[sc34wg3] Editorial structure of N0396

Sam Hunting sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Sun, 20 Apr 2003 20:14:37 -0400 (EDT)

Review of the Editorial Structure of N0396 (the "SAM")

Jan Algermissen
Patrick Durusau
Sam Hunting
Steve Newcomb

1. Introduction

N0396 ("the draft", or the "SAM") in its present form evidences its
potential status as part of a larger, complete standard.[1] There are a
number of requirements for ISO standards, which could be met by other
parts of a complete replacement draft for ISO 13250 but are not present in
the draft.

It should be noted that ISO procedures require that the SC not be involved
in re-writing drafts to conform to ISO requirements and at a minimum, the
current draft would require re-writing in its entirety to reach
conformance with ISO requirements. In an effort to assist in that regard,
several of these requirements are mentioned in section 4.

2. Labeling of N0396

N0396 is labeled as a "Committee Draft," an inadvertent error since
Committee Drafts require a vote of the committee before reaching that

3. Technical status of N0396

There are a number of outstanding issues noted by the authors that have
not yet been resolved by the working group. Their care in isolating those
issues and providing proposed resolutions will be a real benefit to the
committee. It is important that all such issues be resolved and
incorporated by the authors prior to translation of the proposal for
consideration by NBs where the primary language is not English.

As part of the committee work on N0396, instances where the draft varies
in terms of self-reference -- sometimes saying it is a Technical
Specification (2.2), sometimes a Standard (3.4), and sometimes both (6) --
should be noted and carefully corrected. Both "standard" and "technical
specification" are terms of art within ISO and carry a particular
significance to standards bodies. The next draft should resolve these

4. ISO Requirements and N0396

4.1 N0396 needs a Scope clause which states the limits of its

4.2 N0396 needs a Foreword clause which states the significant technical
changes from its previous edition. (The Abstract in the N0396 is not
entirely clear on which parts are being caneled or replaced.)

4.3 The References section of N0396 should follow ISO practice. (The
normative status of the current References clause is not clear.)

4.4 The Terminology section of N0396 should be completed and converted to
a normative glossary that follows ISO practice for terms and definitions.

4.5 Figures in N0396 should be numbered and designated for reference
following ISO practice.

[1] The abstract of N0396 reads in part:

    Together with the Reference Model specification and the HyTM
    syntax specification this document will supersede [ISO13250].
    Together with the XTM syntax specification this document will
    supersede [XTM]. It is intended to become part of the new ISO
    13250 standard.
"Together with" implies that N0396 is to be a standards document, complete
in and of itself. The informal "road map" agrees. However, "part of the
new ISO 13250 standard" implies the opposite. We have chosen this second
alternative since that is consistent with N0396 as delivered, and assumed
that N0396 is indeed designed as part of a single, larger standard that is
to replace ISO 13250.

Sam Hunting
eTopicality, Inc.

Co-editor:  ISO Reference Model for Topic Maps 
  Topic map consulting and training: www.etopicality.com
Free open source topic map tools:  www.gooseworks.org
  XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web.
Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-74960-2.