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office-comment message

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Subject: Re: [office-comment] About this mailing list

On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 1:44 AM, Michael Brauer - Sun Germany - ham02 -
Hamburg <Michael.Brauer@sun.com> wrote:
> Dear all,
> we have seen a lot of discussions on this mailing list, that in general is a
> good thing. However, as Rob Weir pointed out already, the purpose of this
> mailing, as defined by the OASIS Technical Committee Process[1], is:
> "The purpose of the TC’s public comment facility is to receive comments from
> the public and is not for public discussion."

That quotation is missing important following detail:

"Comments from non-TC Members must be collected via the TC’s archived
public comment facility; . The TC must acknowledge the receipt of each
comment, track the comments received, and publish to its primary
e-mail list the disposition of each comment at the end of the review



> For this reason I too would like to ask that discussions are avoided at this
> mailing list and instead are carried on at the users mailing list, to which
> you can subscribe using
>> http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/

Intending no disrespect, your request seems to conflict with what is
on-topic on the users mailing list. As its name suggests, the topic of
the users mailing list is "Public discussion on *using* the
OPENDOCUMENT OASIS Standard." <http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/>.
The conversations that have been taking place on this list have to do
with *development* of the ODF standard, not its *use.*

I would not raise this issue but for the fact that OASIS procedures
quoted above call for posts to this list to be translated into TC
agenda items, whilst explicitly stating that "comments made through
any other means shall not be accepted." This language as I read it
excludes posts made to the users list from the procedure leading to
mandatory processing of comments by the TC and forbids acceptance of
comments made on user list.

There is also the issue of whether discussion of comments on the users
list would lead to claims at JTC 1 that issues were timely raised but
not acted upon by the ODF TC, with a countering argument that comments
made on the user list were raised in the wrong forum and therefore
were not presented to the TC, per formal OASIS procedures.

Put more simply, posts to this list require action by the TC whilst
posts to the users list do not.

Constructive criticisms of comments suggesting action by the TC are
themselves comments suggesting action by the TC. E.g., my exchange of
posts with Rob in regard to embedded scripts led to clarification of
both of our positions and identification of an important area of
agreement in regard to interoperability. It also resulted in a
commitment by Rob to raise a discretely identified issue for the TC's

Forcing discussion of comments into a forum that excuses constructive
criticism of the draft from being processed by the ODF TC as agenda
items is also objectionable because bifurcating the discussion of
comments from the comments themselves and bifurcating their archives
as well seems rather drastically sub-optimal in terms of both
communications and information management. The discussions become far
more complicated to track and the linkage between posts on this list
and posts on the other list is lost. The advantage of email threading
is forfeit.

I do not suggest that a legitimate need for moderation may not arise.
But the method chosen seems to call for people to forfeit their
procedural right to have their posts translated into TC agenda items
and I see no benefits gained by abusing the purpose of one mailing
list to bifurcate discussions that are on-topic on another list.

If the request to post "discussion" to the user list is not withdrawn,
I respectfully request more granular instructions for me to determine
whether a particular post should go to this list or the other. E.g.,
are posts stating that a discussion of a post may be found on the
users list proper? Are TC co-chairs exempt from the "no discussion"
request? TC members?

Does responding with a new subject line make constructive criticism of
a comment proper?  Does the answer to the last question differ if I
also change the text of the reply with an introductory sentence saying
something like, "I suggest that the TC refine the suggestion made by
Mr. X in the email titled Y in the following manner?"

Disclosure of the Chair's perceived benefit in bifurcated lists for
comments and discussion of them might be most useful as an aid for me
to determine which list I am expected to send a given post to.
"Discussion" is a term that in my opinion lacks necessary precision in

Best regards,

Paul E. Merrell, J.D.

Universal Interoperability Council

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