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   standardization: bumps in the road

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I write articles on science and technology for various
magazines and have an independent interest in
standardization processes.

Recently the editors of CIO magazine asked if I would 
look into the standardization of XML-based web services 
-- a matter of some interest to their

Anyway, as nearly as I can figure out from a tour
of the web, as of June 2003 there are two formal 
net services standardization bodies -- bodies 
explicitly charged with the standardization mission --
(W3C and Oasis) and two that as a practical matter
have as much clout as anyone (IBM & MS).  That makes

Four is not an unprecedentedly large number for an
IT domain, but it is of course not the ideal state,
which is one. So one question is: Are we getting 
there?  Are we moving in the right direction, away 
from it, or are we stuck dead in the water?  If the
latter, what can get the sector moving again?

To put the point more generally, what policy issues 
does the history of the standardization of xml-based 
web services speak to, illustrate, or exemplify??

Opinions solicited.


Fred Hapgood


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