[cabfpub] Ballot process ordering

Ryan Sleevi sleevi at google.com
Thu Nov 3 15:15:16 UTC 2016

On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 2:50 AM, Gervase Markham <gerv at mozilla.org> wrote:
> OK, we're getting closer. Why do you think the 8.3 supports the idea of
> DG -> FG -> FMG? Here it is:
> 8.3 f): "'Final Maintenance Guideline' is an errata to or amendment of
> an existing CAB Forum Final Guideline."
> That seems fairly clearly to me to state that an FMG is a "patch" to an
> FG (i.e. a whole document), not that such a patch starts as a DG,
> becomes an FG and then becomes an FMG. Can you explain more clearly how
> you construe these words to reach your interpretation?

You're treating FG / FMG as mutually exclusive, which is certainly one

It's important to consider all three:
d. “Draft Guideline” means a version of a CAB Forum guideline that has not
been approved as a Final Guideline or Final Maintenance Guideline,
regardless of whether or not the Draft Guideline has been published.
e. “Final Guideline” is any version of a Draft Guideline that the
Participants have agreed is a final version of such Draft Guideline
pursuant to the CAB Forum process for approving Final Guidelines.
f. “Final Maintenance Guideline” is an errata to or amendment of an
existing CAB Forum Final Guideline.

The argument goes as this:
1) Everything starts as a DG, by definition, since a DG is anything that
hasn't been approved yet - and our Bylaws describe how Guidelines are
approved (Ballots & Review)
2) When a DG is voted upon, it meets the definition of "Final Guideline" -
since it's pursuant to the process of approving Final Guidelines (a ballot)
3) Therefore, we conclude that if everything starts as a DG, when it's
voted upon, it becomes an FG

Now, if you don't agree that everything starts as a DG, it'd be useful to
understand why. Similarly, if it does begin as a DG, it's useful to
understand why you don't believe a ballot to amend by a document meets the
formal definition set forth in e. It may *also* meet the definition of f,
but if it meets the definition of e, it's also a DG -> FG transition.

If we accept a successful ballot to amend an existing FG is both a Final
Guideline *and* a Final Maintenance Guideline (rather than *or*), then it's
a matter of determining whether the Review Period should be that of FGs (60
days) or FMGs (30 days). If you argue 30 days, then you're saying there is
a subclass of FGs which don't go through the 60 day period.

The core issue here is that the IPR policy is subtlely inconsistent with
whether or not e/f are mutually exclusive, given the definition in d. I
think it's totally reasonable to suggest that it's DG -> (FG || FMG), but
I'm suggesting that the text does not unambiguously support that - and it's
something to be resolved.
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