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Subject: Proposal for Handling (some) NEEDS DISCUSSION issues


as of today, we have 36 issues flagged on NEEDS DISCUSSION. That's an
impressive number of issues to discuss individually in TC calls, so the
question is whether we can maybe simplify the rules around NEEDS
DISCUSSION issues so that we can concentrate us in the TC calls on the
discussion of a few of them.

If we look deeper into the issues, we find that many of the issues have
a resolution entered, but have been set on NEEDS DISCUSSION only to
check with the TC if the resolution is acceptable. These issues actually
don't need a discussion, but an explicit conformation, that is, a simple

We further have some issues where proposals have been added, but where
different opinions seem to exist whether the proposals are sufficient to
resolve the issues or not. In that case, it may also be helpful for both 
(those who consider the proposal to be sufficient and those who don't) 
to have a ballot on the proposed resolution to check what the majority 
of TC members think about an issue.

And we have a few issues where it is discussed whether there is an issue
at all, or whether the issue is within the scope of ODF 1.2. For these
issues it may also be helpful to check what the majority of TC members
think about an issue. We could do that by a ballot that request
confirmation for a resolution "invalid", "no action", or "defer".

So what I would like to propose for these kind of issues is:

1. TC members can request a conformation-ballot for a NEEDS DISCUSSION
issue by end of Thursday before each meeting on the mailing list. This
request should contain the resolution in the e-mail to make the request
robust against changes of the JIRA issue. The resolution includes the
options "no action", "invalid" or "defer". In any case, only ballots
that contain a specific resolution that is applicable to the
specification text, or whose resolution is "no action", "invalid" or
"defer" will be accepted.
2. The ballot will be set on the agenda of the next TC call. In the TC
call, only a ballot will be conducted, but no further discussions shall
take place (in the context of the ballot - of course the issue may 
reappear as discussion item if the ballot gets no majority).
3. If the ballot gets a simple majority, the issue will be considered as
4. Independent of the results of ballot, follow-up proposals may be
submitted for the same issue, or the resolutions may be overruled by 
resolutions of other issues.

A few more remarks: I'm not proposing that we use above process for all 
NEEDS-DISCUSSION issues, but only that we use the instrument of ballots 
to identify if further discussions are actually needed or to figure out 
where the TC stands on particular issues. And I'm further not proposing 
that if a resolution has been approved that way that it cannot changed 
anymore. If a proposal for a resolution is acceptable for the majority 
of the TC, and someone finds a resolution that is acceptable to even 
more TC members, we of course should take that. However, the process 
needs to be constructive and directed towards the resolution of issues. 
That's why for in case of issues where it is unclear whether something 
is an issue, the question is whether a resolution of "no action" is 
acceptable and is not whether the issue needs further discussions.

Best regards


Michael Brauer | Oracle Office Development
Phone: +49 40 23646 500
Oracle Office GBU

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