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Subject: Re: Clarification of Section 1.1 Terminnology vs. Definitions

Mary P McRae
Director, Standards Development
Technical Committee Administrator
OASIS: Advancing open standards for the information society
email: mary.mcrae@oasis-open.org
web: www.oasis-open.org
twitter: @fiberartisan  #oasisopen
phone: 1.603.232.9090

Standards are like parachutes: they work best when they're open.

On Nov 8, 2009, at 5:14 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:

> Mary,
> I notice that in all of the current templates for OASIS  
> Specification documents, section 1.1, Terminology, is pre-filled  
> with a statement in reference to IETF RFC2119. A typical example is  
> the
> OASIS Specification Template V4.1, <http://docs.oasis-open.org/templates/OASISSpecificationTemplateV4.1.html 
> > (for XHTML documents).
> Since there is nothing else, the specifications that I encounter  
> tend to have exactly that information (or the ISO/IEC JTC1  
> counterpart) and nothing else.
> I have two sets of questions.
> 1. Set #1: Is this also the place for brief Definitions when there  
> are specialized terms that must be recognized as such in the given  
> specifications.

>  Is section 1 also appropriate for a subsection for Document  
> Notation and Conventions (about some specialized style and format  
> matters)

> and Namespaces (where applicable)?
I think a more typical convention is to see the namespaces stated at  
the start of whatever section describes the schema.

>   Finally, are there recommendations/requirements for these  
> additional aspects or are they entirely discretionary?
If there are definitions/glossary/etc they should be in Section 1.  
There are currently no recommendations/requirements for additional  
> 2. Set #2: Meta-Question.  I am using two TC lists to communicate  
> this question.  Where is a better forum for raising questions and  
> obtaining responses on matters of this kind?
You could just ask me rather than the two TC lists; I'm not sure  
either of them would have an answer ;)
> - Dennis
> Section 2, Terms and Definitions in the "Guidelines to Writing  
> Conformance Clauses," <http://docs.oasis-open.org/templates/TCHandbook/ConformanceGuidelines.html 
> >, which has terms and definitions up front.
This isn't a specification; it's a set of guidelines. I would not take  
it to be a model for specification organization.
> Section 1, Definitions, in the current "OASIS Technical Committee  
> Process," <http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/ 
> process-2008-06-19.php>, my favorite for providing links to  
> definitive passages elsewhere where more detail/consistency is  
> required.  This is apparently the preferable alternative to having a  
> glossary, since it give unique form (capitalized proper names) to  
> terms that have specific specialize usage in the context of the  
> given specification.
Again, this isn't a specification; it's an OASIS Policy.
> ISO/IEC JTC1 Standards illustrate the use of Terms and Definitions  
> sections.  The ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, Rules for the structure  
> and drafting of International Standards, have such a section and  
> also describe such sections as they may appear in International  
> Standards produced under ISO/IEC auspices.  (Can be found via <http://www.iso.org/directives 
> >.)
> The Publicly Available ISO/IEC Standards from ITTF provide numerous  
> illustrations: <http://standards.iso.org/ittf/PubliclyAvailableStandards/index.html 
> >.  Ones prepared specifically in the ISO/IEC format are the most  
> useful, including
>   ISO/IEC 14977:1996 Information Technology - Syntactic Metalanguage  
> - Extended BNF, <http://standards.iso.org/ittf/PubliclyAvailableStandards/s026153_ISO_IEC_14977_1996(E).zip 
> >
>   ISO/IEC 11404:2007 Information Technology - General-Purpose  
> Datatypes (GPD),
> <http://standards.iso.org/ittf/PubliclyAvailableStandards/c039479_ISO_IEC_11404_2007(E).zip 
> >
> Dennis E. Hamilton
> ------------------
> NuovoDoc: Design for Document System Interoperability
> mailto:Dennis.Hamilton@acm.org | gsm:+1-206.779.9430
> http://NuovoDoc.com http://ODMA.info/dev/ http://nfoWorks.org

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