Topic: "Reference Implementation"
"Can we rename these?"
In the software industry, 'Reference Implementations' act as a
completement to standards; such references are used for anything that is
not defined or badly defined in the standard.
The CITE process adopted the name for something distinct: as an example
implementation that passes the test suite. This can be seen now where
CITE is thinking about having several 'reference implementations' but is
not talking about the resolution of differences between the
implementations. These implementations are not 'refereces' for the
standards and not even really 'references' for the cite testing process.
There is significant commercial advantage to being the
impelmentation which has led to significant jockeying over the term. This
causes tension within the membership without providing any
interoperability or adoption advantage overall.
Since the term is not used at the OGC in the same way it is used in the
broader industry, the OGC should change its use of the term.
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