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[school-discuss] Project Proposal

I see an opportunity a new open source project to
make a difference and help shed some light on the
viability of open source software and the community.

There is an industry initiative for data interchange
called The Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF).
It's aims are to develop an educational standard open
specification for data exchange based on XML.

It already has the backing of several major software
vendors and compliance testing is underway. It allows
"agents", individual applications, to exchange data
with other agents through a "ZIS", Zone Information
Server". The newest specifications are available on 
their web site : http://www.sifinfo.org/ . Looks like
the newest is only available in .doc but I can remedy
that. There is a pdf version farther down the page but
it's not the most recent.

If we could pull together the resources to "build" an
open source version of the ZIS it would enable us to 
showcase the advantages of open source solutions. It
should also provide some press coverage in publications
targeted at school personnel.

I know that there are other projects trying to develop
similar specifications but do not have the backing of
the industry. I'm not suggesting abandoning those 
efforts but see this as an opportunity to have an open
source project mentioned in the same breath and on the
same playing field as these industry giants.

Michael Williams