Quality Criteria for DASC Standards



The DASC has been in existence for more than fifteen years. It grew from a rather informal group which initially supported the standardization of VHDL to a larger, more disparate group which is supporting the standardization of many varied design automation related areas. As the group has grown larger and its aims more varied there has been a need to at least document if not formalize some of the procedures which were previously seen as obvious given principles. The first such step was the documentation of set of bylaws governing the membership and election of officers of the DASC. This document follows in that direction by attempting to document the process, motivation, and requirements for the development, balloting and maintenance of DASC standards.


The purpose of DASC is to provide the design automation community with stable, well defined, open, and useful standards which they can use constructively in their work. These standards should be available without undue burden of cost or legal restrictions. This work will include design, tool building, research, and education. Successful standards will provide a platform for the interoperation of tools in a predictable, repeatable manner that will aid the user in the efficient execution of tasks.
Approach to Technology
While standards by their stable nature do not represent the cutting edge of research, they can, when managed correctly, represent an advanced state of the practice which is most useful to designers, tool builders and application researchers since they couple proven best practice with world wide awareness of technology. The argument that standards stifle innovation can usually be translated into the protectionist idea that competition is about proprietary formats rather than functionality and performance. This means that it is imperative that standards developers tirelessly seek the best available working solutions and that enlightened technology developers freely offer best practice solutions as candidate standards in order to move the industry forward to meet the needs of designers.
Since the criteria for quality in standards can be viewed from many perspectives and is not subject to exact formulation, the best path to ensuring fair and effective results is to keep the process of standardization open and evident to all interested parties. To promote this goal the DASC sets out criteria for all stages of the standardization process that measure the adherence to this goal. These criteria shall conform to the IEEE balloting criteria.
I. General Criteria for Openness
1. For each standardization working group, the chairman and other officers as well as the members of the working group shall be clearly identified and made known to the DASC.
2.Relevant information about the goals, procedures, and meeting schedules of the WG shall be made known to the DASC through timely reports by e-mail or other effective measures.
3. Activities of the WG shall be promoted beyond the DASC through promotion in relevant trade journals and conferences.
4. The standardization process shall be clear to the WG and DASC in terms of what steps are involved in the process and what documents are produced in each step.
Meetings, debates, and decision-making process handling shall be made clear to the WG and DASC.
Meeting announcements shall be made in advance on the relevant reflectors.
Meetings shall:
. Have advance agenda published
Provide facilities to participate via phone, where possible.
Prepare and distribute minutes to relevant reflectors

II. Balloting Criteria for Openness
1. The balloting schedule shall be clear and announced in advance.
2. The criteria for participation shall be made clear.
3. The draft standard shall be made readily available to all interested parties, and should be sent to the chairman of the IEC/TC93/WG2 at the same time it is sent to the IEEE.
4.Sufficient time to review and comment on the draft standard shall be made available.
5.The balloting constituency should be broad and include, where possible, IEC national representatives.

III. Re-Circulation Criteria for Openness
1.The Working Group shall prepare and communicate the results of balloting.
2. The Working Group shall prepare a compiled list of all the comments
received during balloting.
3. The Working Group shall prepare a response to each positive or negative
4. The Working Group shall ensure that all responses are sufficiently detailed to provide a reasonable understanding of why the Working Group rejected or accepted a comment, based on technical merits of the comment.
5. The WG shall make it clear how to receive the re-circulation document.
6. The WG shall make the re-circulation document available to all interested parties.
7. The WG shall allow sufficient time to review the re-circulation document to allow a
balloter to change his/her vote, if necessary.
8. The WG shall prepare and communicate the final results of re-circulation.

Patent Policy

The IEEE bylaws (1996) make the following statement concerning patents:

5. Patents

IEEE standards may include the known use of patent(s), including patent applications, if there is technical justification in the opinion of the standards-developing committee and provided the IEEE receives assurance from the patent holder that it will license applicants under reasonable terms and conditions for the purpose of implementing the standard. This assurance shall be provided without coercion and prior to approval of the standard (or reaffirmation when a patent becomes known after initial approval of the standard). This assurance shall be a letter that is in the form of either

a) A general disclaimer to the effect that the patentee will not enforce any of its present or future patent(s) whose use would be required to implement the proposed IEEE standard against any person or entity using the patent(s) to comply with the standard or
b)A statement that a license will be made available to all applicants without compensation or under reasonable rates, with reasonable terms and conditions that are demonstrably free of any unfair discrimination.

The DASC, in the interest of openness, will only accept patented material under paragraph (a) above.
It shall be the responsibility of the DASC chair to ensure that quality criteria defined by this document be followed by all DASC working and study groups during all phases of the standardization process. The DASC chair shall, as needed, appoint monitors and establish reporting procedures to ensure compliance with the rules and procedures defined in this document. Working groups, study groups, and chairs of these groups who are in violation of this document shall be notified and requested to show a plan for correcting breach. If such a plan is not forthcoming in a timely manner and followed, the DASC chair will recommend that the PAR for the working group, or the DASC authorization for a study group be withdrawn. Alternatively, the group shall be reorganized under a new chair who will ensure compliance. This recommendation of the DASC chair shall be subject to ratification by the DASC Steering Committee.