Writing a proposal: Proper tense for actions not yet finalized?

Subject: Writing a proposal: Proper tense for actions not yet finalized?
From: Grant Robertson <grantsr -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 14:59:29 -0500

I am writing an NSF grant for funding to complete a standard for
marking up all educational material and inexpensively distributing it
throughout the world. Many aspects of the standard have already been
figured out but not down to the very last detail. That is what I need
the funding for. When referring to these features of the standard that
have been almost completely figured out but not set in stone, should I
use the past or future tense? When referring to the standard itself,
should I say, "it has been designed to ..." or should I say, "it will
be designed to ..." accomplish a particular objective. I've been
taught that a specification should be written as if the thing being
specified already exists and actually does what the spec' specifies.
However, I am not sure about how to handle this in a proposal.

P.S. Yes, I am inventing this standard myself. Yes, I did mean "all
posssible educational material in the world." Most of the high level
design is complete but I haven't finalized it by creating an XML
schema and testing it in a real environment. The standard is called
the Distributable Educational Material Markup Language (DEMML). I need
the funding in order to work out all the little details needed to
implement the system.

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