Re: 2.1 a-d: Link Recognition by Reserved Attribute?
Since you thought acquisition policy was from a strange foreign culture,
here is a sample of what your government requires. Strange, perhaps,
but not foreign.
These are from the Federal Acquisition Regulations. Documents such as
this are authoritative. This is what a buyer has to know and try
to understand with respect to systems they purchase. This is a
very very tiny excerpt. This is why parenthetical standards are
generally preferred. Something that is a proper subset typically
is considered to be covered by the parent. To be parenthetical,
the relationship is normative.
The sum of what follows is basically, "prove by market research
that XML products are commercial products which meet the
goverenment's specifications as determined by the
acquisition officer". In other words, let the buyer beware. Note
carefully the provisions at the end about conflicting documents
and the DoDISS.
Tim has done a good job of convincing me that the relationship of
XML to ISO 8879 is normative as stated. The bigger question will
be "shall that remain the case"? The relationship to ISO 10744
is clearly informative and can be documented in an annex or
appendix by simple statements which do not require or suggest
that the reader has to consult that document to implement XML
conforming systems (Membership To Be Determined by Testing
Then the market works out the next phase. Oddly enough, the way this
reads to me, freeware is not a commercial product.
(a) In fulfilling requirements of 10 U.S.C. 2305(a)(1), 10 U.S.C. 2377,
41 U.S.C. 253a(a), and 41 U.S.C. 264b, agencies shall--
(1) Specify needs using market research in a manner designed to--
(i) Promote full and open competition (see Part 6), or maximum
practicable competition when using simplified acquisition procedures,
with due regard to the nature of the supplies or services to be
(ii) Only include restrictive provisions or conditions to the extent
necessary to satisfy the minimum needs of the agency or as authorized by
(2) To the maximum extent practicable, ensure that acquisition officials
(i) State requirements with respect to an acquisition of supplies or
services in terms of --
(A) Functions to be performed;
(B) Performance required; or
(C) Essential physical characteristics;
(ii) Define requirements in terms that enable and encourage offerors to
supply commercial items, or, to the extent that commercial items
suitable to meet the agency's needs are not available, nondevelopmental
items, in response to the agency solicitations;
(iii) Provide offerors of commercial items and nondevelopmental items an
opportunity to compete in any acquisition to fill such requirements;
(iv) Require prime contractors and subcontractors at all tiers under the
agency contracts to incorporate commercial items or nondevelopmental
items as components of items supplied to the agency; and
(v) Modify requirements in appropriate cases to ensure that the
requirements can be met by commercial items or, to the extent that
commercial items suitable to meet the agency's needs are not available,
11.101 Order of precedence for requirements documents.
(a) Agencies may select from existing requirements documents, modify or
combine existing requirements documents, or create new requirements
documents to meet agency needs, consistent with the following order of
(1) Documents mandated for use by law.
(2) Performance-oriented documents.
(3) Detailed design-oriented documents.
(4) Standards, specifications and related publications issued by the
Government outside the Defense or Federal series for the non-repetitive
acquisition of items.
(b) Agencies should prepare product descriptions to achieve maximum
practicable use of recovered material and other materials that are
environmentally preferable (see Subparts 23.4 and 23.7).
11.103 Market acceptance.
(a) Section 8002(c) of Pub. L. 103-355 provides that, in accordance with
agency procedures, the head of an agency may, under appropriate
circumstances, require offerors to demonstrate that the items offered --
(1) Have either --
(i) Achieved commercial market acceptance; or
(ii) Been satisfactorily supplied to an agency under current or recent
contracts for the same or similar requirements; and
(2) Otherwise meet the item description, specifications, or other
criteria prescribed in the public notice and solicitation.
(b) Appropriate circumstances may, for example, include situations where
the agency's minimum need is for an item that has a demonstrated
reliability, performance or product support record in a specified
environment. Use of market acceptance is inappropriate when new or
evolving items may meet the agency's needs.
(c) In developing criteria for demonstrating that an item has achieved
commercial market acceptance, the contracting officer shall ensure the
criteria in the solicitation --
(1) Reflect the minimum need of the agency and are reasonably related to
the demonstration of an item's acceptability to meet the agency's
(2) Relate to an item's performance and intended use, not an offeror's
(3) Are supported by market research;
(4) Include consideration of items supplied satisfactorily under recent
or current Government contracts, for the same or similar items; and
(5) Consider the entire relevant commercial market, including small
(d) Commercial market acceptance shall not be used as a sole criterion
to evaluate whether an item meets the Government's requirements.
(e) When commercial market acceptance is used, the contracting officer
shall document the file to --
(1) Describe the circumstances justifying the use of commercial market
acceptance criteria; and
(2) Support the specific criteria being used.
11.201 Identification and availability of specifications.
(a) Solicitations citing requirements documents listed in the General
Services Administration (GSA) Index of Federal Specifications, Standards
and Commercial Item Descriptions, the DoD Index of Specifications and
Standards (DoDISS), or other agency index shall identify each document's
approval date and the dates of any applicable amendments and revisions.
Do not use general identification references, such as "the issue in
effect on the date of the solicitation." Contracting offices will not
normally furnish these cited documents with the solicitation, except
(1) The requirements document must be furnished with the solicitation to
enable prospective contractors to make a competent evaluation of the
(2) In the judgment of the contracting officer, it would be
impracticable for prospective contractors to obtain the documents in
reasonable time to respond to the solicitation; or
(3) A prospective contractor requests a copy of a Government promulgated
(b) Contracting offices shall clearly identify in the solicitation any
pertinent documents not listed in the GSA Index of Federal
Specifications, Standards and Commercial Item Descriptions or DoDISS.
Such documents shall be furnished with the solicitation or specific
instructions shall be furnished for obtaining or examining such
(c) When documents refer to other documents, such references shall
(1) be restricted to documents, or appropriate portions of documents,
that apply in the acquisition;
(2) cite the extent of their applicability;
(3) not conflict with other documents and provisions of the
(4) identify all applicable first tier references.