[tdwg-tag] "Quality" in TDWG Standards

Blum, Stan sblum at calacademy.org
Sat Nov 24 22:06:52 CET 2007

I'll try to respond in the coming week to specific questions and points
raised on the wiki, but for now I'd just like to support Roger's position
that it would be good for the TAG to have (and publish) some basic guidelines
about how TDWG activities and standards should integrate.   
It might help clarify this issue to note that it concerns the next level
above TDWG standards; i.e., TDWG's social architecture (organizational
structure and processes).  The TDWG constitution and standards process are
not easy to change, so we took a relatively conservative and open approach in
drafting them.  They are only minimally prescriptive.  In contrast, documents
produced by the TAG (roadmap, guidelines, etc.) can be updated more
frequently -- i.e., as necessary.  If a particular piece of advice turns out
to be ill-considered, you can change it or delete as soon as that consensus
has been reached.  I think it would be very helpful to TDWG participants if
TAG documents were more prescriptive about technologies and scope.
I also second Chuck's observation that techniques for producing quality
software might not be completely transferable to producing quality standards.
Both software and standards do contain elements of design, however, so
methods or principles for assessing design quality, could have analogs in
both domains.  
Also note that while TDWG has recently supported software development
(particularly reference implementations of standards) because it has had the
resources to do so, in general TDWG will not be in the software business and
cannot be seen as endorsing particular software packages (unless we get into
compliance tests and certification, which seem fairly distant at this point).


From: tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org on behalf of Roger Hyam
Sent: Sat 2007-11-24 6:32 AM
To: tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
Subject: [tdwg-tag] "Quality" in TDWG Standards

Dear Tags,

Bob Morris and Chuck Miller have made some interesting comments on 
this page in the wiki:


I'd like to throw this open to a wider audience as I am aware that 
many of you are not on the notify list of the wiki pages.

The question in hand (as I see it) is this.

The TAG has a role to play maintaining the "quality" of TDWG 
standards. If the executive (or any other member of TDWG) asks the TAG 
what its opinion on a particular standard or proposed activity is how 
should the TAG respond.

1) Should it have a list of criteria that guide it in assessing the 

2) Should it take a completely ad hoc approach to each request?

My opinion is that we should have at least a list of basic criteria 
even if some of those criteria are not appropriate to all situations. 
Before we embark on building such a list does anyone disagree with the 
notion of having a list at all?

I'll take a week of silence as assent.

Many thanks for you brain cycles on this,


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