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- From: Peter Murray-Rust <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: email@example.com
- Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 08:27:57 +0100
I find it embarrassing to write this mail, but here goes...
*** PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO ME PERSONALLY FROM NOW ON - YOU'LL SEE WHY***
A considerable number of list members have mailed me personally - many
thanks. The messages were all supportive and several suggested that
(a) XML-DEV has been a valuable institution. It has created things of
(b) OASIS has not been appropriately supportive of either the list or the
contribution that PM-R and HSR have made to XML through the 3 years they
(c) The lack of history and archive is a serious omission.
OASIS approached me (unsolicited) in 1999 and offered to take over the
running of the list. Henry and I agreed on the basis that:
(a) I continued as moderator
(b) there was a maintained proactive home page explaining the history of
the list and the philosophy. This to be set up by OASIS
(c) that the historical archive be maintained.
and that there was effective mutual benefit to both parties.
The handover was a technical and organisational disaster. The list was
nearly destroyed. Henry and I found that OASIS were not responsive to these
problems and it became clear that *as an institution* OASIS did not value
Henry and myself sufficiently to devote effort in this area. A number of
correspondents have made similar points. The list debated whether it should
break free from OASIS and eventually agreed to try to give it a further
Henry and I have an urgent pressing need for formal recognition of our work
in XML-DEV. It is fair to say that my prospects of (re)employment may
depend on it - I cannot give further details. OASIS had promised to post a
fair and objective history of the list as part of the handover. We are not
asking for a eulogy, simply an objective analysis. What we expected, and
now urgently need, is a CITEABLE reference about the work we did and its
use within the XML community.A number of people suggested that they would
contribute peer-review - many thanks - but this has to be formally
collated. OASIS is in a position to provide this - individuals aren't.
Our primary immediate motivation is that we wish to be able to demonstrate
that a virtual, lightly-moderated, evolutionary meritocracy is capable of
producing world-class tools such as SAX, without a central organisation. I
believe that to be a matter of historical record and would appreciate a
formal reference to it.
You may ask - "why don't you publish XML-DEV in learned journals?" We've
thought about that but feel that XML-DEV itself is effectively a learned
journal in some respects and that it is appropriate and exciting for the
list to provide its own peer-review.
We need something *within 10 days* on the OASIS XML-DEV page that we can
cite. It would be inappropriate for Henry or me to suggest how that should
be done. Several people made concrete suggestions which could be posted to
the list - alternatively some individuals could take an initiative.
If nothing happens, then the XML-DEV home page can only be regarded as a
a significant proportion of the "great and the good in XML" regard the
achievement of XML-DEV 1997-2000 as not worthy of comment. By contrast
XML-DEV (including attribution to PM-R) is appropriately and neutrally
cited on the W3C XML home page.
On a longer term it seems like it's worth re-discussing what the role and
future of the list is. That partly depends on OASIS' response. I shall be
disappointed if OASIS do not soon reply to *to the list*.