Opened 6 months ago

#146 new task

Decisions by the CF conventions committee about management of versions of CF

Reported by: jonathan Owned by: cf-conventions@…
Priority: medium Milestone:
Component: cf-conventions Version:
Keywords: Cc:

Description

This ticket is to record some decisions taken in emails by the CF committee during June and July 2015 about the management of versions of the CF conventions. This ticket should remain open until the required changes to the rules and website have been made, and 1.7 is finished and published.

  • It was agreed to abolish provisional status. This means removing the three paragraphs of http://cfconventions.org/rules.html which mention provisional status, and inserting the following new text to replace them:

If the change, once implemented in the conventions, subsequently turns out to be materially flawed, meaning that data written following the convention could be somehow erroneous or ambiguous, a trac ticket should urgently be opened to discuss whether to revoke the change. If this is agreed by a majority of the committee, a new version of the conventions will be prepared immediately, with the second digit of the version number incremented, and will be recommended to be used instead of the flawed version. The flawed version will be deprecated by a statement in the standard document and the conformance document. However, any data written with the flawed version will not be invalidated, although it may be problematic for users. Errors or lack of clarity in wording, when the convention itself is not at fault, can be corrected by defect tickets on the usual schedule.

  • If a change has to be reversed, the simplest approach would be to prepare a new version minus the one offending change. Anyone could draft the required change in the ticket. The usual procedures in force at the time for producing a new version of the standards document would be followed.
  • The best way to make 1.7 is to get a complete AsciiDoc of 1.6 first. The AsciiDoc source will not have any provisional markup, just 1.6 without showing deletions and modifications, but we can keep the existing PDF with the markup for reference. Once the AsciiDoc is ready, we can proof-read 1.6 made from the new AsciiDoc source, and after that make 1.7 at last by implementing all the currently agreed tickets, without showing provisional status.
  • Appendix G (which will be Appendix Z in 1.7 and thereafter) should describe all the changes implemented in each version in a user-friendly way. This info should come from the tickets, so in future we should make sure that before a ticket is agreed it has a correct short (one or two sentences) description of its effect.
  • In future we aim to have a release six-monthly or less (provided new tickets have been agreed of course).
  • The work in AsciiDoc is all being done on GitHub. In future, we will not mark up the document to show changes, because GitHub will be able to show the differences between versions. When we have more experience with it, we should revisit the management of the document, including the possibility of adding a third digit to the document version number (for trivial changes), and of using GitHub issues instead of trac.
  • It was agreed to recognise the contribution to the CF convention made by individuals who have provided information management and support, namely John Graybeal (Stanford University), Kyle Halliday (LLNL), Matthew Harris (LLNL), David Hassell (University of Reading), Rosalyn Hatcher (University of Reading), Richard Hattersley (UK Met Office), Mark Hedley (UK Met Office), Velimir Mlaker (LLNL), Jeff Painter (LLNL), Alison Pamment (CEDA). We will maintain this list in addition to the separate lists of original and additional authors of the convention and contributors to the standard names table.

Jonathan Gregory, 14 Dec 2015

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