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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Interoperability versus Conformity

Thanks for clarifying Rob.

I think that your comments on the Acid Test are on the mark, though it could be preferable to capture the enthusiasm now rather than stifling/deferring it as (provided we are careful with IPR) this could be specified in the charter and incorporated by the TC. The Acid Test should be an ongoing effort rather than a one-time task, likely linked to audience requirements moreso than spec releases. It should be possible to initially generate a test for common usage scenarios and raise the bar with each test release, with a complete test for the latest version of ODF specified as a TC deliverable in addition to a more rigorous test suite.

The moniker 'Acid Test' presumably stems from litmus test whereby a result is quickly and simply obtained, and I think is important both to demonstrate the purpose and to differentiate from a more rigorous quantititative suite which would appeal to decision makers & third party certification labs. The Acid Test would be more interesting then to end users, media and as a result, vendors.

Accordingly I have set up a separate site where we can capture such contributions and which can outlive this transitive list if need be at:


Thanks Matthew for putting (virtual) pen to (virtual) paper already over here (published here for those who have not yet requested accounts). Perhaps we can still keep a thread on the topic running on the list.

Finally, perhaps we can demonstrate the TC charter by example (even if there are optional sections missing that we will likely adopt):

OASIS Open Document Format Adoption Technical Committee (ODF Adoption) TC

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200602/msg00020.html

The charter for this TC is as follows.


OASIS Open Document Format Adoption Technical Committee (ODF Adoption) TC

Statement of Purpose

The OpenDocument Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) OASIS Standard defines an XML schema for office applications and its semantics. The schema is suitable for office documents, including text documents, spreadsheets, charts and graphical documents like drawings or presentations, but is not restricted to these kinds of documents. It defines suitable XML structures for office documents and is friendly to transformations using XSLT or similar XML-based tools. There are several commercial and open source applications available based on the OpenDocument Format, with more currently under development.

The purpose of the OASIS OpenDocument Format Adoption Committee is to create awareness and demand for a new class of applications and solutions designed specifically to support and leverage OpenDocument XML. The Adoption Committee will dedicate its energy and resources to create wide scale understanding of the benefits of OpenDocument format support within organizations and governmental bodies through education and promotion. The Adoption Committee will align and support the activities of the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee by providing market-based requirements. These requirements will help guide future development of the OpenDocument specification by the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee.

By advancing the adoption of OpenDocument within OASIS, the Committee members:

Working together, members of the OASIS OpenDocument Format Adoption Committee will provide expertise and resources to educate the marketplace on the value of the OpenDocument format, increasing the demand for ODF-conforming products, and expanding the OpenDocument community of users, suppliers, and developers.

Scope of work

With the support of OASIS staff and in accordance with the OASIS Media Relations Policy, the Committee will assist in coordinating press and analyst relations such as briefings, releases, and announcements. The ODF Adoption TC will coordinate communications to the OpenDocument community through the OASIS and XML.org websites, collateral, newsletters, webinars, conferences, and other outreach venues.

In cooperation with the OASIS OpenDocument TC, the OASIS OpenDocument Format Adoption Committee may create white papers, FAQs, overview documents, case studies, user scenarios, and other educational materials. The Committee also may establish liaisons in accordance with the OASIS Liaison Policy with other organizations, government agencies, and academic institutes concerned with office applications to broaden awareness of OpenDocument. The Committee may also assist in coordinating the promotional efforts of members relating to OpenDocument, leveraging those activities wherever appropriate. The Committee may work on proof-of-concept demonstrations to showcase how the OpenDocument Format can be integrated with other standards, for example using ODF, XFORMS, UBL and various Web service standards built using specific industry vocabularies, schemas and/or transaction sets.

This Committee will consist of volunteers from member organizations and will conduct teleconferences and occasional face-to-face meetings.

List of Deliverables

Anticipated deliverables with target delivery dates include:

The XML.org OpenDocument Focus Area will be governed by an editorial board to be established by this committee and consist of members of OASIS. Content will include works created by the Committee, links to other third-party works, a wiki where users can contribute to a collection of best practices, forums, and other applications.

IPR Mode

RF on Limited Terms

Anticipated Audience/Users

We anticipate the work of the OASIS OpenDocument Format Adoption TC will be used by a number of groups to learn more about OpenDocument:

Language in which the TC will conduct business.

The TC will conduct its business in English.

On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 6:33 PM, <robert_weir@us.ibm.com> wrote:

It is probably premature to start work on that document.

Let me state again quickly the purpose of this discussion list, since I'm sure there are people who have joined the list recently.

Hopefully we all have a shared goal of improving ODF interoperability. Accomplishing this task in OASIS, an open standards consortium, will require us to perform some formal as well as technical tasks.

The first set of tasks are around formally creating the Technical Committee in which we will accomplish our work.  Until that is done, we don't have IPR policy, we don't have rules of order, decision making procedures, formal membership, voting, formal documents, ability to participate in OASIS interop demos, ability to liaise with related standards groups, ability to take advantage of OASIS-hosted document libraries, wikis, etc.  We're just a group of interested parties discussion the creation of an OASIS TC.  We're the patriots gathered at the Old South Meeting House.  We're not Congress.  Nothing wrong with that.  This is just step 1.  

The discussions we're having now has a single formal purpose, as well as an informal purpose.  The formal purpose is to agree on a proposed TC Charter for a new OASIS TC that will help accomplish our mutual goals around ODF interoperability.  The informal purpose is to socialize the idea of such an Interop TC and to hopefully persuade some of you to participate in the TC, once it is created.

A TC Charter in OASIS limits what the TC can do.  The Charter is voted on, and hopefully approved, by the entire OASIS membership, not just the members of that TC.  We don't want the charter to be so broad that we appear unfocused or unlikely to succeed.  But we don't want it to be so narrow that we cannot accomplish our goals.  In particular, we will likely need to do some investigatory work in the TC to determine what the main interoperability issues in practice actually are and to prioritize our deliverables accordingly.

It is probably useful to take a look at some other OASIS TC charters to see their general form level of detail.    If you go to this page you'll see all the OASIS TC's:  http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/committees.php

Click on any one of those TC names and you'll me taken to the TC's home page.  Each TC will have a link in the upper right corner called "Charter" that lists their charter.

So step 2, once we agree among ourselves on a TC Charter is to formally submit this to OASIS (along with the initial membership list) and ask for a new TC ballot.  OASIS staff would then examine our charter, ensuring that it was in the proper form, etc., and then set up an electronic ballot of the OASIS membership to approve.

If approved, then we are on to step 3, which is to have our initial meeting, elect a chair or co-chairs, secretary, etc., and formally start our work.  It is at that point that the real technical work starts,

So if we back up, back to your interest in ACID-style tests, I think the way forward would be something like this:

1) Make sure everyone on the list is familiar with what an ACID test is.  I know many of us are familiar, but it is probably good to send out a link to it, and explain what is attractive about that approach and how that would relate to other testing approaches.

2) Propose that we have an analogous kind of test for ODF.   Formally we probably want to say something other than "Acid test".  Maybe something like, "A test document that exercises complex interactions of ODF features in a way which gives a quick qualitative indication of conformity"?  Is that what we all mean by an Acid test?

3) Ensure that the proposed charter calls this requirement out.  Specifically, propose to include it in the list of deliverables, and ensure that the scope statement is broad enough to permit it.

In particular, I don't think we want to define the exact contents of the Acid test on this list.  That is a task for the TC to do.  Or alternatively, if any individual or subgroup of this list has an urge to tackle one of these tasks immediately (I know the feeling) then you can certainly do that, and that could be later submitted to the TC as a contribution.  We would mention that then in question (2)(g) "Optionally, a list of contributions of existing technical work that the proposers anticipate will be made to this TC".  But I think I'd want the technical discussion of that contribution to occur off-list.



"Matthew Reingold" <matthewreingold@gmail.com> wrote on 06/11/2008 10:51:31 AM:

> I think making a google document for people to add in things
> suggested for the acid test is in order!

> copy that link to edit the document IF this method is acceptable
> (per Rob) to make a draft of requirements for an Acid test.
> I'm creating a mostly blank google word doc, maybe we can all edit
> it (I think the limit is 50 editors at once and 150 viewers or
> something)....it can be edited via the link I provided. It will
> update realtime with the editors, so everyone can contribute their
> input simultaneously.  It seems to me to be the easiest tool to use
> for collaboration.
> Rob, please shoot me an email if you'd like me to remove this in
> case this is not a method you'd like to use in order to edit the
> document. I don't want to do this in any way you'd find
> inappropriate, just wanting to help.

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