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   Re: OASIS and XML-DEV [was RE: May a thousand XML-DEV's bloom - NOT!]

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  • From: "David Brownell" <david-b@pacbell.net>
  • To: "Peter Murray-Rust" <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>, <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 10:52:16 -0700

> >I rather of like the idea of the xml-dev community
> >running itself in that way, rather than expecting
> >someone else to do it.
> David,
> Thanks very much for this posting - it looks promising. 


> >One thing SourceForge offers that xml-dev has never
> >(to my knowledge) had is a real CVS setup.
> >It'd be interesting to get an xml-dev CVS server there,
> >give a few dozen developers from here permission to change
> >the repository (including integrating patches from
> >others, and updating the website), and see what happens.
> >There are itches that need scratching, after all!
> Could you expand on the role of CVS?

It's a versioned repository, usually for sources such as
documents, code in some programming language, and so on.
It can also be used for managing and mirroring web sites.

In the open source world, it's a focus of team activity.
While most people just have read access, active members
(writers, coders, artists, ...) can write into it.  They
are also responsible for the incorporation of patches and
other contributions from less active members.

So what would XML-DEV manage that way?  The obvious things
are its software library (which today is scattered all over,
and not well integrated -- viz. the catalog discussions that
recurred recently) ... a web site that provides a long-term
access point for some of the "gems".  And a page for the
mailing list, instructions, archive pointers, who to contact
when there's trouble, and so on.  Some of the things folk on
the list have written should get pointers, or hosted copies.
Internationalization resources, FAQs, rants, raves, ... 

The web site would of course be valid XHTML ... or XML/CSS,
or something relevant like that.

The non-obvious things will turn out to be more interesting,
I've no doubt.  The community will find interesting things
to do, given half an excuse and a good place to do it!

>     This suggests - and it looks a welcome
> idea - that there would be an xml-dev site with activities other than a
> mailing list and archive. Would it have a role in the archive?

It could.  Certain things (longer documents) are better
published on a site than emailed.  The next XML-DEV
CD-ROM might have a copy of the CVS root, as well as
the email archives.

And I'd surely imagine that some of those other
activities would get discussed on the mailing list,
and hence in the archive.

I'd not send CVS status update messages to the main
xml-dev list though, most people don't want them.
And they wouldn't need archiving (since CVS already
records them in the file modification histories).

> >(Anyone up for it?  GPL/LGPL code to donate? ...)
> >
> >
> >All that can go on without precluding Oasis from fixing
> >their problems and having the list stay at xml.org, note.
> This looks an interesting way forward - could you elaborate
> on how it would work?

One dives in.  Yelling is optional, the water's warm!  :-)

First, a small credible team is chosen -- folk who are
accepted in the xml-dev community, and who will spend
enough time to bootstrap things.  A few of these will
be "administrators", privileged to leap tall buildings
in a single bound.  (Also to add and remove members of
the list of those who can do direct checkins.)  Most of
these folk should be volunteers.  

Second, sign up with some appropriate Open Source site
and get things going.  (So far, SourceForge seems fine.
Hosting as many projects as it does, it had better be!)

Work for maybe a week to get the effort set up, CVS for
a basic (extensible) website (it's not going to be just
one page :-), hooks to other XML-DEV resources, initial
operating rules ... just so that it can grow smoothly.

Third, open for business.  That initial team is there
to get things going, and to bring on other folk who want
to volunteer.  Add code and make releases; transfer some
resource on-line; write an article or epistle.  Sooner
or later it will all change.

After the initial setup, it all boils down to who wants
to volunteer to do what -- and whether there's enough
community backing to support it.  I'd say there's just
one way to find out.  (It's amazing that the entry and
exit costs have gotten so low lately!!)

- Dave

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