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Re: [school-discuss] SIF - A second glance

I agree with Justin. While the functionality of SIF looks great, it seems 
to be developed as a intellectual property pack to be sold to schools and 
software developers later.

Now, how about making up our own free, open standard ? Schoolforge is made
up of LOTS of organizations that deal with education, once we have a
specification, making it noticed by every other computer people and some
standards boards shouldn't be that tough.

Now, what do we need that is most blatantly lacking in SIF's data model ? 
Is there anything in there that we don't need at all ?

(and I still have the words "Chief Vertical Evangelist" stuck in my 
throat. The idea of a room full of vertical evangelists, one of them 
being called chief, makes me sick)

-- Felipe

On 24 Jan 2002, Justin Zeigler wrote:

> I went digging through the sifinfo.org web-site(1) and found out 
> some very alarming info. First off SIF is a sub-group of SIIA(2). 
> SIIA is a Trade Association with 1200+ members with a focus of
> "expanding market opportunities and forging the way toward a 
> stronger industry". On top of this their Mission Statement(3) 
> states the following: "we protect the intellectual property of 
> members, and advocate a legal and regulatory environment that 
> benefits the entire industry".  From my point of view this is 
> diametrically opposed to the goals of Open Source, if anything,
> Open Source is about removing legal and regulatory environments.
> Looking through the member list(4) of SIF, I noticed that there 
> is a disconcerting amount of members who have gone to extreme 
> ends to protect "intellectual property" (i.e; McGraw-Hill(5)).
> This concerns me because it is not uncommon for a Standard to 
> be hi-jacked by covert patents and copyrights (i.e; MPEG layer
> 3 audio and Fraunhofer/Thompson).
> I would suggest a very serious discussion as to whether or not 
> SIF is a Project/Standard/Group with which  Schoolforge should 
> encourage participation.  There are some serious holes in the 
> recommendations(session handling), that may be fatal in the
> Open Source community's ability to inter-operate with other,
> proprietary, SIF products.  I put forward the idea that this
> list and its members consider creating a true standard for 
> schools to use for inter-system communication/coordination.