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Subject: Re: [members] Membership and Public Review of OASIS Artifact Standard Identification Scheme for Metadata


Here are my comments on the ASIS draft [1]:

line 264 - according an artifact type of "schema" may present problems when there are multiple
schema artifacts (e.g. a RelaxNG and XML Schema expression of the "schema"). Although, it may be
that "form" could be used as the qualifier. Perhaps the ASIS should make this unambiguous by providing
examples of a schema that has both an xsd and rng expression.

line 346 - what does this mean?:

        Selected metadata SHALL be included in the name of the artifact pursuant to the related separate documents.

First, what does "selected" mean? Does it include the entire list of metadata components cite in this section?
Some arbitrary selection thereof? Secondly, what does "pursuant to..." mean?

line 350 - what does "associated" mean? How is such an association effected? I am associated with the TAB
by virtue of being an alumnus. However, I am not IN the TAB.

general - why the seemingly arbitrary use of SHALL and MUST? They both carry the same semantic
according to RFC2119. It would be my recommendation that a single form be chosen throughout the docment.
Note also that RFC2119 makes it clear that the capitalization of the terms does not make a difference
with regards to the normative intent. "something must do something" means exactly the same as
"something MUST do something". I think that the document could use a scrubbing to ensure that every
use of "must" and "may" and "should" are examined to ascertain as to whether they are intended to
communicate some normative requirement or whether they are in fact just considered to be prose.
If the latter, then the phrasing needs to be changed to make it clear that it is non-normative.
If the document is going to be unambiguous, then it MUST follow the RFC2119 guidelines precisely.

line 352 - that's nice. How are members and TC chairs supposed to know when these templates have
been modified to conform to the requirements of the ASIS? IMO, the ASIS cannot be mandated until
and unless the templates have also been modified accordingly. Furthermore, I think that any mandatory
requirement needs to have a formally defined specification as to whether there is any provision for
grandfathering. e.g. are all subsequently published works, regardless of status, required to conform?
Only those new works produced subsequent to the mandate? That will need to be made unambiguous
in the document.

line 354 - again, what does "associated" mean?

line 370 - is it intended that only the "specification, DTD, schema, or fragment" atrifact types follow
this requirement, or, (as I suspect) is it intended to apply to all artifact types? What is a "fragment" type? (I imagine
that it is meant as an XML fragment, but this is not clear)

line 376 - this seems to be inconsistent with the statement above on line 288: "If not present, the value of this component defaults to “en” (English)."
May it be omitted? Seems to suggest pretty strongly here that it may not be. If so, what purpose does specifying the
default on line 288 serve?

line 394 - again, associated by what means? I find it difficult to understand how a requirement can be stated without
even suggesting the manner by which it is to be achieved.

lines 401 - I have never seen "ONLY" used in CAPS form like that before. Also, it might help if they
provided the secret decoder ring value of exactly what the "third-level domain" value is. One would
assume "docs.oasis-open.org" as indicated below. I would strongly recommend a reference to sections 8.1 and 8.2
be made or that "docs.oasis-open.org" be specified here.

lines 441-444: I think that this is inconsistent with line 402 which states that an artifact in "os"
status SHALL NOT have a revision. I think that it would be simpler to simply state that a revision is REQUIRED
unless the status is "os". I think that making this optional, despite the MUST is just opening up for problems.
I would suggest that it simply be a MUST excepting the case where the arifact has "os" status. If I publish
an artifact for which there are no revisions, and then revise it, do I go back and rename the artifact to reflect
that it was revision 01? Making this optional is silly.

        A value for Revision MUST be included if there is more than one non-identical artifact of the same referenced ProductVersion of a Product. Otherwise a revision MAY be included or omitted.         Revisions of a single ProductVersion must be unique. If ArtifactType is schema then a value for Revision MAY be omitted in a parallel name, similar to those defined in Section 7.4 (Latest        
        Version Subtree) below.

line 492 - states:

        The relevant required metadata for an artifact MUST be maintained at the default index page for the http scheme URI for each product and productVersion to facilitate search and retrieval.

What form must this take? A RDDL document? I guess I am a little confused as there seems to be no guidance as to how the metadata is to be captured in the
"index.html" page. What does this page look like? Does it then provide links to the various forms of the document that can be retrieved? Why is so little of the
"Required Metadata" that MUST be "associated" with the artifacts included in this "index.html" page's <meta/> tags? Why wouldn't the metadata also be
exposed visibly on this page?

I have advocated within the WS-RX TC that we use a RDDL document at the namespace URI for the WS-ReliableMessaging specification(s)
that links to the spec and to the schema (or WSDLs as the case may be).


Before I left the TAB, I had been advocating a similar course of action with regards to the then AIR guidelines. I helped Gil craft a microformat[3] for
OASIS metadata that was contained in a RDDL document. If you view the source of the proposed RDDL documents, you can see how that works. Of course, the <meta/> tags could
be added to capture the Required Metadata as well, so as to facilitate/optimize indexing by search engines, etc.

I would actually like to see OASIS incorporate such practice in the ASIS for all namespace URI defined by its TCs, and would also like
to see this practice extended to all OASIS "products" such that there were a product "page" that provided links to all of the relevant
artifacts in RDDL form, with a location to hold all of the "associated" metadata.

line 573: section 6.2 does not specify how to construct namespace URI. I believe that it should in fact be section 7,2 that is referenced.

line 620 - reads: "OASIS SHALL NOT guarantee any specific lifetime to URNs in those test spaces for the TCs." which flies in the
face of the whole concept of a URN. Quoting from RFC2141 [2]:
         "Uniform Resource Names (URNs) are intended to serve as persistent,
  location-independent, resource identifiers.
Thus, the specific lifetime of a URN is FOREVER. Period. Anything else is an abomination of the whole concept of a URN, regardless
of its purpose.

line 641-685 - The WS-RX TC ran headlong into a problem with the http://docs.oasis-open.org/[product]
convention because the WSRM TC objected. Seems that because the WSRM TC has a shortname
that is the same as the productName assigned by the OASIS Staff for the WS-ReliableMessaging
specification, that they thought that there might be confusion (sigh). Thus, we had to
assign namespaces that were of the form: http://docs.oasis-open.org/ws-rx/[product]/...

So, I think that given that there is a normative requirement in the ASIS that
directly conflicts with what we HAD to do per the OASIS staff that it might be
better to enforce a rule that required that everything be in the form:

Also, we chose to use a date for the "[productVersion]" rather than
what is prescribed in the ASIS because we did not want to have the
namespace bound unnecessarily to the version of a specification. You will note
the OASIS WSS 1.1 preserved the namespace from 1.0 for many of the
specified components so as to preserve backwards compatibility.

This is an important point, and IMO the WSS TC did exactly the right
thing. However, it would seem to me that a reading of the current draft of the
ASIS might be interpreted as making that a clear violation of the ASIS policy
guidelines (that will become mandatory).

[1] http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/download.php/16546/ArtifactStandardIdentificationSchemeForMetadata-1.0.1.pdf
[2] http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2141.html
[3] http://microformats.org/


Christopher Ferris
STSM, Emerging e-business Industry Architecture
email: chrisfer@us.ibm.com
blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/dw_blog.jspa?blog=440
phone: +1 508 377 9295

James Bryce Clark <jamie.clark@oasis-open.org> wrote on 02/06/2006 02:44:36 PM:

> OASIS Members:
> The OASIS Technical Advisory Board (TAB) has asked that the OASIS
> membership and the public review its
>      OASIS Artifact Standard Identification Scheme for Metadata
> and provide comments during the period ending 1 March 2006 (details below).
> This document, approved by the TAB, proposes rules for how OASIS artifacts
> (e.g. specifications, schemas, WSDL) are named, what metadata must be
> associated with each artifact, consistent filenames and persistent (and
> consistent) URIs for artifacts (incorporating some of the required
> metadata), and updates to the OASIS URN spaces.
> This work furthers goals for consistent naming, persistent URIs, and the
> efficiency of data and document management across OASIS. Many of the
> recommendations are already in effect, e.g. in the current document
> templates. Others are guidance for work in progress, e.g. persistent URIs
> for accessing OASIS artifacts.
> Please carefully consider the proposed requirements, as their
> implementation will facilitate pending improvements in OASIS document
> management, process automation, and expression of namespaces.
> While this document is written as a set of requirements, the use of this
> document is recommended and not mandated. After this second General
> Membership review in February 2006, we expect that the OASIS Technical
> Advisory Board will approve a future version as a contribution to ongoing
> OASIS policy discussions.
> Earlier versions of this document, under various names, have been
> circulated to the OASIS Chairs email list and (as the "Artifact
> Identification Requirements") went through a General Membership Review
> cycle in July 2005.
> The package for this General Membership Review includes
> (1) This cover letter
> (2) The document
> ArtifactStandardIdentificationSchemeForMetadata-v1.0.1.pdf:  at
> http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/download.
> php/16546/ArtifactStandardIdentificationSchemeForMetadata-1.0.1.pdf
> (3) A spreadsheet listing comments and responses from the July 2005
> review:  at:
> http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/download.
> php/16547/ArtifactStandardIdentificationSchemeForMetadata%20Public%
> 20Review%20Resolutions.pdf
> Discussion will take place, and comments will be taken from, the
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> Comments will be considered through those received on March 1, 2006,
> midnight US Eastern Standard Time.
> Thank you for your consideration of these important issues.
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