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   RE: Publishing on XML-DEV (was Re: XCatalog proposal draft 0.1 [From Mu

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <SimonStL@classic.msn.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sun, 26 Jul 98 22:36:25 UT

Peter Murray-Rust quoted:
>At 14:39 25/07/98, [Murray Altheim] wrote:
>>> I propose something one week, rough consensus emerges the next
>>> week, and working code a week or two later: such is the Internet
>>> freeware development community.  Peace, it's wonderful!
>>John, this is no criticism of the proposal itself, but 'rough consensus'
>>requires that you have participation. Because this mailing list is not
>>part of any recognized standards activity, there is no procedural method 
>>for creating standards, nor is there any obligation for either comment 
>>or recognition of anything that occurs on this list from its participants.

XML-Dev has been my introduction to standards without a net, and I have to say 
I've found the work here both exciting and useful.  Standards bodies are 
useful organizations; among other things, they often let the people writing 
the standards collect a paycheck for the time they spend on the standards.  It 
does make it (much) easier, but it's not required.

There "is no procedural method for creating standards, nor is there any 
obligation for either comment or recognition of anything that occurs on this 
list from its participants."  Precisely, and this is both the good and the 
bad.  I don't get weird random comments on XSchema from people doing their 
homework who just skimmed through something because they had to.  (I get some 
weird random comments, but at least they are from people who are interested in 
the first place.)  Some of the best comments about XSchema have come from 
people who arrived late in the process, who read something at the beginning 
and only caught up a few weeks later, and people who think it's a genuinely 
bad idea in the first place.

I watched the SAX process mostly as an interested bystander, and the success 
of that development process made it possible for me to consider using XML-Dev 
as a forum for creating XSchema.  The roaring success of SAX (in my mind, at 
least) is a testament to what is possible when a community, rather than a 
committee, is involved in the standards-building process.  While there is less 
focus, there is also more diversity; while there is a drive to keep momentum, 
there is less industry politics to drive standards in a particular direction.  
If XSchema has even a fraction of the success SAX has found, I'll be very 
happy.  If it doesn't, I'll at least know we contributed to the discussion in 
a very open and inclusive setting.

Peter writes:
>Over the last few days I have been thinking about whether there should be a
>mechanism for the formal 'publishing' ideas and implementations from
>XML-DEV. There should be an element of peer-review - either by individuals,
>learned orgs or by 'open acclamation'. In my view, one of the most obvious
>forms of approval is that specs, papers, code, etc. are actually used - SAX
>falls into this category.

In the end, I think use is what really matters, and is the highest form of 
'open acclamation.'  XML-Dev is an excellent resource for peer review - many 
of the readers on this list are both capable of and interested in reviewing 
new ideas and specifications.  XML-Dev's discussion process contributed to the 
usefulness of SAX, and I know XSchema has benefited from it as well.

A formal publishing mechanism would be good; maybe an XML-Dev site of some 

Peter writes re: XCatalogs
>I would support the idea of an IETF
>draft in this instance. (Henry and I have been through this procedure :-).
>In general, I'd suggest that there was an initial suggestion - possibly a
>draft - on XML-DEV and that from that an IETF draft emerged. Although
>XML-DEV has no formal standing with IETF (or anyone else) I think that the
>ability to point to hypermailed discussion would show that the draft had
>potential value and had been worked over.

I think taking these to the IETF would be a great idea.  Has anyone considered 
doing the same (or submitting a note to the W3C) with SAX?

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer / Cookies

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