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

What a great thread. 

This thread hits exactly my information demands and makes me a real fan of your forum. Thanks for the clear and picturesque explanations. * * * However (to further stir the dirt), it arises another question: where to look (except in this list, of course) in order not to miss the continuation of the story? * * * The newcomer, after all, wishes to know which standard(s) to stick to, and following the trends is essential.

Thanks for any hints,

Obviously there are also general interest lists at both the www.ebtwg.org and www.oasis-open.org/committees/ubl/ sites.   I think they will become more substantial as the groups organize this month. 

What to make of the politics?  The simplest solution is to ignore it.  As Mike Rawlins points out, the competition for vaporware mind-share generates many press releases and letters of understanding, but few standards.   In the long run, what separates real standards from would-be standards is market adoption.  You can safely overlook the mind-share artifacts and watch the adoption rate instead.   The degree to which nonaffiliated parties are picking up and incorporating the ebXML 1.0 tools, in the 5 months since their release, speaks well for them.

In the short run, certainly some eBTWG and UBL communications include notes of splinter group dissidence and spurned feelings on both sides.  However, from my own exposure I am convinced that virtually all participants are constructive people of great talent trying hard to be fair and make e-commerce work better.  Occasional outbreaks of personal or corporate enmity are the human condition, and frankly I have seen fewer of them in ebXML and its progeny than in most similar efforts.  In ten years no-one will remember who got to be chair of what, or which company bragged the most about being more influential;  but we will all be judged by whether we rose to the challenge of wide interoperability.

Another invisible tidal force that tremendously influences the standards process is competition among intellectual property assets.  That competition often exerts uneven stresses on standards.  Any prospective adopter of a candidate standard would be well advised to think about those stresses.  More on this later. 

Best regards   Jamie Clark

James Bryce Clark   
VP and General Counsel, McLure-Moynihan Inc.
Chair, ABA Business Law Subcommittee on Electronic Commerce  
1 818 597 9475   jamie.clark@mmiec.com    jbc@lawyer.com

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