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Subject: Questions and Answers - Asterisks, Attendance, and Issues Lists

First, the asterisk. This is the result of something that seemed like a
simple solution and turned into a nightmare. Way back in 2005 OASIS
instituted a new Membership Agreement along with a new IPR Policy. As each
member renewed, they had to execute the new Membership Agreement. Coupled
with that activity, as a TC reached a point where 50% of their membership
had signed the new Membership Agreement, they could start to transition to
one of the new IPR Modes. So, in order to identify which companies had
signed the new agreement, an asterisk was placed next to the company name as
each organization renewed. Of course individual members also had to execute
the new membership agreement and therefore gained an asterisk. Now
fast-forward to the summer of 2007. Each TC had to transition to the new IPR
modes by 15 April 2007. At that point everyone had executed the new
membership agreement. Asterisks weren't assigned to new members since they
weren't needed for tracking purposes. As members renewed, we started to
remove the asterisks. But then we noticed another problem - all of a sudden
individuals were showing up twice in the attendance records -- the system
apparently thought that BEA* was different from BEA, or Smith* was different
from Smith*. How to solve the problem? Well, if we could do a global search
and replace we could get rid of all of them at once. While the attendance
might look odd for a couple of meetings, it would soon straighten itself
out. As we dug further into the mysteries of Kavi, it was clear that there
was no way we could ensure that we wouldn't be causing greater harm than
good. So the asterisks remain. Their meaning? Absolutely nothing.

Second, recording attendance. I'm actually surprised that the TC doesn't do
this (no offense intended to the Chairs/Secretaries). I thought all of them
did. I highly recommend it. A simple template for meeting minutes could list
all members and then a notation indicating who did/didn't attend beside it
(like an asterisk ;-). Some TC minutes also record who gained/lost voting
rights at the end of the meeting. This also allows the members to make sure
their attendance (or lack thereof) was properly recorded.

I'm not sure what the third question is - comment tracking? Oh yes. Issues
list. Our IT staff consists of two individuals - a systems administrator and
a webmaster. Both of these individuals are constantly exceeding our
expectations, but they're still just two individuals. We do have options for
external hosting as long as the OASIS requirements are met (and each request
must be approved by the TC Administrator). Several TCs are using a JIRA
system that is hosted elsewhere and I was hoping that they would allow us to
use their SAAS version for free but they differentiate between "open source"
and "open standards." We don't have the infrastructure to install, support
and maintain an issues tracking system ourselves right now; however, were
someone willing and able to host this I'd be happy to work through the OASIS
requirements with them.

It should be noted that while a number of TCs use a variety of systems for
issues tracking, no TC has ever anticipated the volume of "comments" that
are anticipated to be received by the new requirements SC. I'm open to any
and all suggestions!

(For instance, how about an XForms app where the commenter fills out the
form and an XSLT takes the relevant information and produces a report
similar to the TCs that are currently using XML to track their issues lists?
Anyone volunteering to build it?)



-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Durusau [mailto:patrick@durusau.net] 
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 4:15 PM
To: dennis.hamilton@acm.org
Cc: 'OpenDocument Mailing List'; robert_weir@us.ibm.com
Subject: Re: [office] Meeting Effectiveness and Maintenance SC


Please don't apologize for asking about processes that are unclear or 
that seem sub-optimal.

I don't want to increase the burden on Michael or Rob, who have lots of 
other duties but if the TC had a better interface (nothing any of us 
control), it would be much easier to automatically record the 
information you seek. Why a standards organization lacks something as 
simply as comment tracking as part of the service it offers all TCs is 
beyond me. It shouldn't be "roll your own" task for TC members who are 
already volunteering time on behalf of their employers.

BTW, you really should write the the OASIS administration about the use 
of the "*" next to names and companies. If I ever knew the explanation I 
have forgotten it and so far as I can tell, it isn't on the OASIS 
website. Now I am curious myself.

I appreciate your efforts to bring matters to our attention that some of 
us have simply accepted as "the way it is." Can't say that all of it 
will result in general agreement or even changes but I find it useful.

Hope you are having a great day!


Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:
> My impression is that the TC Coordination Calls work best with the work
> off-line to the calls and actions requiring voting well prepared prior to
> the call (with the probe for comments prior to that call).
> I also think that creation of a Maintenance Committee is timely, although
> can see polling the TC list on items where we would be baffled or
> about the committee's desired direction.  I am available for such work
> with Michael, Rob, Patrick, and others.  In my case, it is part of my
> gaining mastery over the specification so I can contribute more properly
> technical matter, so now is a good time before the spec hiccups become
> invisible to me.
>  - Dennis 
> PS: I am concerned a little about the number of weekly calls I may be
> dealing with.  I need to revamp my home-office telephony arrangements, I
> think.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: robert_weir@us.ibm.com [mailto:robert_weir@us.ibm.com] 
> http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200810/msg00004.html
> Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 22:02
> To: 'OpenDocument Mailing List'
> Subject: RE: [office] ODF TC call agenda and duration
> If we can keep the main TC meetings to an hour, I think that is 
> preferable.  The critical thing is for the meetings to focus on things 
> that require a quorum of TC members to accomplish.  These are formally 
> items which require votes by OASIS TC process or by the TC's standing 
> rules. 
> If we are spending TC time on things that does not require all of, then we

> are probably not operating as efficiently as we could.
> I notice that we have been spending a large amount of time recently on 
> defect reports and errata.  Although this is important work, it is 
> probably not something that should dominate our TC  call time.  We should 
> be spending most of our time on ODF 1.2 proposals that are ready for 
> approval, or nearly so. 
> That is my opinion.  Does anyone disagree with that premise?
> [ ... ]
> It appears that Japan has submitted a 2nd defect report on ODF 1.0. 
> Nothing surprising.  More typographical errors, much of it which we've 
> already seen.  But we will need to process these, as well as other 
> comments received by the public.  Rather than dominate TC time with these 
> important, but less time sensitive issues, I wonder whether it is now 
> appropriate to create a Maintenance SC?  Participants in this SC would be 
> responsible for reviewing incoming comments and defect reports on existing

> ODF TC deliverables, and proposing dispositions (fix via errata, fix in 
> next version, no fix, etc.) and drafting errata documents.  Both proposed 
> dispositions and draft errata documents would be submitted to the full TC 
> for review and approval.
> [ ... ]
> "Dennis E. Hamilton" <dennis.hamilton@acm.org> wrote on 09/29/2008 
> 09:33:46 AM:
> http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/office/200809/msg00112.html
> [ ... ]
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Patrick Durusau 
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34 
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps) 
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300 
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps) 

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