W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-eiif@w3.org > July 2009

thoughts on standards and interop gap

From: Paola Di Maio <paola.dimaio@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 20:54:29 +0100
Message-ID: <4a4804720907021254n341d51bdhead82eb4c80210f@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-xg-eiif <public-xg-eiif@w3.org>
Since there was a lot of discuss and I had to drop out early from the last
call (managed to get flight back home)
I did not have the chance to hear the reactions to some thoughts I very
briefly shared

I will be looking at the final report and framework for any last minute
comments and in the meantime two issues that as they stand in the documents
are bugging me a little,

1. the need for more standards

2. the need to identify/bridge the  interop gap

Somehow while agreeing broadly on both targets, I wonder if we should
somehow better qualify the challenges and limitations that
such a strategy may incurr in, and perhaps identify some of the risks, and
devise alternative. looser approaches

1) When it comes to more standards, the overall W3C mandate is to provide
'web standards and guidelines', and it may be premature for
us to gauge our contribution to the highest level of formalisation of a
specification (standard) since we are still to actually understand what
needs to be done exactly, by whom etcetera. So the way I see it the web
standard for exchange of emergency information should not be more than a
goal, a direction. Vocabulary and metadata as well as good practice
guidelines would be more realistic IMHO. I think we are aware of the 'too
many standards' syndrome, and perhas we should addrss in our statement how
our proposed guidelines/standards_to_be would avoid aggravating an already
serious problem of standards overload. Also, what I feel we do not yet do
enough is to say what good practices people can follow to improve the EM
information exchange, in the absence of a standard (since it could take
decades before this work done, and by then everything will have changed
anyway).  So basically, after this whole year of discussion, should another
tsunami strike, what guidelines should we (people who have data and
design/use information websites and news services etc) follow  to maximise
the usefulness of the information that we publish viar our blogs and wikis
and phones etc? if we could produce something like this as our next
deliverable, that would be very useful and feasible. Normal good practices
plus some linked data good practice for example, could be useful and easy
for example. Something like
at the very least do this xyz and the very best do that xysn

2) when it comes to 'bridging the interoperability gap' , it looks to me
that we should be very clear that it is the interoperability fo information
exchange that we are bridging, and we need to narrow down exactly what that
means, before it can be even considered seriously, so I think I would like
to read a paper/specification/document that identifies and defines the
interoperability gap as for a  EIIF W3C IG, and approach the problem
systematically, although like for 1) bridging the interoperability of
information in EM may be better considered as an overall strategig purpose
of our mission, rathen than a specific goal. I would like to see/discuss a
step by step process for this to be considered seriously, and again perphaps
a spectrum of good practices that people can easily follow during an
and until suitable standards/technologies/platforms are devised

So in sum, if there is any agreement on any aspect of the above, I would
suggest perhaps  a slight rewording of the relevant paragraphs
to make our statements

a) indicating more clearly taht we are aware of the limitations and risks of
our proposed preliminary approach, and our readiness to revise our own
targets along the way to take into account ongoing developments in the

b) stating more explicitly that the outcome of our work intend to
contribute to an overall direction and good practice rather than an
overcommitment to what we have not yet specified enough

c) more practical guidelins

d) some suggestions/a plan to engage with baseline system developers and
operations and promote the guidelines in practice

I will read the docs once again over the weekend and send more comments as
they spring up

Please do say what you think and suggestions

Received on Thursday, 2 July 2009 19:55:13 UTC

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