W3C and Oasis look for common ground

From: John Flynn (jflynn@bbn.com)
Date: 09/12/02

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    September 12, 2002
    W3C and Oasis look for common ground
    [Financial Times Limited, All Rights Reserved]
    
    Asia Intelligence Wire via NewsEdge Corporation : Richard Karpinski
    09/09/2002
    
    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and OASIS-two bodies building critical
    Web services and security standards-held a public forum recently to better
    coordinate their work in this crucial area.  The symbolism of the effort was
    not lost. The two standard bodies are wrestling with how to avoid overlap
    while also coordinating their efforts to ensure key Web and XML
    specifications remain interoperable.
    "What we had intended when we organised this was to review the current state
    of security standards, where they fit together, and figure out the missing
    pieces," said Karl Best, OASIS director of technical operations. "What we
    discovered was that what people were most concerned about is that we need to
    work on the interoperability of existing specifications rather than work on
    new pieces." The W3C and OASIS already work together at an informal
    level-and it is important to note that OASIS is actually a W3C member.
    Said Janet Daly, W3C spokesman and the co-chair of the security forum:
    "[For the W3C], what's most important is to try to [forward] a broad-picture
    architectural model that doesn't forget the `Web' in Web services." Yet,
    although the groups have common goals, particularly a renewed emphasis on
    interoperability, the two go about their jobs in very different ways,
    especially in the area of Web services security.  Depending on who you ask,
    at least some of the work that ultimately ended up in the WS-Security
    specification-now moving on a standards track at OASIS-began at the W3C.
    
    Clearly, the W3C saw some of the technology directions that WS-Security
    defines as within its realm of influence. But when the time came for
    WS-Security creators IBM, Microsoft, and VeriSign to take their work and
    place it in a standards body, it chose OASIS.  OASIS CEO Patrick Gannon said
    his body is the perfect place for such business-driven specifications.
    "What OASIS is really about is taking the core standards, things like SOAP
    and digital signatures, and applying them to business needs." At the same
    time, the W3C's more rigorous processes-with plenty of public discussions,
    drafts and re-drafts-may not always appeal when commercial vendors are
    leading a standards process, said W3C's Daly. Not to mention the fact that,
    at least for now, the W3C demands only royalty-free technical submissions,
    while OASIS members can build specifications with technologies that
    ultimately may draw licence fees. "It is easier for that first draft to be
    written with your friends," said Daly. "You don't have to work with the
    whole room."
    
    In the end, neither group "controls" the work that gets done or which
    standard body does it-both are driven by their members. OASIS' Gannon said
    his group and the W3C will, driven by member feedback, look for new areas
    where they can better coordinate their efforts. One candidate might be UDDI,
    which OASIS recently picked up, but which must work closely with W3C-driven
    technologies like WSDL, or Web Services Description Language. Another area
    is Web messaging, and the intersection of SOAP and ebXML, he said. Not to
    mention that the two groups' security efforts will continue to feed off one
    another. "Clearly, what we've tried to do this week is reinforce the
    openness and cooperative spirit between the two groups," Gannon said.
    Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.
    Financial Times Information Limited - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
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    <<Asia Intelligence Wire -- 09/11/02>>
    << Copyright 2002 Financial Times Limited, All Rights Reserved >>
    
    John Flynn
    (703) 284-4612
    DAML Integration and Transition PM
    BBN Technologies
    


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