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The documents that circulate within Working Group 8 (WG 8) can be classified as administrative documents, general correspondence, and technical documents. Below are the procedures for the technical document flow/process within WG 8.
The Document Editor issues a new version of the document.
The Document Editor sends the updated/revised version of the document to the Working Group Secretariat for posting/distribution at the WG 8 web site (www.sedris.org/wg8home).
The Secretariat makes the document available at the web site.
Documents are made available by the Secretariat for download through links at the WG 8 web site (see the Documents page).
The Secretariat assigns each document a sequential identification number (WG 8 N00xx). New drafts replace previous drafts, and are referred to as First Working Draft, Second Working Draft, etc. (The phrase "replace" is meant figuratively not literally -- all documents are assigned WG 8 numbers, and document versions are managed by referring to specific document numbers.)
Associated with each new document is a Document Cover Page that contains the current status of the document. Also NOTE that not all of the "Parts" (i.e., functional specification, abstract specification, etc.) of a Standard will be at the same level of revision simultaneously.
The Secretariat announces the availability of new documents at the web site over the WG 8 e-mail reflector (firstname.lastname@example.org). The announcement contains the standard Subject line: "New Documents @ JTC 1/SC 24/WG 8 Web Site". Included in the announcement are Name (a link to the document at the web site), Title, Document Number, Date Added, and a link to send e-mail to the Secretariat for questions.
National Bodies are requested to submit review comments.
The Document Cover Page described above requests that National Bodies review and submit comments regarding the document. Comments are also accepted from Liaison Organizations and individuals designated as WG 8 Experts. Comments must be submitted "at least two (2) weeks prior" to the subsequent WG 8 meeting, where review comments are to be discussed and resolved.
Each National Body and each Liaison Organization should collect and consolidate "local" comments, and submit one set of comments directly to the Secretariat (mailto:email@example.com) -- the WG 8 e-mail reflector should NOT be used for this purpose (i.e., wherever possible message attachments broadcast over the WG 8 e-mail reflector are limited to file sizes less than 50K). Review comments should be submitted in a consistent form. Comments should be numbered, indicate where in the document each comment applies, and offer a proposed change to the text. Comments should be sorted into categories such as General, Technical, Editorial, and Typographical. This allows quicker processing of changes where there will be obvious agreement.
The "preferred format" for submission of review comments is HTML using the "HTML 3.2 FINAL" DTD. HTML submissions should pass the W3C validation service at: http://validator.w3.org, (indicating they comply with "HTML 3.2 FINAL" and not a later DTD). If review comments are to be submitted in Microsoft Word format, they must be in "MS Word version 6.0 or higher".
NOTE: WG 8 may choose to do some part of its work "electronically" rather than in face to face meetings. This may include using the WG 8 e-mail reflector to discuss and resolve technical issues and agree on revised document text. To allow this electronic process to complement the "Circulate - Review - Revise" cycles that drive the production of successive Working Drafts, National Bodies and Liaison Organizations should include as part of their review comments the agreements from discussions on the e-mail reflector. In this way the agreements made on the e-mail reflector (to which the Public does not have visibility) also are submitted as review comments, are assigned document numbers, and are circulated.
The Secretariat makes national body comments available at the web site.
Review comment submissions are made available by the Secretariat for download through links at the WG 8 web site using the same process as described above for documents -- the review comments become a document unto themselves, are assigned a sequential WG 8 identification number, have a corresponding Document Cover Page prepared, and are announced over the WG 8 e-mail reflector as available at the web site.
Participants review national body comments.
Participants to the upcoming WG 8 meeting should prepare for the meeting by reviewing national body comments, and developing their position on these comments prior to the meeting.
Documents typically "only" change based on comments received "prior to" the WG 8 meeting (or by discussions generated at the WG 8 meeting as a result of processing said comments). The meeting will be inefficient if no one reviews the documents and submitted comments prior to the meeting.
Informal comments can be made on the WG 8 e-mail reflector at any time, by any participant. This is usually how complex and/or controversial issues are discussed (and hopefully resolved) prior to WG 8 meetings. Also, the Document Editor can find items in need of correction within a document, and propose changes as input to the WG 8 meeting.
NOTE: It is possible that issues arise "during" a meeting, or that a participant brings comments to a meeting and the rest of the group sees them there for the first time. But neither of these is ideal, since for the process to work well, others need the opportunity to review comments in advance and develop a position regarding their resolution. Changes that are found at the meeting may be documented in meeting minutes. Documents that come in at the last minute (i.e., after the deadline for comments has passed and, in particular, those that are brought to the meeting) can "at the discretion of the Convenor" be accepted and assigned Document Numbers. If the Convenor's judgement is that a late contribution should not be considered, then it may not be accepted (and hence deferred until the next WG 8 meeting).
Participants attend the next WG 8 meeting.
Participants at the next WG 8 meeting discuss and resolve all review comments and other issues. They formulate "responses" to all review comments, and action items for all other issues.
The Secretariat sends comment resolutions to the Document Editor.
Following the WG 8 meeting, the Secretariat forwards all review comment resolutions to the Document Editor for incorporation in the next version of the document. The Secretariat publishes (at the web site) review comment "responses", and issues (over the WG 8 e-mail reflector and at the web site) minutes of the meeting, which include action items assigned to participants during the meeting.
NOTE: At the Working Draft (WD) level, this is usually done less formally with broader discretion given to the editor to satisfy the intent of the agreed resolution. WG8 "owns" the document text at the WD level, but not at higher levels. Therefore, permission to change Committee Draft and Draft International Standard text requires SC 24 approval. This is the purpose of the "response" document at these higher draft levels. The response document becomes the instructions to the editor authorizing changes in the official document text.
Last updated: 3 March 2003