[TSC-public] Announcing a revision of technical work process

Luther Tychonievich tychonievich at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 10:12:35 CST 2016

FHISO tsc-public audience,

It has come to the attention of the Board and TSC that

* FHISO's bylaws, the TSC charter, and the TSC operations and policy manual
were all designed with a large organization in mind;

* the number of willing participants in FHISO's work is measured in the
dozens, not hundreds, even though there are many more interested parties;

* the structure built to coordinate the work of hundreds is impeding the
work of the few.

The TSC thus proposes that we adopt a much less structured, more
volunteer-based process.  In particular, we propose the following:

1. The structure of the TSC itself will be subject to changes in the
bylaws, which are anticipated; until such time as the bylaws change and/or
bylaws-specified votes for officers happen, it will continue as presently

2. Technical work at FHISO will be dissolved into a committee of the
whole.  Technical priority and direction will be determined by the TSC,
taking into consideration external opportunities, internal interest, and
available resources.  Any willing participant may join the conversation and
participate in the creation of technical standards.

3. Individuals may be given roles within the technical process and will be
considered to have ownership of their roles' assigned scope provided they
remain active in fulfilling those roles.  Silences or non-participation may
be deemed sufficient reason to reassign or bypass roles.

4. In interest of transparency, a good-faith effort will be made to log and
post an executive summary of major decisions and other technical progress.
Suggestions on how this ought to be done are welcome.

5. Outputs of technical work will be placed before the entire FHISO
membership for vote before being accepted as a standard, and will only be
accepted as a standard upon both (a) consensus of those technical
participants active in its development and (b) majority approval of those
FHISO members voting on it.

It is proposed that these guidelines of action supersede the TSC Charter
and TSC O&PM until such time as FHISO's structure is revised.

All areas where technology and family history intersect and standards may
be appropriate to be within the scope of the TSC.  However, as that scope
far exceeds immediate resources, the TSC suggests priorities that focus on
a smaller subset of that scope at any given time.

1. Build consensus on the nature of vocabularies within future FHISO
standards. A draft policy produced by the TSC is available:


2. Produce a citation element vocabulary identifying the various
descriptive elements that might reasonably be needed in the algorithmic
construction of citations to family history or genealogical sources.

3. Produce a source derivation vocabulary.

The TSC have written a technical strategy paper that amplifies on these


Luther Tychonievich, coordinator
Richard Smith, co-coordinator
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