As you know, the OASIS TC
Process, the policy document governing work at OASIS, is a product of your Board
of Directors. Each July, the Board's Process Committee presents its list of
proposed changes to the full Board for consideration. Any changes proposed are
typically in response to issues the Committee has observed or that have been
brought to the Committee by members.
This past Wednesday, July 25th, the
OASIS Board of Directors approved a set of updates that address significant pain
points we have observed over the past few years. This email gives a short
summary of the changes. I will hold an online meeting in August to explain them
in more detail and I will be sending additional documentation in the weeks
The updated process takes effect tomorrow, August 1st. The
• Eliminate the need
for public reviews for non-material content
• Allow Statements of Use
from non-OASIS members
• Ease the
process of rechartering
all TCs to make ballot motions by email without having to adopt standing rules
• Clarify how a TC can close a
• Clairify that
documents referenced in a proposed Charter must be publicly
Each of these is discussed below. The attached PDF file
is line numbered and color highlighted to help you quickly locate the relevant
sections of the document.
1. Eliminate the need for public reviews
for non-material content changes
The current TC Process requires a
public review even if the changes made to a draft are trivial (for example
mis-spellings or broken links). This has put TCs in the position of having to
decide between holding a public review of no value or approving a final document
with known deficiencies.
Under the approved process, a TC will now
be able to request a Special Majority Vote to approve a Committee Specification
or Committee Note when the only changes since the last public review are
non-material. The TC will need to provide a record of the changes made along
with their motion to proceed with the ballot.
In order to ensure
transparency and accountability, TC Admin will announce such ballots to the
membership. When the ballot closes, assuming it passes, the draft will be
published as a Committee Specification or Committee Note. Note that should any
OASIS member object that some of the changes are indeed material, the ballot
will stop and the TC will need to do another public review.
Based on my
experience this past year, I expect this to reduce the number of public reviews
by as much as 25%. Even better, it will enable you to make those last
finishing touches that will improve the quality of your final deliverables
without incurring any process penalty.
See line 76 for the
definition of “non-material change” and lines 670 through 697 for the
description of the new approval process.
2. Allow Statements
of Use from non-OASIS members
Statements of Use are required before
a Committee Specification can be presented to the OASIS members for
consideration as a Candidate OASIS Standard. The current TC Process requires
that all Statements of Use come from OASIS members. For some TCs this has posed
a barrier to advancing their work because the TC is small and most
implementations have been done outside OASIS.
Under the approved
process, a TC will be allowed to accept up to two of the three required
Statements of Use from non-OASIS members.
See line 139 for the new
definition of “Statement of Use” and line 706 for the change to the submission
3. Rechartering is now easier
Under the current
TC Process, rechartering a TC has required starting a new Kavi group, giving the
TC a new name abbreviation and closing the TC for an extended period of time.
Under the approved process, the TC will keep its existing Kavi
resources, mailing list, document archive, etc. The TC will be able to continue
working under the original charter up to the week before the first meeting under
the new charter at which time members will need to rejoin the TC. Rechartering
will be far less disruptive to the TC's work schedule.
437 for the new description of rechartering.
4. Standing rules to
allow ballot motions by email no longer must be adopted as standing
Under the current TC Process, if a TC wishes to allow motions
to open electronic ballots to be made by email, the TC must adopt a standing
rule allowing this.
Under the approved TC Process, this is now
standard practice and is available to all TCs with no special
See line 480 for the new text allowing
5. Clarification on closing TC
The current TC Process is silent on how a TC closes
a sub-committee. The approved TC Process clarifies that this may be done by
resolution of the TC.
See line 489 for the new
5. Documents referenced in a proposed Charter must be
This change clarifies that if a document is
referenced in a proposed TC Charter, it must be available from a public source.
Note that this does not mean that it must be available by a hypertext link, but
simply that there must be some public source through which interested parties
may obtain copies.
See line 195 for the revised
I hope you find these changes help you work in OASIS more
effectively. Please let me know if you have questions on these changes and what
they will mean in practice.