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Subject: [emergency] RE: EDXL common distribution element

My $.02 FWIW:

I actually agree with Michael even though I have been doing my own 
diligent best to help move this effort forward as fast as it was 
originally asked of us to move it by EIC and the ad hoc EDXL group 
that first recognised the need. (Please overlook the "s" in place of 
and due to the lack of a lower case Z).

Over the last year and half I have been working on a recommendation 
for an informal standard for developing standards, even for diverse 
problem areas such as device and messaging independence.

It is similar to what Michael suggests, though different, but it 
starts with the kind of survey suggested, moves to developing 
real-world scenarios that follow well-known processes as far as they 
can be modeled, then builds UML Use-Cases for the range of known 
necessities, and from those models builds a formal Requirements 
Document, with a base UML model of the combined use-cases. From such 
a starting point any specification can then be checked against the 
Requirements to be certain that the actual requirements have been 
addressed. There are other features of this evolving recommendation 
which make this easier all around for both the standards-writers and 
the implementors, but I won't go into that particular song and dance 
(thanks be!).

Just my $.02.

At 9:06 AM -0500 3/27/05, Daconta, Michael wrote:
>Hi Everyone,
>I think the summary observations on the interoperability 
>demonstration should be taken very seriously.
>If you compare the specific comments (like "it became evident that 
>each group defined their own implementation of the fields and values 
>in the EDXL header") of the document against the purpose of 
>"interoperability" -- It does not sound like a successful 
>Have these observations been responded to with a course of action to 
>correct each deficiency?
>Elysa you state below that you are trying to get the "distribution 
>element moved through quickly".  I do not think that is the right 
>course of action given the issues with individual fields.  Also, 
>does the TC have a document that details specific use cases for the 
>distribution element?
>I would again urge the TC to consider changing its priorities:
>1. Move the Distribution element to a "hold state" until after at 
>least 3 specific exchanges have been created, tested and deemed 
>successful.  In the meantime, research can move forward to develop 
>use cases and refine the fields in the distribution element.
>2. Canvas the emergency response community on their requirements for 
>specific exchanges and develop a prioritized list.
>3. Develop 3 specific exchanges leveraging reusable components from 
>the NIEM.  For types not in the NIEM, nominate new types to the NIEM.
>4. Take the lessons learned from the specific exchanges to refine 
>and finalize the distribution element.
>  - Mike
>From: Elysa Jones [mailto:ejones@warningsystems.com]
>Sent: Sun 3/20/2005 7:45 AM
>To: Daconta, Michael; David Aylward; emergency@lists.oasis-open.org
>Cc: Hines, Chip; tmerkle@capwin.org; gordon.fullerton@dhs.gov; 
>mwalton@eteam.com; pembley@mstar2.net; Patrick Halley; 
>tgrapes@evolutiontechinc.com; Sukumar Dwarkanath; 
>Subject: EDXL common distribution element
>Hello Mike,
>First, let me say that I have modified the "reply all" list for this
>message to include only those of whom I am aware are active in the OASIS TC
>process since I am also posting this on the EM-TC list and I deleted the
>discussion that lead up to your comments and request.  Also, Sukumar at
>ComCARE is an individual member and that membership does not provide the
>ability for the other ComCARE members to address the list.  However I
>included you guys since you are active in the process.  Please send any
>comments you have through Sukumar.  I did want to be sure your (Mike's)
>comments are presented to the group as you are a TC member.  BTW - DHS is too.
>Please find the attached Issues list provided to the EM-TC after the fall
>EDXL Distribution Element demonstrations as you requested.  This is the
>only summary of results that has been posted to the OASIS web site although
>there may be more.  I understand your concern for the magnitude of the
>effort and the TC is diligently working through the issues, some of which
>you have pointed out.  The senderID represented as a URI has been discussed
>and seems to be our consensus although not firmly decided in meeting
>notes.  We are also discussing the need for a hierarchy in structure for
>the enumerated types and are seeking specific input.  The targetArea
>element will certainly be in concert with OGC and our GIS subcommittee is
>working that detail now.  The EM community is in need of getting the
>distribution element moved through quickly as voiced by the DM program.  We
>are making every effort to support that request.
>Thank you for your comments and we welcome your input to the process.
>Elysa Jones, Chair
>Warning Systems, Inc.
>256-880-8702 x102
>PS:  ICS=Incident Command System
>At 08:00 AM 3/19/2005, Daconta, Michael wrote:
>>Hi David,
>>I have heard about EDXL demonstrations.  Do you have any results or
>>studies from implementing the EDXL distribution element?
>>I have been examining the EDXL SMF draft you sent (dated 9/23/2004) and I
>>have concerns almost about every single field in the proposal.
>>Let me list a few:
>>* Sender ID -- current format is an email address.  Is the purpose of this
>>identification (in which a URI would suffice), or as a POC for
>>communications.  If the former, a dereferenceable and unique URL
>>describing the sending organization would be better.  Email addresses are
>>most commonly used to identify individuals and not organizations.
>>* SenderType -- the enumerated list for this is riddled with
>>inconsistency.  There are varying granularity levels (Government/Coast
>>Guard), mixed metaphors (functions vs organizations vs aggregations),
>>and  overlapping categories.
>>* messageStatus -- the values for this are not status (which is a singular
>>state in a series of states) but purpose.
>>* messageType -- What about other types like Query?  Seems to me we need a
>>"theory of message types" ... could be done by surveying the many
>>different messaging systems (I believe NLETS have a different set of
>>message types).
>>* incidentID -- this should not be the Name or identifier.  A name is
>>different than a unique identifier.  This should just be identifier (since
>>it is an ID field) and you could add another optional field for
>>incidentName or incidentLabel.
>>* eventType -- again, this enumerated list has many problems.  Also, these
>>"type" categories should allow for both generic and specific categories (a
>>class hierarchy).
>>* eventEtiology -- would prefer a simpler label like "eventTrigger" or
>>"eventCause".  Also, besides a type an event may be referred to by a label
>>or specific identifier.
>>* icsBranch -- excuse my ignorance of this acronym.  What does ICS stand
>>for?  The document does not spell this out.
>>* confidentiality -- there are more complex requirements than this for
>>privacy and security.
>>* targetArea -- assume this is in compliance with OGC.
>>This is not my exhaustive list of issues -- because of the broad scope of
>>this standard -- every field will require detailed understanding, use
>>cases and design.  I see this document as a strawman that is only
>>illustrative of the basic concepts.  Because of that, I do not believe it
>>is ready to be standardized.  A rush to move this from illustrative to
>>normative, without putting in the required study, rigor and testing, would
>  >be counter-productive.
>>Which brings me to a more general issue -- why is the EDXL TC taking on
>>this task first?  To me, it is akin to trying to swallow the whale in one
>>bite.  I would recommend a more narrowly focused effort to analyze the
>>communities exchange requirements and craft specific exchanges as a better
>>In my opinion, specific exchanges with narrow scopes that "digitize"
>>currently manual or time-consuming processes (pain points) has a much
>>higher probability of success.
>>   - Mike
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Rex Brooks
President, CEO
Starbourne Communications Design
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510-849-2309

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