eGovernment Interest Group Teleconference

06 May 2009

See also: IRC log


John, Josema, Owen, Rachel, Sahrron, Ken, Daniel, DaveMc (IRC), Brand
Suzanne, Kevin
Sharron, Josema


  1. Open Issues for publication of document - discuss issues and actions that remain open.
  2. Improving Access to Government through Better Use of the Web - approve publication schedule.


Discuss Open Issues #2, #4, #17, #30

open issues: http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/track/issues/open

Jose: Open issues , we can go through them and some are connected to open actions for publishing the document.

John: OK, let's go through them one by one, starting with Issue 2, item 55

Jose: It is still pending and without Kevin on the call, we can't do much.

John: Issue 4 is still open and is on me. You should have in minutes/hours Jose, from me

<josema> [ISSUE-2: kevin working on it]

<josema> [ISSUE-4: john to send text today]

John Issue-17 is next

Daniel: I sent final edits to Jose based on the last set of suggestions re: Issue 17, safe to play

<josema> [ISSUE-17: daniel just sent section text with safe to play comments added]

Jose: I will review and try to integrate. Were you able to address Malcolm's concerns?

Daniel: I did not adopt the exact language he submitted but did incorporate his ideas, especially about citizens not being overwhelmed, avoiding phishing, having confidence in systems.
... addressed role of govt identity and authentication, so I think it meets the concerns that were raised.

Jose: Daniel...is any way to identify and review the new text?

Daniel: On Google docs you can look at revision history which will highlight changes and compare to previous.

John: Issue 22, examples of participation and engagement...

Daniel: I have offered to add paragraph or two...will get it in today.

<josema> [ISSUE-22: daniel to review in a few hours time]

[Issue 22 Daniel to submit today]

John: Kevin and Suzanne have been reviewing and revising the doc.

Rachel: Do you still need help with plain language?

John: I don't know. Are we there yet? nearly there?

<josema> Editor's Draft

Rachel: Introduction is snapshot where good talking points should be...we seem to be getting there, I am happy to help.
... shall I touch base with Kevin?

John: The more we can edit , focus and polish the intro the better it will be for the whole doc.

<josema> +1

Rachel: I am ready to help, tho have been very busy recently

John: Having read others things you've written, Rachel, you would be good at that.

Rachel: Tahnks most people are taught to write too much.

Daneil: If you can distill the into, perhaps distill to a single tweet.

Rachel; Yes we need that

<josema> that would be interesting to see

Sharron: Defintely need clear language

Jose: All of this is needed by tomorrow.

John: Issue-30 comments of EOWG

Jose: It was good to recieve their comments and they have been useful. Wish there was more time to coordinate with all the W3 groups and expect to do that in future draft. We agreed to put comments into editor's draft verbatim.
... slight wording changes as draft has continued to be edited. But not significant changes. One issue was that Judy Brewer had raised about plain language etc.
... EO would like to see another draft, but time does not allow since it is in constant revision. It is not possible with the time involved.

Sharron: I was at EO meeting Friday, I reported that there would not be another draft and suggested that folks watch the draft in progress and comment.

Jose: I told Judy that if she had further comments, we would need to hear from her by yesterday.
... eGov IG expects that while this is not perfect, it will be good and as we go forward we will continue to improve.

John: Need to be aware that while we can't do the perfect thing, we need to do a useful thing and take a step forward. I endorse Jose view that if we feel we have an insightful, useful document and that we have given our best shot within our constraints of time and volunteer effot, we should go forward. It is an important decesion.

<davemc> +1, if carefully positioned correctly

Publishing Schedule Discussion and approval

Sharron: If any way possible, I would suggest a delay of even just a few days for review and consensus about narrative flow.

John: What are the publishing timelines and why do they exist?

Jose: May 21 was deadline set in coordination with Obama memo.
... we decided to adopt that as our deadline as well. OSTP needs at least a week to review our work to see how it relates.
... documents can only be published at W3C on Tu Th with one day notice. So we were targeting the 12th. Which means we had to complete it by the 8th. Since I have to convert to HTML and test through W3C protocols I need another day. So to meet these deadlines I need all text by tomorrow.
... Of course, we can change it, but it has been discussed and our group decided to try to meet that deadline.

John: Yes, I just wanted to review the opportunity and re-examine the need to produce something to make best use of that opportunity.
... the core issue is whether the work we have (with the expectation of the work still in progress) will meet the goal of producing something useful and meet the opportunity to coordinate with the OSTP?
... I think being in the right place at the right time is important. This document may not be the perfect thing but we have produced soemthing that has utility and that I have not seen anywhere else. I am happy and confident to have my name associated with this.

Ken: ; So being able to participate in the broader national conversation is important.

Daniel: Yes we will miss opportunities if we put it off.

Daniel: we have a great compendium of information in this one document that addresses egovernment issues adequately if not perfectly.

<Owen> I think the test that John mentioned, i.e., that he would like to have his name associated with the draft, is a good one.

<Owen> I'm not sure I could make the same assertion because I haven't seen the latest draft.

John: Rachel, from your persepective how close do you think it is?

<davemc> +1 Owen

<josema> Owen, latest draft is always up at: http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/Group/docs/note

<davemc> Would like to review a near-final.

<josema> right now it only misses "new" Daniel's text

Rachel: Personally I always try to meet the deadlines I set and I agree with caution that while it is not perfect, it is better to put it out there and open for broader opinion.

<Owen> Thanks for the clarification, Jose. My impression was that the latest draft was not yet sharable.

John: We have learned a big lesson that trying to cover EVERYTHING about egov in one document may not have been the wisest thing. We may not want to say it in the document, but among ourselves, we can plan for a greater number of more focussed, polished pieces.

<davemc> still concerned about negative references.

John: The next 24 hours must get us to a draft that is sharable.

<josema> dave, *please* tell me where you spot some

Owen: We should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We should put it out there for further comment.

<davemc> Management of contents that cannot be showed in a mobile device, have a large size very costly to download and memory consuming (images, PDF documents).

<davemc> I think iPhone, RIM show the opposite

RESOLUTION: publish Note on May 12

Open Issues #30, #34, #35, #36

John: I think we can safely close Issue-30
... and look at Issue-34 raised by Judy. We talked about this one and have gone a long way toward addressing it.

Jose: I remember that Judy proposed to have accessibility as a headline topic that would show in the table of contents and at this point we have two.
... most of sections include at least some accessibility references.

Sharron: The most recent document that I reviewed does a good job of separating accessibilty for PWD and access to government by all citizens.

<Owen> Having just scanned the latest draft, I'm not sure I could agree this statement is true: Government agencies in the United States use the term voluntary consensus standards according to [US-OMB119].

<josema> [ISSUE-30 and ISSUE-34 can then be closed]

John: Let's move on to Issue-35
... Jose, is that the best way for us to proceed? close Issue-34?

<Owen> It has been two years since I retired, but when I left goverment, the prevailing definition of "standard" was a personal proprietary product preference (P4).

Jose: I heard from Sharron that accessibility is well covered, so yes.

John: As long as we have on the record that we have considered, discussed and concluded that it is sufficiently addressed, then we can close it.

<Owen> P4 + the political power to impose upon others (P6IO)

<Owen> correction P6IOU

Jose: So Issue-35 is about the comments from BSA. We have a lawyer at W3C who has advised about the difference between open source and open standards.
... I think we are good on that front because we have recognized various interpretations of terms, Europe/US differences, etc. BSA wants a distinction made and wants no endorsement in this document for open standards.

<Owen> correction to correction P6IUO

Jose: Have others reviewed the comments? We should be clear about our meaning and should not have endorsements.

Daniel: There is section after Open Standards called Open Source Solutions...?
... That language could be cleaned up to say whenever possible document models should be based on open standards whether open source or proprietary.

<davemc> that's a can of worms.

Owen: An important distinction needs to be made between open data and open software. The open data is most important.

Daniel: I will tweek the language to be very neutral.

John: Issue-36 is next.

Daniel: Yes this one is mine I put this out on the National Dialogue but got some blowback. It may be too soon for this idea. We can close this one.

Summary and discuss any additional concerns

John: Any other issues that we can address that have not yet?

Daniel: Or issues that still need to be raised?

Jose: Issue 2 is still open pending receipt of new text; 15 the same; 17 have the text and need to integrate; 35 agreed but must respond to BSA and see if it acceptable to them; 36 closed; Rachel offered help with Issue 24

Rachel: Yes I am working on it right now.

<davemc> Thank you

Rachel: I will have it to you at the end of the day today.

Jose: Kevin is writing an Exec Summary. So we will have Intro, Background, Abstract, Status of Document...many sections that are summary sections
... maybe should coordinate with Kevin. We have many sections that deal with the same general thing.

John: In the next 24 hours we should be able to close all the issues if everyone does what they have said.

<davemc> I may have missed it.. what is the resolution on "open data and open software" ?

Jose: Many issues were left from the F2F meeting

<davemc> focus on open data, I hope

<josema> yes

<davemc> ty

<Owen> I believe the "Semantics" paragraph would be improved by appending this sentence: Toward that end, it would be beneficial to publish on the Web in readily sharable, referenceable format the names and definitions of elements currently being used, regardless of the scope of agreement that has been achieved.

Sharron: Glossary will be submitted in HTML format by EOD today

Jose: Personally not sure if I can work on document tomorrow but will make final edits Friday and send to list.
... first thing Saturday will send message to webmaster.

John: Good to have a window to review glossary, etc

Jose: Do you have additional concerns, Owen?

Owen: OMB policy and reality around standards is different.
... wording currently in draft is incorrect.
... also in semantics paragraph, I disagree that goal is shared semantics. Rather provide definitions of elements currently being used, regardless of the scope of agreement that has been achieved.
... can do better by sharing our own semantics in readily sharable format like XML

<davemc> but not limited to XML.

Jose: Am marking document within sections you refer to. Didn't you have email exchanges about that?

Owen: Yes we had put placeholders in the draft.
... current wording is not correct. OMB circular directs agencies to use voluntary consesus standards
... but it is not correct to say that is what they ARE doing.

Jose: I can make those changes.

John: Another case where even if not in complete agreement, better to publish what you mean.

Owen: With those changes, I am happy to have my name on this doc.

John: Any other actions to cover today?
... Then let's take the next 7 minutes and apply them to our tasks. OK?

All: Yes

<davemc> +1

John: Thanks for all this work on what will be an important and useful document. We are adjourned.

<josema> [ADJOURNED]

Summary of Action Items

[End of minutes]

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$Date: 2009/05/07 16:40:22 $