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   RE: Microsoft's Role in the XML Community (WAS RE: Important: The SAXC+

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  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
  • To: Richard_Goerwitz@Brown.EDU
  • Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 10:21:46 -0500

Ahh.. I understand now.  They broke the spirit of the
agreement to provide full interoperability.   That is 
the sort of thing one documents and publishes in the 
interest of the community of users to ensure all know 
that if these features are used, *all warranties are null 
and void* :-).   The trick in the long haul negotiations 
of standards is to understand full wall-to-wall interoperation 
is not usually sustained and tweaking (particularly 
performance) is necessary.   We end up writing a lot 
of language into our contracts over this.  In short, 
while there are typically 1.25 ways to meet most 
requirements we see, a lot of haggling can happen 
over a quarter.

And as with the Java cup, if they aren't fully 
interoperable, it is Microsoft's responsibility 
to show its customers precisely where, and obligating 
them to that responsibility is part of the purchase 
of the product.  An average shrink wrap buyer can't 
do that, but large institutions can, do, and must. 
Making language available to those institutions for 
that purpose is something MIT can do for its community 
of users.

Len Bullard
Intergraph Public Safety

Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard L. Goerwitz [mailto:richard@catlin.cis.brown.edu]
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2000 3:56 PM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len)
Cc: XML Developers List
Subject: Re: Microsoft's Role in the XML Community (WAS RE: Important:
The SAXC++/C/COM Muddle)

"Bullard, Claude L (Len)" wrote, re Microsoft's role:

> They have a role in the XML (more precisely, Kerberos)
> community which they fulfilled by working with MIT on Kerberos.

I'm not sure we're speaking the same language here :-), but to
your point about the legality of Microsoft's behavior:

Microsoft worked with MIT on Kerberos--an open standard that allows
network clients of heterogeneous kinds all to leverage a single central
authentication service called a KDC.  It is a platform-neutral proto-
col, and the KDC and clients may run under any operating system you
want them to (at least in theory).

Microsoft's "enhancements" actually break interoperability.  If you
use Microsoft's version of Kerberos, it becomes difficult, e.g., to
use an MIT KDC with W2K clients.

My suspicion (unconfirmed) is that the engineers at Microsoft were as
miffed about what happened as the higher ed community now is.

Anyway, whether they were right or wrong in a legal sense, the fact
is that there was a deep sense of betrayal, not only to the people
involved, but more generally to the cause of open protocols and 
standards (of which XML is one).

My point is merely (vis-a-vis David Megginson's comments) that if a
some Microsoft engineers return phone calls, and seem interested in
what you're doing, this doesn't really tell us much about how all the
high-level business decisions will pan out as far as XML and the XML
community go.

So there is cause for hope here and cause for concern.

We should simply be wise.

Richard Goerwitz				Richard_Goerwitz@Brown.EDU

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