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   Re: [xml-dev] "Standards Business Technology" development effort require

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On May 1, 2004, at 10:04 PM, Bob Glushko wrote:

> s.  First of all, for a lot of people doing standards work in addition 
> to day jobs it is  easier to get things done if go away somewhere for 
> a week than trying to do it an hour here and a hour there.  You need 
> the block of time without the usual meetings and distractions -- 
> conference calls just don't do that because they are part of your 
> regular day wherever you are.

Yup, that's another thing I meant to put in my observations.   *If* you 
want to make a remote meeting work, it has to be just as much a focus 
as if you were there, otherwise you get distracted.  (Then again, with 
Wi-Fi in the meeting rooms, people can be just as distracted by their 
email in a F2F meeting as they are on the phone in the office).

>  But more importantly, i think, is that the longer period of time in 
> the face to face meetings let people talk (off the record, in ad hoc 
> informal meetings at dinner, in the restaurant bar, etc)  about what 
> they really were trying to accomplish in the standard and often this 
> involves strategic or  coalitional activity that would never arise in 
> a conference call.

I agree that a lot of the progress that gets made is facilitated by 
face to face meetings.  It definitely helps to know people informally 
to work with them.  On the other hand, some of the "progress" that gets 
done in the back channels is the horse trading that ultimately 
undermines credibility and interoperability of specs.  Likewise, 
getting to know someone well enough to give their proposal the benefit 
of the doubt works both ways -- good for promising proposals that need 
polish, bad for weak proposals that deserve a quick and merciful death. 
   Some people can stay out drinking with the gang and stand up to them 
in the morning, but most people will just join the gang and go along 
with the groupthink.  Again, good if the groupthink is smart, bad if 
the groupthink is stupid. There were a couple of people I've never met  
who contributed greatly to various DOM specs by sharp critiques that 
might have been difficult to offer to people one knows personally. 


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