ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34N0735

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TITLE: Where to go after DIS 26300 - Cooperation?
SOURCE: Mr. Keld Jørn Simonsen
STATUS: Expert contribution
ACTION: For discussion in WG1 and SC34
DATE: 2006-05-22
DISTRIBUTION: SC34 and Liaisons
REFER TO: N0728 - 2006-05-04 - Summary of Voting on DIS ISO/IEC 26300 - Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.0
N0587 - 2005-01-10 - Procedures for Joint Development of Common Standards (JDOCS)

Dr. James David Mason
(ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 Chairman)
Y-12 National Security Complex
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Mr. G. Ken Holman
(ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 Secretariat - Standards Council of Canada)
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Facsimile: +1 613 489-0995
Network: [email protected]



Title: Where to go after DIS 26300 – Cooperation?

Source: Keld Simonsen

Status: Expert contribution

Action: For consideration by WG1 and SC34

Now that the ODF standard has been approved as IS 26300, how do we proceed with the next versions of the standard?

The DIS ballot resulted in comments of about 20 pages, as contained in SC34 N0728. These comments needs to be addressed, and most likely the final IS 26300 will be changed from the ballotted document. Thus there will be two different standards for ODF, the OASIS standard and the ISO/IEC standard. This is not at good situation.

What can be done about this?

I see 3 scenarios:

  1. Leave it as is, and OASIS can go forward with the revision and submit their standard as PAS for the next edition. This will result in a number of different standards from OASIS and ISO, and make implementers a bit confused on which standard to implement.

  1. OASIS can take the resulting ISO standard back in their process, and hope that an OASIS ballot will not resolve in changes to the new OASIS standard. This will establish one standard, but it is likely that the changes to the 1.0 standard will be small, and that it will lead to market confusion which version of the standard to implement. It is also possible that the OASIS process introduces new changes.

  1. Maintain the standard jointly between OASIS and SC34. There is a model for it in how the POSIX operating system standard is being maintained in SC22, recorded in SC34 N0587. Here the participating standards organizations are developing the standard together, so that there is just one document maintained in a common group, called the ”Austin Group” (from where the first meeting was held). The common group consists of experts from each constituency and informal decisions are taken a count of heads. If there are disputes that is taken to the formal level in the common group, each constituency has one vote, to be determined by the rules of the constituency. The development and maintenance process is done in parallel in each of the organisations, and according to the rules of the individual organization. In ISO this is the normal 5 stage process. These procedures ensures that the resulting final standard will be the same in each organization, and the number of versions of the standard will be fewer, probably only half the number that the PAS procedures produce. It will also mean a quicker cycle for ISO, as there will not be the delay from having the OASIS standard approved, and then having a DIS ballot and a following period of comments resolving. In the case of the first edition, the OASIS standard was approved in May 2005, and the ISO 26300 will be published hopefully some time late this year, which gives a delay of more than a year. This would be much reduced if the balloting would happen in parallel in OASIS and ISO.

I thus recommend that we use the common maintenance model recorded in SC34 N0587.