Re: XML-DEV LIST NOW OPERATIONAL
At 05:07 PM 2/2/00 -0800, Tim Bray wrote: >And this would be a good time to say THANK YOU to Henry and Peter for having >kept this engine running for the last 3 years; this community, and hence the >web as a whole, owe you a debt. -Tim > Many thanks for the kind words on this list. Henry and I are delighted to know that the future of the list does not depend on the potentially fragile organisation we have had up to now. [We have been holding our breath over the last few weeks and trying to keep morale high!] We wish every success to the new maintainers and will be happy to share experience if necessary. However, we have handed over our child and are prepared for it to grow as it decides, not us. May I suggest some ideas for the future? (a) it would be useful to have an XML-DEV Home page. We have never had this so far - primarily because the actual server was outwith our control. I produced XML-JEWELS at one stage but it was on a very fragile server. The page could contain brief historical details, some highlights, pointers to XML-DEV abstracters (eclectic, xml-deviant, etc.) and any moderatorial comments that may have been made which set the scene at a particular time. [As Henry and I have been archiving the list for VirtualXML, we may spot some of these.] (b) moderatorial. It was clear from the comments that were posted recently to the list and me that the members appreciate the current self-policing format and no heavy hands. I think it's useful simply to abstract any relevant moderatorial postings to the home page so that newcomers can get a rapid overview of the general principles - but these principles are, of course, mutable. I think it's inappropriate for *me* to continue to post LISTRIVIA (i.e. nagging people about quoting and sigs). I resurrected this recently in case the new maintainers would like to continue this. No-one screamed, and so if they wish to say "XML-DEV has a policy of normalisation and conciseness in quoting... "and occasionally remind people of this I would strongly support it. I will continue to post my own views, which from now on have the intrinsic force they deserve - no more or less. Since I believe passionately in the need for XML to remain as simple as possible I shall occasionally post on this subject, in keeping with the "design goals" of XML itself. I also believe in the great success of communal software and protocol development and may, perhaps, encourage people to pursue activities. But anyone is free to tell me I'm talking rubbish... (c) List traffic size. 1200 mails/month is a lot and I have been thinking how - if at all - this could be reduced by fissioning. I've convinced myself that at present this is impossible - the subjects almost all interact with each other. It would be a serious mistake to try to split into (say) software, semantics and ontology, specs, etc. And almost all the postings are of very high quality - apart from the quoting there is little that could be reduced. (d) white papers and prototypes. It becomes clearer every day that the tough problems of semantics and other challenges need somewhere like XML-DEV for their serious discussion. I hope that with the current membership there are enough people who would like to try to support some of this through papers. This again suggest that it would be useful to have a home page where (at least pointers to) these pages could be mounted. (e) abstracting and indexing. I am delighted to see that this is happening. I don't know what other tools might help here. However if some future being wishes to edit the history of this list let's give her/him/it as much help as possible. Henry and Peter ----------------- We shall continue to be as active in XML as we have been. We have been developing the material for VirtualXML - (http://www.cmlconsulting.com) our virtual learning environment for XML - and shall be making an announcement very shortly. [We have been waiting for the final XML-DEV transfer]. There has been a lot of interest and we have taken many comments on board. We are also very pleased to see CML starting to be adopted. Not surprisingly the first adopters are non-profit orgs who care about standards (regulators, *.gov, agencies, etc.) We are starting to see an OpenSource movement in the development of XML/CML-aware software - the more that we can base this on generic tools like editors the better. But a "small" domain like chemistry is much less able to support the development of high-quality software and it will be a challenge. We'd be very interested to know about any scientific/technical/medical initiatives in XML where chemistry would be involved. Also I have just written a book review on XML for the Times Higher Educational Supplement - don't know whether it's online (yet). I explore the idea that paper books are not completely ideal for learning XML, and I highlight the role of *.orgs like OASIS! P.
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