XML-dev futures discussion
I'm going to send two emails. This one is going to lay out the options in as an unbiased a form as I can manage, and I'll follow up with an opinionated one, albeit (yawn) maybe not this evening. If Mike Fitzgerald wants to set up a five-way voting booth, that's fine, but there are all sorts of problems with vote-tracking-by-IP and frankly I personally will pay more attention to who says what here in a posting to the list. Process: what I propose to do is to watch the traffic for a few days, then canvass the opinion of a few of the most active users of the list; stats on this are available. If there's rough consensus among these activists and a clearly-perceptible majority trend of all the people posting on the subject, and they agree, then it's easy. Otherwise the default action I suspect is to do nothing. I SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING: - Please reply to this message, cutting out as much as possible of it to save bandwidth and brain cells. - Leave the subject line alone to make this easy to follow. - If you just want to support one or two of the options below, identifying them by the provided labels, and say no more, that's fine. - if you want to expand at length that's fine but please try to get the meat of your comment in the first couple of screens-full. There are two issues we need to discuss here. A. Move the list, yes or no? I think reasonable opinions are A.1 I'm against moving it anywhere A.2 Yes, please move it A.3 I don't care, I'll go with the majority A.4 My opinion depends on where it might go B. If moving the list, where? These are listed in the chronological order I became aware of them. B.1 Move xml-dev to ibiblio.org B.2 Move xml-dev to Betty Harvey's ISP B.3 Move xml-dev to the W3C B.4 Move xml-dev to DISA ======================================================= Supporting Documentation Starts Here ======================================================= A. Leave xml-dev at xml.org under the auspices of Oasis? I excerpt from the recent statement of Patrick Gannon, Oasis CEO: For the past few months, however, our limited IT resources have been stretched with the priority of introducing a new online OASIS Member Collaboration system. This has prevented us from monitoring the XML-DEV list as closely as we might otherwise be doing. Although we are still in the midst of that launch, we recognize the need to respond to your issues, and we are currently evaluating the feasibility of hiring an additional IT resource to better support XML-DEV. Funding for this resource will be provided by the sponsors of XML.org, host of the XML-DEV list. OASIS hosts XML-DEV because we recognize how important this forum is to the developer community. We are committed to providing professional support for XML-DEV and for all OASIS, XML.org, UDDI, PKI, and ebXML mailing lists. The issues you have identified will be researched, and we will notify you of the steps we've taken to resolve them. ========================================================== B.1 Move xml-dev to ibiblio.org This was suggested by Jonathan Robie, and I asked him to provide a few words about his experiences there. Here's Jonathan: Home to one of the largest "collections of collections" on the Internet, ibiblio.org is a conservancy of freely available information, including software, music, literature, art, history, science, politics, and cultural studies. ibiblio.org is a collaboration of the <http://centerforthepublicdomain.org/>Center for the Public Domain and The <http://www.unc.edu>University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. I have hosted several mailing lists on ibiblio.org since about 1997, and have found the staff extremely helpful and friendly. For the lists I own, I have established a staff mailing list, appointed chairs (I prefer three chairs for a list that is relatively active), and shared the day-to-day administration. The mailing lists run using Mailman, which is easy to administer and seems quite reliable. When I have had problems I could not solve, their staff has helped me promptly. Here's an example of the archives generated by Mailman: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/. Mailman has extremely flexible administration options, and is written in python if we decide we want to customize the software or contribute to it. I think that ibiblio.org would give us a host that is reliable, allow us to appoint our own staff to administer the list, and be independent of any vested interest in the geopolitics of XML. ========================================================== B.2 Move xml-dev to Betty Harvey's ISP Betty Harvey is an IT consultant who's been active in the SGML world since before I was, and has a busy XML practice, and has had a small-scale ISP for years. She writes: If you are looking for a spot, we can host it. Right now I only have Mailman running and that suits my purposes, however, I think Mojodomo would be a good idea to install. I don't have time to devote full-time to it but with enough 'knowledgable' volunteers I think a really nice list service could be provided. These are the resources I have: Full T1 connection Linux Operating System Mailman listserve (currently) Mojodomo (when installed) SSH login capability Web connectivity Cocoon installed (anything else you can think of). I can give anyone who volunteers to manage the listserve the remote access. ============================================================= B.3 Move xml-dev to the W3C I suspect most of us have experience with w3c lists. XML-dev would not be the largest or most active list in the w3c domain. In my personal experience the lists seem almost always accessible, the archives usable and almost always there, and I've never seen editorial interference. Henry Thomson writes: The W3C is prepared to host xml-dev as a public, unmoderated, archived, list. W3C public mailing lists operate an auto-white-list spam filter, which requires a reply to your first posting to the list. This reply also includes your acknowledgement that postings to the list will be publicly archived. ============================================================ B.4 Move xml-dev to DISA Marcel Jemio wrote me: I would like for the Data Interchange Standards Association to be considered as the provider of these services (ref: www.disa.org). We are a not-for-profit, politically-neutral, technically-neutral standards body. By our client list, it will be evident that we provide listserve services for many users and have not suffered the problems as listed in your blog and/or in the subsequent emails about the current provider. Will you be providing a document that states "nice-to-have's" or is there something more structured that you had in mind? Not knowing the other providers (other than Henry at W3C), will the list of candidates be distributed to group for all to decide or is something like this to be decided upon by a representative few? --- Since I have no experience with DISA, I asked for some independent information about the quality of service and so on. A person named Greg Alvord wrote as follows: --- We use the DISA lists for a number of MISMO (Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization). I also use a number of other OASIS lists and lists hosted by private concerns. I know DISA has put in a number of recent improvements recently. I like the way the DISA lists have preformed since those upgrades. I have not experienced as many recent problems on OASIS based lists as it appears others in XML_DEV have. Be careful Marcel, form a recent posting this group will whip out three year old problems to beat you up with if they decide to turn on you <grin>. I am not sure I would want to put myself in a position to receive the quantity and quality of scorn this group seems to generate. I suspect this list generates a ton of traffic. I do not know how big the membership list is, but I can see that this list might be a real challenge to host. Some unreasonable expectations, a lot of visibility, and some people that just go off on the least little thing. Moving it to DISA would be fine with me, as long at it does not drag down the other lists there. --- and Marcel Jemio followed up again: --- Wise words, as usual... To let you both know, DISA is prepared to provide a monitor at some usability percentage for this listserve as well... Tim, to let you know we are preparing for a worst case scenario of 1000 users, 100MB archive listserve (can contain more), 200 daily email throughput, controlled admin/supervisor access, volunteer management support. Tim when you verify with OASIS what metrics are, will you notify candidates at soonest availability... thank you. =================================== That's all. -- Cheers, Tim Bray (ongoing fragmented essay: http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/)
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