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Which is why W3C issued specifications until someone
discovered that standards have more clout. It was
easier to dilute the meaning of the terms than to
accept the limits of useful authority. Ambition outs
The technical writer talked to me about our "bleeding
edge technology". I told her we didn't do that and
didn't want to, and furthermore, our customers don't
want us to. They want something that works reliably.
There is a lot more interest in meat and potatoes
programming than bleeding edge tech this side of
the news media and naive investors.
If anyone wants to do this right, do as suggested:
1. Put the W3C in a cog position inside a set of gears
where ISO is the outermost wheel and the slowest.
2. Send your technologists to the W3C.
3. Send your marketing technical wonks to ISO.
That will work. The right people will be in the
right place at the right time to do the right job.
From: Mike Champion [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
This is probably ancient news to some of you, but James Gosling, in 1990
"For a standard to be usefully formed, the technology needs to be understood:
technological interest needs to be waning. But if political interest in a standard
becomes too large, the various parties have too much at stake in their own vested
interest to be flexible enough to accommodate the unified view that a standard
The sad truth about the computer industry these days [!] is that it is this last
case that is dominating a broad range of standards activities. Standards are
regularly created and adopted before anyone has performed the experiments necessary
to determine if they are sensible. Even worse, standards are getting accepted
before they are even written, which is a truly ridiculous situation.
The result of this is a tremendous disservice to both users and consumers of
technology. Users get poor quality technology, and because of the standards
process, they're stuck with it."