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Subject: Re: [ebxml-dev] Not at all tangential ... interop & ebXMLimplementations lists

At 03:58 PM 6/13/02, James Bryce Clark wrote:

>>Two years after its inception interoperability is still a problem and 
>>UN/CEFACT and OASIS are sponsoring interoperability seminars.  Clearly 
>>the work is not yet finished.
>     Just to be clear about the "Interop" conferences.   So far as I can 
> tell, OMG, OASIS and others have co-led these seminars, set the agenda 
> and orchestrated things.  ebXML as a project, and the CEFACT agencies who 
> run some of it, were not brought in as a partner or co-lead anywhere, 
> although a few of us did attend, and I think we were asked to be a 
> nominal cosponsor at the last minute last time.

Here read this http://www.oasis-open.org/news/oasis_news_11_20_01.shtm 
illustrating UN/CEFACT was aware of, and (nominally) sponsoring the 2001 
conference.   Too bad the UN/CEFACT and ebXML didn't field high-enough 
people, corresponding with the executive levels of other standards bodies 
present.  And that probably due to lack of funding, in ebXML due to its 
open nature.  But also, these conferences have been daisy-chained in the 
same location with pre-existing OASIS or OMG sponsored conferences.

Regardless of that, the Interop conference is E X P L O S I V E.  It's 
definitely not under anybody's control.  You never saw so many 
chessplayers, in the same room together.  Gene has it wrong, it's not a 
negative group.  They are directly attacking the causes of contention and 
noncoordination among standards bodies, by listing the problems *and 
listing the solutions*.  (There were solutions powerpoints after the 
"Inhibitors" powerpoint that were not published.)  Most of these bodies 
quite earnestly desire to collaborate and coordinate their efforts.

I expect, there will eventually be an International UberStandards Body, 
"facilitating interoperablity" yeah, but also, developing consensus 
regarding the behaviors of standards bodies which will lead to high level 
behavior expectations and eventually, codification in some kinds of rules.

I think the sheer collective intellect of the uber standards movements will 
spell the demise of today's commercial and proprietary consortia, where a 
bunch of companies get together to conspire against the rest of the 
community.   The proprietary standards of the 1990s that achieved more than 
50% market share, such as the Microsoft version of HTML, will be a 
historical relic and dragging in fifty other companies won't make any 
difference if the result is trapping one layer of the stack, to suck money 
out of everybody elses' layers, where we worked together in an ethical way.

As social awareness continues to evolve you will eventually see lawsuits 
under RICO and antitrust against collusions that maintain software 
standards.  Again, the behavior of consortia is not a problem, until those 
standards achieve more than 20 or 30% market share for public interfaces 
that have the consequence of extracting above-normal returns merely by 
restricting access to suppliers or customers in the underlying markets, or 
restricting access to other layers of the Internet or the e-business stack, 
which are essential  common property.


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