Questions and Answers about XML.ORG

Q: What is XML.ORG?

A: XML.ORG ( is an industry web portal operated by OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. Funded by a group of companies committed to establishing an open, distributed system for enabling the use of XML in electronic commerce and other industrial applications, XML.ORG is designed to provide a credible source of accurate, timely information about the application of XML in industrial and commercial settings and to serve as a reference repository for XML specifications such as vocabularies, DTDs, schemas, and namespaces.

Q: What is OASIS?

A: OASIS ( is a non-profit international consortium founded in 1993 to advance the open interchange of documents and structured information objects. Originally focused on SGML, OASIS has evolved to more actively support XML, a subset of SGML designed for easy implementation in commercial and web environments. OASIS also hosts CGM Open, an organization devoted to the deployment of the CGM vector graphics format.

Q: Who is involved in XML.ORG?

A: OASIS and its members, in particular the XML.ORG partners, an emerging group of large companies and organizations with the vision to fund an essential component of the XML infrastructure for electronic commerce.

Q: Who is responsible for the operation of XML.ORG?

A: The day-to-day operation of XML.ORG will be the responsibility of an administrative team reporting to the OASIS Board of Directors.

Q: How can I get involved?

A: You can participate in XML.ORG in the following ways:

  1. By becoming an XML.ORG partner, your organization's pledge of financial support will be used to develop the infrastructure through which registry and repository services will be offered across the industry.

  2. By joining OASIS at an appropriate level, you or your organization will become eligible to participate in the registry/repository working group and other OASIS technical initiatives. See below for more information about different levels of OASIS membership.

Q: What does it mean to be an XML.ORG partner?

A: A partner invests USD 100,000 per year for the development and operational support of the XML.ORG portal, including the reference XML registry and repository at Founding partners will automatically become members of the XML.ORG Steering Committee, responsible for setting XML.ORG priorities, defining the technical direction of the portal, and determining what kinds of XML specifications are in or out of scope for the XML registry. The Steering Committee will meet regularly with the OASIS Board of Directors to advise them on the operation of the portal and ensure that the site meets user needs. Partners also receive marketing benefits associated with the site at at a level yet to be determined.

Q: How can an organization become a founding partner and join the XML.ORG Steering Committee?

A: It can commit the USD 100,000 annual fee before June 30, 1999. Becoming a founding XML.ORG partner is a one-time opportunity.

Q: What other levels of OASIS membership are available?

A: OASIS is extending our existing membership structure to allow both individuals and organizations to participate in XML specifications development. (Watch for more detailed information.)

Individuals can obtain basic developer repository services and participate in OASIS technical activities as either "individuals" or as "affiliates." Affiliates are individual contributors who represent specific vertical-industry standards bodies.

Organizations participate in OASIS as "participants," "contributors" or "sponsors." These three categories offer full participation in determining OASIS policies and procedures. "Participants" and "Contributors" are organizations (typically XML users), that wish to participate in the technical work of the consortium but don't need its marketing support. (Organizations comprised of 10 or less employees may join as "Participants". Organizations comprised of 11 or more employees may join as "Contributors".) "Sponsors" are companies (typically XML and SGML software vendors) that pay a premium for extra marketing support and the highest level of registry/repository services. Sponsors willing to underwrite the XML infrastructure by funding XML.ORG are known as "Partners."

Q: What services will XML.ORG offer?

A: The most important function of XML.ORG is to serve as a trusted, secure, persistent repository and registry for DTDs, namespaces, schemas, and other specifications that must be globally accessible in order to make possible the use of XML for data exchange within particular industries. This base functionality will evolve through releases offering increased capabilities to OASIS members and the general public.

Q: Does OASIS plan to make the only global registry/repository for XML specifications?

A: No. The reference site is intended to jumpstart the use of XML for electronic commerce by providing a key piece of the necessary infrastructure and then to serve as a model for an extensible, distributed system of registry/repository sites based on the same architecture.

Q: How does XML.ORG relate to other XML registry and repository initiatives?

A: The announcement of XML.ORG signifies a major step in OASIS' ongoing registry and repository efforts, work that has been in progress for the last the 12 months. The OASIS registry and repository technical committee has collected and assimilated input from across the OASIS membership, and represents all of the different interests of those members. The XML.ORG initiative will continue as an open initiative along those lines. OASIS recognizes the importance of expanding participation in this effort, and is working on development of new membership categories to more easily enable inclusion of all interested parties, including individuals and an affiliate standards organizations. In accord with the wishes of our members, OASIS will strive to ensure interoperability across the industry with existing and emerging XML initiatives. OASIS will actively solicit participation by other industry groups in XML.ORG, and will cooperate with any similar industry efforts.

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