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Subject: Re: [CAP] NOAA Undermining International Standards?

Friends -

Apparently I've failed to sensitize NOAA to the impact of their  
choices beyond their own organizational and national borders.  Much  
more is as stake here than just "visibility."

On Jun 2, 2006, at 6/2/06 7:33 AM, Herbert White wrote:
> The planned HazCollect Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is just  
> the first step in the process.  NOAA's intent is to fully support  
> the CAP "Instruction" element.

The problem is that these terms... "operational acceptance test" and  
"initial operating capacity"... mean precisely what they say.  The  
"OAT" isn't just some mid-point correction in an ongoing development  
process.  It marks the acceptance of an operational product.  It is,  
for all intents and purposes, a functional nationwide rollout of an  
"operating capacity" that even Herb admits is incomplete.

For most of a year now I've been asking Herb and others to specify  
when those flaws would be fixed, if not prior to the initial  
rollout.  He's been unable to do so, and rightly so, because there's  
no guarantee he'll ever get the funds to make changes once an  
"initial operating capacity" is accepted.  (I think we all know that  
there's nothing as permanent in government as a "temporary"  
structure.)  So... with all respect to Herb personally... I think we  
need to recognize that such general statements of intent are well- 
meaning but ultimately empty, and to focus on what's actually about  
to be deployed.

What will be some of the predictable effects if HazCollect is  
deployed and accepted in its current form?

1) Existing and developing providers of warning and emergency  
information systems will be shut out of the system for lack of an  
open interface in the foreseeable future.

2) Emergency managers will be pressured to install the DMIS toolkit  
on their already cluttered desktops as the only way to get access to  
NWS warning assets.

3) The market for non-NWS warning systems and products will be  
chilled, since nobody with a full CAP implementation will be able to  
guarantee compatibility with HazCollect.

4) Many system developers in the U.S. and abroad will feel pressure  
to "dumb down" their CAP implementations to match the HazCollect  
model rather than try to support both.

5) Ironically, other system developers (as we've seen in this  
discussion) will take NOAA's intransigence and go-it-alone approach  
as a reason not to bother implementing standards at all.

6) Ultimately, the credibility of the standards process will be  
eroded by the example of a huge U.S. federal agency overriding the  
standard for their own internal convenience.

Let's be clear here... it would be entirely possible for NOAA to  
accommodate its internal back-compatibility issues internally,  
without projecting them out to the user interface.  And both NOAA and  
Battelle have had plenty of time to make the necessary changes,  
during a development schedule that's already slipped numerous  
deadlines and waived a number of original specifications.

The only reason these problems persist is that NOAA and Battelle have  
chosen not to fix them.  We must not stand for NOAA putting a flawed  
HazCollect "initial operating capacity" online until they are.

- Art

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