[sc34wg3] Let's revert to N323!

Steve Pepper sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 03 Feb 2003 12:26:53 +0100

Dear Mary and Komachi-san,

At 19:38 03.02.2003 +0900, Mary Nishikawa wrote:
>First of all thanks for writing this.

Thank you for replying so promptly. It is very important to have the input 
of the Japanese National Body on this issue.

>>Until then we had documented consensus on the direction we were
>>taking, as shown in N323
>>    http://www.y12.doe.gov/sgml/sc34/document/0323.htm
>Yes, this is what we have been discussing all along since I joined the 
>National Body of Japan last year in the Spring and it made sense to us, so 
>we have been thinking about it and agreed to it for at least 8 months at 
>least. This is very important and not to be taken lightly.

 From what you write here and your comment below, I assume this means that 
you would like us to continue to use N323 as our starting point for further 
discussions? Excellent. That is also the position of the Norwegian delegation.

>>(i)  We recommended going for multiple standards instead of a multipart
>>      standard.
>This multiple to separate isn't the worst. The Problem is 3 standards plus 
>amendments were selected for 6 documents. How were these to be broken up? 
>It was not clear to us when reading this New Work Proposal.

As I pointed out earlier, the wording of the NP doesn't commit us to 
exactly 3 new standards in addition to 13250 (this is the number that "is 
... *expected* to be developed"). So this part can be adjusted during the 
development process.

Secondly, the list of 6 things that "the resulting standard is *expected* 
to contain" do not necessarily have to be separate documents.

So I think the math is not a problem. We have the flexibility we need. But 
I agree that all of this could have been clearer. The question is: Is the 
lack of clarity so bad that it justifies the delays a new ballot would lead to?

>It looked to us as if this was changed in haste and did not represent what 
>had been discussed over a long period by all interested parties, including 
>local members in Japan, who did not attend WG3 meetings.

It was indeed changed in haste in an attempt to solve the disagreements 
that arose on the last day of the WG3 meetings, at which you were 
unfortunately not present. It was clearly the wrong thing to do, but I 
don't think it has lead to any lasting damage, provided we are all willing 
to go back to N323 as our starting point.

>>(ii) We rearranged the distribution of content between the SAM and the
>>      syntax parts.
>>According to Lars Marius (the editor and primus motor behind both the SAM
>>and the XTM syntax specification) the latter decision screws things up for
>>him in a major way. We should take this very seriously.
>Just look at where the drafts stand now and how they would read. He would 
>have to do substantive rewrites on three documents just to get it to "fit" 
>nevermind whether it would make complete sense or not.

Exactly. Now that I am aware of this problem I think we should reconsider 
the disposition of content suggested in N372. The proposal in N323 makes 
much more sense.

>We discussed this at our local meeting and thought it was important enough 
>to vote "no" on the New Work Item until this is  straightened out. I will 
>forward this to Komachi-san and he will decide what is best.

I understand your position very well. The problem is that a "no" vote will 
set us back 6 months, and it really is urgent that we at least get the SAM 
and XTM parts approved as soon as possible, otherwise it will not be 
possible to proceed with TMQL and TMCL.

In the light of what I have written above - i.e. that the actually wording 
of the NP still allows us sufficient flexibility - I would urge the 
Japanese National Body to consider changing its vote to "yes with 
comments". One possible comment would be that the new standard should 
follow the basic plan described in N323. Another would be to suggest going 
for a multipart standard, if you feel that that is the right thing to do.

>Komachi-san also mentioned that the ballot is incomplete since it is 
>missing the New Work Item Acceptance Criteria.

I'm afraid I don't even know what that is. I thought we had completed the 
NP with all the information that was necessary. If that is not the case, we 
should clarify the matter immediately.

Best regards,

Steve Pepper, Chief Executive Officer <pepper@ontopia.net>
Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34/WG3  Editor, XTM (XML Topic Maps)
Ontopia AS, Waldemar Thranes gt. 98, N-0175 Oslo, Norway.
http://www.ontopia.net/ phone: +47-23233080 GSM: +47-90827246