Eugene Eric Kim

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 14:00:44 -0700 (PDT)

From:   Eugene Eric Kim



Subject:   Focus

Technical discussion has been going all over the place on the list, recently. I think that's fine, generally, but I'm concerned that it's come at the expense of our defined goals. I've also heard some rumblings about the group becoming more exclusive, because the meetings have been cancelled. One of the reasons for stopping the meetings for the time being (with emphasis on "for the time being") was to be more inclusive, not less. People who want to help us progress need to do so by contributing in areas that we've addressed. Or, if they disagree with these areas, they need to make their objections known.

With this in mind, here are list of specific areas where we need immediate contributions, along with what's being done in those areas right now. If you want to work on an area, say so. This way, at least we'll have a better idea of who's working on what.

  1. Initial architecture and design for stage one: e-mail archiving.

    We've done some work here already, but we need to close it out once and for all. As I mentioned, Doug is meeting with several people individually to try to come up with a unified architecture, which we can then propose to the community at large. Even if you are not one of those people Doug is meeting with initially, you can make some important contributions to the design, especially by commenting on some of the documents that have been produced and that will be produced.

  2. Augment->XML->HTML.

    Shinya has done an initial translator, and Grant is going to help here also. Hopefully, the two will start reporting on their progress on this list, especially so that others can start giving feedback. Once an initial translator is up, this will have ramifications for the item above, because Doug will be able to put up many of his design notes and documentation from years past.

  3. E-mail DTD and Augment DTD.

    I proposed the former already, but it's nowhere close to ready for primetime. I'm going to go over some specs this weekend to try to solve some of the outstanding issues, but help is always useful. Grant and Shinya are ostensibly working on an Augment DTD.

    If you want to contribute to these areas, the best thing you can do is absorb the appropriate XML specs, especially XLink and XPointer. I know it would be useful for me if I had someone to kick ideas and questions off of regarding these technologies.

  4. Client mockups and prototypes.

    The debate over what technologies we should assume in the clients are premature, in my opinion. The first step should be to mockup potential user interfaces. Sheldon is working on this right now, but other contributions would be great.

    These mockups could be in the form of images or prototypes. Based on feedback from Eric and others, I'm convinced that we need to mockup a number of clients. One absolutely needs to be web-based (HTML 4.0). But we also need one or more prototypes that demonstrate fancier functionality. These would not only demonstrate the direction the OHS is headed, but it may also persuade people, such as the Helix Code and Mozilla folks, to modify existing client software to incorporate the functionality of the OHS. I think Python would be a great technology to use for these prototypes, and I hope Paul or others can offer advice or contribute in these areas.

These are all things that can be done now, as we finalize the overall architecture. If you're planning on contributing to the project right now, please either volunteer to one of these areas, or explain why some project should or shouldn't be included.


Eugene Eric Kim