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Subject: RE: [chairs] Who needs OASIS any more?

Attached is indeed the first sketch that I had prepared some weeks ago on this – suspended due to lack of time and needed work on other projects. If people feel this is on the right lines and worthy of beefing up, I’m happy to complete a strawman draft and submit this for discussion to the eGov member Section mailing list for discussion as a potential new initiative…





From: John Borras [mailto:johnaborras@yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: Thursday, 24 June, 2010 00:57
To: 'David RR Webber (XML)'; peter-oasis@justbrown.net
Cc: chairs@lists.oasis-open.org; laurent.liscia@oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [chairs] Who needs OASIS any more?




You may have missed our Open Government webinar recently?  We discussed this very issue, amongst other aspects of Open Gov, and I suggested that dumping large amounts of data on the Net was not the best way of achieving the intended goals.  It leaves things open to mis-interpretation and mis-use plus will make it increasingly hard for Joe Public to find what they want.  We are considering the way forward after our webinar but one thought is that there is scope for a TC to set some rules for profiling Gov’t data.  Most Gov’t data will be in some shape or form defined in legislation and therefore should not be open to interpretation, so capturing and publishing those definitions alongside the data would make the whole process much more effective. 


As an adjunct to this Peter and I have been talking for a while about the need for a TC to take forward the CEN eGov Share protocol which is much about the same space.  


Usual problem in all this is getting enough buy-in to scope and set-up a TC.  Maybe we should post something on the TC Discussion List to see what the interest is?




From: David RR Webber (XML) [mailto:david@drrw.info]
Sent: 23 June 2010 15:45
To: chairs@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [chairs] Who needs OASIS any more?


Thought I'd throw this rant out there - given recent developments and initiatives around us.


My excuse is it's summer time, its hot, and we're all cranky.



But having said all this - perhaps we are well positioned to do all this in any case?


And our excellent track record hopefully gives us basis for encouragement and confidence for the community around us who are our ultimate customers.


Of course - as an organization - setting a road map and then working towards that overall is something the board coordinates - so I thought it worthwhile to know what my fellow chairs are seeing two or three years out from now?


Thanks, DW

--- Begin Message ---
Proposer: tbd (with contact details)
Title: tbd
Purpose and justification:
As some of you may know, I was involved in some work with the European
standards agency, CEN, a couple of years back, attempting to identify the
role that standards play in eGovernment work, and assess what could
practically be done to improve the uptake, use of, and discussion about
That "eGovernment Focus Group" concluded with some recommendations for
action, including the proposal that some "standard for describing standards"
would be a good idea. This challenge was taken up by a newer group in CEN
and they have delivered a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) entitled eGov-Share:
Part 2 of their deliverables defines and describes a common reference
ontology for description of eGovernment resources; and
Part 3 a protocol for exchange of information and change management, called
"SD-Share" (sharing of semantic descriptions), based on ATOM.
It seems clear to me that a step-wise approach like this would be an
excellent starting point to lead into other areas where the publication and
exchange of large volumes of data might benefit from even a minimum of
'tagging' or 'semanticising' - such as the move of public authorities to
publish 'Linked Data' - a potentially foolhardy enterprise if done without
any context or semantic support. The belief that by imply 'setting data
free', anyone is serving a great public interest is rather disingenuous: in
reality, the only people to make use of data released in this way will be
techies and powerful lobby and interest groups with the computing power and
resources to bring to bear on the data to make it'meaningful'.
Issue to be addressed
There has been increasing debate, both within public administrations and
standards bodies (de facto and de jure) about:
-          how to identify what standards exist to address particular public
agency technology requirements;
-          how and where to find out more about those standards;
-          how to compare standards covering similar problem spaces;
-          how standards bodies can make such information and/or the
standards themselves more easily accessible
I have often argued, along with many others, that "if only" standards bodies
agreed to publish information about their standards in a, well, standard
manner, it would (like food labelling) allow for more informed "customer"
choice. No-one has any illusion that this will happen by dictat or miracle,
but I do believe that if we start in a small scale way on a tightly scoped
project, then we can at least establish a benchmark of good practice against
which to encourage others to follow.
Value proposition
Using a standard information model for publishing basic information about
standards would allow the work of SSOs and SDOs to be more easily
discoverable, accessible, citable and comparable.
Using a standard method for exchanging such information would make it easier
for stakeholders to keep abreast of standards work relevant to them;
facilitate the exchange of information and dialogue about standards between
stakeholders; and encourage the identification - however informally - of
standards considered appropriate for use in services that deliver real-world
value and thus fulfil specific public policy objectives.
This could prove also to be a valuable model for publishing, exchanging and
sharing data in an increasing variety of settings, such as highlighted with
'Linked Data' above.
The proposal
Taking - with their permission - the CEN work as initial input, together
with work done by my company in this domain, I would like to propose to
establish a TC that has as its mission to:
-          define a simple ontology for describing data standards;
-          propose best practice guidelines to OASIS and other interested
standards organisations for using such an ontology;
-          propose an architecture based on the SD-Share protocol for
syndicating information fragments adhering to the ontology;
-          (if possible) develop and/or reference demo application(s) that
syndicate and/or collect syndicated information fragments.
Although the scope of such a project is potentially all-embracing, the
proposed work should cover only data standards relevant to eGovernment work.
This will make the project objectives more realistic and achievable.
Relevant documents:
Available documents:
. .
Cooperation and liaison:
Liaisons should be established with (name other OASIS TC's and/or other
relevant groups)
Preparatory work:
The proposer is willing to undertake the preparatory work and prepare a
first draft for the proposed work item.
--- End Message ---

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