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NYTimes.com Article: Plan Aims to Foster Electronic Commerce Between Businesses

From: <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 09:09:50 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-Id: <20000905130950.4AE3458A4D@email5.lga2.nytimes.com>
This article from NYTimes.com 
has been sent to you by William Loughborough love26@gorge.net.

rdf interest group

I seem to remember a recent incident during which a patent was issued for "cascading style sheets" or some such thinly veiled attempt to proprietarize an effort that clearly has roots (and techniques, etc.) in the work of groups like this one. It's amazing how much this press release sounds like a "bull move" to establish de facto standards for areas called RDF, CC/PP, etc. in the W3C.

I wonder if any of those working on the "closely guarded secrets" of this industrial cabal also mine the minds of folks on this list?

Just curious.


William Loughborough

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Plan Aims to Foster Electronic Commerce Between Businesses 

September 5, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4 -- Seeking to promote the rapid development of
electronic commerce between businesses, I.B.M., Microsoft and Ariba
plan to announce a proposal on Wednesday to create a huge   set of
online registries of products  and services to help automate
business transactions. 

 Twenty-nine companies,  including American Express, CommerceOne,
Compaq, Merrill Lynch and Sun Microsystems, will initially endorse
the  proposal, to be named the Universal  Description, Discovery
and Integration project, or UDDI. The backers  said they  planned
to turn the idea  over eventually to one of several  Internet
standards bodies to make it  a broadly backed initiative. 

 "We are intent on making the Web  an easier way to handle
business-to-business transactions," said Marie  Weik, I.B.M.'s
director of electronic  markets infrastructure. 

 The initiative comes at a time  when companies have begun to
grapple with the intricacies of electronic  commerce, hoping to
achieve the  original promise of a new Internet  publishing
standard known as Extensible Markup Language, or XML. 

 Hypertext Markup Language, or  HTML, led to the current World Wide 
Web as a vast publishing medium.  Many hope XML will permit direct 
computer-to-computer transactions   in the next generation of the

 Until recently, the UDDI project  was a closely held secret among
the  three companies. While I.B.M. and  Microsoft are dominant
players in  Internet commerce, Ariba is a smaller electronic
commerce company,  based in Mountain View, Calif. 

 Although the initiative is being  portrayed as an effort to create
an  "open" standard, the UDDI project  offers some insight into the
bruising  behind-the-scenes competition taking place in the world
of Internet  standards as companies seek proprietary advantage for
new technologies. 

 Several executives at competing  electronic commerce companies 
said the UDDI standard initiative  parallels but ignores an earlier
effort  led by Commercenet, a competing  Silicon Valley electronic
commerce  initiative. 

 Known as the eCo Framework  Project, that system also focused on 
creating public electronic registries  and automated electronic
commerce.. But the Commercenet effort  has lost momentum, and
Microsoft  has moved quickly to take over the  effort to set
standards for electronic  commerce. 

 Making analogies to telephone directory yellow and white pages,
executives said their proposed UDDI  standard would permit
companies to  publish descriptive information  about their
organization and their  products in a way that could easily  be
located by electronic commerce  software programs used in business 

 The group said the proposed standard would go a step beyond being
a  static "telephone directory" style  look-up service. An
additional component of the registry was described  as a "green
pages,"  which would  allow companies to publish information about
their business practices. 

 This is intended to make it possible  for electronic commerce
programs  based on the XML standard to locate  business partners
automatically and  buy and sell products and services. 

 "Perhaps a better analogy would  be to the signaling system used
by  the telephone network to automatically set up telephone calls,"
said  James Utzschneider, Microsoft's director of Web services for
the company's business applications division. 

The three companies plan to create a prototype within a month. 

The New York Times on the Web


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Received on Tuesday, 5 September 2000 09:07:23 UTC

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