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Subject: RE: [emergency] HAVE comments - explicitly identifying the normative parts in the data dictionary

Hi Lee,
I don't want to look as though I am coming from another planet.  I understand your concerns and appreciate your comments.  I am also totally open to considering alternative approaches.
The only question I have is, don't you think that an OASIS standard should be written in accordance with the OASIS rules, including its requirements on normative language and conformance language?
Mary McRae's email indicated that the XML schema provided as a separate schema file must be normative, and that any part of it included in the main document must be regarded and marked as informative.  My interpretation is that this should also apply, as much as possible, to any equivalent provisions in whatever language they are expressed--XML Schema, plain English, or dictionary entries.
I may be wrong, and would like to hear OASIS's opinion on this.  I do believe that it is extremely important for a standard to avoid all the risks inherent in redundant normative statements or insufficient normative statements.  If there is an issue of clarity in a standard (e.g., a technical provision that may be difficult to understand), that issue can be easily addressed (and should be addressed) by providing good descriptive text, summaries, synopses, figures, or other such informative material, accompanied by explicit references to the authoritative location in the same document (or in another document, which may be a schema document) containing the corresponding normative statement.
That said, I am not asking for any action that may cause a delay in the publication of EDXL-HAVE or any of our standards, as I understand that there are important user communities waiting for them.  I will be happy with any resolution of my comments the TC will want to adopt.  Still, I am very interested in making sure that we eventually produce very good standards, free of redundance, ambiguity, and insufficient specification.

From: Lee Tincher [mailto:ltincher@evotecinc.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 22:00
To: 'Dwarkanath, Sukumar'; emergency@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [emergency] HAVE comments - explicitly identifying the normative parts in the data dictionary

Well – I’ve been debating this response for hours….looks like we should go with the short-term solution as described – but I feel it is necessary to point out that if we were to begin using a standardized data dictionary in the future this would not be a problem.  NIEM is based on the Dublin-Core metadata descriptions (which specify normative definitions) and it has a well defined set of Naming and Design Rules (NDR).   Why do we need to continually re-invent the wheel?  The definitions described below do not meet accepted metadata definitions (again Dublin-Core) and we are running the risk of looking disjointed between our own EDXL standards.  Lets adopt a over-arching data dictionary for all of our future efforts and put the “normative/non-normative” arguments to rest.




'We the unwilling, led by the unknowing have been doing the difficult with little for so long that we are now ready to tackle the impossible with nothing.' -- Local Fire communications reserve volunteer motto

From: Dwarkanath, Sukumar [mailto:Sukumar_Dwarkanath@sra.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 12:43 PM
To: emergency@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [emergency] HAVE comments - explicitly identifying the normative parts in the data dictionary




We reviewed all of Alessandro’s comments (it was a grueling 3.5 hr session), and many comments could be attributed to an underlying theme - lack of information in the data dictionary that explicitly identified the normative parts. As a resolution, many of the comments can be addressed by the following items:

-         Separating the comments row into two rows: Constraints (which will include normative language) and Comments (non-normative), and

-         Including a few sentences at the beginning of the data dictionary that identifies that the data dictionary is non-normative, except for the following: ‘Element’, ‘Usage’ and the new ‘Constraints’ row. The schema would be identified as normative, which I think was an implicit understanding.  


So, my suggestion is to include the above given that:

-         it is directly relevant to compliance

-         it would not take too much effort to create the above pieces since, following the new compliance requirements from OASIS, I had earlier identified the normative pieces in the HAVE specification. If we decide on Tuesday, I can have an updated version by the end of the week.

-         it addresses most comments


I wanted to run it by the TC to get view and thoughts from others


Most of the other comments are editorial and can be incorporated quite easily. It definitely provides clarity. I feel a few of them should be deferred to the next release. I will post the document with the suggested disposition soon.









Sukumar Dwarkanath


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