(j3.2006) [Re: Spreadsheet from meeting 167]

Van Snyder Van.Snyder
Fri Nov 2 20:25:11 EDT 2012


Fri Nov 2 03:03:15 MDT 2012 Malcolm Cohen wrote

> > In 2004, we put some focused effort into evaluating proposals for
> > the 2008 work plan.  These were all discussed in plenary sessions
> > (see item1.4 in the minutes, 04-272r1).

> Right, and given the large number of proposals, one might think that
> plenary did not discuss them in great detail...  OTOH I was not there,
> so what do I know...

Apparently nothing.  There was substantial discussion as plenary, during
FIVE days at FIVE consecutive meetings: 167 -- 171.  At 167, essentially
all discussion was in plenary.  There were tutorials at 167 and 169.

> ...but I do know that "undecided" was not an option, so "like" really
> means "don't object"...

No, Malcolm doesn't know that.  He is absolutely wrong.  If one looks
carefully at the numbers, one will see that some add up to 13, and some
only to 8.  "Undecided" was definitely an option; it just wasn't counted
and recorded in the spreadsheets.  There was no occassion when five
members got up and marched out of the room.

> > I reviewed the spreadsheet 04-265r1.xls, and noticed that the
> > following proposals had overwhelmingly positive sympathy,

> Yes, according to the minutes they had positive sympathy for
> "Should JOR spend time on the proposal?"

Which is the opposite order from how we worked at 199.  Further, the
minutes state that plenary was acting as JOR.  There were tutorials
during plenary at 167 and 169.  AFTER advocates for projects had the
opportunity to make a case IN PLENARY, subgroups pondered the ones
PLENARY agreed had merit in more detail, and offered opinions of
difficulty and priorities.  Reconsideration of the merits was very rare.
AFTER plenary had pondered the merits, subgroups used the semi-detailed
proposals in the listed papers, not one-sentence or one-word summaries.
John Reid insisted on a separate paper for each proposal, and on
limiting each to one page; Malcolm and Richard Maine objected at the
time to more detail.

> I don't think that resurrecting old ideas we already considered
> (sometimes more than once) and decided not to do is a particularly
> good approach to identifying how to improve the language.

If you compare the lists in the spreadsheets, you will notice that I did
not include any items to which there was more than one objection.

Of the ones we decided not to do for priority reasons, there was
explicit agreement that they were postponed, not killed, and that they
would be reconsidered for a future revision.  Are we now to renege on
that agreement?

> Also, many of the "not yet been reconsidered" items are full-blown new
> features, 

Is Malcolm implying some sort of deception on my part?  The 2004
assessment of the size of each project was not censored from the list I
sent yesterday.

> these really need a strikingly good case to be made for them if there
> is to be any reconsideration

I have been asking for FOUR YEARS to know "When do I get to make any
case at all for new features?"

So when do I get the opportunity?  How does one make a "strikingly good
case," or indeed any case at all, if Malcolm continues to act the bully?

In 2004, we adopted a fair method to make a good case.  We are not now
following that method, or anything remotely resembling it, or indeed
anything worthy of the name "method."

Has anybody read the proposals?  If not, how do you consider yourself
qualified to vote other than "absent"?  There were paper numbers in
yesterday's e-mail message.  For the proposals in 12-195 that were
considered in 2004, the paper numbers from 2004 were included.  Did
anybody who voted on the proposals read the papers?  I didn't see any
paper numbers from 2004 proposals in 12-183.

The proposals in 12-195 that had not appeared in 2004 were necessarily
brief, because the opportunity to propose anything at all was a surprise
that was sprung on Monday of meeting 199, after I had been asking for
FOUR YEARS "when do we start the next revision?"  In 2004, each proposal
was contained in a separate paper.  12-183 described proposals in a few
lines.  It was clear that nothing more detailed would be considered, or
forthcoming.  Most of the proposals in 12-183 had never appeared
anywhere before.  Yet we considered them, putting them ahead of others
we had earlier promised to reconsider.

> In a few cases this was due to resource limitations rather than 
> a subsequent lack of support

A "few" cases?  Nonsense!  As plenary, J3 spent quite a bit of time in
FIVE MEETINGS, using a fair and objective process, to separate proposals
into three priority categories.  Of course the relationship between
desirability and resources played a part, but those with "lack of
support" were already off the table.  After 167, the list got
progressively shorter almost exclusively based upon the relationship
between priority and resources.

We agreed explicitly, using the words "not at this time," during the
organized process we adopted in 2004-2005, that the proposals that got
bumped from the work plan because others were judged to be more
important were postponed, not killed, and could be considered for the
next revision after 2008.

Are we now to renege on that agreement?  Are we now to drop the
proposals that earlier were agreed to be desirable but less important
than projects we have now completed, and put others that have sprung up
like toadstools in the night at the head of the queue?  Are we not going
to consider ALL the proposals on their merits, and then put priorities
on those with merit, and then draw a line based upon resources and
schedules, and then formulate our work plan?

I am very disappointed with the "process" we are following.  Calling it
a "process" is an insult to the word "process."

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