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Re: Proceeding with [Core] via email discussion (Was Re: Postponed beginning for [Education], agenda for [Core])

From: Marcos Caceres <marcos@marcosc.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2014 20:55:21 +1000
To: crispin.weston@saltis.org
Cc: public-most-important-priorities@w3.org, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Message-ID: <etPan.549d3f11.6b8b4567.615@Marcos-MBP.local>
Hi Crispin,

On December 26, 2014 at 5:37:22 AM, Crispin Weston (crispin.weston@saltis.org) wrote:
> Dear jeffe,

> However, what is being proposed with the Application Foundations strikes me as being a sort of developer's toolkit or library.

This view is incorrect.  We are laying down a *platform* on which libraries, toolkits, and data formats can be built. We are not building toolkits or libraries - and we are only building new data formats where current generation of data formats are shown to be insufficient. 

It may help to read the following to get an understanding of how we are standardizing the web platform: https://extensiblewebmanifesto.org/  

> 2. in what senses these foundations will be specific to education.

So, let's spin this around a bit. What can you *not* do on the Web platform today to enable the things you need in an educational context using the standards the W3C, and related consortia, already provide?  Are there any technical limitations that you have identified in the current generation of specifications (I didn't identify any from your email, but I might be missing something)? 

Reading your email, I get the sense that you are primarily calling for the standardization of data formats that would be built on existing technology? Is that correct? If that is correct, that is great - it might be as easy as forming a community group with the interested parties and getting something standardized that would address your use cases (using, JSON, XML, or even RDF). 

In order to set the priorities in this group, we need to identify demonstrable limitations in the platform: that is, "I can't do X on the platform today because it doesn't do Y'. There is strong/demonstrable interest and benefit to society in doing X as shown by [citations needed] - if only we could do something about fixing Y! 

The Web already affords a rich set of data formats on which other formats can be created and standardized (independently of the W3C in many cases - for domain specific cases, similar to the ones you describe). What would be of tremendous value would be to show that the aforementioned formats are, in fact, deficient in some way at the platform level.    

> For the same reason, I think that if W3C could provide a platform for interoperability and automatic integration of educational apps, it could have a completely transformative effect on the market for innovative ed-tech software.

So the challenge is for folks in the Education domain to show that HTML, and friends, cannot do this already. Or, alternatively, where other platforms are doing this but the Web platform is falling short. 
Received on Friday, 26 December 2014 10:57:53 UTC

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