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Re: new draft of Interoperability section

From: Miguel A. Amutio Gómez <miguel.amutio@map.es>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 2009 18:21:41 +0200
Message-ID: <49F5DB95.30707@map.es>
To: Todd Vincent <todd.vincent@xmllegal.org>
CC: "Jose M. Alonso" <josema@w3.org>, "Trond A. Undheim, LeadershipFromBelow.com" <trond-arne.undheim@oracle.com>, eGovIG IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>, Oscar Azanon <oscar.azanon@vitruviosistemas.com>
Todd,

Thank you very much for your contribution on this question of standards 
and specifications pointing out some relevant ideas.

I recognize that this question requires some more explanation and 
clarification in the text.

I´ll provide some paragraphs developing in a logical order this subject 
trying to maintain the extension under control.

Best regards,
Miguel A.

Todd Vincent escribió:
> Miguel:
>
> <Miguel>
> "Legal frameworks, as in the case of the European Union, may introduce  
> a degree of complexity because of distinction between standards coming  
> from national, EU or international standardization bodies (CEN,  
> CENELEC, ETSI, ISO, ?) and those coming from other for a or industry  
> consortia (W3C, OASIS, IETF,...).  It results also that the core of  
> standards for eGovernment services may be coming from this second  
> group. To sort this out that's why the terms 'standards' and  
> 'specifications' are used in this environment."
> </Miguel>
>
> Attached are power point slides on the topic you mention from a joint law/mba class that I taught in 1999 at Georgia State University.  These materials may provide food for thought and/or an outline if you want to expand this section. 
>
> The slides outline the following types organizations and then go into more details.  (The list of organizations are examples, not meant to be exclusive.)  I am sure I can dig up additional materials and am happy to review this section, time permitting.
>
> 1. United Nations International Standards Organizations
>
> 2. Non United Nations International Organizations with Member States
>
> 3. Non-Governmental International Organizations
>
> 4. Internet Standards Bodies
>
> 5. Industry Associations and Consortiums
>
> 6. Government Associations and Consortiums
>
> What makes this area complex is that bodies lower on the "legal" spectrum sometimes have more "power" than those on the higher "legal" spectrum (e.g., consider W3C and XML).  "Power" in this area is derived from competency, simplicity, process, cost, intellectual property policy, reputation, legal authority (or lack thereof), power of the purse, and other factors.
>
> The above outline is ordered from more "legal" authority to less, based on my analysis in 1999.  Arguably, #6 should be between #3 and #4.  I believe I organized it this way because #4 seem to have more "power" than #6 and their specifications are sometimes adopted as "law."
>
> Early in my career, I used the term "standards" very broadly. I now use the term "specifications" almost exclusively, given that there are so many "standards" and "standards bodies".  This said, there are classes of legally recognized standards organizations whose publications have the force of law because their member organizations are governments and agree, by treaty or otherwise, to give those publications the force of law.  If/when compliance, or lack thereof, would result in civil or criminal penalties, then (by my way of thinking) a publication rises to the level of a "standard".  Anything else is just a "specification."  
>
> Apart from the force of law, there are a number of ways in which a specification can become a "standard" (real or "de facto") (I'm using the term "standard" loosely here).  There is an intersection in the process of becoming a "standard" with the type of organization that promulgates the publication/technology/specification.  For example, the W3C does not have the force of law behind it, but it typically publishes high-quality specifications that are then widely adopted, thus becoming a "de facto standard" or a "widely adopted specification" that people call a "standard".
>
> In government, there are other ways that specifications become "standard" and that is through the power of the purse, specifically, through government grants and the Request for Proposal (RPF) process.  Governments (local, state, federal) do not always have the ability to promulgate via law (which is a far more difficult, time consuming, and permanent process), so they require a given specification/technology as a condition of government grants and/or through RFPs.  There are, in my view, a number of societal problems with this means of promulgation, but that is another topic.
>
> In earlier posts, I distinguished between "standards", "specifications" and "interoperability."  Another term that might be injected is "adoption."  For example, consider the following:
>
> Adoption of a "standard" because of the threat of civil/criminal penalties.
>
> Adoption of a "specification" because of grants or RFP requirements.
>
> Adoption of a "specification" because it is simple, low cost, and easy to implement.
>
> How do these means of "adoption" affect "interoperability"? Access to government information?  Taxpayer cost? What organizations are best at promulgating "standards/specifications"?  I'll leave you with that.  Happy weekend.
>  
> Thanks,
>  
> Todd
> ===========================
> Winchel "Todd" Vincent III
> <xmlLegal> http://www.xmllegal.org/ 
> Phone : 404.822.4668
> Fax     : 770.216.1633
> Email : Todd.Vincent@xmllegal.org
>  
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>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of miguel.amutio@map.es
> Sent: Saturday, April 25, 2009 7:49 AM
> To: Jose M. Alonso
> Cc: Trond A. Undheim, LeadershipFromBelow.com; eGovIG IG; Oscar Azanon
> Subject: Re: new draft of Interoperability section
>
> Hi,
>
> I tried to address this issue within the following paragrah of section  
> 'What are the main issues?' with the idea of pointing out a question  
> in a few words as possible:
> "Legal frameworks, as in the case of the European Union, may introduce  
> a degree of complexity because of distinction between standards coming  
> from national, EU or international standardization bodies (CEN,  
> CENELEC, ETSI, ISO, ?) and those coming from other for a or industry  
> consortia (W3C, OASIS, IETF,...).  It results also that the core of  
> standards for eGovernment services may be coming from this second  
> group. To sort this out that's why the terms 'standards' and  
> 'specifications' are used in this environment."
>
> This question as many other within this interoperability section could  
> require longer development and explanations but I tried in this darft  
> to control the extension of the text to mainatain a balance with the  
> rest of the note.
>
> Best regards,
> Miguel A.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> "Jose M. Alonso" <josema@w3.org> escribió:
>
>   
>> El 24/04/2009, a las 16:47, Jose M. Alonso escribió:
>>     
>>> All,
>>>
>>> I'm attaching a new draft of the Interoperability section. Miguel  
>>> has developed this one on top of Oscar's FPWD text and taking into  
>>> account open issues around the topic.
>>> ...
>>>       
>> Trond, Miguel, all,
>>
>> One more thing. I see Miguel added a some bits about "open  
>> standards" here which reminded me of ISSUE-5:  
>> http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/track/issues/5
>>
>> Could any of you point to the specific paragraphs and provide  
>> replacement text and references?
>>
>> Also, I think it's be good if non-europeans could check the content  
>> about the topic and see if it makes sense to them, too, or if  
>> something else should be added.
>>
>> Thanks in advance,
>> Jose.
>>
>>
>>     
>
>   
Received on Monday, 27 April 2009 16:19:51 GMT

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