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Re: Lack of prefix in public-semweb-lifesci Subject line makes it difficult to recognize origin

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 13:02:28 -0600
Message-Id: <p06230906c0056031a96d@[10.100.0.23]>
To: "Tom Stambaugh" <tms@stambaugh-inc.com>
Cc: "Simon J. Hernandez" <simon@w3.org>, "Dave DeCaprio" <daved@broad.mit.edu>, <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>

>  > Although we realize that there may still be some email clients that do not
>>  make it
>>  straightforward to filter based on any of these headers, we still do not
>>  provide a subject
>>  tagging facility for our lists because we would rather see effort invested
>>  in getting mail
>>  software fixed to do the right thing than provide workarounds that provide
>>  no incentive to do
>>  so, at the expense of users whose mail clients already do the right thing.
>
>The arrogance of this posture, excerpted from Simon's earlier link, is
>staggering. Is it any wonder that other communities find we software
>professionals so difficult to work with? In short, this message says "We
>have it, you don't, and you can go suck eggs." Statements like this
>exemplify an attitude that is already a prime complaint of the life-science
>community about us.

Seems to me that the message is more like this:

"Our (W3C) job is to set IT standards. Regarding the issue you raise, 
we have done that. The world has not yet caught up, but it is 
important that we maintain a consistent stance with regard to the 
standardization effort, by encouraging vendors to conform to the 
standards rather than adapting the standards to the current market 
situation."

I don't think this is an arrogant posture for an organization whose 
only purpose is to create and maintain standards. (It might be 
slightly Quixotian after five years with no sign of vendor progress, 
but that is a different criticism.) Basically, we can live in an IT 
world where there are open standards, or one where the de facto 
standard is set by the largest or most aggressive vendor. The W3C 
sets out to attempt to achieve the first. This is sometimes 
inconvenient, but I applaud the goal and respect the technique. As 
with dealing with hostage situations, it is important to keep to a 
rigorous stance, even if this seems harsh or arrogant, because giving 
in only encourages them.

>Off topic? Maybe. Sometimes things need to be said.

Quite. No more from me on this topic.

Pat Hayes



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Received on Tuesday, 31 January 2006 19:02:39 GMT

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