ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34N0835

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TITLE: Delegate report from JTC 1 SWC directives meeting - March 7-9, 2007
SOURCE: Mr. Keld Jørn Simonsen
STATUS: Delegate report
ACTION: For information
DATE: 2007-03-22
DISTRIBUTION: SC34 and Liaisons

Dr. James David Mason
(ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 Chairman)
Y-12 National Security Complex
Bldg. 9113, M.S. 8208
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-8208 U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 865 574-6973
Facsimile: +1 865 574-1896
Network: [email protected]

Mr. G. Ken Holman
(ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 Secretariat - Standards Council of Canada)
Crane Softwrights Ltd.
Box 266,
Telephone: +1 613 489-0999
Facsimile: +1 613 489-0995
Network: [email protected]

Delegate report from JTC 1 SWC directives meeting - March 7-9, 2007

This report is my contribution for the response on SC34 N0749 from the JTC 1 SWG directives meetings in Ottawa and New York.

N0749 had an unfortunate faith. First it was not distributed in time by the SC34 secretariat to the JTC 1 secretariat, so it was rejected for the Ottawa meeting. Then the JTC 1 secretariat forgot to distribute it to JTC 1 in time for the New York meeting, so it was also rejected for the agenda of this meeting. Eventually the document was distributed as JTC 1 N8525, and I was allowed to talk about the issues in the New York meeting, although the document was not posted to the agenda. What follows is then not an official response from the SWG, but my personal observations. The following 7 clauses correspond to the 7 clauses of N0749.

1. Maintenance of standards originated by the fast-track or PAS procedures.

SC34 has identified that the following problems can occur in the maintenance process of standards originated by the fast-track or PAS procedures in clause 13 and clause 14 of the directives.

1.1 The maintenance process where the standard is maintained by the originating organisation may result in slightly different versions of the fast-tracked standard and the ISO standard. Sometimes the changes introduced into the ISO standard are then introduced in the standard of originating body and reballotted there. But having two slightly different standards may confuse the marketplace and implementors, and it would be better if ISO comments could be introduced earlier en the process such that only one version would result.

1.2 When a revision first needs to be ballotted in the originating body and then in ISO gives a delay in the appearance of the ISO standard, that is inconvenient if JTC 1 wans to produce timely standards. The delay could be in the order of one year.

1.3 It is not easy to get national experts to participate in the revision process, and maintain the expertise in ISO. Some national body comments may be difficult for the originating body to accomodate, as the specification may already be the result of a delicate decision process.

One solution illustrated by the arrangement around ISO/IEC 9945 POSIX standard would be joint maintenance by the participating organizations by parallel processing respecting the individual procedures of the partipating bodies, and the participating bodies having colocated meetings, as described in SC34 N0587. The SWG is asked to consider this together with other possible solutions for the revision of the Directives.

Response: The JTC 1 chair confirmed that this was one of the allowed ways of maintenance already, and I stated that this was also only the intention of SC34 that this mode be allowed.

2. Problems with clause 13.4 resolution of comments received during the 30-day review period.

In a fast-track submission there is an initial 30-day comment period.

The Directives indicate the comments shall be resolved by the ITTF and the JTC 1 secretariat, but this may be difficult and the national bodies and the designated project editor should probably be involved.

Response: this proposal was overtaken by events by approval of the new procedures for fast track in JTC 1 N 8521.

3. Problem of getting notice of ballots in ISO and IEC on DIS level.

Currently it is very difficult for working group experts to get information on standards that are out for ballot at DIS level. Information on at least the title and ballot due dates would be very valuable for experts and possibly the public in general.

Response: A proposed recommendation is to issue a JTC 1 document with the title and due dates of the documents on DIS level from ITTF.

4. Comments on fast-track submissions

SC34 would like clarification that comments on fast-track submissions can include those of an non-technical, editorial, or general nature, in addition to technical comments.

Response: the JTC 1 chair, Scott Jameson clarified that nobody could hinder national bodies to express any comments they want, even in such ballot. I will look to work on a proposal for changed wording.

5. Availablility of the PAS Explanatory Report

The Explanatory Report mentioned in clause 14 should be available to members of the subcommittee and working group to which the PAS submission has been assigned.

Response: this will be available with the ballot, and obtainable via the national body as part of this ballot.

6. Document Formats

JTC 1 Directives Section H4.1 Document Formats should include the following formats in the list of acceptable document formats.

  • ISO/iEC TR 9573-11 Structure Descriptions and Style Specifications for Standards Document Interchange

  • ISO/IEC 15445 ISO-HTML

  • ISO/IEC 26300 Open Document Format

Response: this will be releyed to the IIT-RG group, and an answer is expected for the next SWG meeting in Paris.

7. Testing conformance

There are no mechanisms by which National Bodies can validate that organizations claiming conformance to the JTC1 standards are actually conforming. SC34 feels that it should be a requirement for all PAS and fast-track submitters to provide National Bodies with conformance procedures. Where standards, such as DIS 26300, only require conformance to parts of the standard, there should be clearly documented boundaries, at a high level in the document structure, to which conformance can be claimed.

Response: They felt that there was no way to accomodate this proposal.

8. Other information

The current directives are recorded in JTC 1 N8521 (SC34 N0828).