OASIS individual memberships

Jon Bosak Jon.Bosak at eng.sun.com
Wed Jul 14 01:25:47 BST 1999

Sorry it's taken me this long to comment; I just now caught up with
the xml-dev digest that contains Simon's inquiry.  And apologies in
advance if this fails to take into account further messages on this
subject sent over the last two days, which will be in the digest that
hasn't been sent yet.

[Simon St.Laurent:]

| OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information
| Standards) has created a new category of membership, individual
| membership ($250/year).  The press release is at
| http://www.oasis-open.org/html/membership_opens.html.
| While I loudly applaud their move to open their ranks to a larger body
| of members, which will hopefully bring them some new perspectives, I'm
| also having a hard time deciding whether it's worth my spending $250.

Well, I traded the xml.org domain for my individual membership.
That's what I think of it.

| I already spend $91/year for my ACM membership, and mostly get a
| magazine, an email alias, and what I call my 'union card' for that
| cash.  Deciding whether to spend $250 entails a bit more than just
| liking the organization.

OASIS provides a well-established, non-profit organization run by an
elected board of directors for the purpose of developing interoperable
structured information standards.  You provide the rest.

| The only committees appear to be XML Conformance, Registry and
| Repository, and DocBook.

There are as many technical committees as members commit to
organizing.  Conformance, Reg/Rep, and DocBook were the ones that were
already operational before OASIS decided to admit individual members.
Past OASIS efforts include the SGML Open Catalog mechanism, the
standardization of CALS table markup, and the fragment specification
upon which the current W3C XML Fragment work is based.

| How much output is there really?  OASIS seems like a good idea, but
| it's not clear how much it really _does_.

It does as much as you and the other members decide to do.

The same is true of any industry consortium: it does what its members
decide to promote with their participation.  One big difference
between OASIS and some other industry consortia is that it has decided
to open its membership to individuals.

Some of us believe that a consortium that allows individuals to
participate will make better progress than one that doesn't.  Whether
this is true remains to be seen.  It's possible that people would
rather complain about not being able to participate in standards
processes than actually do the work; it's certainly easier.  I'm
hoping that's not the case, but I could be wrong.

[Erik Freed, on the subject of forms languages:]

| As a representative for a company that can not afford to 'join' the
| w3c, I depressingly have to live behind the times at all times. I am
| sure they are well intentioned, but waiting for corporate
| representatives to lob a finished standard over the net well after
| they have established their corporate strategies around their advanced
| knowledge sure does not seem in the spirit of the whole thing does it?

Guess what: you've got an alternative.  If you want to develop a
standard for forms in a process that's open to view, do it.

| However if I did have the money to join...

$250 a year.  No more excuses.


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