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good standards

From: Jon Garfunkel <jgarfunk@genuity.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 10:32:30 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: www-annotation@w3.org
At 11:41 PM 5/19/1999 -0400, I wrote in regards to ThirdVoice:
>How would the w3c take action in a case like this? Contact the software
>developers and say, "We have a good feeling that this technology will be
>standardized some day, we'd like to work with you to help that process."

Well, it looks like the market did the work for us. As of April 2,
ThirdVoice has ceased support for their free service and browser plug-in. I
am still trying to find their software architect's response to an inquiry
of mine which went along the lines of "We're going to focus on standards
after we build market share..." An interesting story to be told! What
journalistic bastion of open-standard practices is going to tell this
story? Perhaps the major tangential effect of ThirdVoice was by their
effort to patent an annotation system, IP.com and the Foresight Institute
(makers of CritLink) were inspired to create a new (and better?) open
disclosure database to ward off bad patents.

The comeuppance will be hitting the collaboration/groupware sector as well,
but that's presuming that there are standards for discussion forum
software. I'm writing one. I will have a look shortly to see how it can be
used with Annotea. (since I conceive all threads to be "annotations" based
on some anchor) I may get it on track for a December conference.

Part of what I needed in writing the discussion forum specification is a
standard for design models. I wasn't convinced that UML was practical
enough, and I didn't have the inclination to spend money on commercial
software with proprietary design models. So I'm doing a standard in XML. I
wrote my own simple O/R(/X) tool, which may yet be compatible with Castor
JDO. But my tool (LORAX) will have a strong enough XML model so that it
will be programming-language-neutral.

I'm working on it partly here at Genuity, and partly with an MIT seminar
which Joe Reagle (of W3C) is involved in. I expect to have significant
parts of the code done in the next month (thanks to XML, our code can be
*much* more elegant), and again, expect to get this on the publish track
for a conference by the end of the year.

Let me know if you're interested in more.

Jon Garfunkel ............................... 
Software Engineer ................................. 
Genuity ........................
Burlington, Mass ...........
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2001 10:41:23 UTC

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