The Preachers and the Moonshiners (Was: XPath 2.0, XSLT 2.0 ...)
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In a message dated 20/06/2003 21:41:04 GMT Daylight Time, email@example.com writes:
No, I think they and TimBL were lead to a consortium
style and it worked for those that lead them there.
It has been successful over a short term for managing
assets and getting a lot of important open technologies
launched. I do fear that if one looks deeply into
who benefits by that, one will find there are both
public and private interests at work, or as my Dad
used to say, "when it comes to keeping moonshine
illegal, the preachers and the moonshiners are in
As some on this list might say, "pithy words of wisdom". :)
The interests at play in / at / around W3C certainly are fascinating topics for exploration.
As some on list will likely have noticed I have ... just occasionally, you understand :) ... been critical of W3C.
On the other hand, we need to accept the straightforward reality that no previous body has tried to accomplish such a far-reaching task as W3C took upon itself. So, it can't be a surprise that everything wasn't done optimally at the first attempt. W3C has had a learning curve too. A learning curve inevitably involves mistakes.
It seems to me that, for a while at least, W3C assumed it was the only game in town. This, in part, led to the arrogance which pushed through W3C XML Schema against some fairly high decibel howls of concern. That in turn led some to explore other routes to standardisation in the space that W3C might have assumed was its own. The increase in activity at OASIS for example was, at least in my view, partly attributable to W3C's failure to listen to comments on W3C XML Schema.
In a global information village, W3C is in the position that high-handed imposition of specifications can be expected to backfire. Technologies such as HTML have created a global information village that is, in effect, a huge customer base. That customer base, in part due to economic pressures, is in process of becoming increasingly demanding of solutions which meet its ... the customers' ... needs.
The economic pressures are such that large organisations, whether they are W3C or Microsoft, have to become responsive to the pressing priorities of that global customer village if they are to survive. Those economic pressures are already significant but, absent geopolitical or asteroidal catastrophe, demographic trends mean that the economic pressures will inevitably increase. Customer responsiveness from W3C, Microsoft and all significant entities will be the sine qua non of corporate and organisational survival.
I am not entirely sure what this had to do with preachers or moonshiners ... but it seemd too lovely a saying to leave neglected. :)