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RE: Why 90 percent of XML standards will fail

Actually, we have talked about those subjects on this list.  If
he is claiming the so-called XML vocabularies are standards, he
is probably right about the failure rate per se.   It has been restated
here before that the big committee-driven efforts like 28001
traditionally had limited success and that the keiretsu nature
of the business supply chains would make similar efforts
dicey.  Their big success will be where they are built by
the industry itself, or are mined for good design.  In both
cases, they don't fail, precisely.  They get reused.  That
is precisely why XML was applied.    I'm surprised, Mike,
that as long as you have done this, the article was needed
to make you consider it.   We have a lot of markup experience
and we know with some certainty that the commitment
to the vocabulary and its definitions is all that makes
it valuable.  Success varies by how you measure it.
Pirating DTD and schema elements is not only the usual
thing, it is often, the best thing.  No size fits all comfortably.

Academic or not, he needs to make it clear that failures 
are not the same as 'reuse'.  His numbers go down if
he makes that point.    His article doesn't make me
uncomfortable because it is clear he doesn't understand
the industry he purports to consult for or is being
disingenuous, and therefore, just another bear.  
FUD is not a way to make people think;  it is a
way to make them react in fear, therefore, become
enamored of guidance.
As to the business model, a protocol for interface
and a protocol for performance are not the same
thing.  Interfaces are discoverable;  performances
are scriptable.   We may find that B2B standard
performances emerge, and these we can safely mark
as genre:  expected transitions that reward by
meeting expectations or coping with surprise.
We accept the challenge to "make the strange
familiar and to make the familiar strange".


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h
-----Original Message-----
From: Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com [mailto:Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com]

 > Not at all, James.  His arguments are vacuous. 
> He cites no examples and offers no proof other
> than that other initiatives have failed.  He
> fails to cite the successes or offer any
> contrasts as to why they may have succeeded.

It's a trade paper think piece, not an academic article!

The gist of it is the piece seems to be:

The specification initiatives (aka "standards") most likely to fail are those that are not aligned to the real business needs of major companies, that over-promise, that take on an already crowded space, or that try to dictate business processes rather than accomodate existing practice. Since 90% of XML initiatives fall afoul of more than one of these, 90% are likely to fail.

Is this really unreasonable, or inconsistent with the experience that we have had with various "standards" efforts?  I don't think so ...  I find this list potentially useful in predicting which efforts will succeed and which won't, so that I can ration my scarce attention span on the ones that might go somewhere.

The last one about standardizing business processes is the most controversial, I'd guess.  Does ebXML's inclusion of a "Business Process and Information Meta Model" fall afoul of this?  If so, is this really reason to worry?  Not sure ... but at least it's an interesting question that would not have occurred to me until reading the article in question.  Of course it would be nice to have more examples to come up with a credible answer, but that's not what think pieces are supposed to do.  They're supposed to provoke thought!