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Subject: RE: [legalxml-econtracts] Clause Model Submissions

Inline, please

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Peter Meyer <pmeyer@elkera.com.au>
Reply-To: pmeyer@elkera.com.au
Date:  Fri, 11 Jul 2003 13:03:07 +1000

>Hi John,
>> Hi Peter,
>> It's difficult to postpone facing this issue (of exchanging
>> clause numbers) when
>> both your proposed DTDs specifically accommodate such exchange.
>This reflects our perspectives at this time so it is reflected in the
>markup. For that reason, it is fair to put the issue on the table as not
>being closed off by the examples we have provided. However, it would be a
>pity if the issue distracts us from the real issue at hand; the underlying
>hierarchical structure. Whether we end up including or not including numbers
>can be dealt with later. As I mentioned, I think its a difficult issue and
>one we will solve only when we look at the needs of users who expect to
>exchange XML documents.
>> Personally, I
>> fully support excluding these numbers from Clause Model
>> solutions, deferring
>> their generation to the time that the "final" presentation form
>> of a contract is
>> created -- I believe that this stance CLARIFIES the exchange model we are
>> promoting, that is, it is a clear statement that we are NOT exchanging
>> presentation information, but rather are focused on the exchange
>> of information
>> used to generated the presentation artifact.
>> I'll answer your other stated concerns in this way. (a) There's not much
>> difference between generated clause numbers and generated page numbers --
>> support zero or all to be consistent (b) actually, it's easier
>> for software not
>> to worry about exchanging and maintaining generated presentation
>> information
>> during the drafting phase (c) Cross-references are best done
>> during drafting by
>> way of URI references, not by text names; within the presentation
>> documents,
>> references of course would contain *both* uri's and text, that is, the
>> information necessary to support the HTML <a> element.
>One point only at this stage. John, there is absolutely no point in
>discussing URIs, HTML tags or any other specific implementation at this
>point. We have to start with user needs and work down from there.
>I strongly disagree with your contention that clause numbers are
>presentation and similar to page numbers. I do not regard them as
>presentation at all, even though they change during the drafting process
>(just as the text is changed). The fact that they are generated as the draft
>changes is a convenience. 

As someone who does drafting, I agree with Peter on clause numbers. It is something that is useful for humans to keep track of and what is being referenced if talking about it with another human.

My principal reservation is whether the user is being too narrowly considered in this context. Suppose two (or more) computerized agents are concluding the contract. Do they need clause numbers as I would?

>They are there as a citation mechanism and allow
>parties to unambiguously refer to specific provisions of the text and to
>support cross references within the text, regardless of publishing medium.
>They will become fixed for all time when the contract is signed. As such, I
>argue that they are an indivisible part of the text of the contract (or
>draft). This is not the case with page numbers.
>Two parties negotiating a draft contract need to be able to refer reliably
>to the provisions of each draft. They would only use page numbers for this
>if they both happened to have the same print outputs in front of them. They
>would not expect them on a web page display (often that is why people use
>PDF). People understand the ephemeral nature of page numbers and expect they
>may vary on any two printouts of even the same draft from different
>printers. However, they expect numbers of provisions to be much more robust
>so that any document user should be able to print or view the document on
>line and see exactly the same provision (clause) numbers for a given draft.
>Only in the most superficial way are page numbers and clause numbers the
>same from a user perspective. They are similar only in the sense that they
>can be generated by computer software. This has nothing to do with their
>function and relationship to the text.
>The first issue will be to determine the clause numbering functionality
>people want from XML documents. Once we have worked this out we can figure
>out how to achieve it.
>You may leave a Technical Committee at any time by visiting http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/legalxml-econtracts/members/leave_workgroup.php

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