> -----Original Message-----
> From: Benjamin Franz [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2001 10:48 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: RE: Why 90 percent of XML standards will fail
> By any generally accepted use of the
> word 'standard', the W3C specs *ARE* standards. Just because you don't
> *call* a duck, 'a duck', doesn't mean it isn't a duck.
As was said, standards existed before standards organizations did ... they codified or exemplified best practice in some craft. I'd assert that some W3C Recommendations -- XML 1.0 in particular -- do just this. Others [examples deleted to avoid distraction] do not; they're "best guesses" rather than "best practices". Some specs that come from out of no organization at all -- such as SAX, and (hopefully) RDDL -- are taken seriously as standards.
Also, the whole problem that the author of the "Why 90 percent of XML standards will fail" article addresses is that all sorts of things look and quack like standards, but they are not aligned to the real business needs of major companies, or over-promise, or take on an already crowded space, or try to dictate business processes rather than accomodate existing practice. Are such things to be treated as real standards just because they look like standards?
So, I completely agree with Len Bullard that we need to be more sensitive to what we call a "standard" ... it's not just political correctness, it reflects a very practical reality.