Action Item - Policy and Procedure for Timely Publication

Doug Hagerman "serve::hagerman" at
Tue Sep 6 08:51:00 PDT 1994

>  The bulk of X3T10 projects and resources are directed towards the computer
> industry. This industry is characterized by dynamic growth, diverse
> applications, exponential performance growth rates, fierce competition, and
> short product life cycles. As a key and central aspect of these
> characteristics, the customers demand standards. Timeliness is paramount.
> etc.

I'm having a hard time seeing a specific concrete improvement in timeliness
in Gene's proposal. For example, it doesn't seem to say anything along
the lines of "you have to take your idea from proposal to publication
in two years" or similar. I think there is an easier way.

Here's a restatement of what I think would actually "solve" this problem
within the current editorial and voting process. All you do is make a list
at the end of each year and say that "As of December 1994 the state of
the SCSI standard is described in the following documents." The list
of documents includes the standards themselves plus approved modifications,
where "approved" means "voted for inclusion into the standard".

The shortcoming of this is that there may not (will not, face it) be 100%
compatibility of a given modification with some other modification. But
this is acceptable because it ALREADY works this way--there are already
many problems in the standard that have to be handled by products. What there
would be is an incentive under this scheme to improved the quality of the
review done before the vote to include text in the standard.

The major advantage is that on an annual basis there would be a fixed
document that can be put in a binder and used in the lab. The problem with
the current process is not that it is so slow, it's that to be
competitive you have to work with a constantly changing draft standard.
With an annual checkpoint at least it would be a STATIC draft standard.

(I'd also propose that there be a "year" field in the INQUIRY command
so you can find out what year's version a device uses.)


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