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Subject: RE: [oasis-member-discuss] Rewarding effort...

No system is perfect of course!
We do need to strike a balance between someone who is a major contributor - attends 10 meetings straight - and then has two back to back trips - so misses 3 meetings out of 4....
Perhaps someway of accruing credit points (which of course is still open to abuse) - based on actual contributions.  But this stuff is so tough.  For example - I actually value someone who takes time to read closely a spec' draft, load the XML samples and check them and then report back that everything is fine.  But if you look at the document they actually added nothing to it!
Somewhere, someone is keeping score it seems... ; -)
The real value is from the team.  A well run team produces a quality product - and the customers should be able to discern that in the end product - how good the XML itself is - the width of tool support emerging - open source availability - and the follow-on occurring.
There clearly is way more to turning out a successful specification and solutions based on that than just fixing the committee approval process and getting Gartner to approve your marketing materials.
Actually I'd argue those who stack committees in this way shoot themselves in the foot - because slick marketing and rubber stamping cannot hide the fact that a narrow piece of work based heavily on some vendors pet solution set - rather than a broad-based concensus solution with wide buy-in is occurring.
I do see that the OASIS comment period is a vital time where issues can be raised by the membership at large that are tough for a narrowly focused effort to slough off?
So - are there enough checks and balances out there already?  Are some of the people fooled all of the time to merit us worrying about this?
I'd almost prefer to actively encourage this behaviour because it is largely self-defeating in the end!!! 
Please do stack your committees and run a shallow process with minimal broad contributions.  Just globally search and replace in the specification on /LARGE-CORP/ change to /OASIS-OPEN/ and hit save, and change the URLs in the XML samples to be http://oasis-open.org  and then worry that all the help and tutorial links served up by Google point to www.large-corp.com/support ... !
I'm not sure anyone is really fooled by that for very long.
Were you worried about anything else - or is it just raining hard there again all week?
Cheers, DW

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [oasis-member-discuss] Rewarding effort...
From: "Peter F Brown" <peter@justbrown.net>
Date: Wed, October 25, 2006 1:49 pm
To: <oasis-member-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org>

I must admit, I always thought there was a principle of one organisation, one vote so it's a bit of a shock to learn otherwise.

I write as an individual member who has been active in the complete cycle of developing an OASIS standard. I already accept - albeit grudgingly - that the big corporate sponsor members get a bigger say (more publicity and profile in press releases and announcements of important TC milestones) than ordinary company members; and that ordinary companies and organisations get a bigger say (voting for the Board, at AGMs, etc) than us individual members.

The scenario in which companies enrol to a TC en masse just a couple of meetings before a key milestone (such as adopting a spec) really sucks. I have seen names of individuals and companies on the list of "participants" for a spec whom I have never heard of or seen anywhere during the process. A typical TCs work will be carried by a dedicated group of individuals (with the support of their companies or through individual doggedness). It is already irksome that sponsor members can trumpet their "participation" in developing a standard or spec. (and have that reinforced by OASIS press releases etc) just by keeping a voting member status on a TC but without having to do a stroke of work, while often individual members (funding their own participation and costs - travel and conf call fees, usually to a US number) get no profile or recognition, except their name on the spec.

In the work in which I've been involved, I have not noticed an excessive "packing" of TCs by large numbers of people from some organisation members, so maybe I've been lucky but I would say if that had happened on any TC of which I was an active member, I would have become very quickly annoyed if all they do is show up for the roll-call and then disappear without a trace. If people want to join a TC to work, they should be welcome.

I would therefore prefer:
- no change to the number of people who can join as voting members, BUT a change to the eligibility criteria for maintaining voting level membership.
This could include (some combination of):
- a higher participation threshold: two consecutive meetings is not enough, particularly towards the end of the lifecycle of a particular piece of work; maybe four consecutive meetings and/or 90 days, once a TC has published a first draft of a proposed spec?;
- give more credit to contributors: if a TC member has contributed some piece of work, or is a co-chair, secretary or editor of a proposed spec, the threshold should be lower;
- requiring "substantive contribution" at a meeting to be considered as present for the purposes of voting eligibility: this is certainly controversial and could be subjective, but I think an approach to solving this made in good faith would lead to some solution, particularly for conf call meetings. At present, just be there for the roll-call every meeting and then hang-up and you're credited with being a voting member and as being a contributor to any spec or standard developed. Easy...but very unfair on those who do the work;
- more credit should be given to people who get off their behinds and attend F2F TC meetings!;

I'd be interested in comments about changing the eligibility criteria

Best regards,


Peter F Brown
Chair, CEN eGovernment Focus Group
Founder, Pensive.eu
Co-Editor, OASIS SOA Reference Model
Lecturer at XML Summer School

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