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



Up front I want to highlight the quality and thoughtfulness of the comments provided by Alessandro.  The focus now is upon the process, approach and timing to address this valid input given the process this standard has already been though and consideration of moving targets.  Mary’s clarification is an important one and we need to focus on the goal.  I believe that the approach being proposed is backwards.  My opinion is that both the  schema and data dictionary should be normative and be consistent.  Rather than skirting the actual issues by messing with definitions of  what’s normative and not normative in the dictionary, we should decide what changes can be incorporated now with minimal effort, and with no risk of an additional public review.  Substantive changes should not be addressed now, but in a future release 1.1 in conjunction with the NIEM data dictionary/RIM proposal Lee referred to (see below).  In this context, I need to understand which of the 70 comments specifically may be addressed now vs. a later release.


So, my input for the immediate issue is this:


  1. I am not in favor of incorporating changes at this time that would take much more than a week of editing and review.  My opinion is that the geo issues could take us well beyond.
  2. I am not in favor of incorporating changes that would put the HAVE standard in any risk of yet another public review beyond the 60-day it is now entering.
  3. I believe the entire data dictionary should be normative (this is supported by and consistent with Dublin Core).  However, if compromise is needed perhaps “Comments” and “Requirements Supported” could be non-normative, with the rest (element, type, usage, definition) normative.
  4. Now, moving forward I agree with Lee’s input regarding NIEM.  A concept / proposal was presented during the San Diego face to face meetings.  Understanding more needs to be worked out, the TC gave a head-nod in principle which opened the door to pursue further program alignment work/agreements between the DM program, NIEM and NIMS.  Those agreements are being finalized and DM has just this week formally asked that the OASIS EM-TC now engage in defining a plan and process. 
    1. I agree that Alessandro note does support looking at NIEM as a common data dictionary / RIM concept, consumed by EDXL with a closed loop process to maintain the that dictionary (the NIEM EM domain). 


Just my 2-cents.






From: Mary McRae [mailto:mary.mcrae@oasis-open.org]
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 8:56 AM
To: 'Alessandro Triglia'; 'Lee Tincher'
Cc: 'Dwarkanath, Sukumar'; emergency@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [emergency] HAVE comments - explicitly identifying the normative parts in the data dictionary


I’m afraid that you’ve read much more into my note than was intended.


Here the language from the TC Process:

All schema and XML instances, whether by inclusion or by reference, including fragments of such, must be well formed. All expressions must be valid. Each schema and XML instance that is part of the specification must be delivered in its own separate plain text file.


The intent is that oftentimes errors occur when cutting/pasting schemas into a document – characters may be transposed to other symbols, bits lost, etc. It’s also extremely difficult for an end user to set up their environment if they have to cut/paste the schema out of a word processing document or worse, a PDF. So the thing that is actually parsable  is the normative version, if there is one. Note that the DITA TC produces its specification in both DTD and XSD formats – the DTD version is explicitly declared as normative. The TC can always decide that a schema isn’t normative, but they can’t decide that the version of the schema printed in the document is normative and the separate text file is informational only.








From: Alessandro Triglia [mailto:sandro@oss.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 10:47 PM
To: 'Lee Tincher'
Cc: 'Dwarkanath, Sukumar'; emergency@lists.oasis-open.org
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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