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RE: Standards (yet again) was RE: Use of XML ?

Yes.  And by attaching an undefined mojo quality to 
the word "standard", we leave the world of agreements 
and enter the world of voodoo.  Reserving that term 
for governments as customers to standards bodies 
ensures a limited applicability and enables technical 
innovation and incubation to proceed at the faster 
rate according to its own local potentials.  Specification, 
recommendation, etc. work just fine.  Perhaps the 
real issue is improving the quality of these documents 
and paying attention to alliances with the testing 
bodies.  NIST provides such services for specs and 
standards, for examples.

As I said to Nicholas, only practice improves the art of agreement and 
nothing in that world is a safety net.  If people 
want safety nets, specs and standards have to be 
defined by clear processes, they must be detailed, 
they cannot be simply simple or minimal; they must 
say what they do and do not provide.   The nick is 
that it takes incredible amounts of work to do 
that sort of authoring and it is tough to sustain 
it past the initial phases in unfunded efforts 
unless the payoff is large and distributed.  At 
that point, you may as well work with ISO and 
NIST, or better yet, let the systems work as they 
do now and respect the standards bodies instead of 
beating on them because your heros did.

If it weren't for supervillains, the Justice 
League would have tried to rule the world 
for lack of anything better to do with their 
superpowers.  Superboredom is a bad mood looking 
for good one.

Len Brainiac II

Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: Edd Dumbill [mailto:edd@usefulinc.com]

A key factor for me is the terms under which parties can participate.
In our particular corner of the industry, I believe that the word
"standard" comes with an implied prefix of "open."  I'm not a fan of
self-proclaimed standards, and I will stick to the old fashioned (how
quickly things change) view that the phrase "W3C Recommendation" is
still just that.

I also do not believe that standard status alone imputes merit, nor that
bodies such as the W3C should be sole custodian of innovation.