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Subject: Approval process for non-specification documents

I inquired of the TC Administrator regarding the process for approving non-specification documents, such as white papers. It turns out that the proposed new process that had been circulated to OASIS Chairs a few months back was not approved. There was disagreement on whether the same IPR Policy and commitments that apply to specifications should also apply to non-specification documents, and that issue has not yet been resolved. That’s why we can’t find a formal process for approval of non-specification documents in the OASIS TC Process.


Mary says we thus have two options. We could use the Specification template for the white paper, and run it through the full TC Process the same as a specification, like we did with DPWS, WS-Discovery, or SOAP-over-UDP (public review period and everything). Or, we could use the White Paper template (which is what Dan Driscoll did when he drafted the document), approve it as a Committee Draft, and publish it to the committee web site. The Committee Draft approval process requires a Full Majority Vote of the TC; it doesn’t require a public review or an electronic ballot run by the TC Administrator. Here are the relevant sections from the TC Process about the Committee Draft process:


1. Definitions


"Committee Draft" is an interim document approved by a Technical Committee as specified in Section 3.


"Full Majority Vote" is a TC vote in which more than 50% (more than half) of the Voting Members vote "yes", regardless of the number of Voting Members present in the meeting. Abstentions are not counted. For example, in a TC in which there are 20 Voting Members, at least 11 Voting Members must vote "yes" for a motion to pass.

3.1 Approval of a Committee Draft

The TC may at any stage during development of a specification approve the specification as a Committee Draft. The approval of a Committee Draft shall require a Full Majority Vote of the TC. The TC may approve a specification, revise it, and re-approve it any number of times as a Committee Draft.

My feeling is that running the full specification process is pretty heavyweight for a white paper. It could also potentially be controversial, since it’s not in our scope to treat design guides and other non-normative documents as full-fledged specifications. My inclination is thus to use the Committee Draft approval process for the Design Guide and any other white papers we produce, unless and until the OASIS board adopts a different process.


We can approve the white paper as a Committee Draft at any meeting, so long as there is an affirmative vote of a simple majority of all the voting members of the TC (not just a simple majority of those present). Since there are currently 8 voting members of the TC, we would need 5 Yes votes to publish a white paper as a Committee Draft.


Given that information, would you all feel comfortable approving the Design Guide (http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/ws-dd/download.php/35606/Design%20Guide%20for%20specifications%20built%20on%20the%20Devices%20Profile%20for%20Web%20Services.zip) as a Committee Draft at one of our upcoming meetings, perhaps even on April 20? I don’t want to take away from your time available for reviewing the WS-RA specs and ask you to look at the Design Guide if you haven’t already done so, but if everyone has already reviewed the Design Guide and is happy with it, should we go ahead and approve it?


Please let me know what you think.


            -- Toby


Toby Nixon  |  Senior Standards Program Manager  |  Windows Ecosystem Engagement  |  Microsoft Corporation

toby.nixon@microsoft.com  |  www.microsoft.com | V: +1 425 706 2792  |  M: +1 206 790 6377  |  F: +1 425 708 4811

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