I spent last week in Okinawa, attending the first face-to-face meeting of SC 34 Working Group 4. This is the group responsible for the maintenance of IS29500, with Murata Makoto as the convenor and Rex Jaeschke as the project editor. I haven't seen the official list of attendees yet, but there were representatives present from many countries including Japan, Korea, China, Denmark, Norway, Germany, UK, and the US, as well as Ecma TC45 in our liaison role.
In this meeting we discussed procedural matters and reviewed the JTC1 directives that define the maintenance process we'll be following, and then we started working through the defect reports that have been submitted to date. There are pending defect reports from Japan, UK, Switzerland, and Ecma, ranging from simple typos to significant changes such as the Swiss proposal to modify the namespaces in IS29500 to distinguish them from the ECMA-376 namespaces.
Rex Jaeschke provided an overview of how the maintenance process works, as outlined in this diagram:
The basic concept is that WG4 will process a set of defect reports which are then published as a COR (technical corrigendum). This COR may result in a reprint of the spec, to incorporate the changes into the text of the standard for ease of use by implementers. Amendments follow a slightly different process, and result in a revision to the spec, which can include new functionality in addition to corrections.
One aspect of this meeting that I hadn't anticipated was the amount of tweeting going on. I've recently started using Twitter myself, and Alex Brown and Jesper Lund Stocholm were using Twitter to share details of the conversation, or just have some fun. It was useful at times to see Alex's tweets from the WG5 meeting down the hall during the times when we split into two separate meetings. If you're a Twitter user and interested in IS29500 maintenance, check out the feeds for al3xbrown, jlundstocholm, or dmahugh.
These meetings usually include some type of social event in the evening, and this time was no different. JISC sponsored a reception on Thursday evening that included traditional Eisa dancing. And on the final day, after we adjourned at noon and some of the attendees were headed for the airport, eight of us hired a van to take us to some sites in nearby areas, including Shurijo Castle, the Okinawa tunnels, and the beach.
Thanks to Murata-san, Professor Lee, SC 34 Chair Sam Oh, and everyone else who helped put on this interesting and useful meeting. We'll continue the work of WG4 via email in the weeks ahead, and the next face-to-face meeting will occur in late March in Prague, where the SC 34 plenary will take place.