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Subject: RE: [emergency] CAP and Signatures/Encryption

I agree completely.  We work with locals every day.  That is 
99.9999 per cent of the public safety business.  Agencies 
vary within themselves, states vary by agency and so on. Some 
things result:

1.  The cost of a public safety system is much higher than 
it should be.

2.  Snake oil systems sell cheaper and then they get to spend 
the money again.

3.  RFPs are growing more complex and more expensive to bid 
every year (about three times as dense as the first ones I 
processed nine years ago).

4.  Interoperability is based almost entirely on loosely 
coupled exchange of files dumped into common directories.

5.  The file types are largely system dependent with some 
local customization possible through adding non-semantic 
fields to the data schemas (ie, you can name it but you 
can't check a cooccurrence constraint).

We'd like to sell to the smaller agencies.  Really.  Who 
can afford to as long as the RFPs they issue are the precise 
same RFPs the big agencies issue because the consultants 
see to that with their lazy boilerplated RFPs or trendy 
but too early in the cycle requirements?

I really do understand that problem, Paul, and as a standards 
vet, I know standards don't fix the problems, but complex 
standards that enter the procurement cycles are the worst 
of all and do the economics substantial damage.  It scares 
the hell out of me that for UBL, the naming standard alone 
is 112 pages long.  Interlocking liaisons will amplify that 
bigger than Mick Jagger's PA system.

So once again:  if the system is to be part of the NIMS/NPS 
doctrines, protocols and structures, pare *That Part* down to the 
absolute basics because that is all we have a hope of getting 
to run at that scale in that timeframe.  Make sure what shows 
up in the RFPs for those requirements are implementable because 
the public safety industry, not the consultants and not the 
local agencies, are the implementors.

Also again:  this particular working group is actually a good 
exemplar of that approach so far.


From: Paul Embley [mailto:pembley@mstar.net]
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 1:34 PM

Let's just say that at one time I shared your perspective until I started
working with locals.  I don't share that perspective any longer.  Their
reality is very different.  I know many are putting GJXDM in their RFPs, but
most have no clue what that means, how to measure if a vendor meets the
criteria and so on.  I believe we will encounter the same with CAP, EDXL,
etc.  I've found some success in working with vendors who in turn educate
their users, but this typically will permeate only to your large and most
medium size agencies/departments.  The smaller ones who make up the bulk of
emergency response have a tough time hearing about these things,
understanding them, measuring compliance, implementing, etc.

Just trying to point out there is a lot more to be done than coming up with
a good standard.

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