OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help




[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]
  • From: "Dan Mabbutt" <Seigfried@msn.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 12:51:25 -0600

I've been a lurker on this list for a while but I've never felt that I had
anything to contribute before that would be worth the bandwidth since I am
*not* a "long time SGML/XML" person.  I'm just a student trying to learn
more about it and part time writer (see my series on XML at www.credible.com
... comments appreciated).

I do have significant experience in organizational politics and dynamics,
however, and I thought my outsider and "newbie" viewpoint might actually be
an advantage in the current crisis.

(1)  There seems to be a great deal of deferential concern about damaging
someone's sensibilities as we seek a solution. That's a good thing!  It's
far too easy for the written word to be misinterpreted and the spirit of
volunteerism to be lost by careless emotional outbursts. I would especially
congratulate Peter Murray-Rust.  (Don Box once identified him as the
"spiritual owner" of the list. That works for me.) He seems to work very
hard at fostering understanding and without his work, the list probably
would not have survived as long as it has.

(2)  There is, however, a reluctance in some corners to lay responsibility
where it really belongs. Although people become invested in institutions
like OASIS, institutions are not people. If institutions don't work, they
need to be fixed and there is no better way than to simply rip and shred
away at their failures. Reading the sponsorship list at OASIS tells me that
there must be plenty of money available to fix such a simple problem. The
failure must be purely bureaucratic and political. It is a type of failure,
up with which we should not put.

(3)  The members of this list should never underestimate their collective
power.  The power of genuine practitioners of the art is much greater than
simple money - which is the principal influence that institutions like
Microsoft or Sun have. The reason this collective power is seldom felt is
that it is seldom genuinely "collective." As individuals, we have very
little influence over institutions like OASIS. As a collective, we could
rule them.  The probability of everyone on this list bonding together to
exercise this power is probably zero, but the probability of getting
something done goes up in direct proportion with the number of people who
decide to work together rather than independently.

(4)  Our greatest power is the power to simply move. Financial analysts have
started to measure "eyeballs" right up there with revenue and profits in
some companies. The leaders of this list (you know who you are) should work
hardest to forge a common agreement to simply move to a specific new venue
if our concerns are not fully and completely answered. This is the hardest
part. It's impossible to get everyone to agree and taking action prematurely
can be worse than not taking action at all. But even though it's hard, it's
not impossible.  History is full of examples where it has been done. I
encourage you - the list leaders - to openly and constructively start the
process of selecting a new venue. If OASIS solves the problems and we end up
staying put, so much the better.  But being ready and willing - almost
eager - to make the move is the best way to encourage that result.

Dan Mabbutt

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-xml-dev@xml.org [mailto:owner-xml-dev@xml.org]On Behalf Of Peter
Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2000 1:09 AM
To: Rich Anderson; xml-dev@xml.org
Cc: h.rzepa@ic.ac.uk
Subject: Re: OASIS and XML-DEV
At 12:24 AM 4/22/00 +0100, Rich Anderson wrote:
>> FWIW, even though it's been silenced by criticism (easy to do, not too
>> constructive imho),
Since - presumably - this is aimed at me :-), my only concern is

This is xml-dev, the mailing list for XML developers.
To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo@xml.org&BODY=unsubscribe%20xml-dev
List archives are available at http://xml.org/archives/xml-dev/


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS