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Re: Question about standardization

From: Michael Hucka <mhucka@caltech.edu>
Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 19:12:14 -0700
Message-ID: <18954.11390.366108.10134@frantic.local>
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org

  >> I hope this is not too off-topic -- I'm new to this
  >> group and still am trying to get a sense for what it's
  >> about.

  bparsia> The way to figure out it's formal scope is to
  bparsia> read the charter:
  bparsia> http://www.w3.org/2008/05/HCLSIGCharter

In fact, I did that before posting.  But there is enough
breadth and room for interpretation in the statements there
that I still was not entirely certain whether my question
would be considered appropriate, and moreover, I didn't want
to go assuming I made the correct interpretation :-).

  bparsia> If by "pursue" you mean, "Produce, though the
  bparsia> direct workings of this group, a W3C
  bparsia> recommendation (without a recharter)" then then
  bparsia> answer is simple, "No".
  bparsia> However, you could make a W3C member submission
  bparsia> of the SBML documents with a recommendation that
  bparsia> the W3C standardize it. Activities in this group
  bparsia> could help build consensus around SBML (and
  bparsia> around SBML being standardized by the W3C).

Good to know; thanks!

  bparsia> Well, given that standardization is a costly
  bparsia> endeavor, I'd ask about the motivations and
  bparsia> expected benefits for moving development into a
  bparsia> standards body, per se.n There are lots of
  bparsia> different sorts of standards body and lots of
  bparsia> different reasons for pursuing standardization.

Indeed.  Standardization of SBML has been discussed over
many years in the SBML community, but generally pushed back
due to various reasons, such as the question of whether SBML
was ready, and whether we had the resources to pursue
official standards recognition.  We may still lack the
resources (depends on what's involved), but aside from that,
my sense is that it is time to look into it seriously now.

(By way of background -- and I'm sorry to have forgotten to
introduce myself initially -- my background is computer
science and I'm a Senior Research Fellow at Caltech.  I'm
basically the main coordinator for SBML activities and the
principal investigator on a grant supporting core SBML
development.  Many other groups and individuals worldwide
have many huge contributions to SBML, and today it is a very
community-oriented and -driven effort.)

Best regards,

Mike Hucka, Ph.D.  mhucka@caltech.edu  http://bnmc.caltech.edu
Senior Research Fellow, Control and Dynamical Systems
Co-director, Biological Network Modeling Center (BNMC)
Beckman Institute @ the California Institute of Technology
Received on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 02:12:52 UTC

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