Re: XML-related 2000 Activities summary

From: G. Ken Holman (
Date: Sat Jan 06 2001 - 07:03:00 PST

At 01/01/06 00:27 -0800, Grant Bowman wrote:
>We talked at one point about assisting with the evolution of XML
>standards if that were necessary. Are there strategic areas we should
>examine for possible involvement with respect to the W3C and OASIS
>standards bodies?

I've been involved with OASIS since it was called "SGML Open", and was the
first chair of the OASIS XML Conformance Technical Committee and the
current chair of the OASIS XSLT/XPath Conformance Technical Committee. I
also participate on the OASIS Process Advisory Committee chaired by Jon Bosak.

W3C Recommendations are (typically) base technical standards.

OASIS Technical Reports are (typically) interoperability standards.

I think the Bootstrap work will beget more requirements for
interoperability than for modifications to base technical standards, but I
don't think the work has yet evolved quite to the point where forming an
OASIS Technical Committee at this time can be productive.

As my earlier contributions to this list record, I feel we won't be ready
for interoperability definition until we define the services provided by
the system in the satisfying of user requirements. This opaque set of
services hides an implementation's realization of those services behind the
scenes, thus ensuring vendor/developer independence and innovation.

Participation in OASIS is very affordable (note there are Individual
Memberships). Initiating a technical committee is a well-defined process that
can happen whenever the need exists. The process is open, rigourous, and
democratic, thus products of the process should carry weight in the sight
of the technical community.

When it comes time to put forward the requirements for interoperability
between collaborative systems, a technical committee can be created
inviting other OASIS members to participate. Requirements can be refined,
perhaps even based on a formal proposal from Bootstrap participants, to
incorporate the needs of other parties interested in collaborative
systems. The end result could be a definition of a set of services, and
perhaps even XML vocabularies for the expression of the information being
operated on and the operations themselves. Any Bootstrap system could then
interoperate with other collaborative systems adopting the same OASIS
interoperability standards.

Participation is a benefit of membership; the active process and the
results of committee work are fully open to the public.

Actually, we might even consider an OASIS Technical Committee just for
requirements, followed by a period of investigation, implementation and
innovation, followed by a separate OASIS Technical Committee for any
required vocabularies.

While working on developing base technical standards is *very* interesting,
I think the group's efforts would be better spent exploiting and deploying
such standards as they exist (which is valuable input itself into the
development process).

I hope this helps.

........................ Ken

G. Ken Holman            
Crane Softwrights Ltd.     
Box 266, Kars, Ontario CANADA K0A-2E0     +1(613)489-0999   (Fax:-0995)
Web site:     XSL/XML/DSSSL/SGML/OmniMark services, training, products.
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