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   RE: [xml-dev] How Standards Get a Bad Reputation

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Referring to it as a de facto reference implementation then using 
that to increase the probability of adoption of an implementation 
as if it were.  Sample implementation would be more what he means 
but he doesn't know what he means, just what he wants.  He wants 
agreement and he wants the cover of standardization.  We seem to 
be running out of organizations that can keep up with that kind 
of disingenuous process.

One problem of the lack of formality in these processes is that 
we see the kinds of problems RSS is starting to have.  


RSS isn't Sam's pie.  Whose is it?  HTML and HTTP aren't TimBL's 
pie, but after building them, he became the de facto autocrat of 
the world's largest communication system.  Quite a feat.  Tactics 
matter.  Cui bono?

Maybe Dave knows what he means, but not what he wants.  There is a 
lot of pride in innovation, and when it is first pushed out the door, 
there is a hard fight.  One becomes emotional and impulsive.  Things 
are said.  Many are meant and many aren't.  If people aren't willing 
to work with Dave, what does that mean about his ownership of his 
efforts?  Because I worked with Charles and saw first hand before the 
web made markup a 'hot' ticket, how tough the job was to keep other 
well-funded and not-so-nice efforts from eliminating it, I have some 
appreciation of what was required.  A thoroughly likable fellow would 
have been skinned.  Charles is actually an easy guy to get to know 
and like, but he is also a very tough negotiator and trained.  He 
is also a realist.  I'm not sure the comparison in that article is 
fair, but I do recognize the pattern and would have to say to Dave 
that if he wants RSS to go forward now that it is a 'hot' ticket, 
he may have to choose between control and participation because 
now that RSS is hot, that pattern by which others take control of 
it is set by the SGML precedent.  Right or wrong.

I think RSS-like systems have a future.  Aggregators are the next 
evolutionary step from home pages.  Some clean up is needed according 
to experts, and if there is money there, it will get done.  So for 
individuals and companies, impulse control is important because what 
works in the innovation and establishment phase doesn't work in the 
clean up.  Else, it becomes fratricide and gangs.

Some say process is bad.  Some prefer one organization over another.   
I am wondering when one should be quite realistic with ones efforts. 
If the result of innovation and fighting hard for it is to eliminate 
oneself from the personality contest, then it reinforces that these 
efforts regardless of what kind of toll gate that results, or the 
slowness of the marketing adoption, should be done as proprietary 
products and be patented.   On the other hand, if one starts out generous 
and opens it up on a list, gets others involved, and over time loses 
control of that process, one has to be willing to relent control 
or be eliminated by a personality contest unless one is willing 
to devote a lot of effort to winning that.  Tactics make the difference 
in holding the middle ground; yet, I think that it is hard to innovate 
and win by the same tactics that are used to sustain and improve after 
the initial victory.

Those who want to take RSS to the next step will do well to remember 
and laud the hands that rocked the cradle.  The hands that rocked the 
cradle will do well to remember that a teen ager walks away and finds 
new companions and THAT is the proof of how well that first bit is done.

They say the web is the wild wild west.  Maybe it is just a barnyard.
That's not as glamorous, but it explains the odor.


From: Michael Kay [mailto:michael.h.kay@ntlworld.com]

>"Ruby: So what we decided to do was, instead, open source it, and say,
"Here is a 
>ubiquitous, in essence de facto reference implementation." It's not
anointed as a reference >implementation, but it achieves the same
purpose. It's our way of increasing the probability >that this
implementation of a standard is adopted."

>That's not standardization; that's marketing.

It doesn't claim to be anything else. Please explain: why does something
that isn't standardization and doesn't claim to be standardization give
standardization a bad name?

Michael Kay


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