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   Re: [xml-dev] OT: What makes a standards organization?

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  • To: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: Re: [xml-dev] OT: What makes a standards organization?
  • From: "Rick Jelliffe" <ricko@allette.com.au>
  • Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2003 17:13:08 +1000
  • References: <>

W3C issues Recommendations not Standards.

Now that it has a mature process in place, W3C's Recommendations can be referenced
like standards by other standards organizations.  However, many people expect a
standard will have long life: this is not necessarily true of W3C specifications (indeed,
for the early stages of a technologies life there can be good reason to have
agreed technology that are standards but not Standards.)  

IETF has Standards, but many technologies are in the form of RFCs which have different

But the question was who says ISO etc are standards organizations?  Well, for a start they
do. Then countries or organizations may decide to favour or allow the standards these organizations
offer, as having some desirable properties. An ISO standard must be voted by the member 
bodies of different countries: it is not enough for a consortium of US-based companies to 
ram through whatever they like (hence MS could not prevent Java from being looked at
for ISO, but neither could Sun retain the bottom-line influence it wanted). Each standards
organization has different attractions. 

Rick Jelliffe

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gustaf Liljegren" <gustaf.liljegren@bredband.net>
To: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2003 1:44 PM
Subject: [xml-dev] OT: What makes a standards organization?

> While not connected to XML, I expect to find the right knowledge here...
> Why are some organizations refered to as standards organizations, while W3C
> is not? Who says ISO, NISO, ANSI, IETF or IEC are standards organizations?
> Do they have an agreement with one or more governments?
> Gustaf
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