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Re: Persistence

From: Anne L. Washington <washingtona@acm.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 16:27:48 -0500 (EST)
To: Phil Archer <phila@w3.org>
cc: Public GLD WG <public-gld-wg@w3.org>, "Ronald P. Reck" <rreck@rrecktek.com>
Message-ID: <alpine.OSX.1.00.1111171627390.4108@annemacbookpro.local>

I agree with Sandro. There needs to be a way to easily change ownership 
and stewardship to another party.

My thinking on this mirrors what has worked in the non-digital world. 
Archives are run by third-party stewards.  It is neither the creator nor 
the receiver of a letter who keeps the piece of paper. It is an archive 
that keeps the letter.  Archives are usually organized by topic or 
geo-political locations. When items are deposited, the donor and the 
archive come to a written agreement about the long-term use of the 

The challenge of maintaining stability for electronic material is that 
creators and stewards are often one entity. When the owner no longer is 
interested in being a good steward, unfortunately things disappear. Ron 
and I have had a few conversations about this trying to work out the 
approach for the Stability Best Practices.

Unfortunately there is a cost to being a good steward for electronic 

Anne L. Washington, PhD
Standards work - W3C - washingtona@acm.org
Academic work - George Mason University

On Thu, 17 Nov 2011, Sandro Hawke wrote:

> On Thu, 2011-11-17 at 16:54 +0000, Phil Archer wrote:
>> Sandro has a proposal around things like namespace documents having a
>> 'living will' - i.e. if the maintaining organisation ceases to exist
>> or
>> can no longer maintain a Web presence then some other organisation
>> takes
>> over.
> I was advocating such a proposal to Phil, but I don't claim any
> ownership of it.  I've heard Dan Brickley and Tim Berners-Lee talk about
> these issues from various angles over the years.
> I'm not sure it's practical, but I really don't think anyone should be
> publishing data in a vocabulary that they don't have reasonable
> confidence will be around for as long as the data will be useful, ie
> quite possibly forever.     In order to enable publication, we should, I
> think, vigorously promote vocabulary stability.
> My strawman proposal would be:
> - vocabularies should be given their own domain name, probably in .net
> (they are infrastructure).   this way full ownership as well as
> maintenance duties can be transfered, legally, as necessary.
> - there should be a two-level ownership structure, where one
> disinterested, trusted, 3rd party (like the executor of a will) retains
> final control, but delegates to the creator/maintainer.   With written
> policies about what happens in various eventualities.   But, basically,
> if either of these parties loses interest, they can be smoothly
> replaced, and if the creator/maintainer ceases operation or stops acting
> in good faith, it can be replaced.
>      -- Sandro
Received on Thursday, 17 November 2011 21:29:58 UTC

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