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Subject: Aug. 3, 2004 Draft minutes


Below are the draft minutes if our last (Aug. 3) meeting. Please let me 
  know if there are any errors or omissions.


Dave Marvit
Fujitsu Labs of America

LegalXML eContracts TC
August 3, 2004 Meeting
Draft Minutes

In attendance:
Dan Greenwood
Rolly Chambers
Zoran Milosevic
Dave Marvit
Jason Harrop
Eddie Obrien
John McClure
Peter Meyer
Dr. Leff

Dan suggests that we discuss requirements first.

We have 2 items before us today, the structural markup specification 
and the requirements doc. I am indifferent as to which we handle first. 
Any opinions?

Zoran: I'd suggest the requirements doc.
Dan: Great, Rolly..?

Rolly: Earlier we began working through an initial draft and were 
discussing whether we needed more work on the initial draft. The 
consensus was that it would help. Peter offered to help out. We thought 
it would help to review the scenarios and draw out through revision the 
things to include in a better set of requirements. Then Peter and I 
both got tied up with other tasks.

 From my perspective I don't think that I could address these issues on 
my own. Zoran has offered to pitch in. In terms of the state of the 
requirements doc, it needs more work. The issue I want consensus on is 
how to best proceed with this "more work".

Zoran: I was hoping to work on this, but there has been a lot of 
posting on the list about this and it has slowed me down. I am hoping 
to catch up...

Jason: The thing that is slowing us down is that there are things that 
need to be discussed. It won't be easy for anyone to put another draft 
together and get consensus. Whatever they put together there will be 
controversial issues. We need to resolve these issues through 

Peter: I agree with Jason. We need to work out the very basis of what 
we are trying to do. We need to take a very hard nosed look at what we 
are trying to achieve from a commercial view for a standard. That may 
be best done, as Jason suggested, by actually going through the use 

Dave: How about having another face to face in Monterey?

Dan: [initiates a discussion of logistics]

Dr. Leff: 19th and 20th are the possibilities.

Z; We need to discuss things first.

Peter: I think it would be important to discuss the issues and the 
process before hand [before the event]. I'm not sure if I can make it.

Dan: I think everyone agrees that you can get a lot more done when in 
person, and then can coast for a while after that. I would be 
comfortable getting some subsidies from the steering committee to 
offset some of the costs...

Dan: Jason, were you planning to come to the conference [being held in 
Monterey at that time]?

Jason: I wasn't planning on it, but would certainly consider it.

Dan: [Takes a census of who might be able to go...]

Wow, that's a lot of people. What could we do to make it more efficient 
while we are there?

Peter: I think we could identify the kinds of transactions and the 
kinds of analysis of the kinds of transactions.

Dan: So, one of the things we can do leading up to the face 2 face 
would be to come up with a method that we would apply at the face to 
face. The methodology. And then, when we get there, actually do it.

Dave: I'd like to see the differences of opinions clearly stated. I am 
finding it hard to extract them and make evaluations.

Zoran Yes.

Dan: So, it would be fruitful to crisply define the existing 
differences of opinion.

[some discussion about clarifying differences of opinion that exist]

Dr. Leff: It seems to be a difference of priorities. If the resources 
were less limited then we could do it all. But that's not practical

Dan: John, Dave posed the question to you as well. Do you think it 
would be fruitful to crisp up the differences.

John: It would be useful but it might be a lengthy process. [...] My 
hope has been that the notion of a minority report may be an effective 
process on the requirements side as well.

Dan: Any other thought on what could be done fruitfully before a face 
to face?

Zoran: Peter has put together a bunch of use cases. That would be 
helpful to work with. Me and Rolly ... we can crystalize ideas and be 
ready to discuss requirements at the face to face. We need to provide 
further input to Rolly.

Jason: It would be nice if the next face to face could start with the 
things that were achieved at the last face to face instead of starting 
all over again.

Dan: Do you mean...

Peter: We shouldn't be pulling out the requirements. We should be going 
back to the beginning and ...

Jason: I was thinking that the use cases that were worked on while we 
were in Sydney... that material should be put together so that it can 
be discussed at the face to face. But, as Peter said, an overall 
framework should be put in place before the meetings.

Dan: That would be more of an abstraction and a refinement than the 
list of use cases.

Zoran: I was not at the Sydney meeting. To what extent did these find 
their way into the requirements doc?

Peter: It didn't. They were posted, and they were also sent to Rolly.

Zoran: But how did they get into the requirements doc?

Peter: The requirements doc didn't include them.

Rolly: The draft that is out there ... I did try to include it. It is 
in the narrative section only. I don't want Peter to think that it was 
not useful and appreciated.

Dan: It requires a lot of judgment to pull out the bullets. It is the 
kind of process that shold be done collectively. The process of 
synthesizing them is inherently a group process. I think that is what 
you, Peter, are saying.

Peter: A face to face is the place to do it, as long as we aren't 
spending our time there trying to determine what we should be doing 

Maybe I should put together a high level description --  sort of a 
classic problem analysis. Then others can say that these are the wrong 
problems and so on. Would that be a good approach?

Zoran: Yes. I think that Jason sent something out before we even did 
the scenarios.

Jason: It was one of the first scenarios -- a scenario document

Peter: If we can agree on a model, then we can agree on a fairly 
simplified but representative use cases.

Dave: What should we aim to get done before the face to face as 
compared to during?

Peter: I think we should have the model and the use cases, but not much 
more before the meeting. At  the meeting we could work on the 
priorities. Then we could work through each one and address the 
questions that are going to be asked. That will throw up a number of 
controversial issues.

Dan: So it is model, template for each use case, then we can collapse 
or toss use cases, and then prioritize them at the face to face.

Is that agreeable to all?

Dr. Leff: Many of us have different objectives and those are 
represented by the different use cases. Some may have more or less 
urgency. Where there is someone ready to start coding that may be 
considered an indication of urgency. Then you get into the argument of 
urgency versus importance.

Peter: That is correct, but we will need to make those judgments down 
the track. The process will help us determine the common needs.

Dan: Everyone seems to agree that we shold do this. I'd like to propose:

1. We have a face to face meeting around the time of the COALA meeting 
[in Monterey] and try to get as many key players to come as we can, 
including subsidies for those who need it.

We should aim to get closure on the requirements process.

Leading up to the meeting we work to come up to a template to enable 
apples to apples comparisons of the use cases.

2. We ask the proponents of each use case to do a draft filling in the 
template. Then, at the meeting, we can collapse them where it makes 
sense, prioritize them as it makes sense. Then we can extract 
requirements where appropriate.

Dr. Leff: Should we put liaising opportunities and resources on the 

Dave: Can that be done by phone?

Dan: Amend this to: Include the above points on the agenda and add 
other items as appropriate and as time allows.

Dan: if no-one objects, then I will make it an actual motion.

Peter: I'll second

John: What I am hearing is that the authors of scenarios will be given 
a new template to put their use case into.

Dan: I would imagine something of not more than a page.

Peter: Yes. The first issue is to settle on a template.

Dan: But you agree with what John said?

Peer: Yes

Dan: And John, what you said is my understanding as well.

John: And each author could submit more than one use case?

Dan(and others):  That's fine.

Dr. Leff: Although the scenarios seem to cover a most relevant areas 
for our standard, there is one scenario that is missing which is the 
use of our standard for accounting systems.

Dan: Zoran, is it safe to say that we can get there from your 
enterprise scenario... Did you submit one?

Zoran: We did one with rolly on Dispute resolution

Dan: Right, it was the contract management scenario? Jason?

Jason: Yes, we can ...

Dan: Let's assume that it could be cobbled together from the use cases 
we already have. Zoran, your system has hooks...

Zoran: Not at the level that Dr. Leff is discussing.

Dan: dr, Leff, could I nominate you for this?

Dr. Leff: I will chat with some accounting professors here. But that's 
about all that I can do. This is not my area of expertise.

Jason: We can't be all things to all people. If we don't have the 
expertise in a given area then we may need to just let it go.

John: I think the issue is who is being tasked to draft what use cases.

Dan: Let's agree to work out who does what use cases on the list. Then 
we can do a gap analysis.

Peter, would you do us the honor of writing up the questions that will 
form the basis of our template?

Peter, no problem.

Dan: Dave, Please add to the motion that Peter will get it out for 
comments by Friday.

Dave: OK.

Dan calls for a vote.  [unanimous agreement on the motion]

Dan: We are near the end of the hour., and we haven't addressed the 
issues brought to us by the structural committee. Do you think that the 
process we are discussing will work through those.

Peer: If other TC members feel they are in a position to put those 
issues to bed. That would be one way of approaching it. If people don't 
feel comfortable with that, then we can put those issues (structural) 
on hold, and move forward on the requirements.

Zoran: A lot of the discussion depends on what is in XHTML2 and RDF. 
I'd rather see more emphasis on what we are trying to solve rather than 
how can we use this standard or that standard. We don't know how to 
deal with these issues.

John: I am having trouble hearing Zoran:

Dan: Zoran was saying that the level of technical detail is so nuanced 
that it is difficult and time consuming to understand, and that it 
would help us a lot to understand what we are trying to achieve first.

Zoran: Sure, but there is a danger in doing that and slowing down the 
process. I'd like to find another solution that would not slow us down.

Jason: I'd like to see a conversation about the high level structure. 
Peter and I put work into our model and so has John. People have put 
effort into understanding that email traffic. I'd hate to put it aside 
and run the risk of forgetting it. I'd like to suggest that we have a 
discussion about it. It should help us understand the issues before us.

Dave suggested that there is a process starting from the differences 
and looking backwards, that might be useful.

Zoran: I agree.

Dr. Leff: there is an issue about how these standards interact. But 
there is another issue. I am having trouble getting my mind around what 
software people want to write and how does that effect things. I could 
author in vi and that would short circuit some of these issues. We 
can't describe the data until we understand what software is being 
written to manipulate the data.

Dan: That might be a column for Peter's template -- just a place where 
we can surface some of that.

But it sounds like there is an appetite to discuss the high level 
containers and not wait for the face to face. Now that we have a formal 
decision about how to proceed with he requirements doc, I'd propose 
that we have a discussion 1 or 2 weeks from today. Does anyone disagree 
with 1 week from today?

John: I can't make it monday or tuesday of next week.

Dan: Would Wed, Aug 11th at 6 pm EST be OK?

[Seems to be OK]

Dan: Any objection to adjourning?

John: There was an item on the agenda to discuss an RDF format?

Dan: Can we postpone that until next week?

John: No problem.

Dan Anything else?

Zoran: Any logistics for the face to face meeting?

Dan: Let's aim for 2 days. Before or after?

[Scheduling discussion]

Dan proposes that we have formal meetings on the 19th and 20th and 
perhaps have an informal meeting on  the 18th. We will deal with hotels 
and stuff offline...

Zoran: I can help you (Dan) liaise with the eDoc organizers.

Dan: We have done a lot. I'd propose we adjourn now.

[Agreed. Meeting adjourned.]

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