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Subject: Level of detail needed in a TC Charter

"Dave Pawson" <dave.pawson@gmail.com> wrote on 06/13/2008 11:07:44 AM:

> 2008/6/13  <robert_weir@us.ibm.com>:

> > That is how I read it as well.  (1)(f) asks us to list "the anticipated
> > audience or users of the work".  So this is those who will directly consume,
> > use, read, etc., the deliverables of the TC, not the larger list of those
> > parties who may indirectly benefit.  Obviously in our work, we can and
> > should be mindful of these other parties, but that doesn't need tobe in the
> > response of (1)(f).
> >
> > -Rob
> Perhaps you'd like to phrase something for this groups output Rob.
> If you insist on that interpretation.
> "Those who will consume, use, read etc" isn't a very tangible set of users.

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.  The definition given ("the anticipated audience or users of the work") is what OASIS gives us.  We have no ability to change that.  I'm suggesting an interpretation that seems obvious enough to me.  

It might help to take a look at some of the dozens of existing and approved TC charters for the many succesful OASIS TC's (http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/committees.php).  They do not have elaborate definition chapters.  In fact most of the charters can fit on one side of a post card.  

Remember we're not drafting a RFP.  We're making a fair disclosure of the range of activities that the proposed TC would like to undertake.  The important audience of the charter includes:

1) OASIS (to ensure that what we're doing is within bounds of what OASIS TC's are permitted to do)

2) Prospective members (so they know what our TC is doing and whether they should join)

3) Other standards committees and organizations (so they know what we're doing and whether they should track our work, propose liaisons, etc.)

As a practical matter, the TC, when created, can undertake items within scope of its charter.  Note that this is an issue of scope.  We're not required to note in the charter every little nuance of every little step that we might undertake.  In fact, there is danger that if we attempt to do this we'll hamstring the TC by removing any flexibility they have in pursuing alternate approaches to the same problem.  We only have a few weeks to create a charter.  The TC will have months, years even to do the underlying work.  

Of course, a charter that merely says "To produce such works as serve the betterment of humanity" would be over-broad and cause its own problems.  We need to be reasonable.  

Again, look at the existing OASIS TC charters and see what the typical level of detail is.  I think the TC would benefit from the broadest reasonable charter that we can give them.  I don't know what purpose would be served by withholding any reasonable approach to dealing with ODF interoperability, by giving them a too narrowly-crafted charter.

If we're reached the point where we are debating the meaning of "consume" versus "read" versus "use" then I fear we are delving too deep.


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