IEEE 802.15 Working Group Balloting Center

The IEEE 802.15 WG Balloting Center is managed by the Advisory Committee (AC) which functions as the coordinating body supporting the WG Chair in formulations of policy and the performance of his duties. The 802.15 WG Balloting Center is a resource page for the WG and the Task Groups as they prepare their WG Ballots.


The 802.15 has leveraged the 802.3 balloting tools to help reduce the cycle time for completing the comment resolution phase which is during and post WG Letter Ballot.  The original tools we used were based on the 802.11 balloting tools MS Word Ballot (comment formatting tool) and MS Excel (comment resolution tool) resolution tool.  The 802.15 will continue to benchmark their processes and tools to continuously reduce the cycle times for draft creation and the phases of balloting these drafts inside the WG.

The 802.3 balloting tools provide (1) a Comment Formatting Balloting Tool DB for the Voter to vote and submit their comments and (2) a Comment Resolution Balloting Tool DB for the Ballot Resolution Committee to compile, resolve, and report on the comments received for that Letter Ballot/Draft.  Each draft has its own unique set of DBs.  

We are also monitoring the IEEE 802.16 Comment Manager. Commentary which is a single database application for creating, entering, and submitting ballot votes and comments and for logging clause editors' recommendations, group decisions, and editor's actions.  The difference with the 802.16 tool is that each draft can use the same tool (assume that the tool itself does not get updated) and that it can be used in WG and Sponsor Balloting too. 

The IEEE 802 Recommended Tools for Standards Developers provides a good resource list for WG Members that are interested.



The Voter can choose the ASCII file format to vote and send comments or the Comment Formatting Balloting Tool DB.  You have to reformat the text based comments for them to go into the Comment Resolution Balloting Tool DB. What is imported into the database has to match the following format (found in heading.txt):

CommentID~CommenterName~CommenterEmail~CommenterPhone~CommenterFax~Commenter Co~Clause~Subclause~Page~Line~CommentType~Comment~SuggestedRemedy~Response~CommentStatus~ResponseStatus

It is important that you have this line as the first line of the comment file you plan to import, and it is important that you understand the format. CommentID should be 0 for new comments being imported. If there is no information, then leave the field blank. The only exception is the CommentStatus is X, and ResponseStatus is O. For example, a comment line in the text file should look like the following (as in test.txt):

0~Brad to say~~X~O

Certain fields are required, like CommenterName, Clause, CommentType, CommentStatus, Response Status, etc. Others are optional. I've also attached a test comment for you to import.

To import the data, you use the "Input" function in the database. Where it asks for the file name, you have to give the full path name to the file Then you click on the "Rough Import" button. You should be able to click okays until you get a message telling you that the file has been imported into the Rough Import Table. You then need to click on the "Transfer records to Main table" button to add them to the editable database table. If there is a problem with the rough import, you need to click the "Clear Rough import table" button and click the "Reset index" button. The reset index button lets you reset the index or counter for the comments. It will tell you what the last number was, and you just need to enter that number.  You'll have to fix by hand any comments that don't load properly. 

A few of things you should be aware of with the comment text file, at the end of the file you must have only one blank line (for an EOF character), each comment should be contained on one line (it may word wrap automatically, but you shouldn't insert carriage returns), and the file must be in text format with a .txt extension.

The above format permits multiple comments. Each comment must be on a new line and the import routine in the database looks for EOL.

The bottom line is there are two (2) approved Comment Formatting Tool outputs e.g., ASCII and CSV and both files must match the above format. The CSV requires less editing than the ASCII files. Both require the heading as the first line of the file and that the inputs be appended *.TXT.  It is suggested that the best tool for data entry is MS NotePad or MS WordPad.

Note 1 After further test we found an error in the Perl script.  It may be debugged and reintroduced however at this time the best tool is a standard text editor e.g., MS NotePad or MS WordPad.

Note 2: If commenters use "~" or a carriage return, then you have to fake out the import tool to load those comments. We should tell our commenters to not use the "~" but to type "approx." instead. The "~" is a delimiter in the import routine, so if a commenter uses it where it shouldn't be, it screws up the importing. You can replace the "~" with "<TILDE>", and that will permit the character to be imported to the database.

Note 3: Carriage returns (which look like squares in the .csv files) need to be replaced with "<CR>". The import tool interprets "<CR>" as a carriage return.

Note 4: Ballots are not entered into the database.  The WG Chair will tally and announce the results of the ballot for the TG.  It is recommended that the TG designate someone to also tally the ballots to provide a check and balance e.g., verify voter status, accurate ballot, etc.  The more eyes the better.

Note 5: Delete the first and last quote "  character on each comment record (or line), delete second occurrence of any double "" character.  This occurs because the tools sees that the voter used quotes in his/her comment and added a second quote character.


Note: As a database/DBMS, FileMaker Pro is not so much an application itself as a set of tools for building your own program. There is a rich interface design tool, advanced indexing/search software, a simple scripting language and a powerful macro maker. Together, they combine to enable the clever FileMaker user to turn a whole job description's worth of repetitive tasks into a menu of of mouse clicks.  The following off site links may be of interest:

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

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(Modified: 05-Feb-2004 ), Rev. 0.1