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Re: ubl + ebxml = increased interoperability?


It is important to understand the philosophy of why this was done.  When 
ebXML was architected, there was a decision to not repeat the mistakes 
of the past.  One of the largest mistakes was to engineer a set XML 
vocabulary with the notion that the entire world will use it.  That is 
flawed thinking from the start.  The entire world will never use one set 
language.  A wise man once said "When solving a problem you must not use 
the same type of thinking as when you created the problem" [1].  Think 
about it.

Instead, ebXML wisely set about to define a set of flexible core 
components.  The initial scope was to create the core components however 
the job turned out to be much tougher that perceived.  Context played 
and important part and a lot of good thinking went into how we could 
represent that mechanism.  I won't even get into the political 
derailment.  We also needed other mechanisms like a content assembly 
device, context declaration, a modelling methodology to refine message 
metadata and sort out context values and more.  

The CC team wisely rescoped the work to defining the methodology for 
deriving core components and a set of extensible core component metadata 
as well as several terms like BIE, ABIE, BCC etc.  In the 18 month 
timeframe, there was simply not enough bandwidth to complete the 
original scope.  They did deliver some very new thinking on a subject 
that may one day give applications true cognitive capabilities ( a 
subject that has held up certain aspects of AI for years).

Jon Bosak saw the shortcoming and realized that the world ready to try 
ebXML would need a language, not just a methodology since it's 
implementation in a fragmented and culturally diverse world would be 
very hard.  Jon set up the UBL group to make the first language based on 
the methodologies and ideals of CCTS.  Many of the original CCTS people 
participated and UBL is now available.

I am a big fan of the CC work and the subsequent UBL work.  

Duane Nickull

[1] Albert Einstein

Bryan Rasmussen wrote:

>In Mike Rawlin's article 'ebXML and Interoperability'(
>http://www.rawlinsecconsulting.com/ebXML/ebXML3.html) he grades ebXML on
>various aspects of interoperability.
>One of the aspects was "Common Expression" defined as "Common set of XML
>element names, attributes and common usage of those attributes, common
>approach to document structure" - ebXML didn't address this at all. One
>the main reasons is that, as noted in my opening article, ebXML's
>was to enable several existing XML approaches to interoperate rather
>choosing only one. It also tried to address a very broad scope, with
>applicability to technologies other than XML." which he gave a grade of
>If we were to suppose ebxml as the framework and UBL as providing the
>set of xml element names etc. could we then change that grade to
>closer approaching an A? 
>This is based on my understanding of UBL, although not requiring ebXML,
>being designed to be ebXML compatible. If this is a misapprehension on my
>part please point it out. Thanks. 
>The ebxml-dev list is sponsored by OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org> The
>list archives are at http://lists.ebxml.org/archives/ebxml-dev/
>To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription manager: 

Senior Standards Strategist
Adobe Systems, Inc.

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