[oslc] Reconsidering the "S" in OSLC

Steve K Speicher sspeiche at us.ibm.com
Wed Jan 25 16:26:08 EST 2012

As we all know "S" technically stands for "Services" in OSLC but what are 
these "Services"? In doing a little digging, the original intent of the 
name was to focus on REST and therefore the word "services" was introduced 
to represent "REST services". This has led to a number of problems with 
confusion over what kind of services are we talking about. For instance, 
there is a natural tendency to map the OSLC use of the word service with 
that of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), which is not at all the 
association we want. Will this be a constant problem as OSLC expands into 
new domains and 3rd party adoption?  I believe so.

I'm proposing to fix the problem with "S" standing for "Services" and 
instead introduce "Specifications". So try this on for size,

    Open Specifications for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC)

Open Specifications is really what we want the focus to be out.  The 
technical approach and the basis on Linked Data quite important as well, 
but that is supported by the community's development of open 
specifications based on that technology.  I believe this is a necessary 
change and the right one. It captures what OSLC is really about. Yes, 
changing this provides a bit of short term pain but the longer we wait it 
will be harder to change and we'll have to continue to deal with the 
confusion it introduces.

Of course there are a number of logistics to consider with such a change:

    Fixing names used on websites, articles, charts, etc (like the title 
of this Community)
    Considering updating more complicated things like OSLC intro videos
    Considering a better domain name

Do you see this as being an issue worth addressing?
Do you have other suggestions for the letter "S"?
If no big issues, what timeframe would this change occur?  I believe the 
sooner the better.  I'd like to have a gauge on this by January 31st.

I (and the community) would be interested in hearing both support for 
this, as well as any concerns.  Feel free to reply to this email post 
and/or on the forums.

Steve Speicher | IBM Rational Software | (919) 254-0645

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