[MPEG-OTSPEC] Draft AHG report for your review

Levantovsky, Vladimir Vladimir.Levantovsky at monotype.com
Wed Oct 7 17:39:20 CEST 2020

On Wednesday, October 7, 2020 4:00 AM Simon Cozens wrote:

Hi Vlad. Thanks so much for the work involved in pulling this together.
I think in general it was a fair and honest summary of the past few

Thank you!

However, I take exception to one sentence in section IV:

"we achieved a much better shared understanding of the limitations of
the processes we need to follow"

This suggests that, now we all understand the processes better, there is
an acceptance of the "need" to follow those processes. I don't think
this is a fair representation of what has been said on this group; there
has been considerable discussion of how to work around these processes,
including a serious proposal to disband the AHG altogether. This does
not, to me, sound like a group of people which has meekly accepted the
need to follow the rules.

When I wrote this particular sentence I was referring to the results of the collaborative editing of README file on the new GitHub: https://github.com/MPEGGroup/OpenFontFormat/pull/5/files#diff-04c6e90faac2675aa89e2176d2eec7d8.
It wasn't my intention to imply that we like the ISO process, but the acceptance of the need to follow the established processes isn't something that I would consider unreasonable.

If you look back at the FTCG formation, every member had to agree to abide by W3C process, by their CEPC, and by community contributor license agreement - these are prerequisites for joining the CG. Joining the AHG, however, was a much more liberal process (at least until now), one that only required you to subscribe to the AHG mailing list. This liberal process has worked fine for many years (since the AHG original formation in 2004), but there are rules that govern it all. In particular, the JTC1 supplement stipulates that:
"Technical committees or subcommittees may establish ad hoc groups, the purpose of which is to study a precisely defined problem on which the group reports to its parent committee at the same meeting, or at the latest at the next meeting. In JTC 1, working groups may also create ad hoc groups. However, as O-members cannot participate in working groups, they also cannot participate in ad hoc groups of working groups. The membership of an ad hoc group shall be chosen from the delegates present at the meeting of the parent committee, supplemented, if necessary, by experts appointed by the committee. The parent committee shall also appoint a convenor."

As you can see, AHG membership implies that participants are already members of the working group who are willingly agreed to abide by the ISO Directives, by ISO CoC, and by Declaration for Participants in ISO Activities. The AHG membership can be supplemented by outside experts appointed by the committee, and, until now, these rules have not been strictly enforced.

The reality we need to face is that ISO documents are copyrighted by ISO and are not available for open collaboration in the same way that e.g. W3C makes their drafts available. But even in W3C, the collaborative process is regulated and isn't open to public, it requires membership. Participation in the ISO AHG work also requires membership, and even though the methods of collaboration in ISO are different (we don't get to have access to directly edit their documents), the collaborative process exists and is documented by the README in our repo. The most recent Google submission is a of their proposal to SC29/WG3 is a direct evidence that the work can be done.

So, going back to the AHG report and to the sentence you raised exception for - the way I see it is that acceptance of the process requirements is a pre-requisite for participation, and that our discussions and the collaborative editing of the "Process Requirements" section in GitHub readme file is a sufficient evidence that "we achieved a much better shared understanding of the limitations of  the processes we need to follow"

Are there any specific edits to this sentence you would like to propose?

Thank you,

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