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Subject: Re: [legalcitem] GitHub etc.(long post...sorry)

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, monica.palmirani <monica.palmirani@unibo.it> wrote:
LegalDocML and LegalRuleML (but also the other OASIS TCs) are using the OASIS tools for cooperating and for contributing in the TCs.

From my knowledge it is fundamental to use those tools for achieving the correct standardisation process, for transparency approach, for managing the IPR issues properly and also for creating persistent URIs ofthe material that will be mentioned later in the standardization process. Otherwise we can have some problems in official steps.


Chet could help in these cases. Any time that I had some doubts about contributions, tools, IPR issues I asked to Chet.

In any case we are using (in LegalDocML and LegalRuleML) the following tools:

- Wiki - https://wiki.oasis-open.org/ (public)

- JIRA  - for managing the activities/task/ticket/bugs (not public only for the OASIS members)

- SVN repo - for including all the schema, documents, etc.

- KAVI - for the official documents approved by the TC. It is important to archive the official documents because we need links in KAVI for each official documents involved in the standardization process (minutes, working document, CSD). See this document for the naming convention of the files:

Each document archived in KAVI is public:

Each email in the mailing list and the attachment are public:

For the public accessibility to the resources/contributions see:

My 2 cents,

The problem (at least in the case of the courts SC) is one of manpower. The technical SC decided that controlled lists were preferable to dumb strings, for values with a finite scope. There are a lot of courts, and there are a lot of reporters, and there are many more intersections of the two. To build out the two lists and the relations between them is beyond the capacity of the committee membership, but there is a community that can help. Since both the community and OASIS have the same aim, I don't see any harm in activating the former, to produce material that can be vetted and adopted by the latter.

Certainly OASIS groups have adopted external work in the past; the only novelty here is perhaps that the external product was conceived after the group formed.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes - I'll try to talk to Chet sometime soon, to iron out any wrinkles.



Il 19/11/2014 23:09, Frank Bennett ha scritto:
On Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 6:40 AM, John Quentin Heywood
<heywood@wcl.american.edu> wrote:
Hi Folks,

Couple of things:

1. The GitHub repository was discussed in the main TC meeting this morning,
as was other off-site tools such as GoogleDocs. Ken pointed us to the OASIS
Technical Committee (TC) Process document at


particularly Section 2.8 on TC Visability, which says:

The official copies of all resources of the TC and its associated
Subcommittees, including web pages, documents, email lists and any other
records of discussions, must be located only on facilities designated by
OASIS. TCs and SCs may not conduct official business or technical
discussions, store documents, or host web pages on servers or systems not
designated by OASIS. All web pages, documents, ballot results and email
archives of all TCs and SCs shall be publicly visible.

Both GitHub and GoogleDocs would seem to be in conflict with this, although
as it was pointed out in the call, at least GitHub is an open standard,
which can't be said about GoogleDocs. Many folks on the call were less than
happy with the OASIS Wiki, which would seem to be the only official
collaboration tool available. It was suggested that getting the work done
was important, so perhaps we could use private tools such as GitHub as long
as we put the official documents on the SC's public document repository,
which would be here:


and conduct our technical discussions on this listserv. This seems
reasonable to me.

Now Frank has been doing some wonderful work on GitHub, merging the reporter
data from CourtListener and the CSL project with what we have been doing and
making it truly usable for us and other projects (like the Free Law
Project). He thinks we should open the repository up so that others can
collaborate. I agree, and I think this would dovetail nicely with the OASIS
rules. If the work being done on the GitHub repository is no longer
officially OASIS work, we don't have to worry about their rules. The GitHub
repository becomes a tool for the whole free law community, that we in the
OASIS SC can use as a resource for our work. We could rename it to something
like the "Court Citation Project" or even something less lame than that. How
do folks feel about this?

For some examples of what Frank has done, look at:





One question: Should I then remove the reference to OASIS from the
header of the online docs?


That seems stingy, by it would indeed reduce the potential for people
to take the work-in-progress as some sort of draft standard.

If I read correctly, then, the repo itself can be made public? That
would be great - there are already people out there ready to
contribute to the effort.

Some notes about infrastructure changes in the works chez CourtsSC ...

For the CourtsSC docs, the next step will be to generate them directly
from a filesystem data hierarchy of the content (which exists as of
yesterday), with links on each court and reporter to their discrete
source files in the GitHub filesystem. I think GitHub now
automatically performs a fork and pull request when people without
write permissions to an edit, so that will give us easy-access editing
by outside contributors, and an editorial workflow for maintaining
control over the end product.

For extension and reorganization of the source files through the
GitHub online UI, I'll add an explanation of how that works to a
README displayed on every source page. So that will be covered as

Finally, we'll need to work on validation and output. For that, we
should have a discussion about what the constraints should be (beyond
producing parseable source and valid XML). Then I can start mucking
around with code.

With validation in place, we'll be ready to tie the whole thing into TravisCI.


Once on-the-fly validation is working, we'll be ready for scalable

I guess a final item will be the output. The current rendered view is
handy for examining and working with the source structures, but
machines will want something else. We should be able to generate it
automatically, once we know what it is.


2. In response to the discussion in our last SC meeting, and never being
afraid to play the fool (or, if you ask my kids, BE the fool, but I
digress), I asked the assembled TC what exactly a use case was, and what are
we supposed to be producing. Everybody seemed happy that I had asked.
Someone (I'm not sure who) described it thusly: HTML5 is the standard, a web
page demonstrating all the different parts of HTML5 is the use case. John J.
reminded us all that the SCs should not get lost in the weeds of detail, as
he has seen other projects flounder because of it. We should be looking for
the common things in these citations and writing them up. I think we may be
close to ready for this in the US context very soon.

Well, time to go home and make my eldest his birthday dinner (he turned 17


John Quentin Heywood

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Associate professor of Legal Informatics
School of Law
Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
C.I.R.S.F.I.D. http://www.cirsfid.unibo.it/
Palazzo Dal Monte Gaudenzi - Via Galliera, 3
Tel +39 051 277217
Fax +39 051 260782
E-mail  monica.palmirani@unibo.it

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