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   Re: [xml-dev] XML Binary Interchange Workshop - minutes available

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On Monday, Nov 3, 2003, at 14:43 America/Detroit, Dare Obasanjo wrote:
> [Dare Obasanjo] I haven't reviewed the minutes yet but it seems
> contradctory to state that more research is needed before 
> specifications
> can be created then go ahead and recommend a working group. Unless I'm
> mistaken there currently isn't a research-focused W3C working group nor
> is there a W3C working group that doesn't produce specifications.
I just want to emphasize that Liam said -- the workshop raised lots of 
questions that need to be answered, but there needs to be some 
organized and collaborative way to answer them.  A lot of discussions 
were concerned with trying to figure out whether apples were being 
compared with oranges or not.  It will take a fair amount of work -- 
worthy of a WG, not just a mailing list -- to determine whether the 
speed advantages that some reported are from improved infoset 
serialization, or from something else.  Conversely, how much scope for 
improving XML 1.0 parsing is there without mucking with the syntax?  
Having a common testbed and data sources so that controlled experiments 
-- changing one variable at a time can be conducted and the results 
benchmarked--  is needed to answer such questions reliably.

Sure, this conception of a working group is something a bit new for the 
W3C.  I'd argue, however,  that the XML world would be a better place 
if the W3C had spent more time up front investigating what the problem 
is, instead of inventing solutions and assuming that they solve 
somebody's problem.  In a world where the leading vendors seem less and 
less interested in developing common, IP-unencumbered solutions at W3C, 
preferring to go it alone [e.g. the Longhorn stuff] or create ad-hoc 
coalitions [e.g. the various MS-IBM-BEA collaborations in the Web 
services arena], this seems like a quite sensible use of the W3C's 
resources.  As Liam noted, the conclusion might be that there's no 
problem that better code can't solve, or that some existing solution 
such a ASN.1 or gzip or whatever solves it just fine for the majority 
of use cases. 


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