[sc34wg3] Comments on the "particular editorial solution" ;-)

Patrick Durusau sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Wed, 05 Nov 2003 15:26:15 -0500


With your prompting I must admit, I read the introduction more carefully 
that I did at first and must plead that being largely offline saved me 
from the error committed by others. Thanks for the reminder!

Lars Marius Garshol wrote:
> * Steve Pepper

> What *is* being sought is comments on this particular editorial
> solution. That is, what do we want part 1 to do, and what do we want
> part 2 to do? Should we define "subject" in part 1 or in part 2, or
> (heaven forbid) both? Should part 1 just be a guide to 13250? Should
> it also include a topic map tutorial? Should that tutorial be
> normative? 

Working from ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2, 2001 (local copy, using a 28.8 
modem so did not look for a later one), I would note:

6.1.4 Introduction says:

> The introduction is an optional preliminary element used, if required, to give specific
> information or commentary about the technical content of the document, and about the
> reasons prompting its preparation. It shall not contain requirements.
> The introduction shall not be numbered unless there is a need to create numbered
> subdivisions. In this case, it shall be numbered 0, with subclauses being numbered 0.1, 0.2,
> etc. Any numbered figure, table, displayed formula or footnote shall be numbered normally
> beginning with 1.

 From what I remember of Jim Mason's comments in Montreal, this is 
generally read as being a very short introduction, more of an overview 
of what is to be found within and the reasons why it was prepared. Don't 
think we should read "reasons prompting its preparation" too broadly. 
Particularly in light of:

> 6.4 Supplementary informative elements
> 6.4.1 Informative annexes
> Informative annexes give additional information intended to assist the
> understanding or use of the document. They shall not contain requirements, except as
> described in Their presence is optional. An annex’s informative status (as opposed to
> normative — see 6.3.8) shall be made clear by the way in which it is referred to in the text, by
> an indication in the table of contents and under the heading of the annex.
> Informative annexes may contain optional requirements. For example, a test
> method that is optional may contain requirements but there is no need to comply with these
> requirements to claim compliance with the document.

I can't say that I think the ISO standard for drafting standards is the 
most effective means of communicating I have ever seen but it is also 
the case that I have not been asked to design a change in that standard.

Note I am NOT saying that a topic maps tutorial is out of place in the 
overall scheme of 13250, but I don't think that the suggested editorial 
solution will pass muster with ISO. I don't have the regulation of this 
particular issue handy but it seems to me that at some point the ISO 
staff have to approve of the organization of the content and I would 
hate for us to get tripped up at that late stage on a procedural issue.

Perhaps we could solicit an informal opinion from some of the ISO staff? 
Don't know the proper procedure for that but it might give us all more 
guidance than our personal readings of the regulations are likely 
produce. It is like reading a statute, lawyers read it and come to 
personal conclusions, a judge reads it and says what it means. ;-)

Hope everyone is having a great day!


> If you want to comment on the substance, please read TMDM and comment
> on that.

Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!