RE: SUO: RE: Motion to Reconsider the vote on SUMO motion
. Further comments interspersed below, prefaced "GH2>
. By the way, let me repeat and emphasise that, like John, I
believe that a lot of good work has been done. I am totally in favour of the
work continuing because of what we are all learning from it.
. My concern remains the likelihood that the final product
will have a structure we haven't decided on (and possibly haven't thought
of) yet, and that it's premature to pretend otherwise.
Cheers Graham Horn
National Data Standards Unit
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Email: Graham.Horn@aihw.gov.au <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Adam Pease [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 22 August 2001 5:18
To: Horn, Graham; 'Frank Farance'
Cc: Standard-Upper-Ontology (E-mail)
Subject: Re: SUO: RE: Motion to Reconsider the vote on SUMO motion
At 02:02 PM 8/21/2001 +1000, Horn, Graham wrote:
> . Further comments interspersed below, prefaced "GH====> ".
>From: Frank Farance [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Monday, 20 August 2001 14:54
>Subject: SUO: Motion to Reconsider the vote on SUMO motion
>At 12:06 2001-08-20 +1000, Horn, Graham wrote:
> > Jim,
> > . I have three comments in view of the
> > contentious way things are turning out at present.
> > . First I feel the carrying of a motion
> > where clearly less than half the participants actively
> > support it strikes me as faulty. I propose that the
> > voting system change so this dose not occur.
>GH====> For example, how often does one abstain when one was very nearly
>about to vote YES? I suggest most of the time people abstain because they
>are just short of voting NO.
I can't speak about other posters, but my abstention on IFF is exactly
that, not a yes or a no. There are balanced reasons on both sides which
prevent either vote.
GH2> Well, you've got a good point. I admit I hadn't realised you voted
that way, and that also reduces my concerns about financial interests below.
>Yes, there are times when it is reaonsable to Abstain: "Should we choose
>vanilla or chocolate?". Either are acceptable to me, so I can Abstain.
>Since I know you participate in other standards activities, I know that you
>know, too, what Abstain means. It is very reasonable to Abstain ... and
>many voters explained their reasoning behind their Abstain votes.
>GH====> Clearly, I don't believe that has been the type of abstention we
>have been having here.
I don't think this is clear at all. People have the option of writing
comments with their votes to clarify.
GH2>` Its true I don't feel abstentions make up a neat aspect of voting on
such issues, and naturally that's why not all groups handle them the same
way. What we really need is a multivalue option, varying from strongly
support to strongly oppose with corresponding numerical values, but I'm
being very radical to propose that questionnaire style to voting.
> > . I suggest that the current handling of
> > abstain should be limited to nonparticipation. I
> > suggest that to carry a motion needs active
> > support by a majority.
>The quality "active" is hard to measure, but a majority (Yes vs. No) is
>to measure. The current rules (Robert's) already require a majority (Yes
>vs. No) for approval of a motion.
> > . My second comment is that I think
> > that the current lack of consensus indicates that the
> > option presented is not one generating cohesion. ...
>Again, since I know that you are familiar with standards activities, I know
>you know that in standards development, there *is* less consensus in the
>beginning of a standards project than later on when the work is approved <-
>that is why the standards process is called a "consensus-building process".
>Clearly, much more consensus is required for an approved standard <- that's
>why we "develop" the work (i.e., standards development). I agree that
>without the requisite consensus, we will have no standard ... it is very
>important to listen to participants' suggestions and improvements to
>GH====> I believe that the concerns expressed in this work are such that
>that is not yet happening here. Don't get me wrong. If the majority were
>greater I wouldn't be expressing my concern. I admit the fact that there
>seem to be financial interests binding a significant portion of voters, all
>of whose votes are being recorded individually, makes me concerned that the
>true support for the project's technical merits may be even weaker than it
>appears. You can't deny that the concerns about the proposal are mainly
Well, I can deny it. I think we have a range of opinions. Some people like
Nicola and Pat have expressed both detailed technical concerns as well as
more general methodological or philosophical ones. Although Bob Spillers
disagrees with me on this, I believe his objections (at least as stated in
this forum) have not been technical ones.
GH2> OK, I guess it comes down to opinions, then.
In fact, I believe that a number of people just don't support the existing
PAR and so wouldn't support any proposal that attempted to address the
actual charter of this group. Maybe that is a technical concern, but not
one that is within the possible scope of the effort.
GH2> As you should know, that is NOT my reason for the current vote, but
rather the matter of (lack of a reasonably developed) vision put forward by
> > . I suggest that we similarly need an option
> > for a form of document status that generates consensus
> > and cohesion rather than dissent and division. I believe
> > that pushing the current minority motion through is
> > defective process. I suggest that support for something
> > that doesn't specifically intend to become the final
> > product will gain far wider support, and should be what
> > is decided at this stage.
>I believe this is a very bad idea: having the committee spend time on
>"something that doesn't specifically intend to become the final product".
>Why should we spend time on work that does not intend to help us with the
>final product? In the past decade, virtually all standards administrators
>have made it a point to eliminate such non-standards projects from their
>list of active standards projects. Working on non-standards in a standards
>committee is not a productive use of time. It is reasonable to work on
>non-standards, even in IEEE, but if you want to do that you should create a
>task force (e.g., within IEEE) or something else that is explicitly not
>GH====> My belief is that that is what participants would be far happier
>supporting at present. Once robustness is demonstrated, then the current
>ballot question will attract far more support, but clearly that doesn't
>apply at present.
>GH====> I believe progress is faster when cohesion stirs enthusiasm, but
>that division hampers this.
>In this WG, we have a PAR that describes our work and WG participants are
>working towards that goal. Currently, there are two documents, SUMO
>(completed ballot) and IFF (currently in ballot), and I'd expect more
>contributions to further our efforts towards that goal of developing a
>GH====> Fyi, the grounds for my negative votes apply equally to both
>proposals. They were the reasons advanced by John Sowa, following the face
>to face meeting at the recent conference.
> > . I accordingly suggest we have a new ballot
> > * with new rules that avoid the decision being
> > carried by a minority of participants, and
> > * with and end point option that omits the
> > characteristic that is clearly causing the division within
> > the group.
> > . I suggest it is too early to commit to the
> > form of status offered in the previous vote, and this is
> > the reason for its very equivocal support.
>The ballot question was:
> "Should the IEEE P1600.1 Standard Upper Ontology Working Group
>commence work on the Suggested Upper Merged Ontology (SUMO) version 1.15
>[June 22, 2001] posted at ..., with the intent of developing it into the
>final SUO document? ... Note 2: This may be one of several
>documents to be combined and aligned into the final SUO document via the
>consensus building process."
> > ...
> > . Third, I feel the process discussed below
> > gives far too little time for participants to reasonably
> > receive and consider options, especially in an
> > international forum functioning as a part time activity.
> > I suggest a week at the very least should be allowed in
> > such circumstances. In fact, allowing for people having
> > holidays, a month would be far more appropriate.
>If these were face-to-face meetings, these votes would be decided much
>GH====> Yes, but this process means numbers of people will miss out on the
>opportunity to have their say purely because of the vagaries of e-mail, and
>their frequency of accessing it. I don't believe that is supportable as a
>principle in this particular electronic environment.
> > . Anyway, what's the hurry? What is so critical
> > in such a long term (years) project that it matters that
> > things be decided in a day rather than a week or month?
>Well I'm not intersted in standards projects taking forever. So we wait a
>month (or even a week) for each procedural step? Yes, that's right ...
>that's how I spent my (northern hemisphere) summer: June was spent watching
>someone make a motion, July was spent seconding it, August was for some
>discussion ... but we had to wait until September because people were on
>holiday, October was for calling the question, November was for conducting
>the vote, December was for the motion to reconsider, January was for ...
>a lot of work done, right?
>GH====> Neither am I, but I'm not supportive of undue haste either.
>Quibbling over a day by e-mail strikes me as definitely depriving people of
>reasonable opportunity to express themselves.
I guess we have a different notion of undue haste. This group has existed
for over a year.
GH2> My concern is with this particular vote, not the overall timeframe.
If people try to use undue haste at any part of a process, and others
object, then the result is usually a slowing of progress.
It's not too soon to focus on a specific proposal. Nor should several
months be considered too brief just to determine how to vote on a proposal.
GH2> Agreed, however I also see a need for an agreed vision to have been
achieved for that to reasonably occur. I don't believe that's happened here,
or else we all wouldn't be having this discussion.
GH2> I realise it's frustrating for those who want to get on with it, but
we are a group. I just don't see minority active support for the vote as
being adequate when I believe there would be far more support for the
slightly different status of SUMO as a working document.
GH2> Do you disagree with me on my assessment of active support for the
proposal to continue work on SUMO as a working document?
>Frank Farance, Farance Inc. T: +1 212 486 4700 F: +1 212 759 1605
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