OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Why 90 percent of XML standards will fail

On Tue, 27 Feb 2001, Sean B. Palmer wrote:

> > Either way - it's complete nonsense. By any generally accepted
> > use of the word 'standard', the W3C specs *ARE* standards.
> No! They are most certainly "recommendations" - you're not breaking
> any rules (even W3C ones) if you don't use them, and in fact you can
> usually modify them for your own purposes. The W3C simply *recommends*
> that you use their specifications, it doesn't force you... but that
> recommendation is so strong that people often see them as standards.

No one *FORCES* me to comply with the IETF's RFCs (Request For Comments,
anyone? More political cover for its originating era...), either. (That
would be treading on the ground of *law*, not standards, BTW - and perhaps
that is what you believe 'a standard' is - a standard with the force of
the legal system behind it via trademark or other IP based enforcement
mechanism. If so, you are mistaken.).

I'm sorry. It's a duck. Political cover for people who choose not to
*conform* to standards while claiming to support them isn't a good reason
to twist the language. Commonality of usage of terms is a *fundamental*
basis for communication. Down the road of 'a word means precisely what I
want it to mean, neither more nor less' lays Alice. What happens when *I*
redefine the word 'recommendation' to mean 'to go down the rabbit hole'?

Somehow I am reminded of my (years in the past) Philosophy 121 Informal
Logic class and the people (mostly political science majors) who actaully
could not see the difference between a *logially valid* argument and a
*convincing* argument. I suspect they went on to become the people who
created 'Lite' (*NOT* 'Light', which has a legally precise meaning) beer.

> Also, there is much to be gained if everyone follows the same
> specifications. If the W3C recommends it, then many thousands of
> developers recommend it also, so why not use it?

You just defined, by usage, the word 'standard'.

Benjamin Franz

... with proper design, the features come cheaply. This 
approach is arduous, but continues to succeed.

                                     ---Dennis Ritchie