[sc34wg3] for the telecon: belaboring the obvious

Steve Newcomb srn at coolheads.com
Sun Nov 20 21:32:54 EST 2011

WG3 is an institution useful for the development and publication of
international standards for the interchange and/or processing of
subject-oriented information.  WG3 has survived in an embryonic and
turbulent arena for a pretty long time.  It has somehow maintained a
place for itself in the world.  Maybe that longevity is useful.

WG3's agenda cannot be inconsistent with the agendas of its
international participants and their funders.  Participation is the
lifeblood of WG3.  From WG3's perspective, participants are the sole
source of WG3's energy.

When participants agree that there is an opportunity for WG3 to
develop a given standard, large or small, and when participants have
pledged sufficient resources, then, with the consent of WG3, those
participants should undertake the development, acting on behalf of

One implication of this "allow a hundred flowers" approach is that WG3
would not claim any kind of unified architectural vision.  It would
neither claim nor require that all of its standards products conform
to any sort of meta-standard.

Another implication is that WG3 projects should not interfere with
each other.  In general, participants should not withhold their
consent to WG3 undertaking any project on the basis of any existing
standard or doctrine.

WG3's engagement in a diverse program of work will make WG3's
usefulness more obvious, and it is very likely to provide the most
public benefit.  Nobody can predict the future, and natural selection
is not beneficial if there are not enough things to select from, and
everything dies.

So, for example, if a participant says he or she wants to develop an
international standard for the interchange and/or processing of
subject-oriented information, and if sufficient resources are
available, then that standard is exactly what WG3 should develop,
perhaps along with others.

Steve Newcomb

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