: History, Principles & Authority

HTML (Archived)


Early in 2003 the site and process were commissioned by John Gilligan, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the U.S. Air Force (USAF), and Norm Lorentz, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), who co-chaired the CIO Council's (CIOC) Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC) when the project was initiated. The status of the process and components identified within it are routinely discussed at the regularly monthly meetings of the XML Community of Practice (xmlCoP) and briefly reported at the monthly meetings of the AIC. Disussions in the xmlCoP are documented to some degree in the notes from each meeting.

Among the principles we have endeavored to observe in developing the site are the following:

  1. conformance to a standards-compliant, service-oriented, component-based architecture;
  2. avoidance of building yet another so-called "one-stop portal" that is in fact yet another stovepipe application that cannot readily share information with other sites and applications;
  3. adherence to Raines' Rule number 7, with respect to the development of IT systems in relatively small "chunks," each of which adds value in and of itself without needless dependencies on other components; and
  4. making reality speak more clearly for itself in terms of the interests of .gov agencies in emerging technologies and their willingness to work together to foster consideration of such technologies.

For example, Stage 1 of the site can stand on its own even if resources are not provided to develop subsequent stages of the process, and anyone can readily access, index, and reuse data supplied for Stage 1 -- since such data is posted in valid XML instance documents on the public Web. To make it very easy for others to do so, we provide a listing of the URLs for each of those documents.

However, reality can speak more clearly for itself if Stage 2 can be built out to make it very easy for government folks to subscribe to, participate in, and commit resources to communities of practice (CoPs) forming around ET components and specifications. If agencies are unwilling or unable to do so, that is a reality that speaks for itself and we should stop kidding ourselves and the American taxpayers about it. Likewise, if Congress refuses to fund interagency projects, that too is a reality that should be clearly recognized.