[CF-metadata] CF provisional standards

John Caron caron at unidata.ucar.edu
Fri Nov 17 14:59:19 MST 2006

Let me just appreciate that any individual interested in CF is already doing much more than is the "normal practice" of generating files with no published documentation at all. So even if some small group of data publishers creates some special thing, at least they documented it, and if its even on CF web page where I might know to look for it, they deserve thanks. So all the variant positions being argued here, IMO, are a huge improvement over usual practice.

We have the "who pays vs who benefits" social dilemna here. Data writers must pay the price of doing the conventions right for the benefit of data readers. Data readers must pay the price of suboptimal conventions for the benefit of writers who need fast solutions, and dont want to rewrite their data. Depending on which role you play in your day job, you will have some visceral feelings on these issues. We need both POVs and the solutions will be tradeoffs.

Id like to see a clear and decisive decision making process, but we are all volunteers, and it doesnt always happen. I think the process could be 1) a "draft RFC" from any interested person/group, then 2) a voting process that could immediately accept or reject it, or 3) put it in a "provisional category - needs testing and implementation experience", where people are encouraged to try it out and give feedback for some fixed amount of time, whereupon a new vote could be requested. If no one else is willing to give feedback, it probably should not be in the standard at that time, in that form.

Happy Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day (Slovakia) to you and your families

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