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Aside: I had a bit of trouble parsing the meaning of “obsolete standards of drafts” – based on your parenthetical description, “drafts of obsolete standards” would be more accurate.
I don’t believe that there is any need to remove them and they should stay available. 802.1 has not removed access. At times we have used them to track down history of a problem and determine a fix. In an ideal world we would be perfect and this would never be necessary, but occasionally errors occur especially when multiple amendments are on the same standard.
By the time an amendment is obsoleted by a revision, the published version has already been available on Get802 and using access to a draft in place of buying a standard when necessary would be economically foolish.
Deleting access to drafts wouldn’t be likely to prevent 1 in your first list or help with 2 and 3 in your second list because by the time the standard is released and then obsoleted, there are already many copies of the drafts off the server.
I fairly frequently find I need to refer to old drafts for various standards development reasons. E.g. to answer “when did we make that change” often as part of finding out “why did we make that change”. Doing that helps in finding the right comment resolution or presentation to back track the history. In many cases, I have the copies in my own archives but sometimes I just looked at the draft on line or need to replace a corrupted copy. Therefore, in my experience having access the old drafts still has uses for further amendment, revision and maintenance of our standards.
Dear 802 SEC,
A question came up in 802.11 at the last session regarding access to obsolete standards of drafts.
(e.g. drafts of amendments that were subsequently published, and then subsequently obsoleted by a revision).
The reasons to access such old documents might be:
1. To avoid paying a fee for the published document (yes, I know we have Get802 and currently a $5 fee).
2. For historical interest, such as documenting the development of a standard for a book or paper
3. For legal reasons
802.11 removes access to such drafts as soon as they are obsoleted by publication of an amendment or revision.
There are perhaps three reasons to do this:
1. The terms under which access to drafts is provided is to develop the amendment/revision.
2. Looking at old drafts can be injurious to your interoperability
3. May dissuade members from purchasing/acquiring/using the approved document
I have researched the IEEE-SA rules and can find no statement that says that access to drafts has to be
removed at any time.
Could I have comments from the SEC members on the following:
1. Do you believe there are any IEEE-SA rules that prevent providing everlasting access to drafts?
2. Do you see any practical pros and cons to this?
3. Do you do this in your group?
Adrian P STEPHENS
Tel: +44 1954 204 609 (office)
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