Re: VS: Submitting Proposals (was: Re: Proposal to include CE Mark)

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon May 11 2009 - 04:03:27 CDT

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    On 11 May 2009, at 07:50, Erkki I. Kolehmainen wrote:

    I believe that Erkki's statement needs clarification/correction.

    > Proposals that have been submitted from WG2 to SC2 for balloting are
    > routinely accepted as such by a somewhat smaller set of the same
    > participants in SC2.

    What of it? Yes, proposals accepted for balloting are accepted for
    balloting. Then SC2 reviews and makes changes.

    > Thereafter they are regularly changed by ballot comments, i.e.,
    > following the ISO procedures. Prior processing by the UTC does/would
    > reduce the need for these changes.

     From my perspective, I can inform you that sometimes UTC review is
    beneficial. And sometimes it is not. As I said before, it has often
    been the case that a perfectly good proposal gets derailed because
    somebody at the UTC meeting who really doesn't know anything about the
    proposal beyond glancing over it at the meeting asks one or another of
    the surprise unanswerable questions that pushes progress back. "Can
    you prove plain-text need?" (Totally chicken-and-egg.) "Can you prove
    BMP need?" (You remember UPA, Erkki.) "Isn't this script just like
    that one over there?" (The answer is nearly always No.) "Did you ask
    the user community what they want?" (Yes, I did. Sorry if you didn't
    like the answer they gave.)

    Often, it is beneficial to have UTC look at a proposal. But UTC (being
    made up of fallible humans just as WG2 is) lacks consistency and in my
    view has often been a source of frustration, rather than a source of
    effective proposal-honing.

    When they're on their game, they can be very good and helpful. When
    they're off it, it's just awful. Psalter Pahlavi right now is stalled
    because of a lack of meaningful dialogue about Psalter Pahlavi
    punctuation, which is complicated and a little weird, though not a
    problem from an architectural point of view. Meaningful discussion
    would talk about the punctuation. Unmeaningful discussion goes like
    this: "Those look like dots. Use some dots that are already encoded."

    I respect the UTC. It's interested in a whole lot of things that make
    computing work well. They do a great job at it. They are not always
    very effective at handling proposals however. Maybe I see this because
    I have shepherded so many proposals.

    Michael Everson *

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