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Subject: Season's Greetings from the OASIS team

Dear OASIS Members,

Please allow me to applaud you for reaching new highs in 2015 as a community of technical experts. We’ve accomplished many milestones over the course of the year.


The Universal Business Language (UBL) became a globally accepted ISO standard for invoicing. A new version of the Open Document Format (ODF) also made it into the ISO catalog; ODF powers Google Docs, Libre Office, Star Office, Polaris Office and a cornucopia of other free business office suite offerings across all operating systems.


On the new TC front, ARIP, an augmented reality protocol, will allow knowledge specialists to sift through information with gestures, touch and heads-up displays. ARIP will usher in the future of documentation that has been tantalizingly portrayed in movies since Spielberg's Minority Report.


The CXS TC set out this year to standardize the delivery of personalized web content through a context server, an important tool in the arsenal of genuine customization.


The Bioserv community promises to facilitate the use of biometrics and biometric operations over a service-oriented architecture, and to increase the efficacy with which biometrics are implemented.  


The XLIFF folks have launched a second TC, XLIFF OMOS, to further advance payload and metadata interoperability in the globalization, internationalization, localization and translation space.


The COEL group is developing standardized, transparent technical frameworks to support the successful formation and growth of a business ecosystem aimed at providing personalized services. If you're thinking "personal data analytics", you're right.


To top off this future-oriented list, the Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) TC has gathered a massive community of co-proposers around its goal to define a set of information representations and protocols to support automated information sharing for cybersecurity situational awareness, real-time network defense, and sophisticated threat analysis. This effort will codify STIX, TAXII and CyBox as international standards and take this critical work to the next level.


Is anyone paying attention? You bet they are. The European Patent Office says ANSI and OASIS standards are by far the most referenced IT standards in existence, which is flattering when you consider the august company we’re in. Beyond the international recognition your work is getting, you're earning something intangible and far more important: respect. You can be proud of that. OASIS staff certainly is.


And yet, we will be rejoicing with restraint because the global mood is somber: it's harder to read the economy than the proverbial tea leaves; unrest and violence are ubiquitous and disheartening, disrupting travel and trade; and in our field, not a day goes by without another data breach. Unlike last year, I can at least report that CTI is the beginning of an answer to this problem.


The computing trends we had identified together last year have cemented into a cultural shift. Recently, my 80-year-old father proudly announced that he was using the Cloud. When I asked him what he meant, he said that his Mac backups were in iCloud. I'm afraid I burst his bubble when I told him that he was in the Cloud in many other ways. He's a respected blogger in France, and his blog is hosted on Wordpress. We also share family photos, poems and sometimes songs my nephew creates on Box. My parents check out my videos on Youtube, and sometimes I'll save something for them to download from my public Dropbox folder. The list goes on. Neither my dad nor millions of other folks using these services tend to think of this as the Cloud. For them, the services are an extension of their device. Facebook is not some remote region hallowed by St-Zuckerberg, it's a part of their phone or tablet. It's not so much that, to speak like the Buddhists, we are expanding our consciousness to encompass the globe, it's that the globe is coming into our computing devices, driving an unprecedented consumption of user-generated content in the process. If you doubt me, just watch your kids or your spouse immerse themselves in Instagram with the sort of focused attention and delight that used to be reserved for the season finale of Lost.  


This irruption of the planet into our personal spheres has been particularly hard on TV networks, movie and music studios and PC makers, because they're used to thinking of information as one directional, from their hub to everyone and everywhere else. It has also been hard on the Web:  each app creates its own isolated stream of information, its own web backwater so to speak, but the economics of capturing "eyeballs" and keeping them fixated are such that these backwaters rarely connect with each other. This ferocious competition for usage time has definitely disrupted content sites like Yahoo, AOL and MSN.


Open Standards and Open Source -- areas that were once viewed in conflict with one another are now accepted as complimentary. Code can be a great way to get standards into use faster and identify issues mid-stream; Standards ensure interoperability and portability and can make APIs more stable.  To that end, OASIS has launched Github-based Open Repositories, a new option for TCs that would find value in working on standards WHILE storing code or artifacts in one place.


Despite the seismic changes in the IT world, I'm convinced standards are here to stay because what we provide--an agreement to do things in an interoperable, portable way--will matter even more tomorrow than it does today. Ultimately, users don't care about platforms. What’s more (although this may be a shocker to our industry), they don't care about software either. Users just want to be able to access and use their data and consume their content anywhere, anytime. Web and Cloud standards make this possible.


Similarly, standardized APIs and protocols make it possible for people to communicate with the things they own and for things to talk to each other. Self-driving cars anyone? That will require standards, from both the policy and IT sides. 


OASIS aims to be your ‘one-stop interop shop’. If you have a project that requires either standards, or open source, or any kind of artifact you need to store in a repository; and if you need to have these projects governed by a clear process and industry-vetted IPR, OASIS is the right home for you. If you’re working on something broader than a TC, OASIS can provide an “org-in-a-box” that allows you to outsource all the difficult work of standing up an alliance, a consortium, an association or a special interest group. We’ll even facilitate your community and help it work harmoniously to reach its intended deliverables. You can do this under the OASIS brand or under your own brand—it’s up to you.


At the other end of the standards spectrum, we’re looking into self-certification to allow implementers of your work to make a public point of adopting it.   


So that’s our one-stop-interop shop in a nutshell: from budding specification all the way to full-blown standard, possible global recognition in ISO, IEC or ITU, possible referencing in European procurement, or possible ANSI accreditation if that’s the route you prefer; with a side of Open Source should you require it. And possible self-certification if there’s a business case for it. This in addition to all the marketing benefits we continue to provide, from focused industry events to high-quality, high-visibility interop demos.


We believe this will carry us over as an organization into the next decade and will make us a solid and preferred home for ground breaking technical work.


My door is always open. If you have suggestions for ways we can best serve you or want to share your ideas of where standards are heading, I want to hear about it. Listening and acting upon feedback is what you hired me to do.


Thank you for the trust you place in me and my staff. We appreciate it deeply, and want to make sure you feel acknowledged, supported and served as well as you deserve to be. Happy Holidays, and best of health in the New Year.

Very truly yours,



Laurent Liscia, CEO
OASIS: Advancing open standards for the information society 
(510) 669-1261

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