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Subject: Fear and Trembling and Contracts and Joy

I was both happy and wary after today’s meeting on contracts. An agreement to have OASIS host a set of standard contract libraries was a wonderful thing. The suggestion that we might get them from a variety of new sources was interesting. The prospect of voting on standard contracts for the next 5 years was daunting, to say the least.


I just got off the phone with Chet Ensign, the head of managing the TC process for OASIS, and he suggested a path that reduced my wariness. If it meets the needs of the TC, we can proceed. First, some background. Last spring/summer, the process of creating committee notes was much streamlined. A committee note can be finished by means of a simple majority vote of the committee. Public review and multi-stage processes are no longer required. (This means that the Committee Note on backwards compatibility proposed by Bill to deal with 1.0 issues is simpler, too.)


Chet suggested a way to handle machine readable artifacts using the committee notes process. We write a note “Using Standard Contracts with OBIX”. The committee note discusses standard contracts for OBIX (“Standard Contracts are like Mom and Apple Pie. You like them. Mom likes watching you consume them!” It then has a section on each set of standard contracts submitted, that references a particular artifact. All contract artifacts are kept in a particular directory under the OBIX. For example, here is the permanent repository for Energy Interop. OBIX does not yet use this format because 1.0 was from before the current process was developed.


So, for sake of discussion, say we have a contracts library. We vote, simple majority, to approve the Committee Note and the artifact gets added to the Contract Library. Sometime later, we get another submission. We talk about it, maybe tweak it, expand the committee note, and vote for a rev 2 of the Committee Note.


The contract library, then, is full of contracts. Perhaps we decide they are implemented as XSDs within the OBIX Namespace. Perhaps we annotate them with comments at the top of the artifact. Lets assume that’s what we do, and move on.


STDLIB.OBIX would them morph into obix-stdlib-201312.xsd. A new European library of Energy Contracts would morph into obix-euroenergy-201403.xsd. We can come up with some sort of artifact naming scheme that supports versioning and keep all artifacts in the contract library indefinitely. We can imagine a library bacnet-201406.xsd just as easily. Silos could arrive as medequip-201409.xsd


So that’s enough to start the conversation.






"Energy and persistence conquer all things." -- Benjamin Franklin

Toby Considine
TC9, Inc

OASIS TC Chair: oBIX & WS-Calendar

OASIS TC Editor: EMIX, Energy Interoperation

SGIP Smart Grid Architecture Committee


Email: Toby.Considine@gmail.com
Phone: (919)619-2104

blog: http://www.NewDaedalus.com


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