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Subject: January 7 Draft minutes

eContracts conference call
Jan 7. 2004
Draft Minutes

In attendance:
Jim Keane
Charles Gillam
Dave Marvit
Jason Harrop
John McClure
Rolly Chambers
John Messing

The agenda includes: Approval of 2 sets of minutes (from Nov 12th and 
19th), then discussion of the requirements document, and XHTML2 status

[In Dan’s Absence, Dave takes on the role of acting chairman.]

Minutes approved

Next Agenda Item: Requirements document discussion

Rolly: Thanks to everyone who provided suggestions. The second draft 
has been up since just before Christmas. I have not received any 
comments at all. I hope everyone has had a chance to look it over.

The primary changes are:

I added a section on difficult problems to be addressed. I also, at the 
end of 4.4 added a paragraph that makes reference to coming up with an 
ontology for the semantic contract terms. I realized that we hadn’t 
said that the semantic contract terms would be *in* an ontology.

I also added refined phrasing and terms to clear things up.

John McClure sent a request to add a technical requirements section. 
Some of the requirements looked like they had been addressed, or were 
broadly addressed. Some of the others I couldn’t trace back to the 
scenarios with any clarity. I thought that was an important criterion.

Finally, I thought there would be an opportunity down the road to 
address these issues – things like using RDF for metadata and so forth.

So I didn’t use everything you sent, but I did use some of it. As 
always comments, suggestions are in order and will be most welcome.

John McClure: The scenarios were not supposed to be technical so I can 
understand how it was difficult to trace technical requirements to 
them. Even so, the requirements document... The bottom line is that we 
were to have a technical requirements section.

Rolly: I don’t know that there is a right or wrong. I did not have that 
same understanding.

Jason: I does make sense to have business requirements first, and then 
go on to technical requirements. The problem is that the technical 
requirements are often part of the solution.

John Messing: I think that there is a lot of wisdom in starting with 
business requirements and then moving on to technical requirements.

Dave: To what extent are they separable?

John McClure: To the extent that it is a requirements doc it should 
include... I’m willing to go with the consensus.

Rolly: The notion of a requirements document is ambiguous. I did 
proceed on the assumption that it is a business requirements document 
more than a technical requirements document. I don’t think you work is 
lost – we can come back to that.

Jason: Can I raise a discussion of 4.1.1 Conformance to a w3C 
recommendation? Can we be more specific?

John McClure: Would it make sense to put my technical requirements on 
the list?

Jason: I’d like to see a section that describes explicitly what is out 
of scope. One example might be ‘tracking changes’. We might agree that 
there should be a method of tracking changes, but it can be handled by 
surrounding software – and needn’t be included in the standard.

Rolly: I’m trying to see where I would pull that kind of information 

Jason: I put some of that kind of info in my scenarios.

[Some discussion about what would belong in a scenario, and what might 
belong in a section of ‘thing sexcluded’.]

John McClure: I’m afraid that it is a bit open ended.

Jason: One way of making it not open ended is to look at the things 
mentioned in the scenarios that we are NOT going to support…

Rolly: Jason, can you put something together..?

John Messing: That seems like it could be useful to people down the line

Rolly: Back to the 4.1.1. If we drop the W3C, would that do it?

[Note: 4.1.1 reads: “It must conform to applicable W3C XML-related 
recommendations” -DM]

John Messing: Can we flag this as something that we should revisit – 
either by dropping it or making it more clear? Would it be a fair way 
to proceed?

Jason: That sounds like a good idea to me.

John Messing: We could use this as a procedure? [flagging those items 
that are not clearly agreed upon, and then moving on to other issues]

Dave: Unanimity…!

John McClure: I am wondering about putting together an appendix of 
semantic data elements

Rolly: Do you mean element names, adjective names… that sort of thing?

Jason: This goes back to another question. Is there a core set of terms 
that it makes sense to itemize?

Rolly: Peter should be heard on this…

[We could have a default set of terms that can be replaced by a 
compendium of industry specific terms.]

[Discussion of having the capability of plugging in different sets of 
semantic terms.]

Rolly to draft this as a requirement for consideration.

John McClure proposes that we figure out the set of terms (not 
necessarily their names) for the minimal subset.

Jim Keane: That sounds like it could be reinventing some work done by 
the DOJ.

[Discussion about what the core set might include]

Add to the agenda for next time:
Can we have a core set, even if it can be superceded?

Dave: Anything else anyone feels we should discuss today?

Rolly: There has been some discussion about all of the LegalXML folks 
getting together in New Orleans some time in April.

John Messing: There has been discussion about having the various TCs 
collecting. I’ll post the message to the list tonight…

Next meeting on Jan 14.
Note that Rolly will *not* be able to attend the next meeting. As such 
we probably should not have discussion of the requirements document on 
the agenda.

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