OASIS about
them months ago.

X asked whether Stan or the subcommittee had explicitly asked OASIS about
such issues as we have been discussing today; Stan replied that he had

1. Stan Doherty to schedule meeting with Mary McRae, OASIS legal contact,
Stan, Tony Self, and Su-Laine Yeo to get explicit approval that it is OK
for the subcommittee to publish the document and where.
2. Su-Laine Yeo to post any additional concerns to the list promptly

Meeting adjourned.

 -- Kristen Eberlein

The document named Minutes, 17 March 2009
(DITA_TC_meeting_17_March_2009.txt) has been submitted by Kristen Eberlein
to the OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) TC document

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