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  • General discussion

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    Who is dropping in here to discuss interoperability?

     

    At what level of detailed concern?  The general level of the Interoperability Principles, the Document Interoperability Initiative, or some narrower or broader (industry level, even) focus.

     

    Also, at what level of "system" is interoperability of interest?  The kind of technical interoperability that programmers deal with when integrating software, the interoperability that IT infrastructure and systems integrators are concerned with, or the broad level of interoperability between individuals and groups within, across, and between enterprises and communities?

     

    I'll start.

     

    I've decided I'm a standards geek and a documents geek.  I'm very much interested in the interoperability that allows individuals to create, share, and collaborate using standards-based tools of their preference.  So heterogeneity is part of it, as is multiple platform support. 

     

    I itch at wanting to know how we can be sure our electronic documents can be accessed and used as intended into the indefinite future.  I am also keen about seeing people using different software being able to collaborate and round-trip their electronic materials using programs from different producers on different platforms.  This is hard to accomplish and I am interested in how it might be achievable.

     

    I also want to build things that support those itches.  But talking is good and makes room for unexpected thoughts and ideas.

     

    So, what itches you about interoperability?

     

     - Dennis E. Hamilton


    [I know, this is a comment, even though the subject is a question.  I just don't want someone worrying that they need to clear this post with an answer.  This is a generic question.  I'd be happy to see many responses.]

     

    I waited with some anticipation for the Interoperability Forums to open up.  I didn't have any expectation about the mechanism, although I was a little surprised to see it on MSDN Forums. 

     

    It was very quiet for a while and then a noticeable condition of quiet MSDN Forums showed up.  Questions from people with problems started showing up on more-or-less random topics.  I'm not sure how that happens but I am impressed by the graciousness with which people are being offered supporting responses along with direction to forums where subject-matter experts are more likely to notice and provide further assistance.

     

    So, in the midst of the quiet, I had to ask myself, what are my questions?  What conversation am I interested in.  That's what this post is about.

    Friday, April 11, 2008 11:13 PM

All replies

  • Dennis, thanks for the great question, and in some sense the kind remarks. We are trying to develop the essence of this forum as well, some of which is under our control, and some of which is under the control of the community we can draw and what they are interested in.

     

    In short, we’re interested in what interests you. I think I would invert the levels of interest that you gave at the beginning of your note to represent the topics we hope to discuss. First, I’d like to see us discuss the scenarios that people want (are itching) to accomplish so they can collaborate “between individuals and groups within, across, and between enterprises and communities.” From that will flow the issues for IT and Web that providers will have to deal with and, inevitably, specific issue that programmers will have to address. (That last set of issues are usually well handled elsewhere in the MSDN forums, and we’ll try to find answers there.)

     

    If we can discuss how these things raise the issue of interoperability, we can make better judgments about the requirements that need to be fulfilled, the standards that need to be adopted, and the stuff that needs to be fixed.

     

    We can talk about the scenarios raised in the various interop initiatives; there is some really interesting work being done there. (The Document Interop Initiative is interesting for you I’m sure because it  deals explicitly with exchanging documents.)

     

    So if the choice of the MSDN structure is a little at odds with the level of exchange I’ve described, I hope that doesn’t get in the way of the discussion.

    --Cheers, Gregg

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:01 PM