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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Draft Interoperability and Conformance TCformation proposal (0.2)

> robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
> > The phrase I used was "OASIS InterOp demos", not just "demos".  OASIS 
> > InterOp demos are something very specific and well documented at (of 
> > places) the OASIS InterOp Demo policy page: 
> > http://www.oasis-open.org/who/interop_demo_policy.php
> looking at that policy document, an InterOp demo is basically a show and 

> tell of what the TC is doing.  It is not mandatory for a TC to do such a 

> demo, but it is intended to promote adoption/usage of the hosting TC's 
> work.  So my question then is "how does an OASIS InterOp Demo fit into 
> the charter of a TC?"
> In my eyes, our charter is no place to be planning such an event - 
> that's after the fact, after we have something to show.  But it has 
> nothing to do the the charter that I can see.

I responded to this question in my response to Dave.  In particular, there 
is nothing in the charter that is "planning" any such event.  There is 
only the statement that hosting such an event would be within the scope of 
the TC's work. 

I agree with you that such a demo is best done after we have accomplished 
something worth showing.  But it is also my experience that picking a date 
9 months into the future and saying, we'll do a public InterOp Demo then, 
is an excellent way of motivating vendors to accomplish something by that 
date.  The demoing isn't the primary real value.  It is the preparation 
for the demo that is where the real work occurs.

> > You cannot read the charter effectively absent a knowledge of how 
> > runs and the terminology OASIS uses for describing its own processes. 
> > confusion I've seen so far is from people trying to substitute their 
> I don't see how this response is intended to encourage community 
> involvement.  Sure, there are rules and regs.  But if you ask for the 
> community to comment, you can't expect ALL of them to know ALL the 
> rules... :)  One would hope the meaning of the ideas expressed are 
> applied (where applicable), if not the exact wording.  But this 
> statement suggests the public input isn't taken seriously - unless it is 

> from another Oasis member who knows the rules.  Just Saying.. :)

I don't expect everyone to know all the rules.  But I will remind you all 
of them when you err.  At the same time don't complain to me if you err 
for lack of understanding the rules. 

And remember that OASIS itself is already a quite large community.  So 
when you speak of "community involvement" know that it cuts both ways.

In any case, I have some people complaining that the charter is too 
detailed, while others are complaining that it is not detailed enough.  I 
may be wrong, but you seem to be arguing both ways ???


> Taking some text from Rob's draft under his section 1c Scope of Work:
> "3. To select a corpus of ODF interoperability test documents, such 
> documents to be created the OIC TC, or received as member or public 
> contributions;  To publish the ODF interoperability test corpus and 
> promote its use in interoperability workshops and similar events;
> 4. To define profiles of ODF which will increase interoperability among 
> implementations in the same vertical domain, for example, ODF/A for 
> archiving;
> 5. To define profiles of ODF which will increase interoperability among 
> implementations in the same horizontal domain, for example ODF Mobile 
> for pervasive devices, or ODF Web for browser-based editors.
> 6. To provide feedback, where necessary, to the ODF TC on changes to ODF 

> that might improve interoperability;"
> This to me is defining HOW the work is to be done, and WHAT what 
> specific work will take place.  I submit that this sort of text probably 

> is better suited under the list of deliverables.
> Instead, I think a scope of work might be something like "This TC will 
> analyze the ODF standard to produce documents, procedures, and 
> definitions with the goal of improving conformance and interoperability 
> of ODF based applications.  The TC will be an ongoing endeavor, 
> producing revisions of it's documents as the ODF standard evolves." 
> Something more broad that indicates what we are here for, but not how we 

> will do it.

There are different schools of thought on this.  Formally, your terser 
style as well as my more detailed scope are both allowed. I've seen both 
used in OASIS TC's.  If you recall I had a terser scope when we started 
this list back on June 2nd, and it was criticized for not being detailed 

Some things to keep in mind:

1) The scope of work cannot be changed once the TC is formed, without 
forming a new TC.

2) If the scope of work is too broad, this may scare off participation 
from some vendors who will hesitate to commit to RF terms for their IP on 
an very broad scope.  A scope that is more narrowly stated allows a 
company to more precisely evaluate the scope of their potential IP 
commitments, and make participation in the TC less risky.

3) The scope should be broad enough to accomplish the goals of the TC, 
including all known deliverables, but also reasonably foreseeable 

You should ask yourself this as well:  Does the scope, as presented, break 
something essential for you?  In other words is there something that you 
think the TC must do, or will likely want to do, that is forbidden because 
of the way the scope is currently written?  Or are we just debating style 
and taste?

> > If you are looking for how a TC works, you will not find it in the 
> > charter.  That is in the OASIS TC Process definition here: 
> > http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/process.php
> Agreed.  The charter should not define HOW the TC goes about it's 
> business.  But if I want to know what a TC is "for", the charter is 
> likely the first place I'd look.  (if not just asking a member... :) )
> > But I do appreciate the desire to have something "In plain English" to 

> > attract participation to the TC.  Once we have the TC formally 
> > and OASIS has issued a Call for Participation, we can get attention 
> > to it in several ways.  OASIS is good at helping promote new TC's. 
> > know what to do.
> I have seen no requirements that say the charter cannot be in plain 
> English.  I would suggest that if you need a document to explain what 
> the charter means, then there is too much room for confusion, and not a 
> clear enough definition of what the TC is for.  I can think of a few 
> reasons why an organization may not want a solidly defined charter, but 
> most of them are political.  In my eyes, if I cannot clearly see what 
> the TC is meant to do via the charter (which IS the defining document, 
> isn't it?) then I think I would walk away knowing that I would have a 
> hard time knowing if I'm within the policies or not, or even within the 
> intent of the TC....

It is a question of target audience.  OASIS comes with its own vocabulary 
and set of concepts, and so does conformance and interoperability work. 
The chair(s) of the TC and OASIS staff will be the ones interpreting and 
enforcing the terms of charter, so it needs to be written in a way that is 
relevant to them.

And if you recall, we had the Federalist Papers as well as the 
Constitution.  So something is not necessarily irredeemably confused 
merely because the the public may benefit from additional explication 
outside of the formal document itself.

> > The first meeting would be a teleconference.  So we're really talking 
> > about who pays for the toll-free phone lines for that first call.  If 
> > anyone wants to make a conspiracy theory about that, then it is a slow 
> > for conspiracy nuts.
> Agreed.  But knowingly setting ourselves up for accusations of hidden 
> agendas, politics, etc, isn't good for the TC either.

That's the problem with hidden agendas -- you don't need any evidence to 
have a conspiracy theory.  So I'm not going out of my way to avoid the 
conspiracy nuts.

Someone would have to be a fool to think that there is not a political 
side to ODF and interoperability.  This is hardly news.  But all we can do 
is work openly and transparently, allowing anyone who wishes to join, 
making agenda, meeting minutes and mailing lists open for the public to 
inspect, making our deliverables free and open for anyone to use, and hope 
that we'll be judged by our results. 

If I change the way I work to account for conspiracy nuts, then they have 
already won.  I'm not going to do that.

> Side note for Rob:  while my comments may seem confrontational, I mean 
> no disrespect for your efforts Rob.  Rather, I want to see the best 
> document come forth - with community input.  You are in a rough 
> position. I don't usually like to make life tough for the leaders, but 
> we were asked to participate and comment on how best to get the TC 
> going.  That's all I'm doing.. :)

No problem.  Just keep in mind that OASIS is a community as well, and 
there are other communities with stakeholders in this area as well.  I'm 
going broad for where I seek feedback.  So don't feel bad if I take some 
of your ideas but not others. 



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