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   RE: [xml-dev] XUL Standardization: Lessons from the RSS Civil War

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Perhaps, but not by natural selection.

Think it through.  Dave's position is now 
prey.  He worked in the open and he 
shared.  Whatever his tactical issues were, 
however hard he has tried to keep control 
of the process of evolving RSS, whatever things 
he did or said to make people "unwilling",  
his strategic blunder was to assume he could 
work openly without being under the protection of 
the policies of an organization that would 
assume ownership of the product even if that 
organization was his own: therefore, to 
patent and proprietarize.  I don't 
think others will make that mistake as often 
now.  Self-interest is not selfishness.

Had smarter heads not prevailed and left out the 
normative references to ISO 8879 in the W3C 
subset specifications, the same could be 
said of XML.   

Smarter heads did prevail and the relationship of 
users to originators, and standards to specified 
subsets remained proper.  Whatever 
Tim thinks of Charles, regardless of however 
many agreed, Charles was the ISO chair and that 
was ISO property.  And it still is.  The fact 
that 99% of the development of a subset of that 
is now under control of a different group does 
not alter that condition.  That is healthy.

If you take RSS, claim it, rename it, but are 
essentially still building over it, it is 
piracy.  No one can stop you from doing it 
now because the owner of the ship left the 
holds unlocked, shared his decks, and in 
effect, gave you the access... just as the 
ethos of the open source/web culture said 
he should to succeed.  I have to question 
both that culture and that success if we 
urge others to take advantage of him and call 
it community.  A community of what? Pirates?

I suggest that those who really do have 
community interest at heart stop to consider the 
good of the few or the one, and then work 
as long and hard as it takes to craft a 
relationship with RSS and its originator 
that is to the mutual benefit of all. 
I sincerely doubt a reasonable individual 
will not work with an honorable group 
to mutual benefit.  Take a deep 
breath and trust that better results 
can be obtained by that tactic.

Tim's article regardless of how experienced 
and how well meant put a knife to Dave's 
throat.  I don't think that is a good 
precedent even if it is an effective means 
of persuasion.  The prey usually reacts 

I would really like to hear Dave's position 
on all of this.


From: Danny Ayers [mailto:danny666@virgilio.it]

You are the very model of a modern Major-General...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:clbullar@ingr.com]
> Sent: 27 June 2003 16:16
> To: 'danny666@virgilio.it'; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: RE: [xml-dev] XUL Standardization: Lessons from the RSS Civil
> War
> A crew is arriving at your house tonight
> to take anything that you haven't polished, used,
> or otherwise shared with your neighbors.  If you
> object, we won't cut you in on the spoils and we
> may burn down your house leaving; if you
> help us, we will let your house stand, but we
> will own your silver for the good of the commons.
> To the true inventors:  if you have a valuable idea or
> innovation and the moxie to build it, PATENT IT
> AND KEEP IT PROPRIETARY.  That is the only
> way the local laws will help you fight the
> web pirates who are flying the flag of community
> instead of the skull and crossbones.
> Queen Elizabeth I decorated her buccaneers until
> the winds of world politics shifted.  Then she
> tossed 'em in jail.
> len
> From: Danny Ayers [mailto:danny666@virgilio.it]
> Anyhow, I only wanted to say that there wasn't only Tim's
> veteran's-eye view
> of the situation (which is a big plus for the project), there was also the
> emerging view of the group, and that the two didn't entirely coincide. The
> biggest deviation so far is in an area that to an outsider might look
> trivial - the non-use of the name RSS (the current working name is now
> Echo). But the naming issue has probably been the biggest single fan of
> flames in the RSS fork inferno, and there were many that would
> only support
> a New Format if the name (and its political baggage) were dropped.
> Using a different name also brings a great
> psychological/practical gain - it
> feels ok to tear things up and start again. Has XUL really
> reached the point
> where that is the only clear route forward?
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