January 12, 2005

At the Gates of Mordor

Having a meeting on interoperable calendaring/scheduling technologies in Seattle is somewhat akin to a group of elves meeting at the very gates of Mordor. Microsoft, which through its Outlook/Exchange product line dominates the world in calendaring/scheduling software, is notably absent from the CalConnect consortium.

It took a while for me to realize that Oracle's here because they acquired "Corporate Time" (or CTime as we used to call it at MP3.com and later at Eazel). MeetingMaker's here. Two folks from Mozilla, a couple from Yahoo, and a bunch from various universities.

The first thing that struck me about CalConnect is that it doesn't have a RFC2445-compliant calendar online somewhere for this three-day meeting. There is a paper handout, but... (One would think, etc. . . . )

The second thing was that Macintosh PowerBook users are not the majority in this room. IBM Thinkpads, Toshibas, and DELLs rule here. The Mozilla folks have DELLs running Linux. But this is the first technology group I've been to in a while where an overwhelming sea of bright, beaming Apple logos isn't visible. I suppose this is a good thing. :-)

The third thing is that it's been a long time since I've been in a committee, with committee rules about when a decision can be made and when only a discussion can be had but no decision made. A group of people getting together, discussing issues, but not being able to make a decision and go with it: that's a bit difficult. I guess it's a bit like being in a committee at the United Nations. Things simple move at a slower pace. (The word "entmoot" comes to mind.)

Posted by brian at January 12, 2005 06:21 AM


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