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Subject: Re: [members] Request for feedback: Proposed procedure for handling public review comments

Eric, thanks very much for the in-depth suggestions. For some reason, the email didn't get to me and I just found it in the email archives. I'll get that fixed. Meanwhile, here is feedback on what you wrote: 

>> a) Why?  
By which I mean, what problems does the proposed process intend to solve? << 

The problem I want to solve is that today comments are not handled consistently. Frankly, some TCs do not comply with the rules of the TC Process at all. 
I don't blame TCs for this, not at all - there exists no documentation telling them what they are expected to do or how to go about it.
I can't / won't enforce a rule that exists only in theory; to do so would be unfair to TCs. It would be unfair to give them only the generalized proscriptions in the TC Process and then tell them they "did it wrong" when I don't *like* the way they noodled it out. So I am trying to work with the TCs to turn those generalized proscriptions into a set of reasonable procedures that satisfy the goals while not adding undue burden onto their members. Once TCs have clear directions and expectations, my experience is that they are happy to comply. 

>> why isn't the solution a database & UI to track/record/update? Perhaps automate it... 
As it reads, this seems like pushing more work at the TCs, much of which could be avoided. << 

I agree and I intend to look into more automated solutions this year. However, the budget at OASIS is limited so I can't build or buy a solution right away. Given that, I need to clarify what TCs need to provide to meet the requirements of the TC Process. 

>> The exclusion of comments that fall outside of official review periods seems spurious to me. All comments ought to be addressed. <<

I agree with you and I plan to raise this as a question with the Board Process Committee. At the moment however, the TC Process only discusses requirements for handling comments received during a public review. So while I am trying to encourage TCs to handle any and all comments consistently (and I believe that most do exactly that), I have to restrict my procedure to comments as addressed in the TC Process. 

>> I start to worry whenever I see a "process" where a checklist might do. << 

Excellent suggestion, thank you. I will draft a checklist version and send it to the mailing list. I agree that a 3 line checklist is much easier to use than a 5 page narrative document. 

>> Formalism is a great way to slow down a process, and stifle honest discussion. ... This proposed process seems to push strongly towards the latter [stifle discussion] outcome. <<

I am definitely trying to avoid that. I am trying to put the minimum of requirements in place, give TCs maximum flexibility in how they want to handle comments and encourage them to make the most of the ones they receive. If there are any ideas you have for changes that will make that more obvious, I'm happy to entertain them. The discussions so far have come up with additional suggestions that I think will help that. 

Again, thank you very much and sorry for the delay in getting a response back to you. 

Best regards, 

Chet Ensign
Director of Standards Development and TC Administration 
OASIS: Advancing open standards for the information society

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