For a number of years, the NMRA Board of Directors and its officers had been working with different people to design and develop a new Layout Control Bus (LCB) standard. A NMRANet Goals and Mandate document was written to describe the objectives and to guide the process, people were invited to participate and work began. A related NMRANet Goals and Measures document was also written to also assist in guiding the process. Unfortunately all this turned out to be quite an ambitious goal and during this process it became obvious that there were far too many different ideas of what an LCB was, what it should do and how it should work. A lot of effort was spent trying to find common ground between the different views, but that ended up not being possible.
To move the process forward, the NMRA Board asked the various interested parties to submit proposals to the NMRA Board for consideration. They met with representatives for each proposal on a number of occasions to work through the details, to enable a decision to be made. The NMRA Board finally decided to proceed with the proposal from the OpenLCB Group.
The Agreed Process
The NMRA and the OpenLCB Group representatives then agreed that the OpenLCB Group would be responsible for the on-going design and preparation of the protocol Standards and Technical Notes and work alongside the NMRA LCC Working Group as follows:
- At appropriate times milestone release versions of those documents will be submitted to the LCC Working Group.
- The LCC Working Group will prepend a cover-sheet that clearly shows the version history and the official adoption dates etc. They will also insert a header on each page of the OpenLCB documents to clearly identify each page in the documents as being an adopted LCC Standard or Technical Note, but will not modify or alter the content in any way. These documents would be assigned numbers under the 9.7 range.
- Draft versions will be made available on the OpenLCB’s Layout Command Control page for interested parties to review and comment on. Any changes or suggestions from the reviews will then be directed back to the OpenLCB Group for consideration. After an appropriate amount of time elapses, the documents will be finalized and presented to the NMRA Board for formal adoption.
- The LCC Working Group will try to facilitate independent review of the documents and testing of prototypes to ensure they do perform as described.
- The LCC Working Group would also coordinate publication of changes and other information to the NMRA members via its publication channels.