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Subject: RE: [ebxml-dev] The CEFACT website horribly out of date

Despite not wanting to spam, I do feel obliged to support the statements
regarding the state of ebXML websites.  I have felt for some time that the
biggest barrier to success (by far) is awareness, training and marketing -
and not the technical progress of the working groups.

No matter how high the qaulity of the standards, for the ebXML framework to
be successful, it must be used.  That cannot happen until a very large
number of people have moved from ignorance through awareness to
understanding and commitment.  A website with good quality materials at all
levels from promotional brochures through white papers, to detailed
self-training materials is the most scalable way to achieve that objective.

Speaking for myself, it took some very considerable effort to piece together
the components of the ebXML puzzle from various websites, presentations,
mailing lists, two books, and some sample code.    The majority of potential
ebXML "customers" will have no compelling reason to go to this level of
effort and so will just brush ebXML aside and choose some other solution to
their business problems.


Steve Capell
Sydney, Australia
Tel : +61 410 437854

-----Original Message-----
From: Jouko Salonen [mailto:jouko.salonen@republica.fi]
Sent: Friday, 4 October 2002 4:14 PM
To: Todd Boyle; ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org
Subject: RE: [ebxml-dev] The CEFACT website horribly out of date

Agree with Todd. It does not make ebXML-evangelizing easier.
Unfortunately Todd's proposal
>"The page should say "The CEFACT
>ebXML Avtivity ended in May 2001 and was succeeded by its
>ebTWG Activity http://www.ebtwg.org";
>does not help too much. In general (there are exceptions, though)
ebTWG-pages give almost as strong out of date and "closed" feeling as CEFACT

HTTP 404 - File not found

Sign-Up Page under re-construction! (and has been as long as I remember!)

Jouko Salonen

-----Original Message-----
From: Todd Boyle [mailto:tboyle@rosehill.net]
Sent: 3. lokakuuta 2002 22:52
To: ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org
Subject: [ebxml-dev] The CEFACT website horribly out of date

Go to the homepage. http://www.unece.org/cefact/index.htm

Click on some of the links, for example "XML Initiative" for example.
First of all the title is almost patronizing, alongside so many other
activities that use XML.  Clearly the author of this site is predisposed
to position the EDIFACT and eDOCs stuff as the "real" solutions.

Anyway the  "XML Initiative" link goes to this page:

    Experts can join any project team(s), with the condition they register
    their participation via the ebXML's web site. Participation can either
    be via a list server only (virtual) or by attending ebXML meetings.

    For further information on how to subscribe, please click on "ebXML

    To view already registered participants click on "Documents".

    Last Update:28 November 2000

The documents are an historic archive of no significance.  None.
The other link -the ebXML website-- is two generations out of date.
ebXML ended in May 2001 and ebTWG ended in Sep. 2002.  Yet,
none of these links tells you that, directly.

Don't you think the above page is quite misleading?  Why does this
continue year after year?  The page should say "The CEFACT
ebXML Avtivity ended in May 2001 and was succeeded by its
ebTWG Activity http://www.ebtwg.org

The CEFACT website is the place that should provide a top-down
organization and presentation to the visitor.  Ironically the ebXML
website's latest news link redirects the visitor to the Robin Cover
page where a competent job is done explaining things. (Go here and
click on latest news: "[02 Oct 2002] UN/CEFACT Releases
ebXML Core Component Technical Specification for Second Public Review "
It will take you to http://xml.coverpages.org/ni2002-10-01-a.html

And the CCTS is still nowhere to be found on any of these websites.
In usual fashion, it has surfaced on the OAGIS CC mailing list on
yahoogroups.  Most document distribution happens in such
haphazard ways such as the WG's mailing list or 3rd party websites
like www.collaborativedomain.com or Diffuse, or the UBL TC on OASIS.

As a participant who has contributed hundreds of hours to ebXML
I am angry at the individual who maintains the UN/CEFACT website,
and demand that they do a more responsible job of it.

As a minimum, the front page should be fixed:

- Whoever is controlling the UN/CEFACT front page should rename
the  "XML Initiative" link to become "CEFACT Forum", its current

- Policy should be articulated as to what happens to old and
current materials when the names of activities are changed.
This is basic information management--the cobbler having no shoes.

- the CEFACT Forum site is quite unprofessional and should be
corrected immediately.  Both that site and the CEFACT site
show "UN/CEFACT FORUM 9-13 September 2002" as if it were
future tense.   Get working and update the front pages of the
sites to provide a more accurate, professional gateway.

- the CEFACT Forum site should provide a panel or index that
displays the three time segments of ebXML (1999-2001, 2001-2002
and the new Forum phase) including a very clear display of the REAL
home page of each of those four Activities.  (ebXML, OASIS ebXML,
ebTWG, and now, Forum.

- Whoever is controlling the CEFACT Forum website should at
once, publish their identity on the website, provide an accountable
process for feedback, and make the process of decisionmaking
regarding content more transparent.

- Clearly, there are PHB's in UN/CEFACT (Dilbert pointy-haired bosses)
who have failed to agree with each other on what should be the
content or message of the ebXML websites.   Those PHBs
should come out and explain the reasoning behind their
decision to maintain our vital information structures in disarray.

CEFACT professes to set standards for 6 billion people yet
hasn't had the civility within its own community to provide basic
fundamental information about the ebXML undertaking, let alone,
resources for dissemination of document and files.

The simple one-page summaries of Robin Cover prove that
explaining ebXML is a relatively simple, manageable task.

- the ebTWG website and ebXML.org websites should be frozen
if they are not authoritative.  Do the PHBs in CEFACT imagine
that by ignoring the older websites, the interests of the public are
served?  or democratic principles of the UN are served?  The ebTWG
site as a result, says "Copyright  2002, CommerceNet" and
effectively, all ebXML sites are run by entirely unelected community
of developers and vendors.

That's fine -- but then, why does the UN/CEFACT publish links
to it, with open-ended MOUs etc. on the sites, etc.?  CEFACT
needs to make some basic decisions.  There is a logical integrity
problem here.  Either CEFACT has an activity, or they don't.

Now, I suspect CEFACT does not actually support ebXML activities
  (as is apparent by their willingness to fund hundreds of megs
of EDIFACT activities but nothing of ebXML)   Is the CEFACT
Forum then, a kind of trojan activity, a kind of sting, to lure hundreds
of xml dissidents into an activity to stagger us, slow us down?

- if the content of ebXML.org and ebtwg.org are activities of
the UN then the content should be hosted on the UN website.
If the present donors aren't willing to pay the same hosting
costs under the UN flag then ask yourself the question, why
are they willing to pay those costs now?

- ebXML developers who have any self respect should either
go down to SourceForge and begin maintaining a decent
website, mailing lists, document repositories and source trees.
Or move the CEFACT Forum work onto the OASIS website,
which is quite serviceable.

Basically I am quite angry, because the presentation on all
these websites is so completely incomprehensible and incomplete,
and they are so lacking in documents such as current draft
specifications as to make it impossible to work efficiently,
or to point to these pages in explaining our work to other people.

Frankly people think our work is as CRAPPY and CONFUSED
as these websites.  The business executive and developer do
not have TIME for this.  ebXML developers need to break out of this
cycle as soon as possible.  Somebody needs to bell the cat--
and that cat is in UN/CEFACT.  Remember during 2000 when
all of the ebXML workgroups were maintaining their own document
archives and project pages?  That is what we need, today,
but have been denied since May 2001.  Enough is Enough,

Todd Boyle CPA
Kirkland WA

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