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   RE: [xml-dev] You call that a standard?

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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 


-----Original Message-----
From: Rich Salz [mailto:rsalz@datapower.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 9:41 AM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len)
Cc: xml-dev
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.

> http://news.com.com/2008-1013-5200672.html?tag=nefd.acpro

"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


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