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

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Bullard, Claude L (Len) <clbullar@ingr.com> writes:

> And the response to that must be a tightening of our 
> language by formally attaching some semantics.  This 
> isn't rocket science and certainly different organizations 
> can do better or worse jobs at it, but unless some 
> discipline and formal definitions are used, the FUDdieDuddies win.
> IP keiretsu may not be better except in this respect: 
> given some technical domain, one knows who to trust, 
> and given some participation agreement, why.  Once 
> done, then the issue of what is and isn't a standard 
> is a matter of picking a documentation process group. 
> We don't need ISO to protect us from each other; we 
> need them to manage the documentation processes for 
> work we create after signing agreements that protect 
> us from each other.
> Then when some private company announces they are 
> going to ECMA to fast track to ISO, they are easy 
> to spot.   I've no problems working with proprietary 
> XML languages because I have to.  I've big problems 
> with those being called standards without due process.

I think I'd have to agree with Robin.  A (perhaps non-standard)
dictionary look-up of "standard" yields many meanings two of which seem

 - An acknowledged measure of comparison for quantitative or qualitative
value; a criterion

 - Something, such as a practice or a product, that is widely recognized
or employed, especially because of its excellence

I personally don't expect the word standard as applied to specifications
to give it much more weight than using the term specification by itself.
Knowing who authors and/or endorses a spec. is sometimes useful.
However, I don't expect any particular heritage or endorsement for any
particular spec. to give it any special staying power, universality or
commercial viability.

> len
> From: Robin Cover [mailto:robin@isogen.com]
> I don't see any solution to the problem of authority WRT what 
> is (in)appropriate for designation as a "standard" since 
> opinions vary widely.  I can't imagine a world court 
> promulgating and enforcing a rule that "only such-and-such 
> things may be called 'standards'; language academies largely 
> fail in such efforts, and so would a global edict.  We have 
> the anomaly of XML *not* being called a standard by its 
> SDO/SSO, while it clearly has the force of a 
> standard; other specs are called "standards" by their 
> respective SDO/SSO -- just because the creating body said so. 
>  At one time, OASIS declared that it did not create 
> standards, now we have CDs being voted by the membership to 
> become an "OASIS Standard." And so forth, for hundreds of 
> similar SDO/SSO orgs, and the meta-definitions are not agreed upon.
> Robin Cover
> (speaking for no corporate entity)


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