Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reconsidering the "S" in OSLC (as it is not the same "S" in SOA)

 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 type and 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.

There are a couple of things to focus on, is what we really want to achieve with OSLC and what name awareness we want. So that means, continue to focus on "OSLC" as a term and not worry too much about what each letter means without context.

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)

I'd be interested in any reaction to this change, support or problems. 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
I did blog last year on The "O" in OSLC, which is still valid as "open" by the way.

Do you see this as being an issue worth addressing?
Do you have other suggestions for the letter "S"?

Be interested in hearing both support for this, as well as any concerns.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like we won't be pursuing it due to lack of popular demand for the change (in fact there were more who were strongly apposed to those that wanted a change). Appreciate the feedback and good to see people still have such a strong interest in OSLC.