[occi-wg] Weekly conf call: consensus on the formats issue

Gary Mazz garymazzaferro at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 11:52:50 CDT 2009


I'd like to say these are proposals and not mandates.  As Sam explains 
below, each line item is open for comment and discussion. These is our 
current thoughts where we feel we have a platform occi to develop a 
clean road map and continue to move occi forward long into the future.  
Each item listed below is not without challenges, not to say the least 
of complexity vs flexibility and  extensibility.  There is still work to 
do in areas including: implementation feasibility, policies for handling 
discontinuities between occi meta-data and other "like" technologies 
including OVF, how extensibility and backward compatibility will  
operate in  implementations and how it impacts the format, definition 
and management of the occi specification. Although, there is some work 
ahead of us, there is a confidence that many of these items can be 
quickly resolved.



Sam Johnston wrote:
> Afternoon all,
> Though the main call was shorter than usual yesterday afternoon, Gary, 
> Shlomo, Andre and myself pressed on for 3 hours to see if consensus 
> could be found (again) on the formats issue. This is clearly something 
> people feel strongly about so it's unsurprising that it's taken us 
> this long to get this far, but I think we've finally found a happy 
> medium (touch wood).
> Here's my take (3 hours condensed into 3 lines):
>     * Our number one priority is machines (rather than users) so we
>       want native representations defined by existing standards (e.g.
>       OVF) over home-grown (POX) and/or human-friendly ([X]HTML)
>       representations.
>     * Resources are "enhanced" by metadata which consists of links to
>       other resources, categories, attributes, etc. and HTTP provides
>       a perfectly good metadata channel in the form of HTTP headers so
>       we'll use these to expose this information.
>     * We'll also define a single, XHTML5 based representation that is
>       usable by both users and machines. All of the information that
>       appears in the headers will also appear within the XHTML5
>       rendering such that "enterprise applications" can extract it
>       with XPath/XSLT/etc. without having to look at the headers.
> I'm very happy with this compromise, which basically involved 
> elevating both existing documents to the "must" requirement level. The 
> load for implementors is minimised and both simple and complex clients 
> are supported. Furthermore it does not restrict the roadmap and 
> enables us to trivially add support for semantic web technologies 
> including microformats and RDFa which I know will make some people on 
> this list very happy.
> Thanks everyone for your perseverance with this issue. Please speak 
> now if there's any comments, questions or concerns about this (or 
> forever hold your peace :)
> Sam
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