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   Democracy and the Future of SAX

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  • From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: 09 Feb 2000 06:34:49 -0500

Miles Sabin <msabin@cromwellmedia.co.uk> writes:

> [Bosak]
> > I strongly believe that further work on it should be conducted 
> > in a properly constituted OASIS technical committee so that 
> > the evolution of the specification from this point on is 
> > guaranteed to take place under a democratic process that is 
> > open to all interested parties, provides an IPR policy based 
> > on an open-source model, and is visible to the world at large.  
> I'd like to second this.

We're almost finished SAX2/Java.  If we strike a formal committee for
SAX at this point, even a small one, then it will take months or years
before a final version of SAX2 sees the light of day; furthermore,
people outside the committee (that's most of you) will end up with
effectively no say at all.

Right now everyone participates in all of our deliberations, even
though I end up (nervously) making the final decisions; with a
committee, even a very open one, a handful of people will be present
for the real deliberations and the rest of XML-Dev'ers will simply
have to make do blindly submitting proposals beforehand and reading
abbreviated, cryptic minutes afterwards: it's democratic only to the
point that the two, or three, or ten committee members get to vote, or
perhaps to the point that the W3C or OASIS members get to vote, but
not in the way that most of you might think.

That said, I'm not particularly enjoying this.  I feel a strong
obligation to the XML community to finish SAX2/Java and SAX2/C++
simply to provide a foundation for the next generation of XML apps,
but it's taking a lot of time that I cannot really spare and it's
bringing me no effective benefit, either in professional exposure or
in raw ego-boo.

After we finish SAX2, then, I'd like to walk away, somehow.  That
could involve designating a new maintainer and leaving it on XML-Dev,
or it could involve handing it over to a committee on OASIS or even
the W3C (of which I would not be a member in either case).  

I'm not soliciting opinions yet, because I don't want to distract from
the SAX2/Java beta discussion (which has been excellent), but it would
be a good idea for everyone at least to start thinking privately about
where SAX should go after SAX2/Java and SAX2/C++ are finished.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com


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