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Subject: Objection to format and conduct of the reliable messaging panel



The Oasis Board of Directors

The Oasis Technical Advisory Board

April 28, 2004


On April 27, 2004, during what was promoted as a panel "discussion" on reliable messaging, the draft Oasis Web Services Reliability specification was savaged in a most unfortunate manner by the authors of the competing proprietary specification.  The moderator stifled attempts by members to engage in technical discussion in disregard for his role.  While we welcome comments and critique, we find it unacceptable to be coldcocked without opportunity to cross-examine, debate, or rebut. 


Some of the comparisons were technically accurate; however there exist specific use-case rationale supporting those decisions which were the result of the Oasis process.  On the other hand, some were based on apparently deliberate misinterpretation of the specification which like so many political ads in this election season makes charges without foundation which cannot be answered in anything but a disconnected and discontinuous manner. 


What is damaging is not the commentary, but the impression left by charges unanswered.  Many in the audience will read neither specification and will likely form their opinions solely based on the presentation.  We are also informed that the IBM assassination attempt will be posted on the Oasis web site which further adds insult to injury by the very organization chartered to guarantee the free exchange of ideas and broad participation in the standards formation process.  Clearly, based on the remarks made by the IBM presenter he is no advocate of this process, and by inference the Oasis organization itself.


While some may believe that the IBM presenter may have been hoisted on his own petard, nevertheless the validity of this organization has come to challenge.


The following corrective considerations ought to be weighed to in some small manner compensate for these damages:


1)         Examine the governance of the TAB, its role, and membership.

2)         Construct future panels as debates with a forum which allows case presentation by both sides, rebuttal, and prepared questions and discussion.  It would then be clear to participants the need to prepare for thrust and parry rather then mere technical presentation.

3)         Delay the posting of papers on the Oasis web site relating to this panel for two weeks and include, simultaneously with the other presentations, a paper, prepared by the TC which will contain the TC's answer to these charges and its own comparison of proposed standards. 

4)         Carefully consider bylaw revision that would prohibit the reference of any proprietary specification in any specification or draft authored by any Oasis TC.


Without satisfactory resolution, we may be approaching the point where companies participating in the Oasis process will re-consider their future participation.  If we were to follow the same rules as the moderator of this session, you would have 30 seconds to respond. Rather, we pray to receive your considered response prior to May 8, 2004.


Bob Freund



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