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CGM Open Statement to SGML Open

This statement has been approved by the CGM Open Drafting Committee and has been presented by John C. Gebhardt in front of the SGML Open board at SGML 97 in Washington.

Draft: John C. Gebhardt

1. On the evening of 23 September 1997, 15 vendors and users of CGM technology met , to explore the possibility of beginning a "CGM Open" vendors group to promote the use of the CGM standard especially for use as a WWW standard, and to address and resolve CGM interoperability, implementation, and conformance issues, for the common good of the industry at large and the benefit of its CGM users in particular.

2. This past Tuesday, a drafting committee consisting of myself, Lofton Henderson, Dieter Weidenbruck, and Dave Cruickshank assembled draft organizing documents and some initial content for our web site which is currently up and running at www.CGMopen.org. We will post these documents shortly for comment and expect to have a working consortium up and running early in 1998.

3. At Tuesday's meeting, Bill Smith, Carla Corkran, and Robin Tomlin described the desire of SGML Open to broaden its scope to include other appropriate standards related to publishing and information processing.

4. All of the CGM Open representatives agreed that joining forces with an umbrella organization which included SGML/XML Open was an interesting and appealing idea.

5. We would enthusiastically support such an idea for several reasons:

a. The goals and objectives of CGM Open are in almost perfect alignment with those of SGML Open.

b. While both the SGML and CGM communities have some unique and non-intersecting technical subjects of interest, nevertheless there are substantial and important areas of overlap in our respective technical agendas.

c. The potential initial membership of CGM Open is almost completely orthogonal to the SGML Open membership.

d. There are some very important interoperability issues between SGML and CGM which a joint organization could effectively address.

e. There are many obvious marketing and administrative synergies which would benefit both organizations.

6. To summarize, as a representative of the fledgling CGM Open consortium, and speaking on behalf of the drafting committee, I can say that the concept of joining forces with an organization devoted to promoting standards-based information processing and publishing is very appealing. I personally would vigorously support such a concept, and other prospective members have indicated that they too are very positive about the prospect of an appropriately structured consolidation of our organizations. We will continue our organizing efforts as planned, but would welcome the opportunity to discuss the possibilities further.

Thank you very much for your time. I would be happy to respond to questions.