Policy 1.0 SWG

2. Purpose of the Policy Standards Working Group

The Policy 1.0 SWG will write a standard to be adopted as a policy of the Open Geospatial Consortium that will enable structuring standards for ease of

1. organizing requirements within a standard,

2. writing an abstract test suite (ATS),

3. constructing compliance tests,

4. executing compliance tests, and

5. creating modular conformant implementations

by enforcing a basic, parallel, modular structure in all of these areas.

The adoption as a policy of the OGC will require a 2/3 majority vote of the OGC voting membership (as per the Policy and Procedures) and would require a 2/3 majority vote to allow an OGC accepted standard to ignore it as a policy. This would give the proposed standard a higher weight than other OGC standards, but allow it to be bypassed if strong technical reasons exist in particular circumstances.

This new approach to the OGC standards cannot apply to already existing standards, or be seen as a road block to new standards approaching completion, it will probably contain a "grandfather clause" that allows older standards to be left alone until a major revision, and "in process" standards to bypass the requirements for a limited amount of time. Proposed language is in the text.

Change request will be processed by the SWG if:

1. they do not contain any IPR issues

2. they are submitted to the SWG within the first 60 days after the charter is passed.

3. Scope of Work

The scope of the work of this Policy 1.0 SWG would be to finalize OGC 07-056 Annex to OGC Policy and Procedures - The Specification Model - Structuring an OGC specification to encourage implementation to establish the core and extension model as the preferred manner in which to construct OGC standards, and implementations of those standards.

3.1 What is out of scope?

Use of any specific technology such as specific applications is out of scope. The text may address issues such as UML or XML usage, but will not specify any design or presentation software.

3.2 Specific Contribution of Existing Work as a Starting Point

Discussions of the OGC Architecture Board on Core and Extension models, and any such associated documentation may be used to facilitate issues. The SWG will periodically update the OAB and seek its approval and agreement with the document before proceeding with any TC action or vote.

3.3 How it is to be Determined when the Work of the SWG has been Completed

The work will be complete when all concerns of the SWG and OAB have been addressed, and the document has been released to the TC for consideration as an annex to the TC Policy and Procedures, and thereby required of all OGC standards unless overridden by a suspension of the rules as provided in the TC Policy and Procedures.

4. Description of deliverables

The deliverables for the SWG are a new version of OGC 07-056 Annex to OGC Policy and Procedures - The Specification Model - Structuring an OGC specification to encourage implementation for consideration by the TC as an annex to the Policy and Procedures as a mandatory requirement for all OGC standards and a motion to the TC to incorporate conformance to it for all OGC implementation specifications as part of the Policy and Procedure.

5. IPR Policy for this SWG - RAND-Royalty Free

The Intellectual Property Rights Policy for this SWG will be RAND-Royalty Free. The basic content of the standard should reflect "best practices" of both standard-writing and software-implementation activities. No specific software will be identified, and no proprietary approaches, not having been tested by a wide public audience, would be appropriate for use in this type of standard.

6. Anticipated Audience

The target audience for this product of this SWG (the standard) will be anyone who:

  • Writes, edits, reads or otherwise contributes to, extends or influences an OGC or ISO TC 211 standard or
  • Writes or otherwise contributes to the design or implementation of software or data definitions or structures intended to be conformant in any manner with any OGC or ISO TC 211 standard

The target participants for this SWG are anyone who has at any previous time participated actively in either of the above two activities in a leading role, especially those who have done so multiple times in a wide variety of circumstance. Both implementation and standardization experience will be valued highly.

7. Other informative information about the work of this SWG

a. Similar or applicable standards work (OGC and elsewhere).

This sort of standardization approach is relatively new and untried. The standardization of the standardization process has usually been a "folklore" activity where more experienced participants instruct or advise new volunteers.

Some general information for authors of standards is available, but usually involves formats and writing styles as opposed to logical structure. Many organizations have internal "style guides" or "process models" that address implementation concerns and may provide insight into the process here.

b. Details of the first meeting

The first meeting of this SWG will be held when a sufficient number of volunteers have been enrolled as charter members. The meeting will be announced to the TC mailing list at least 14 days in advance, and will probably be held as a TC hosted conference call or at a TC meeting (with a call in).

c. Projected on-going meeting schedule

The targeted completion of the SWG process will be as early as possible, preferably presented to the TC no later than the 2nd regular meeting of 2008. Most work will be handled either as a TWIKI based cooperative effort or during weekly conference calls to be schedule at the convenience of the volunteers.

d. Supporters of the Proposal

The following people support this proposal and are committed to the Charter and projected meeting schedule.

  1. John R. Herring, Oracle USA.
  2. Andreas Matheus, University of the Bundeswehr - ITIS
  3. Richard A. Pearsall, NGA/OCIO/CE, National Center for Geospatial Intelligence Standards
  4. Arliss Whiteside, BAE Systems
  5. Paul Scarponcini, Bentley Systems, Inc
  6. Clemens Portele, Interactive Instruments GmbH

e. Convener

The convener of this process and author of the cited discussion paper was John R. Herring of Oracle. The OGC Architecture Board discussions on this and its related issues were of enormous importance to the concepts that will drive this effort.