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Subject: [ubl-lsc] Minutes of UBL Liaison SC meeting 2002.06.05

The UBL Liaison Subcommittee met in person and by phone Wednesday
5 June 2002 at the UBL meeting hosted in Minneapolis by X12 and

Present in person

   Jon Bosak (chair)
   Mark Crawford (vice chair, UBL TC)
   Bob Glushko (invited observer)
   Richard Mader (ARTS)
   Garret Minakawa (invited observer)
   Sue Probert (UN/EDIFACT)
   Ray Seddigh (XBRL)
   Lisa Seaburg (editor, UBL LC SC)
   Alan Stitzer (invited observer)

Present by phone

   Bill French (EIDX)
   Patrick Gannon (invited observer)
   Zack Coffin (invited observer)

Calendar updates

   The LSC discussed the offer made by X12 to hold a joint meeting
   in Miami (now scheduled for 6-11 October).  Conclusion: We
   welcome the offer, but (a) we probably need to meet on our own
   for a bit to meet our release schedule, and (b) there is a
   major conflict with a Core Components meeting also scheduled
   for Miami that will require the attendance of several UBL
   principals heavily involved in the CC work.  So we have no
   problem with the concept but several problems with the
   logistics.  We resolved to continue this discussion at the next
   LSC meeting 14 June.

The eBTWG payload recommendations

   The LSC discussed the recent approval by UN/CEFACT CSG of
   payload recommendations made by the eBTWG.  Patrick Gannon
   reported that the ebXML JCC noted this action but refused to
   endorse it on behalf of the joint ebXML initiative.

   We noted the following:

    - The lack of any commitment to convergence or harmonization
      among the payload specification efforts recommended by the

    - That none of the recommended languages could be considered
      conformant to ebXML if use of CC work is the criterion

    - That all the recommended payload formats are object-based
      rather than document-based

    - That the two obvious payload formats missing from the list
      are document-based, like UBL

    - That the eBTWG position seems to point CEFACT in the
      direction of endorsing outside payload efforts rather than
      building its own

    - That with respect to the UMM the choice of approved schemas
      is essentially arbitrary, it being an accident of history
      that some of the choices used UMM and some did not

    - That there is no determinate criterion for distinguishing
      conformant payload syntaxes from nonconformant payload

    - That the omission of UBL from the list is ironic in light of
      the fact that we alone have had a commitment to Core
      Components wired into our charter from the beginning

    - That the omission of RosettaNet and xCBL from the list of
      recommended payload formats is especially unfair since
      these efforts would have no problem committing to CC support
      and were heavily involved in the development of ebXML

    - That no attempt seems to have been made on the part of eBTWG
      to reach out to ACORD, CIDX, PIDX, IXRetail, cXML, etc.

   The LSC directed the chair to prepare a draft response to
   register concern with OASIS on the path that CEFACT has taken
   with these recommendations.  [See the ubl-lsc list for the
   outcome of this.]  The LSC agreed that other organizations and
   individuals should be alerted to our concern and that the sense
   of the language conveyed to OASIS should be included in the
   presentation to the Interop Summit in Orlando.

Relationship with UN/CEFACT

   The chair reported on the previous day's meeting with X12 COTG
   and the invitation extended by Ralph Berwanger to consider
   putting UBL into the new UN/CEFACT Forum.

   A couple of general problems with the new CEFACT structure were

    - That domain working group procedures are being determined by
      people outside of the domain groups

    - That there are no determinative criteria for establishing
      compliance with a UMM requirement

   Particular problems with UBL functioning in CEFACT were noted:

    - That the UMM process is not applicable to work that is
      attempting a synthesis of existing XML syntaxes

    - That organizationally, UBL is a unique task group attempting
      to accomplish a specific project and would have to stay that
      way to work inside CEFACT

    - That some groups within the new Forum have a mandate that
      overlaps ours

   Conditions that would have to be established if we were to join
   CEFACT were noted:

    - UBL would need to be its own group, not part of another

    - The CCs and BIEs coming from the UBL work would have to be
      introduced into the CEFACT harmonization process and not
      vetoed or modified on methodological or non-technical

    - It would have to be recognized that the "open development
      process" is inappropriate to this project (we can't have
      non-participants trying to change the specifications)

   It was noted that our default position (continue as an OASIS
   TC) has some advantages:

    - That we can function to pull together the experts from X12
      and EDIFACT as well as a number of vertical industry data
      exchange organizations

    - That the alternative in which CEFACT outsources this work to
      us continues to be attractive (though the UMM and
      development processes remain issues)

    - That our current position makes us much more responsive to
      the needs of organizations like ACORD than if we were part
      of CEFACT

   The LSC concluded that at this time we should try to become
   CEFACT's preferred provider of XML syntax and XML design rules
   while maintaining separate ownership and should urge that the
   UBL design rules should become the default for ebXML
   CC-compliant XML syntax development efforts.

Jon Bosak
Chair, UBL LSC

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