Following up on my March 23 poste I've done some googling and I've found that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in Circular A-119, defines voluntary consensus standards as "standards developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, both domestic and international" and it defines voluntary consensus standards bodies as "domestic or international organizations which plan, develop, establish, or coordinate voluntary consensus standards using agreed-upon procedures".
Further, OMB defines the attributes of a voluntary consensus body as having: Openness, Balance of interest, Due process, An appeals process, and Consensus. (OMB defines consensus as general agreement but not unanimity and adds that there must be a process for resolving objections.)
If that's the "voluntary consensus standards" the USSS refers too then perhaps a reference is in order.[Read More]
Tom.Glover 0100000MJP 196 Visits
Tom.Glover 0100000MJP 174 Visits
There's a Draft US Standards Strategy ready for public review and comment. The document (available in .doc or .pdf form) is a long read at 19 pages but for those interested in the future of standards it's something to pay attention to. For those not interested in slogging the document consists of a preamble followed by 12 imperatives, you can read the title for each then get into the details of only those which interest you.
Personally I'm a big fan of number 10: Establish standards education as a high priority within the United States private, public and academic sectors. The lack of standards education has been a concern of mine for a year or two now so I'm pleased to see attention being paid to it.
On the other hand I'm concerned that no attempt is being made to address the use of "standards" to provide a candy coating over IP encumbrances and note that although the phrase "voluntary consensus standards" is used throughout the document suggesting that it's important there's no explanation of what that means. They do reference Public Law 104-113 but I don't think that really addresses the "what are voluntary consensus standards?" question. I also note that they don't use the words "open standards" anywhere, and by raising this I'm clearly signaling my view that proprietary standards should not be considered relevant to this discussion.
Tom.Glover 0100000MJP 155 Visits
In his weblog Jonathan Schwartz comments that "Web services may collapse under its own weight". Jonathan's focus is on the number of specifications out there and the lack of a clear structure which makes sense of them. So far I agree, and this is a point I make often. However Jonathan's either not aware of the work WS-I is doing, or he's not grasped the significance of using profiles and usage patterns to communicate best practices for the application of Web Services standards, or he doesn't feel this is a viable approach.[Read More]
Tom.Glover 0100000MJP 160 Visits
Zend and IBM have begun a collaboration centered on PHP and if you'll look at this article you'll see that the group intends to work on WS-I Profile compliance![Read More]
Tom.Glover 0100000MJP 180 Visits
WS-I holds its spring plenary in Vancouver next week and as always it's going to be interesting!
Those familiar with WS-I skip this bit: WS-I's focus is on helping developers use Web Services technology for application integration. WS-I gathers requirements through its Requirements Working Group (WG from here on) so it stays focused on problems identified by the community. Next it creates WG's which generate "Profiles" (such as the WS-I Basic Profile), these are specifications which simplify the selection of standards and provide additional guidance concerning the interpretation and application of those standards. At the same time others in WS-I produce Usage Patterns (such as the usage scenarios for the attachments profile) which describe common interaction patterns between clients and services and explain how to apply the profiles effectively to improve interoperability. Moving beyond documents WS-I provides sample applications which demonstrate in code how to apply the profiles and validation tools which can be used by developers to verify that their clients and services are compliant with WS-I profiles. The group has released some profiles in Final form, is working on other profiles at pesent, and there's much more opportunity for it to apply itself to help developers use Web Services effectively.
Plenaries are primarily opportunities for WS-I WG's to meet face to face, individually and with each other, to get some work done on their deliverables.
At present the organization's focus is on the Basic Security Profile (BSP). Work has been under way for some time to produce the Profile, more recently work has begun on the Sample Applications which demonstrate its application and on Validation Tool support for BSP. Work in the Sample Application and Validation Tools spaces has raised questions concerning the contents of the Profile which will be examined next week. In addition we have a persistent problem, the Profile WG and the Sample Application WG between them have not yet developed Usage Scenarios for BSP. The three concerned WG's (the Profile WG, the Sample Applications WG, and the Validation Tool WG) will be meeting next week to take stock of where we are and consider next steps, I'm eager to hear the outcome.
In addition WS-I will be considering whether it begins work on a profile dealing with XML Schema use within the Web Services domain. Discussion and investigation of this question has been under way for almost twelve months now, there are a wide range of views on the matter so it's required a great deal of discussion to arrive at a draft Charter for a WG to create a new Profile. The XML Schema Work Plan WG has done its job, the draft Charter has been presented to the WS-I Board, now we're waiting to see whether the Board will approve it and create the WG. My hope is that they will, it's clear that WS-I Members find schema use a problem and that WS-I can help, I don't think it's much more complicated than that, I plan to support the creation of the WG then work support the WG as they develop a profile which helps developers in cooperation with the many parties who are interested in this work such as the W3C Schema group who own the base specification and the many organizations such as OAG and HR-XML who use it.
In addition to WG efforts we're looking forward to a visit from Anne Thomas Maines of The Burton Group who will speak to our members on Wednesday, then meet with the WS-I Board to give us her thoughts on how WS-I can contribute effectivley to the growth and maturity of Web Services. I've known Anne for many years now and always look forward to discussions with her.
That's the highlights for next week, there will be much more going on I'm sure, including Birds of a Feather sessions during the evenings, which are always lively. I hope to see you there![Read More]