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   organization (was RE: frustration)

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There have been a number of discussions about forming new organizations
to focus on XML-related development in this past - on this list, on
SML-DEV, and elsewhere.  I think it comes up at every XML conference in
after-dinner discussion.  There are lots of reasons it hasn't happened,
from disagreement over focus or approach to lack of time and other
resources to paranoia over competition with existing bodies.

Peter Murray-Rust had hoped long ago that when this list moved to OASIS
it would be able to use OASIS resources for things like a site
identifying projects on xml-dev and guiding people to common work.  That
never happened, and while xml-dev does in fact get a lot done, it has
serious limitations because of its lack of supporting infrastructure.

I'm not yet convinced that setting up an organization per se is a good
idea, even on the Apache model.  I would, however, very much like to see
this list take some first steps toward some of the things organizations
do, including creating a site that has more to it than a list of
messages.  That site could point to supporting resources and identify
projects-in-progress on xml-dev.

I'd be happy to start work on that - I'd kick in for hosting and do Web
design if we need such things.  I'd far prefer to keep this individuals
doing the work and paying the bill.

Matthew Gertner wrote:
>  In pursuing the open source parallel, I would suggest that a website 
>  be set up where individuals or small groups can submit proposals for
>  specifications. These would then be opened to discussion on a mailing
>  list. When consensus is reached, they would be published formally as
>  "Authorized Specifications" or whatever. This might not be the same 
>  as having the approval of an international standards body, but the 
>  W3C isn't a real standards body either in this regard (it is a 
>  dictatorship that issues "Recommendations"). There needs to be some 
>  coordination with XML-focused open source development groups to 
>  ensure that the specs are actually implemented. Maybe this could even
>  be done as part of/an extension of the Apache effort. The W3C can go 
>  on doing its academic style research, and this will doubtless provide
>  invaluable input.

And Eric van der Vlist wrote:
> A thing which could be borrowed from OASIS is the mix between a relative
> freedom for each of the technical commitee as long as they agree on
> respecting some basic organizational rules with a greater formalism as
> soon as the TC considers its work finished and require the "stamp" of
> the organization.
> The best possible organization for me would be one which would leave
> people alone (ala sourceforge) if they want to but also provide them
> with assistance when they need and perform a quality control on the
> specs which want to have an official status. This would probably require
> some kind of merit based TAG.

Leaving people alone seems critical.  I suspect for now the "TAG" could
pretty much just be the people running the Web site.

Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!


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