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Re: Question about standardization

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.manchester.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 09:31:50 +0100
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Message-Id: <60B321DA-CD13-4A75-8745-C276A6C41741@cs.manchester.ac.uk>
To: "Michael Hucka" <mhucka@caltech.edu>
On 13 May 2009, at 03:12, Michael Hucka wrote:

> Hi,
>>> 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

I don't see how. If you look at:
you see that the group deliverables do not include standards.

> there
> that I still was not entirely certain whether my question
> would be considered appropriate,

I think you are conflating standardization with the other activities.  
I think SBML is the kind of thing for which HCLSIG could, if the  
members felt up to it, implement use cases, produce technical  
collateral, etc.

Thus, if you are looking for a wider forum for SBML, HCLSIG is  

If you really want (and need) to produce a *standard*, that is, a  
specification of a language that has the formal endorsement of the  
W3C, then HCLSIG is merely a place to start building consensus for the  
chartering of such a group.

>  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.

And is there a reason? I mean, if you have interop already and buy-in  
from key players, then all that's left is publicity (or badge  
collecting). These can be worthwhile, but they come at considerable  
cost, not just for you, but for the W3C.

>  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.

But, again, why? I mean, what goals do you have for standardization?  
Are there implementations that don't comply? Are there vendors who  
can't sell their SBML tool to govt agencies due to the procurement  
requirement to use "recognized standards" thus they are forced to use  
older, inadequate standards? Or is there a user base that likely  
*would* use (and benefit) from it but just need to know they are  
working "with a standard"? Or are there patent implications you are  
trying to work around?

Received on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 08:32:27 UTC

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