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Sigh -- More procedure
- To: Masinter.PA@Xerox.COM
- Subject: Sigh -- More procedure
- From: Kent M Pitman <KMP@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM>
- Date: Sat, 6 Jun 87 00:11 EDT
- Cc: CL-Cleanup@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU, KMP@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM
I'm sorry for the length of this message. It treats an issue which
I thought we'd settled before when Fahlman edited a proposal and
forgot to change its status back to internal, but in my view that
agreement has been violated again an I want to re-open the issue:
My votes are significantly based on the wording of a proposal, not just
their spirit. My guess from their behavior is that many of the others on
this list do likewise. To me, no other choice is possible because this
same rigor is the manner in which CLtL gets interpreted by users and
we accept the fact that every word and punctuation mark could potentially
make a difference.
Earlier this week, I allocated a long evening to carefully re-read all
the relevant mail leading up to the proposals upon which we were asked
to vote. I allocated this time at your request, believing that this was
the final vote and that extreme care was in order. Now you've changed
the proposal and marked some things ready for release and/or falsely
claimed that the cleanup committee endorses this proposal, which in fact
the cleanup committee has not seen.
When I worked on the student newspaper at MIT, we had a policy that we
didn't reply to letters to the editor; the reason was that the paper
always had the opportunity to get in the last word and this wasn't fair
in a forum which was supposed to promote open discussion. Likewise, we
have an informal rule that the moderator at X3J13 meetings should not
feel free to interject comments in between designating queued speakers
-- since he obviously has an unfair opportunity to say more than is
appropriate. I think it would be useful if we could agree that the
moderator here should follow the same conventions as everyone else in
either not being able to change things at the last minute.
I'm willing to be very liberal in my definition of "the last minute". I
consider that the line was drawn when you yourself said we were making a
final vote and that if people had been hesitating that this was the time
they should say something. I think it is inconsiderate for you to then
make further changes that cause me to feel compelled to spend more time
when I've already gone for broke on my budgeted time at your own
suggestion. I feel that since you have the last contact with the documents
between now and when they are seen by X3J13, that you have a moral
obligation to resist changing them in that interval or to explicitly admit
that another full round of voting is in order.
I was very hesitant to send out my change to AREF-1D and FORMAT-OP-C
proposals at the last minute, but it seemed clear that the vote was not
going to favor the existing versions so there seemed little harm in getting
an early start on the next voting cycle. In fact, even after making all
the desired changes, I carefully marked both of these to have been approved
only on previous passes so that people's votes would not be misconstrued.
This kind of care may seem silly, but I believe it to be important.
I would not have been and will not be disturbed if neither AREF-1D nor
FORMAT-OP-C is presented to X3J13 due to our having had too little time
to review the most recent proposals internally and re-vote.
I want it clear that I have expressed no opinion on:
KEYWORD-ARGUMENT-NAME-PACKAGE (Version 4)
FORMAT-OP-C (Version 4)
If either of these documents is distributed to X3J13 prior to my having
expressed an opinion that they are acceptable in their current form, I
will be upset. [If it is possible for me to accept either or both in the
current form, I'll try to do so to minimize work for all, but I can't
By the way, the top of your message about KEYWORD-ARGUMENT-NAME-PACKAGE
``I made the discussion less wishy-washy by saying we rejected disallowing
NIL. I made some edits to fix typos various people pointed out. I fixed
In fact, you changed more than just the "Discussion" field. You changed
the Proposal field. I'm sure you meant to use the term generically and not
to specifically mislead me into looking only in the Discussion field to
see what you'd changed, but perhaps this illustrates why every word is so
important to me. One little difference (eg, the difference between "discussion"
and "Discussion") can really have a big effect.