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Subject: Where we stand; where we go from here

Hi all,

There are many threads on the list now, lot's of energy, and good hard work.

Thanks to all who are involved and participating!

I'd like to add some thoughts about one particular theme: the issue of where we stand relative to delivering a Committee Draft on a calendar date, and the manner in which final features were proposed and passed.

This issue reminds me of two big parts of my experience. When I worked at General Motors in the Systems Engineering division, we had the wonderful and awful constraint of the calendar year. No matter how ready we were, or where we stood feature-readiness-wise, the new model year would come. We had to go to market. This was wonderful because projects did not linger. This was awful because deficiencies in our progress could take the form of defects and recalls. On the other hand, there's my recent experience as musician-producer on my last project with a wonderful singer from London that had no deadline. We just worked and worked until we considered the album to be *done*. This was also wonderful and awful. It was wonderful to not be constrained by time. But it was awful to not know what *done* meant, and that we took so much time that enthusiasm and appetite for our album suffered.

For XLIFF 2.0 we've attached calendar dates - the degree to which they are considered "formal" is variable. I announced at the latest XLIFF Symposium that my prediction was that our Committee Draft would be ready for ballot by January 2013. and I still hope that it will. I'll link that in my analogy to the automotive new model year.

It is pretty clear that as a TC we have a collective appetite to more or less hit that date. In my opinion we've done exactly the best that we could do to set ourselves up for success. We (1) voted to set the last meeting as the freeze for new feature proposals. We proclaimed a call; "speak now or forever hold your peace" (in this case "forever" meaning until we're onto 2.1). And we said (2) now is the time to compare XLIFF 1.2 functionality to the XLIFF 2.0 proposed specification, and identify gaps. And we said (3) if there are gaps, now is the time to bridge them.

So I believe this is where we stand: we have achieved (1) and (2), and are in the process of achieving (3).

In my mind the TC functioned exactly as is it should have. In preparation for the deadline many of the section 2 feature proposers brought their proposals to a point at which they could be voted on. The call for analysis of feature gaps was answered. The gaps were introduced on the list, robustly specified. Debate ensued. Perhaps it is an art to determine at what point debate turns into an argument about how may angels can dance upon the head of a pin - but I'll stand by my assertion that the "proper" amount of debate ensued. On behalf of the proposers I added these to the wiki. We adequately addressed each. And we voted accordingly. Some gaps ended up as new modules - some ended up as slight modifications to existing core and modules - and some were discarded (either for future consideration, merged with existing features, or abandoned).

We had quorum - the debate was fair - and the results are binding. In the end, in my opinion, what we have is a complete and rational framework. My opinion about the quality of the framework can be fairly disputed. In the end the community will judge. I think what should not be disputed is that any breaches of protocol or due diligence were made.

So this brings me to where we go from here. I'll juxtapose my automobile analogy and my making an album analogy. I would love to say we will hit our (my) goal of January 2013. Maybe we will. But if we do not, I will apologize to the world for the error in my prediction. The great thing is we are not at the other end of my analogy where we are aimlessly adding features and wondering what *done* looks like. We know exactly what needs to be done. We have a framework. We have a new feature freeze. We have good hard working, dedicated volunteers who (form where I stand) are trying to do everything they can to do what we all want to do: deliver the best XLIFF specification we can, as soon as we can, and not one minute before it is ready.

Opposing opinions are welcomed.



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