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

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No free lunch, here, Dare.  We can split hairs 
on the meaning as much as we like, but I equate 
it with guaranteed process for this discussion. 
I'm well aware of the problems Bob points out 
in his article.  Have been since before the 
XML oddity began.  Pointed them out.  Ambitions ruled 
anyway.  Not a new thing for the mammals.

Atom isn't a standard.  Atom is one part of a 
community hijacking work done by another part 
and making claims.  That is exactly why one 
doesn't do business like that if one is claiming 
to be 'standardizing'.  I agree with the use 
of the term 'specification' and over the years 
here, have made that point repeatedly.  The blogging 
world is still stuck in the last century playing 
the games that made a hash of meaningful standards 
work. Good product?  Yes.  Bad documents?  Yes.

Is Flash 'a standard'.  Heck no.  It is a ubiquitously 
used technology.  That's cool.  Like machinima, 
there is no substitute for Drag Drop and Go when 
selling product.  Microsoft gets big points for 
understanding that "No Programming Required" is 
a plus to any production shop.

What do customers consider standard?  Well, now 
that is precisely the problem, isn't it?  And 
that problem is only going to be solved when 
we can agree on a solution and explain it to 
them so that they have a conformance test for 
what we tell them.  Microsoft is actually getting 
a lot smarter about this.  They tell one that 
the XML Schemas for Office 2003 work for their 
products and are licensed.  No pretense is made 
that these are standards; they are application 
vocabularies.  My hat is off to you for that.

We have two rules here:  promise-control and 
only bid what you can demo.  It has made us 
profitable and we sleep better.

Truth is a great stress-reliever.


From: Dare Obasanjo [mailto:dareo@microsoft.com]

It seems like everyone who misuses the word "standard" you are focused on
the process. If you have a specification with conformance tests that was
designed by committee on an open mailing list that could be subscribed to by
anyone with an email address  then rubberstamped with
W3C/IETF/ANSI/ISO/whatever with royalty free implementation as sugar on top
and...no one implements it. 
Then is it a standard? 
If I have a technology that has a single vendor but is universally
accessible from multiple devices and platforms (e.g. Flash) is it a
Standard means whatever you want it to mean. Anyone can always complain
about the process [Sam Ruby created a wiki for ATOM discussions and people
complained it was too open, he started a mailing list and then people
complained about backchannels] so pointing out your favorite processes
doesn't guarantee that it is 'standard'. As the author of the original
article wrote 
"I can say that my process is completely open and anyone in the world can
participate. But let's schedule my meetings every quarter and once in Tokyo
and once in Berlin and once in Vienna and once in Vancouver and once in
Washington. Effectively only the biggest players in the world can play." 
Will customers consider something a standard if no one can implement the
spec even if it has gone through all the right processes? Do you think the
average developer thinks SQL, C++ or W3C XML Schema are standard in any
meaningful sense of the word besides 'spec produced by some committee' ? 
Personally I use the word 'specification'. That's the only accurate
description I've come across of what most people tend to claim are


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