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Subject: Re: [ebxml-dev] RE: OASIS Members to Develop Universal BusinessLanguage

Yikes!  Thats' a loaded question and sure to make a target out of 
whoever responds.  I guess it may as well be me.

In May of 2001,  OASIS and UN/CEFACT jointly announced to the world that 
ebXML had been finished (v 1.0).  They also signed a MoU that clearly 
stated the responsibilities of the two partners for moving the work 
forward.  Generally, it boils down to the fact that OASIS will look 
after all the technical pieces (infrastructure) and UN/CEFACT will look 
after all the content pieces (like Core Components and Business 

It seemed simple enough however, OASIS has a policy which allows any 
members to start a Technical Committee.  I agree that this is a good 
policy and allows for open development of just about anything that is 
structured information related.

A group of people, which I am also a member of, started working on a 
concrete realization of an XML vocabulary to let the world use and that 
would work within the ebXML infrastructure.  The initiative was 
spearheaded by Jon Bosak from Sun and eventually named UBL (Universal 
Business Language).  Since the work was to accept Commerce One's xCBL as 
a contribution,  it needed to be a legitimate group in order to accept 
the IP.  There were numerous options available and eventually the group 
voted to apply to become an OASIS TC.  THat was accepted.

There is overlap with the continuing work of UN/CEFACT and it is 
possible that the two groups will duplicate some of their work.

Those are the facts.  Now some of my personal opinions:

I think that while there is a clear violation of the ebXML MoU, OASIS 
cannot be blamed becuase their process was known to all, including 
UN/CEFACT before the MoU was signed.  UN/CEFACT does however, have the 
right to complain about the situation as it does violate the MoU.

UN/CEFACT will continue the work of ebXML as if UBL never existed and 
deliver the functionality to enable people to use ebXML, since this if 
their original charter.  The OASIS UBL committe has some very smart 
people serving on it, some of which are also involved in the UN/CEFACT 
ebTWG, and they will probably deliver some very  interesting and useful 

Some people are extremely uptight about this current situation.

I personally think that the world has more pressing and bigger problems 
to worry about than who delivers what and who gets credit for it.  Since 
all the work will get shared eventually,  hopefully the businesses and 
users will win.

There is the two minute summary.


McMahon. Brendan ITS wrote:

> Hi,
> This mailing list has recently contained a number of posts that contain
> references to various "political" problems currently besetting the ebXML
> initiative.
> Can any of the ebXML "insiders" who contribute to this list please explain
> to "outsiders" like me what exactly is going on, both in general, and
> specifically why Oasis now feels compelled to start a UBL TC, apparently in
> competition with responsibilities of the UN/CEFACT group?
> Thanks,
> Brendan McMahon
> ESB, Ireland
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