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ISO is political. Extremely. They are also
process-bound which makes them reliable and
predictable. They admit the existence of politics
and plan for it. Process isn't evil; it is the
buffer against it. It doesn't always work
but overrunning a buffer to achieve a malicious
result is something of an art form, yes?
The VRML guys did the smart thing. They formed
a consortium to work on the technology and
liased with ISO to get the documentation process
right. It works stunningly well because the
inside wheel can turn as fast as it needs to,
and the outside wheel turns only as necessary.
Is it slower than they like? Yes. Does it
keep the standards open and free to implement?
Yes. Does it enable any single company to
dominate the standard? No. Is the process
open to non-members, sadly not. The result
of the IP wars is that no one with a bit of
business or legal sense does that now.
Intel couldn't work in a group like that, so
they formed and pay for their own consortium,
the 3DIF, to create "Universal formats for
3D on the Web" but in reality, are trying to
put a standards patina on their own proprietary
tech. Deep pocketed companies can do this, but
they should be outed for it. That is also the
game as played. Other companies such as Microsoft
and Adobe join these private groups, but it is
anyone's guess as to how long it will take them
to produce anything, and meanwhile, the technical
domain they are FUDding languishes because by
dint of their brands, the industry waits. This
is actively harmful and predatory, but so far,
it is legal.
The W3C and the W3DC have recognized the utility
of IP keiretsu: to indemnify each other against
lawsuits, companies join these and sign a participation
agreement that says they can't sue each other
because royalty-free means royalty-free. If it
can't be achieved by being RF and RAND is required,
it should remain a specification and never become
a standard in the clean and clear sense of the
term. Groups like these must liase and work
together. X3D and SVG must interoperate and
even if there are performance hits for that,
the network effect is still better. Otherwise,
the faux standards efforts win given the size
of the companies that pay for them.
What people don't get is that standardization
and technical innovation are two entirely separable
From: Rich Salz [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 9:41 AM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len)
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] You call that a standard?
> price to be paid by many in our community who chose
> to gut ISO and really did not understand what they
> were doing. Their tears now do not move me.
"He also contends that the standards development in governmental
organizations, such as the United Nations, is a very politicized process."
Oh yeah, the folks who designed network protocols so that the national
postal systems, which morphed into the national telegraph systems, which
morphed into the national phone systems, which morphed into the national
data carriers, could make money charging per bit.
You know, don't you, that the acronym ISO had to be deliberately chosen
to not stand for anything in English so that AFNOR (the French national
standards body) wouldn't walk away? Claiming ISO is any more or less
political than W3C, IETF, ANSI, IEEE, OASIS, et al, is ridiculous.
Once he's done whining about how web services derailed ebXML, not much
else in that article makes sense. WS-I is not a competitor to OASIS.
WS-I does not add any IP claims to other's standards. Yes, there are
things in the IBM/MSFT web services stack that are proprietary -- I've
written about that many times -- but they're not part of WS-I.
And, BTW, did he *read* the WS-I IP document? It binds everyone who
joins to don't sue cross-license agreement. You cannot get a strong RF
Does he *like* OASIS (yes, since it was joint with UN and CEFACT), or
dislike it (because it's not a standards organization).
Rich Salz, Chief Security Architect
DataPower Technology http://www.datapower.com
XS40 XML Security Gateway http://www.datapower.com/products/xs40.html
XML Security Overview http://www.datapower.com/xmldev/xmlsecurity.html