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   Re: [xml-dev] Competing Specifications - A Good or Bad Thing?

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On Apr 5, 2004, at 10:55 AM, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> People make assumptions.  That is how they learn.  If
> they don't, they fail.  Life and death in the ecosystem.
> We got here because too many stopped focusing on developing
> software and started playing the standards game.  I blame
> the W3C squarely for that.  This community made its own
> problems and this community will have to face up to the
> job of fixing the mythInformation it created.

Well, the W3C flourished in the ecosystem of the 1990's when there was 
a lot of intellectual capital floating around and the trick was to 
figure out how to extract the common ideas and expose them in a 
standardized way.  Now the trick is to take this to the next level 
without having the ideas spend 20 years wandering around academia 
accumulating value by accretion and selection.  I completely agree that 
the W3C process is demonstrably not up to that task, but I don't agree 
that its former reputation is based on myth.

I'm not sure whether the way forward is by figuring out how to make 
design by committee actually work (and be allowed to fail, and forced 
to prove itself) so that software gets written and standards can 
advance in a short timeframe, or to abandon all hope and come back in 
20 years or whenever there are enough good ideas that need to be 
standardized rather than forced to learn to survive in the wild.


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