OCTUBRE 2006 / 06
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At the end of May 2006 XBRL International announced the creation of  the XBRL Standards Board (XSB). A key goal of this initiative was  to strengthen the quality of the consortium's technical materials  and manage their production more actively thereby accelerating  adoption of the eXtensible Business Reporting Language around the  world. The Board's charter was officially instituted in August.

Over the last three months the XSB has worked on three primary deliverables:

 (1) Prioritization of all technical work
 (2) Technical roadmap
 (3) Formal Working Group processes and procedures

The XSB reported its work and recommendations to the XBRL International Steering Committee (ISC) on 20 Sept during the ISC quarterly meeting held in Berlin; this report was formally received by the ISC.  On behalf of the XSB and ISC, I would like to announce Technical Work Product Priorities AND the formation of the Working Groups and Review Teams that will support these efforts.  A separate e-mail will outline the context around the Working Group processes and procedures and the XSB's request for members to review the consultation draft that defines them.

This constitutes a fairly substantial set of changes to the manner in which volunteers and XBRL Staff work together to produce products. Because so many stakeholders around the world rely on XBRL now, and since they need time to consider and respond to proposed additional func

Technical Work Product Priorities

The following priorities are based on a careful review of all on-going and near-to-mid-term proposed work, and consideration of feedback from working group chairs and stakeholders in other key projects or from other organizations such as the OASIS Tax-XML Technical Committee.  The XSB conducted a prioritization exercise that used explicit criteria.

Work product has been organised into three groups based on the primary kind of resources required to complete work:

Technical (formal Working Group - WG)

* Formula
* Functions
* Dimensions
* Base Specification & Maintenance
* Includes Generic Linkbase
* Rendering

Ongoing maintenance and periodic work (Review Team - RT)
* Taxonomy recognition, including FRTA
* Link Role Registry

Technical staff-led commitments (e.g. projects or papers)
* Versioning
* Approach to interoperability

A key difference in the way the XSB has planned these working groups from the former arrangements is that, whereas previously (with the exception of XBRL GL) the groups were organised along functional lines, they are now mostly project focussed. It is the intent that the members of each group should be drawn both from those who would formerly have participated in the Specification Working Group and from those formerly in the Domain Working Group. Accordingly these two groups will no longer exist in their familiar forms, except that the Specification Working Group will be transformed into the "Base Specification and Maintenance" group with a more limited mandate. Former members of the Domain Working Group are urged to participate in one or more of the new groups and/or the Review Teams as their interests dictate. Also, the XSB intends to put a call out for members interested in participating on taking FRIS to its next milestone.

The XSB will continue to monitor and assess the work streams that the consortium is or should be undertaking and is eager to receive input from the membership at any time as to the suitability and effectiveness of the way they are organised including, of course, any suggestions for improvement. If members are eager to introduce appropriate new work streams to the consortium, the proposed processes provide a means to do so.

Working Groups and Review Teams

To strengthen the quality of technical materials and ensure more active management of their production, the XSB has also initiated a formal set of WG processes and procedures (in consultation draft). With this announcement we also formally launch a set of new and reconstituted Working Groups and Review Teams that follow the 
organization in the consultation draft.  These WGs and RTs will produce the technical work product.

To illustrate these priorities over time the XSB has laid out the technical work product in the Roadmap - currently in a slide format, and will convert this to HTML for publication on the www.xbrl.org site.  The roadmap consists of draft WG charters and more detailed information that provides an initial scope, set of deliverables and their timing.  The WGs and RTs (and designated Chairs) include:

* Formula (Cliff Binstock)
* Functions (TBD)
* Dimensions (TBD)
* Base Specification & Maintenance (Marc Goodhand)
* XBRL GL (Jeff Fedor)
* Rendering (Marc van Hilvoorde)
* Taxonomy recognition, including FRTA (René van Egmond)
* Link Role Registry (David vun Kannon)

What actions should members take?

(1) Review the Working Group processes and procedures 
consultation draft

(2) Review XBRL International Intellectual Property Policy (XIIIPP), and ensure that you have permission to  participate in WGs or RTs

(3) Sign up for WG or RT as appropriate - more information will follow from XBRL staff on specifics

ALL participants in XBRL International (that is employees of members of jurisdictions and direct members, individual and academic members) are urged to consider participating in one or more of the working groups or review teams being announced today. Each Working Group will make a call for participation in the next couple of weeks. Please consider those requests carefully. We need volunteers with strong understanding of business reporting requirements as well as strong XML and XBRL technologists. Every technical effort requires a blend of these skills.

Members of working groups have always found that contributing to XBRL in this manner provides them with a much stronger understanding than they would achieve in any other manner. The working groups are being re-invigorated. Please join in!

Michael Ohata
Chair, XBRL Standards Board



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