lifetime of standards

Tony Linde ael at
Wed Apr 16 13:28:03 PDT 2003

More sensible reply...

> This somewhat begs the issue of what the VO will look like in 
> a few years. 

I hope that in a few years (probably more than a few), there won't be a VO.
It'll be a fading memory. Some geeks will still insist that the standards
are important but no-one will pay much attention to them (except the
software developers who will obey the standards almost without thinking).
Astronomers will use the tools available to run data reduction, analysis,
visualisation etc without ever wondering where the tools or data are

The infrastructure that we're creating will simply exist and people will get
on with the science without thinking about what makes it possible (I neither
know nor care how tcp/ip or the other gubbins of the internet works).

Guys like me who aren't astronomers will be working on holographic
visualisation (or still trying to get ontologies to work :) ).


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Hanisch [mailto:rjhanisch at] 
> Sent: 16 April 2003 19:26
> To: Elizabeth Auden; registry at
> Subject: Re: lifetime of standards
> > I was asked a few questions that I couldn't answer today:
> Who's asking...?
> >
> > 1. Once IVOA releases standards this December for the registry and 
> > other workgroups, will anyone maintain them after December 31st?
> >
> > 2. How long will IVOA as an entity exist?
> >
> > 3. Depending on the answers to 1 and 2, could maintenance 
> of standards 
> > be passed to another, longer term group (such as W3, IEEE, or GGF)?
> I think the answers to 1, 2, and 3 all lie in creating a VO 
> oversight body within other long-lived organizations, such as 
> the IAU.  In fact with this summer's IAU General Assembly, we 
> will be creating a working group in Commission 5 
> (Astronomical Data) to deal with VO.  The idea is to have a 
> situation somewhat similar to that for the FITS standard 
> (though with a more flexible review process), in which we 
> have both national and international committees whose job it 
> is to maintain the standard.
> This somewhat begs the issue of what the VO will look like in 
> a few years. On the east side of the Atlantic things are 
> moving toward Euro-VO, and over here things are still 
> unsettled as to how NSF and NASA ultimately come to terms 
> with an operating VO, as opposed to short-term development 
> projects. It is looking somewhat optimistic, however, that 
> NASA will begin supporting development complementary to the 
> NSF-funded NVO project next year.  So, to answer question 2 
> more explicitly, I think as long as we have national projects 
> and are willing to work together to build common standards, 
> we will have an IVOA.
> Cheers,
> Bob

More information about the registry mailing list