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Subject: Re: [oasis-member-discuss] Re: [members] Membership and Public Reviewof OASIS Artifact Standard Identification Scheme for Metadata

Chris -

Thanks for the comments; I'm responding inline. Since this is the first set of review comments I've addressed in this forum, I've been a bit wordy.

bill cox

Christopher B Ferris wrote:


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?
Earlier versions of the guidelines started from a list of "minimal required metadata" to ease the transition to a real document management system (i.e., non-Kavi) for OASIS. The historical discussions, visible as the document evolved, were about how much metadata should be in the artifact name. So the (inelegantly written) statement is really a metastatement about how much and which of the minimal required metadata should be present. I think this should be deleted, as it's really motivation.

Also the "separate documents" aren't; editorial error.
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.
The expression is covered elsewhere; see for example lines 501-503 (XHTML, etc), 509-511 (significant comments), 517-518 (already done in document templates), and 525-526. In most of these the association is "included in the cover page or meta tags."
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.
Good advice; thanks.
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.
The templates were modified some time ago; if you're using the 4/15/05 IPR statement template you're providing pretty much the full set of metadata.
line 354 - again, what does "associated" mean?
As above - different artifacts have the information in different ways, hence "associated"
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)
The metadata for stage should be associated with all artifacts; "XML fragments" should be clarified.
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?
This is confusing; thanks for point it out. "en" is optional on filenames, but not in metadata.
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.
Your decoder ring seems to be working pretty well :-) The current docs.oasis-open.org is the answer, but has the current disadvantage (pointed out by others) that "persistent URIs" refer to that domain and don't fit the ASIS.
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.
You're right.

        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.
Take a look at the spreadsheet of comments and resolutions from the previous review. There was a lot of complaint about RDDL, based on standardization status (not much) and preference to have an index.html or one of the other default HTML pages. My thought is that a web browser-presentable document is important, and that OASIS should provide a template.  Again, the first reviewers rejected RDDL pretty consistently.
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?
For each artifact?
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.
What do others think? As I said, there was a lot of pushback on RDDL.
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.
"persistent" doesn't mean "eternal." The resolvability of namespace URIs in general seems to create much heat (and a little light); the purpose of these "temp URNs" is to reserve URN space for those groups that consistently use URNs. If namespace URIs aren't resolvable either, that creates a problem for having something browsable at the namespace URI...
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]/...
This is one of the reasons for the TC Adminstrator's involvement in naming - dispute resolution.  My understanding (when I first suggested "name of the TC + Product Name") was that "Product Name" uniquely determines the TC/responsible group and also the IPR container. I'll add my sighs to yours "pursuant" to the next paragraph:
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.
I like the date approach (viz. W3C behavior), but "simple" version numbers have a strong structuring effect. This is an issue that requires further discussion.
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
> oasis-member-discuss list; to send to that list and to receive real-time
> emails, please apply to join the list(login as a member, select All Groups,
> scroll down to OASIS Member Discuss, and click the "Join Group" link. There
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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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