[Core-Concepts] Starting the Core Concepts Exploratory Group

Richard Smith rsmith at fhiso.org
Mon Sep 1 19:06:31 CDT 2014

Thank you once again for your offer to participate in the work of the
Core Concepts Exploratory Group (CCEG).

This mailing list (core-concepts at fhiso.org) has been created for the
group's use.  It has not yet been publicly announced, and at the moment
the only subscribers are the three of you who have initially committed
to participate in the CCEG's work (Nick Matthews, Thomas Wetmore and
Justin York) plus the two members of the TSC (Luther Tychonievich and
Richard Smith).  Perhaps I could encourage the three initial CCEG
members to send a brief introduction to the list?

The first task is for the CCEG members and the TSC to settle on the
Directives of the CCEG.  The purpose of these is to define the
parameters in which the CCEG will operate.  I have attached a draft that
I hope will serve as a starting point for discussion: I'm sure there
will changes you'll wish to make.  Tom Wetmore sent a message on this
subject to the tsc-public at fhiso.org mailing list which was helpful in
preparing the first draft:


Once we have converged on a mutually-agreeable set of Directives, the
TSC will publish them on the FHISO website, appoint a Coordinator for
the CCEG, and announce the existence of this list to the wider community.

Richard Smith                    rsmith at fhiso.org
FHISO Technical Standing Committee Co-Coordinator
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1.  Mission

The Core Concepts Exploratory Group (CCEG) of the Family History
Information Standards Organisation, Inc. (FHISO) is tasked with carrying
out exploratory work, as defined in section 1.2 of the Technical
Standing Committee (TSC) Operations and Policy Manual (O&PM), into the core
genealogical concepts pertaining to persons, their intrinsic and extrinsic
properties, the events in their lives, and the relationships they have with
other persons.

The CCEG shall research, compare and document the approach to these
concepts adopted by current applications and standards in wide-spread
use.  The CCEG may include other such applications, standards and
research in this work as they see fit.  The TSC may also direct the CCEG
to consider any relevant ideas submitted to the TSC as part of its Call
for Paper Submissions (CFPS).  A list of such CFPSs is appended to these
Directives as annex A.2.

The CCEG shall draw on this research to reach a consensus on the broad
manner in which these concepts are to be modelled in a future FHISO
standard.  Consideration shall be given to compatbility with existing
data models (including GEDCOM) and the likely requirements for forwards
compatibility.  Areas requiring further research shall be identified, as
should potential points of extensibility.  Particular attention should
be paid to those decisions likely to effect the work of other technical

Not everything that may be considered a core genealogical concept is
within the scope of the CCEG.  In particular, the following subjects are
considered beyond of scope of the CCEG: dates and calendars; personal
names; place names and other geographical data; sources, citations and
attribution; and the detailed modelling of evidence, reasoning and

The CCEG shall avoid placing onerous requirements on the choice of
serialisation formats or data formalisms that may be adopted by the

2. Operation

The CCEG shall ordinarily conduct its business on the public
core-concepts at fhiso.org mailing list.  The CCEG may after consultation
with the TSC conduct business or hold meetings in other manners,
providing it is consistent with principles of the standards development
process given in section 6 of the O&PM.

Work may be prioritised and divided as the CCEG sees fit.  When a major
section of work is completed, the CCEG are encouraged to publish it as a
Technical Group Note (TGN) to provide third parties and other FHISO groups
with an indication of the future direction of FHISO's work. 

It is anticipated that the final deliverable produced by the group will
be a formal Project Proposal (per section 4.1 of the O&PM) covering the
content of a future FHISO standard relating to the concepts with in
scope of the CCEG.  As FHISO's policy with respect to modularisation
develops, the TSC may direct the CCEG to split this Project Proposal
into several parts, or to liaise with other Exploratory Groups to
produce a single Project Proposal jointly.  The CCEG may publish their
recommendation as a Working Group Note once it is complete if they feel
it would be premature to formal propose the creation of a Project Team.

The CCEG may additionally produce any other deliverable permitted by
section 3.3 of the O&PM, and it may produce CFPS Reponses for any CFPS
assigned to it per section 3 of the TSC Charter.

All deliverables produced by the CCEG shall comply with the policies
given in section 5 of the O&PM, and which any style guides that in the
future be approved by the TSC or by FHISO's Executive Committee.  The
TSC shall maintain as annex A.3 to these Directives a record of all
deliverables produce by the CCEG.

The CCEG Coordinator shall keep concise minutes of the decision made by
the CCEG, and other events deemed worthy of record.  The CCEG
Coordinator should liaise with the TSC to ensure these are made public
no more than a month after the events being minuted.  This task may be
delegated to a Recorder appointed by the CCEG Coordinator.

3. Governance

The work of the CCEG shall be supervised by the TSC and is governed by
the policies given in sections 2 and 3 of the O&PM, and section 4 of the
TSC Charter.  The TSC shall appoint an Coordinator for the CCEG, and who
shall be identified in annex A.1 of these Directives.

The TSC shall maintain as annex A.1 of these Directives a list of
members of the CCEG, which shall distinguish associate and transitional
members.  The TSC shall inform the CCEG Coordinator of changes to this
list.  The CCEG Coordinator is responsible for informing the TSC if in
the CCEG Coordinators opinion a member lapses into or reverts from
transitional status.  If other formal roles are established in the CCEG,
these shall be communicated to the TSC and identified in annex A.1.

All members of the CCEG must abide by FHISO's Code of Conduct.

Annex A

This annex contains supplementary information that is not formally part
of the CCEG Directives but is appended to them for convenience.  

A.1.  Members

Nick Matthews (initial member)
Thomas Wetmore (initial member)
Justin York (initial member)

A.2.  Assigned CFPSs

The CCEG has not yet been assigned CFPSs.

A.3.  Deliverables produced

The CCEG has not yet produced any deliverables.

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