DD mark II

DDWG rechartered to design the DDR API

After months of procedural red tape, the W3C has announced that the Device Description Working Group has been rechartered to work on the design of the APIs for the DD Repository. I am the Chair of the Group, so I’m really happy that the work is moving into the next phase. Perhaps this will go some way to achieving Dan Appelquist’s DD Nirvana that he recently described. (A better job of describing the DD goal I could not have written myself. Thanks Dan!)

The process of getting this off the ground was quite intense. First, the existing group (let’s call it DD mark I) had to have its charter time extended a few months so we could include the DD Implementation Workshop and have time to debate the outcome, and draft a new charter. The workshop was a great success, and it led to an intensive six weeks of debate within the group. At the end of this we had a draft charter to present to the MWI Steering Council. The draft was discussed at the next SC face-to-face meeting, and approved. It was then forwarded to the W3C Management for their assessment. Again, the draft was approved. It was then presented to the W3C Advisory Committee (comprising representatives from every member organisation in W3C) for six more weeks of consideration. Once again, the charter was approved, and finally the Director (Tim Berners-Lee) approved. It’s a long process, but it gives everyone a voice and ensures that the group objectives are in the best interest of the Web.

At this point in time, I need to bring the group participants back together, get the various legal matters sorted out (e.g. patent rights) and also seek new members to help us achieve the goals we set out in the new charter. We have until mid-2008 to achieve the goals, so there’s plenty more work ahead for us.

We’ll be having our first face-to-face early in January, and we will reporting the results in public. Unlike DD mark I, the mark II version will be doing most of its work in public. This means that we will be conversing more on the public list, and we will probably set up a blog, or wiki, or something like that. We will need public input, including actual coding, so there’s a possibility of an Open Source project to accompany the group’s work.

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