I've had the privilege of working with the WS-Policy Working Group (WG) at W3C over the last few months. I know, it may seem hard to believe that working on a standards body working group is a privilege, and often it does seem like a chore, but there are several reasons for why I feel this way.
Firstly, I'm gaining new experience; experience of standards body processes. It's always a privilege to learn something new. And secondly, these are a smart bunch of people. At times some of the debate seems trivial but very smart people are putting their minds together in order develop some standards that will make Web services more interoperable with more advanced and rich features in the future.
Companies like Microsoft, BEA, Sun Microsystems, IONA, SAP, Sonic Software, Nokia, IBM, Nortel, Adobe, webMethods, etc. invest lots of resources to these standards bodies (WS-Policy Participants) Some of the people are in several working groups and basically have built a career just working on standards,. And it is certainly not a cushy number. These people work hard on some very tedious material! It can do you head in!
I am an infant in this world. Though I have lots of enterprise computing experience and interoperability experience I feel like a complete novice. I'm fortunate to have landed with a very civil bunch who are gracious at bringing me up to speed.
Now there are many times that this sort of working group activity will do my head in. Bickering over the semantics of a word or the usage of a word or the absence of a word is not how I'd like to spend my day. But I've come to appreciate what can happen when ideas and standards are ambiguous. Chaos can ensue and perfectly good initiatives can die.
I'm hoping to pull post an article giving an overview of WS-Policy. Stay posted.
This week the WG had a face-to-face in Bellevue, Washington. I finally got to meet the people I've been talking to on conference calls every week for the last few months. We got to find out a little more about each other - not just our views on WS-Policy. Bellevue/Seattle was beautiful when I arrived but turned ugly from Wednesday. It was wet like Ireland. We did have a wonderful meal at the Seastar restaurant. I'd recommend it.