ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC34 N0013


Information Technology ---

Document Description and Processing Languages


BSI Comments on Document Distribution


Geoff Williams


All SC34 projects


All SC34 editors


NB Contribution


For discussion at the SC34 Plenary in Chicago


3 November 1998


SC34 and Liaisons




Dr. James David Mason
(ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 Chaiman)
Lockheed Martin Energy Systems
Information Management Services
1060 Commerce Park, M.S. 6480
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6480 U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 423 574-6973
Facsimile: +1 423 574-0004
Network: [email protected]

Comments on SC 34 Document management and ballots


Dr James Mason

Acting Chair ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34


Marisa Topping

Secretariat of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34


Lisa Rajchel

Secretariat of ISO/IEC JTC 1


Geoff Williams

For UK 'P'Member ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34

SC 34 Document management and ballots

Whilst I understand that the administration of SC 34 is currently suffering from a lack of available resources, the UK asks the SC34 administration to exercise some control on the issue of SC 34 documents. I have two issues that I would like you to consider: a) document management and b) electronic ballotting procedures

Document management

As a JTC 1 NB and 'P' Member of many of JTC 1 sub-committees, BSI/DISC has to manage document distribution to the relevant UK national committees. This has to be done under controls that ensure that all interested parties are reviewing the same document. The JTC 1 Directives and JTC 1 Policy on EDD using the WWW (ISO/IEC JTC 1N5348; URL <http=// are a commonly agreed set of procedures to assist NBs with this objective.

BSI/DISC electronic document management systems have been established based upon our expectation that sub-committee administrations will comply with the agreed procedures. My immediate concerns are :

1. Revised documents should always be assigned a new number with a backward pointer to the earlier version. The use of designators such as 34N002 Rev is unapproved in the JTC 1 directives.

a. SC 34N 002 has been revised at least twice and, whilst I understand it to be a pragmatic solution for quickly changing meeting arrangements, we do need to be able to identify which is the definitive agenda.

b. SC34N 004 has been revised since it was originally posted yet does not bear any information indicating its revision status. It even bears the same date that the original document had.

How many other documents have been changed since they were posted and which is the definitive version?

2. Two documents have been issued for FCD ballot. Each document has been assigned two separate SC 34 numbers, one for the text and the other connected with the ballot. The procedures state that only one number should be used for composite documents compiled from more than one file. Also, in the case of ISO/IEC 13250 the documents accessed from the document register are only top level cover sheet documents that have hypertext links to 3 versions of definitive text. We need to know which of these versions has precedence for the ballot. Once again all relevant files of a composite document should be identified with the same document number.

I suspect that there is a need to review the JTC 1 operating procedures to remove any unnecessary bureacracy but all SCs should conform to the existing agreed procedures until new procedures are agreed.

Electronic Balloting procedures

Ballot management is another area that needs attention. JTC 1 are supposed to be establishing an on-line balloting system but we currently have to copy and amend an HTML document before e-mailing it back to the Secretariat. Over a year ago I produced an on-line form version of the ballot paper and I know that SC 29 have an on-line ballot mangement system that I am told is very efficient and useful. I think that SC 34 should be able to provide expertise in this area to implement an on-line system that removes much of the administrative burden of voting and collating ballot results. Could you investigate the SC 29 system and possibly implement something similar for SC 34?