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RE: Standards (yet again) was RE: Use of XML ?
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>
- To: Edd Dumbill <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Mike.Champion@softwareag-usa.com
- Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 12:39:30 -0500
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
From: Edd Dumbill [mailto:email@example.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.