(j3.2006) [Re: Proposal for system of units]

Malcolm Cohen malcolm
Thu Nov 15 02:00:45 EST 2012

>They "lost" in subgroup by a vote of 1-1-1.

Right.  That's a loss.  Motion FAILS.

>  For those of you who
>weren't in the /DATA meeting, Malcolm arrived with his copy of 12-195
>already marked with the ones that would not get out,

Don't be ridiculous.  I wasn't supposed to read through the paper first and work 
out whether I thought the proposals were good bad or indifferent?  Quite a few 
were not, in fact, pre-marked.

> allowed me only
>superficial explanation of some of them,

If the paper was too superficial (and it was), that was YOUR fault.  It was YOUR 

In any case, one does not "explain" something to someone who already understands 
the issue.  You can debate the issue (and we did), but not needing to have 
something explained to me is not a fault on my part.  You explained the ones 
that needed explanation and not the ones that did not, how is that a negative 

> and did not budge on any of them.

That is not quite accurate.  I certainly did not budge on the ones with 
technical flaws, but I allowed myself to be convinced on others.

>  For several, he simply said "we're not going to do that," and
>there was no further discussion.

Yes, there were some that I was quite dismissive of...  In the interests of 
doing actual useful work on the ones that we had an actually good chance of 
getting agreement on, and sufficient technical details down for plenary to 
actually vote on them without extended explanations, I wished to move the 
discussion on.


And wait just a cotton-picking minute.  There we are in subgroup having 
discussions, and if read the paper beforehand and I don't later change my mind 
to agree with you that is me being "bad", but if you don't change your mind that 
is you being "good"?  Even after I point out what in my opinion were fatal 
technical flaws?  (In one case, the fatal technical flaw being that it was 
already part of the language and had been for 20 years!)

If you don't want discussion with people who might venture to disagree with you, 
you have picked the wrong committee.

FWIW, at the time there were quite a few that it seemed to me that you accepted 
that the case for them was flawed, so I am very surprised that you are now 
arguing otherwise.


>  Are J3 members who were not in
>the /DATA subgroup meeting care to hear, for example, why lazy
>evaluation of MERGE would be desirable?

Or indeed, why it would not be desirable.

The committee has debated this before, and it was turned down.

>In 2004, John proposed, and J3 accepted, a format for proposals: one
>paper per proposal, preferably limited to one page, with a section
>describing the problem to be solved, and a section describing the
>proposed solution.
>Had there been notice before meeting 199 that proposals for work items
>for the next revision were in order,

No, proposals for arbitrary new features are NOT in order.  According to WG5, 
what we are casually terming "wart removal" is in order.

Furthermore, prior to meeting 199 you were in fact informed that "wart removal" 
was indeed on the agenda and I wrote that it was time we started thinking about 
it (or we would run out of time to do a good job on it) and indeed encouraged 
you to consider that and submit papers.

> I would have prepared papers in
>that format.
>Since that appears to be at least one reason for rejecting the proposals
>in 12-195,

Not on my part, though admittedly some of the one and two word proposals were a 
bit hard to fathom initially!

> I shall prepare a separate paper for each one, in the 2004 format.

Sure, just spam the committee with things they have already rejected.  I am sure 
that will change everyone's mind.

I will say that for some of the items my comments did include that I thought 
there was a possibility of making an improvement in that area, but that the 
particular suggestion in 12-195 did not hit the mark.  Just reproducing the 
12-195 suggestion but in more words is unlikely to help those, but a better 
suggestion might be a good idea.

................................Malcolm Cohen, Nihon NAG, Tokyo. 

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