Saturday, December 23, 2006
Response to Conor Cahill and the Liberty Alliance
Here are some of his quotes along with my own thoughts:
- The most interesting part of that statement is that Liberty is frequently accused of being in bed with the enterprise only and not paying attention to non-enterprise use cases.
- That aside, the membership fee is really a small part of the overall cost for a member. The real cost of participating in the alliance is the participation itself, not the fees.
- Paying the membership fees does not enable the member to "simply being allowed to participate in a conversation." Each member has a say and a vote in the definition of the requirements for any current and future work done by the alliance. Each member has a say and a vote in the definition of the specifications to meet those requirements.
FYI. I am not sure that standards bodies need to equal closed source. Factually speaking, at work, I have recently contributed to an ISO specification in which neither myself nor my employer were a member of. Likewise, I have also been invited to contribute insight into BPM and Security at an upcoming Object Management Group meeting that will happen over the summer. So, if ISO and the OMG have figured out how to allow folks to contribute without being closed source then why can't Liberty Alliance. Voting is not an attractive value proposition, seeing vendors actually implement is.
Before folks get it twisted, this is not a one-time event as this happens to lots of enterprises of which I will outline in a future blog entry.
- 'm not now, nor have I ever been, a Sun employee... I've participated in Liberty representing a company who's primary output was *not* technology (AOL) and I've participated in Liberty representing a technology company (Intel).
- Last week James claimed it was "ten to one", now it's "twenty to one"... Hmm... Let's look at the actual figures. Liberty currently has 13 Management board members listed on their membership web page.
I wonder what Conor thinks an ideal demographic of standards body in this space should be? Should their be representation from retail, outsourcing firms (e.g. Cognizant), apparel & fashion, biotechnology, building materials, chemicals, real estate, construction, cosmetics, dairy, food & beverages, gambling & casinos, hospitals, hospitality, import & export, judiciary, law enforcement, luxury goods, market research, newspapers, oil & energy, package/freight delivery, paper & forest products, pharmaceuticals, plastics, railroads, religious institutions, restaurants, sports, supermarkets, tobacco, utilities, wine and spirits that are industry verticals within the Fortune 500 but not represented? Should Liberty Alliance attempt to gain more diversity in terms of its membership? Should they cross their fingers and wait for it to happen in the due course of time or become proactive in making it happen?
I suspect that lots of industry analysts will read this post and remain silent but in terms of them, how come they don't belong? I know of industry analysts that participate in OASIS, the Java Community Process and so on. Maybe part of the problem is that industry analysts are constrained to only saying positive things while I am not. Likewise, I am fine with current participants disagreeing with my perspective, but the real question they should be asking themselves is how many other folks may have slanted perspectives towards Liberty and should they simply take a stance that everyone who doesn't see the value proposition is an idiot or should they do more to demonstrate value?
For the record, I am not against standards bodies charging money. Maybe I am wrong in desiring those from Fortune enterprises whose primary business model isn't technology their return on investment in terms of membership? I know that GM and others could join Project Liberty either because their is a ROI that exists but simply hasn't been shared (which lots of folks can incorrectly speculate as to what it is) or they could also belong because it is a pet project that wasn't required to be justified in their culture. Simply asking for folks to share details on which is more correct and more importantly why.
Conor, I do find it interesting that you have decided to pull a single phrase out of my blog while not discussing the more important aspects. I wonder if this is insightful or inciteful...
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