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RE: [xml-dev] Has W3C run its course? (Was: Has XML run its cours e?)
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>
- To: Rick Jelliffe <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
- Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 13:35:42 -0500
That is policy formulation, Rick: the means of choosing choices.
I agree totally with your points, but consider that policy formulation
has short term and long term objectives. In the short term, policy
will and has to be to identify, find and erase those responsible for the
atrocities committed this month. That is non-negotiable.
In the long term, we'd best consider well what you say. The history you
of The Great Game, as Kipling called it, illustrates the failure of a
policy based on isolation and export of culture by force. It failed.
Yet economic support does not always change a local culture or a global one,
least not in the short term. Wide and open communication does not
prevent emnity, it can in fact, make it worse. No single policy
changes world events in the short term enough to prevent the kinds
of acts we have witnessed. It is however, possible in the short
term to create local effects that can trend toward larger changes,
and economics, communication, understanding leading to verifiable
trust, these are part of that solution. We must be aware of the
policy, and we must be aware of the goals of policy. The American
goal to use the Afghanistan conflict to defeat the Soviets had
predictable results. We chose our goals badly and thus our policy
fed back terrible results. The British policy of empire first was
just as moronic, but given the time, would the British people have
accepted any other and should the authority of the time resorted
to force to make them accept it? Who is choosing here?
Has the W3C run its course? Not quite yet. It may be in the
last laps because of uncertain goals and thus, incoherent policy.
We might do well to understand and try to affect W3C policy with
regards to multiple groups with overlapping tasks. I think that
is what the architecture group is for, but again, one has to question
the closed aspects of that and inquire if they serve us well. So
I ask, what short term policies would we change if we could change
them at the W3C to better the situation for XML?
This thread is troubling because we do need such organizations just as
we have needed ISO to ensure that the right kind of people are
communicating and formulating policy. An organization based
on a single technical director was doomed from the start. It
met certain goals of certain groups and the policies were set
accordingly. It was driving so many developments through
a single initiative that lead to the complexity we see today.
Still, many here wanted exactly that and reduced other choices
<offtopic>Want to do a positive small thing? Go to your local Indian,
Pakistani, Muslim, etc restaurant tonight and buy a meal. Their
business is slow too. Go to the Asian grocery store and pick
up a copy of Pandit Ravi Shankar's "The Spirit of Freedom
Concerts" CD and luxuriate in the peace of the morning ragas.
A little bit of effort in that direction
does help us remember who we are in spite of the efforts of
some to make us forget and act as if we were them instead.
From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
From: "Peter Cameron" <email@example.com>
> Its looks like this a portion of this thread will be continuing the
> the effectiveness and future of the W3C and will be covering some of the
> by the "tragedy of the commons" thread. Maybe the time is right to take
stock of where we
> are. Look at what is created, what is being used, sort out the really
useful from the useful.
> Can we rely on a Darwinian survival of the fittest to take effect here -
should we be performing
> that ourselves?
On the subject of W3C, I was really pleased to see that they have opened an
office in Morocco A really positive step.
If anyone was at that XML Conference in San Jose in 1999 (I think) and
my presentation, one of the early points I tried to make, in answer to a
I put "Why do we need internationalisation?", was that if Western technology
developers do not internationalize (where possible) their products, it will
reinforce the center-periphery economic status quo we have now.
This is not just bleeding heart liberalism, persuit of economic
or some gay love of equity. I hope XML-DEV readers will read my comments
generously, and find more delicacy than I can succeed in putting in; I think
it is an important subject for developers to consider, surely now more than
I suggested at San Jose that when an assertive people feel condemmed to
poverty or neo-colonial status it gives an opportunity for hotheads.
(I am thinking as much of, say, re-emerging China as, say, the poorer Moslem
countries, but there is no reason not to keep it abstract.)
We can consider the case of Japan earlier this century: when my country
(to its shame) and other British Commonwealth countries such as India
instigated the "Empire-First" policy, it closed off markets, food and
opportunity to Japan: using the undeniable need to eat and to have their due
place in the world as an excuse, their hotheads took control, invading
and so on.
After the war, the Allies took an approach different to the reparations of
WWW I, and tried to improve the economy of their former enemies 
We can see that the major foes of the Allies, Germany and Japan, are
now responsible and respected friends and leading economies: they may
have learned their lessons, but have their victors forgotten theirs?
It is not just a matter of defeating an enemy, it is also trying to remove
any economic causes of trouble: redressing legitimate grievances.
We can perhaps contrast this approach with the approach of blockades:
Cuba, Iran, presumably Afghanistan soon (did I hear that US has to
lift some trade restrictions with India and Pakistan to get cooperation
on putting trade restrictions on Afghanistan?)
I am not an expert in Arabic internationalization: indeed, I cannot really
figure out how a right-to-left language fits in with markup (do we
symmetrically-swap the open and close delimiters of tags if the
element names are in Arabic?) But I hope that when we developers are
considering internationalizing our products, we won't think
"If I make my product Arab-friendly, it will just give more stuff
for terrorists to use."
We are probably mostly just small developers, not making products for
a world market. But perhaps if there are readers with influence in large
companies reading, they might consider "Has my country repatriated
all research and development back to the USA? Does my company
sponsor university projects where the post-grads must leave for
USA to continue in their area, draining the country of moderates
who have benefited from interaction with the West?"
Now I am certainly not blaming anyone who immigrates for better
opportunities. But how much better if there were opportunities
This is the background to why I think W3C's opening a Moroccan
office is so positive, and I hope we all can wish them well.