Planning the maintenance of IS29500

I'm in London this week for meetings with SC 34 Ad-Hoc Group 1 (AHG1) and Ecma TC45. I suppose London is an appropriate place for standards bodies to meet, having had a newspaper called the Standard for nearly 200 years.

SC 34 AHG1 Meeting

The AHG1 meeting took place on Monday and Tuesday at the British Library. The goal of this meeting was to come up with a set of recommendations for SC 34 regarding the structure and activities of WG4, the new working group to be created for maintaining IS29500. Alex Brown, the AHG1 convenor, led the discussion and wrote the recommendations on the screen while the other attendees all discussed and debated various possibilities. At the end of the second day we reviewed the resulting document to tighten it up a bit, and the final outcome of the meeting is available for all to see on the SC 34 web site.

Jesper Lund Stocholm, one of two attendees representating Denmark, has posted his commentary on the meeting, and I don't have much to add to what he had to say. It was a productive two days, and we had the benefit of several deep experts in the JTC 1 Directives that govern this type of work, who kept us all focused on the task at hand.

IS29500 maintenance will proceed under the ISO jurisdiction in WG4 of SC 34, with participation by NB members and liaison organizations. The pace will be brisk, with conference calls taking place "as often as necessary (e.g. weekly)." I've participated in TC45's weekly calls for some time, and have recently started participating in the OASIS ODF TC's weekly calls. That sort of rhythm really keeps things moving, and I suspect it will keep the project editor and editing team very busy.

TC45 will play an active role in the maintenance process, and we all agreed that “SC 34 and Ecma will make best efforts to cooperate to ensure versions of ISO/IEC 29500 and Ecma 376 are kept synchronized.” Ecma will publish updated versions of the specification, as is their practice with jointly developed standards, but we all agreed that nobody benefits from having the latest version of the standard available from only one organization and not the other. That's why we included specific text about the goal of synchronization in our recommendations to SC 34.

Ecma TC45 Meeting

After two days of AHG1 meetings, today I attended the Ecma TC45 meeting, also hosted by the British Library. (Thank you, Adam.) We couldn't get started on maintenance, of course, but several of us were here for the AHG1 meeting anyway, so it was a good opportunity to review our plans for participating in SC 34's maintenance plan going forward.

The next step in IS29500 maintenance will take place at the SC 34 plenary in October (Jeju, Republic of Korea), where SC 34 members will make the final decisions on how WG4 will be structured, based on the recommendations from AHG1.

And now I'm off to find a pub. The Evening Standard unfortunately stopped selecting a Pub of the Year last year (why?), and the pubs on Weir Road are a bit too far away (hi Rob :-)), so I'll just wander the King's Cross area and see what I find. As they say in these parts, Cheers!