PWG> PWG Process

PWG> PWG Process

PWG> PWG Process

Hastings, Tom N hastings at
Thu Jan 30 16:58:28 EST 2003

Don't feel discouraged.  I thought that the discussion was very helpful and
showed that we need to try to improve on the written form of our process.
Most of the confusion is what do we call things.  We've been doing a pretty
good job at following the steps.  But sometimes we have different ideas of
how far along the steps we are and what we call each step.
You wrote below:
"One of the key elements of the existing process is that there are ONLY 3
I'd like to claify that the current document had 3 *TYPES* OF LAST CALLS for
a standard's track document.  There can certainly be more than "3 LAST
CALLS" for a standards track document.  Certainly, the feedback loop in the
diagram on page 13 anticipated that some LAST CALL votes would fail and new
versions of the document would have to be produced and another LAST CALL
attempted, etc.
I also think there was a lot of consensus of geting rid of the middle TYPE
of LAST CALL, so that a document would transition from Proposed Standard to
(Final) Standard.
Something that needs to get added to the process flow is the idea that a
Proposed Standard (after Last Call) could be decided later based on actual
product usage in the field to be revised to become another Proposed Standard
with another Last Call, rather than being progressed to (Final) standad with
no changes following a Last Call.  Thus a standard could cycle through a
series of Proposed Standards over time as experience with deployed products
occurs.  This path is very similar to what happend with IPP, where we had a
V1.0 and a V1.1, both of which were Last Called and both of which had
interopeaability events before their Last Calls.

-----Original Message-----
From: Harry Lewis [mailto:harryl at]
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 13:12
To: pwg at
Subject: PWG> PWG Process

The SM f2f discussion of PWG Process was quite painful. It is obvious there
are a multitude of varying perspectives on how to conduct the progression of
a standards specification. We opened the process topic because we realized
some conflicting information and need for clarification in our document.  I
don't have a problem citing other organizations in search of "best practice"
but I would like us to consider applying newfound reason to clarify our
process, not redefine it! 

Our existing process distinguishes the key stages of Chartering, Proposing,
Specifying, Implementing and Maintaining an industry standard. It recognizes
supporting documents for this activity such as White Papers, Working Drafts
and Standards. It also acknowledges activities such as Brainstorming,
Requirements gathering, prototyping, implementing and testing. 

The process, as written, is an attempt to organize these activities and
supporting documents in such a way that streamlines the progression from
concept to final standard... something we hadn't seen in other venues. One
of the key elements of the existing process is that there are ONLY 3 LAST
CALLS. Each last call (if passed) makes a distinct transition to a more
stable level of the standard. This is signified by the STATUS (reflected in
the name) of the standard... not the version. Versioning was not discussed
in the current PWG process (which is a flaw) but was assumed to be a linear
progression on the working drafts that supported the standard progression. 

Several ideas for updating our process were floated in the phone conference
today. I am not opposed to updating the process... if one thing was proven
by today's call it is that there is very little agreement on how the
standard should be interpreted. I do feel compelled to remind that a great
deal of similar discussion went into creation of the current process. I do
wonder how much effort we are likely to expend only to come up with a
process with new naming and versioning that diagrams out to nearly what we
have, today. 

I recommend anyone who has a proposal which they were trying to hash out in
the call but who feels like, perhaps, their point did not get assimilated or
would like to expose their concepts to a wider audience, go ahead and
describe your idea here, for discussion on the reflector         
Harry Lewis 
IBM Printing Systems 

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