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From: Tim Bray [mailto:email@example.com]
>I'm pretty sure it's safe to interpret the advent of
>XDocs as MSFT's declaration that they're not going to do anything with
And that will be trouble for some. Here is a quote
from the Draft Federal XML Developer's Guide (April 2002):
Prior to creating, incorporating or using software that
implements non-W3C specifications, activities MUST:
o Ensure that no competing W3C endorsed recommendation
exists or is being developed."
And just in case someone wants to go, say to ECMA,
and create an alternative standard:
"Standards promulgated by nationally or internationally
accredited standards bodies (such as ISO, IEEE, ANSI,
UN/CEFACT, etc) MUST be adhered to when developing
applications within the domain that the standard
addresses. (upper caps mine) THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO
THIS RULE IS WHEN A STANDARD PRODUCED BY ONE OF THESE
BODIES COMPETES WITH A SIMILAR PRODUCT OF THE W3C.
IN THIS CASE, ONLY, THE W3C HAS PRECEDENCE".
If the OMB approves it with that language in it, it is
Federal policy. There are two problems I can forsee:
1. Organizations within the government who decide
to use alternatives have to ensure that nowhere in
their contracts is the Federal standard referenced
normatively. That means informative references only.
2. Organizations that don't do that can end up
forced to use technology not suitable for them,
or otherwise, dumb to apply. Everyone here has
W3C tech they don't like, so we don't have to
get into that. The point is, a blanket rule
such as the one cited ends up being a snake
in the mailbox.