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   RE: [xml-dev] ISO turns evil?

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>From: Rick Marshall [mailto:rjm@zenucom.com]

>it's clear this is a very serious problem for any standards organisation

For any organization with an overhead expense.  No money; no thrills.

>if your role is to create standards to be used by everyone, so we can
>talk to each other, then it's important that use of the standard is

Yep.  The codelists are in an ecotone of both software and content. 
So lots and lots of users and a fuzzyness about the cost model. Still, 
I can't imagine those codes cost a lot to maintain.  It looks like 
someone needs a cash cow for some reason as yet unknown.

>i don't think it's unreasonable to charge nominally for a copy of
>the standard to cover printing costs etc because much of the work in
>creating and maintaining standards is done voluntarily and supported
>primarily by the individuals and their employers, not the organisation
>itself - it's just a bureaucratic umbrella.

Umm.. yes.  On the other hand, I've seen costs associated to creating 
ISO standards that are levied on the partners.  They are usually minimal, 
cover travel and expenses for attending meetings, but it isn't all free.

>now in the case of country codes we can care or not care about charging
>to use them - if you have to pay to use them, then design your own for
>your own software and ignore iso. a tower of babel, but then i can make
>money building translation codes. there's already a bit of this anyway
>(perhaps for this reason) - eg australia is country 61 to the phone
>system and 93 to the edi system. the usa (and canada?) is 1 to the phone
>system, but doesn't use an un/edifact code - it uses upc codes.

Uncertainty (read, equally probable choices) creates opportunities. The 
race is sometimes to the swift but repeatable success goes to the best 
designed measure (discover or invent an estimator).

>so we use different codes.

Sometimes that works.  But, we may be obligated by specification 
to a set of codes.  RFPs cite standards.  If we are obligated to license 
that, we will pass costs on.  Consequence: a surge in costs across products 
sold in volume.  The economies of our countries don't like that. It 
works like a regressive tax.

>now imagine we tried to run electrical safety standards this way. you
>have to pay a licence fee to wire to the electrical standard...... or
>build aeroplanes... i think you get the idea

Yes, although scoped.  We do tolerate different electrical systems 
internationally, and different air worthiness standards (Fly AeroFlot 
or whatever that is today).  Scope matters.   ISO is international.

>so while i don't think the iso policy will worry me much, on further
>reflection i strongly agree that this is both bad policy and principle

And bizarre timing.  I can't fathom why now and why that.


On Wed, 2003-09-24 at 01:55, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> That sounds good but is not realistic.  Yes, we can just-in-time 
> download codelists and initialize the dropdowns, but that incurs 
> overhead and availability problems.  Also, is a cache an illegal 
> copy? Relationships built with code listed values also have to 
> be tested.  How many copies constitutes 'fair use' or 'fair dealing' 
> (these aren't the same)?
> The other side of the coin in defense of ISO is how should they go 
> about supporting their work?  The problem of the commons is who 
> pays the cost of maintaining the commons?  Should the government 
> members pay dues as is done by commercial consortia?
> We may be staring into the beginning of the process through which 
> ISO creates or accepts a new role in the domain of standards 
> developement and maintenance support.  Anyone care to comment on 
> what they think that role should be and how it would be supported?
> len
> From: Rick Marshall [mailto:rjm@zenucom.com]
> i think if you read the messages carefully this shouldn't really affect
> anyone
> the message seems to say that if you want include the codes in a
> commercial product you have to pay
> if you want to advise your customers about where they can download the
> codes for use, then noone pays
> a nuisance, but it would affect say oracle who wants to value add their
> product with the codes, but not me because i'll just show my clients how
> to download the codes.


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