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Frequently Asked Questions about the OSD platform

In this joint IEC and ISO project, previously called “Online authoring”, we are putting in place an online editor (using Fonto), to better support standards developers in their work and improve collaboration. 

The editor is XML-based, which means XML will be available at any point in the drafting process and for the final publication, for translations and product creation, without the need for conversion from Microsoft Word. 

At the same time, this tool has great potential for facilitating the commenting process. Therefore, we would like to make it available to our members during the official voting stages. 

In a first phase, we have worked exclusively on the editing part of the tool to ensure it is suitable for the standards development process. While this work continues, we have also started to address the members’ commenting part. 

In a first phase, we are enhancing the features of the commenting module in the tool. This also benefits Working Group experts, who can collaborate through comments and resolve them more easily. 

Because the general process of commenting and identifying and resolving issues is similar for technical committee expert as it is for members, the core features of the commenting tool can benefit both communities. These core features can then be expanded to address the specific requirements of members. 

To better understand the needs of IEC stakeholders, we have set up an OSD Reference Group with participants from national committees and technical committees. 

Using the new tool benefits members as well as the experts resolving the comments after voting. 

Resolving some of the major pain points concerning commenting and comment resolution in standards development 

The tool allows comments to be made in the context of the text itself, which means commenters no longer need to fill in a separate form from the document being commented on. 

The comments are directly linked to the text, making them easier to resolve. There is no longer any need to handle two separate documents (the text and commenting form), as is currently the case. 

As there will be enhanced sorting, tagging and filtering of comments, they can be grouped, delegated and resolved more efficiently. 

The entire document history is tracked, giving greater transparency in the identification and resolution of issues throughout the course of the document's development. 

Benefits for members 

This tool can help members with the gathering and refinement of their national comments. 

Comments can be made inside the document, by selecting a part of the text. This means that members no longer have to manage comments in two separate documents. 

Multiple users can comment and respond to each others’ comments. Comments are visible between experts of the national mirror committee. However, comments from one country will not be visible to other countries. 

Polls can be held from within the tool, to gain insights on what the majority of participants think about a given issue. 

Comments can be tagged by different criteria (e.g. “safety requirements” or “EMC issues”), as well as sorted and filtered (e.g. by tags, by date, or by resolved / unresolved status), thus making it easy to refine comments inside the tool and prepare them for submission to the national vote. 

Benefits for experts resolving the comments 

Comments can be viewed and resolved in their context rather than in a separate document, thus making it clearer which part of the text a comment references. 

The original document and the updates can be viewed side by side. 

As with members, Working Group experts can also use the tagging, filtering and sorting options, and create polls, to better manage and resolve comments. 

We are currently improving the commenting features in the tool, to enhance commenting inside the working groups, which will enable us to illustrate the new possibilities to members. 

Simultaneously, we are analyzing the specific needs for members’ commenting which will then be added to the tool. 

Once we have achieved a certain level of development, we will conduct a proof of concept at a voting stage. Members who would like to explore the potential inherent in the tool for facilitating the work with their national mirror committee, and who would like to contribute to shaping the tool for commenting at the national level are invited to participate.