XML-DEV's founder losing faith in OASIS
15:11, 19 Apr 2000 UTC | Edd Dumbill

In an email to XML-DEV, Peter Murray-Rust expressed disappointment with OASIS, who have hosted the mailing list since early this year, and opened up discussion on the way forward for the group -- with, or without, OASIS.

Murray-Rust, the founder of XML-DEV and longtime XML stalwart, said that he was:

"... very heartened by the number of constructive suggestions and, whatever happens, we need to take a more expansive view of the future."

After summarizing concerns expressed by some "seriously unhappy" members of the XML-DEV community, Murray-Rust did however think that "formal" action should only be taken after OASIS's self-imposed deadline of 23rd April (OASIS's Executive Director Laura Walker has pledged improvements within that time period).

Murray-Rust suggested that the community "think positively" about:

What role can and should OASIS play?

What additional features should XML-DEV include?

Are there affordable technical solutions which are preferable to the current one?

He then went on to explain why his opinion of OASIS had changed, praising the NIST/OASIS XML conformance work, and also that of Robin Cover. However:

"I regret to say that I think it is more bureaucratic and less oriented towards individuals. Personally I feel a sense of exclusion - it is unrealistic to expect academics to pay USD250 to join an organisation to which they provide voluntary services. I had hoped to see OASIS have a central role in which individuals can feel welcome."

Even if OASIS are able to respond to the concerns of XML-DEV and of Murray-Rust -- which are more about the "apparent unconcern from OASIS members" than the technical difficulties -- to the satisfaction of the community, it looks certain that XML-DEV will be embarking upon a new phase of its existence.

David Brownell has already proposed a way forward for an enhanced XML-DEV, incorporating a community-managed CVS code repository and other facilities.

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