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[seul-edu] SIF, IMS and EduML

On Sun, Jan 02, 2000 at 04:20:49PM +0000, Doug Loss wrote:

> > 1.0 draft spec, and it actually looks quite good, and something that Linux
> > should be able to support.  I'm wondering if there has been any discussion
> > of this vs. EDUML, or how the two might relate?
> > 
> Bruno and I looked at this a while ago.  At that time, SIF was ahead of EduML
> in some areas while EduML held the lead in others.  Bruno (through the fellow
> an entry into SIF; it seemed better to work on developing EduML.

> If things have changed, working together might be a good idea.  But the
> organization of the SIF effort didn't inspire confidence in me that we'd actually have
> any influence in what they did.  Bruno, does that match your take on the SIF
> situation?

While agreeing fully with you, Doug, I'd like to present a different angle
with the same information:

1. SIF is maturing and has the big players committing long term to it

2. We are still at the beginning of the XML era; it looks like it is a keeper

3. SIF does not care what we think, but we need to care what it thinks;
   (simple arithmetic and common sense here)

4. I've noticed a couple of educational publishers claiming future compliance
   with SIF and IMS, and Jose Lacal has chosen IMS for openclassroom.org...
   this might be the start of an inevitable tidal wave.

5. Since the specs for SIF are published and open, then ***insofar*** as 
   we all think it will become a standard for our school's commercial software
   then the situation will be better than SMB: Samba had to reverse engineer
   the standard to become a killer app.  We won't need to reverse engineer
   SIF, and we probably won't be able to afford not being SIF and possibly IMS

6. My main complaint about SIF (which I can do nothing about) is that it is
   North American centric ,  but with the globalisation of business, I am 
   sure future versions of SIF will be internationalized... or else the rest
   of the world will conform to US standards ... :-( like it did with other
   microsoft standards.  Europe will probably put up some resistance via an
   official (European government) commission: Ariadne: ariadne.unil.ch
   My main complaint about IMS is that while much more international in scope,
   it aims only for the telematic component of education (pure distance

7. I am not particularly excited about this development.  One year's worth of 
   working and preaching EduML (a universal XML for all of education)
   can usefully be resumed to this:
   please write your educational programs so that data is automatically 
   exportable/importable in some sort of XML format.  Converting from one 
   XML to another is relatively easy.  Ideally, we should have all agreed 
   on exact data structures and made our long-term lives easy by sticking 
   to a universal educational data structure.  In practice, that is not 
   happening: There is no universally accepted educational data structure...  
   But one day there will be and converting from one XML to that one will 
   be efficient in the open source world, thus leveraging our time investment 

   If you work in North America, and are aiming for North American users,
   it is probably wise to try to stick to the SIF format as your XML structure.