Initial structure and requirements:
In the evening after the panel, various interested parties gathered in a smoke-filled room and asked themselves if a common translator was possible in real. The room had the right combination of people at the right time. This included an Air Force ICAM representative eager to fund such an effort and a National Bureau of Standards (NBS) representative who, following a call to his boss at home for a sleepy approval, was eager to champion it. This entire initiative was therefore initiated with a $50,000 contract that established the effort's initial structure & requirements :
- An NBS representative was placed in the lead 2;
- Two primary IGES committees were formed: the Steering Committee to manage the effort and a Working Committee to carry out technical work;
- A draft was to be delivered in three months.
With the basics decided, conversation turned to a name for this new translation project. The group nixed the idea "Universal Translator" to ignore offending those in ANSI, who may have interpreted the project like a way to displace the years of attempt already put towards a Y14.26 standard. A minimalist approach was recommended :
I Interim, to recommend that it would not replace ANSI's work;
G Graphics, not geometry, to acknowledge that academics can come up with superior mathematical descriptions;
E Exchange, to recommend that it would not dictate how vendors should implement their internal database; and
S Specification, not to be as imposing like a standard.
The panel reported on the second day, and the wheels were set in motion to make an "IGES." Once the panel admitted that a common translation mechanism was feasible, it was impossible to prevent the momentum of the customers' enthusiasm and expectations. Applicon and Computer Vision agreed to open up their internal databases, GE accessible its neutral database, & Boeing offered the structure of its Computer Integrated Information Network (CIIN) database. GE and Boeing both contributed their existing translators. A core team was composed that included representatives from NBS, Boeing, and GE. Team members had closely worked with each vendor on internal integration projects. This prior experience built up the expertise and trust needed to craft a solution in a very short time, & neither vendor felt this gave an unfair advantage to the other.