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Whether I'm raving or not, your response to that late night hacking
was to help create an environment in which nothing is predictable
and anyone can stamp anything anyway they like and the
press will pick it up and run with it. You like the credit for being the
"co-inventor of XML" but don't accept any role in the damage done by the
gutting of ISO and the norms of standardization that stood
in your way. "As the twig is bent...", Tim. One has to
take the long view or short term gains in technical
specification turn into big losses in cultural cooperation.
Internet time is bullsh*t. People make these things happen.
While there are means to bend the rules of ISO processes,
in general, they work quite well. Our experience with
them in VRML97 and X3D via Dick Puk has been one of top
professionalism and sticking to the rules for getting
the documents done. X3D is doing very well. The main
challenge is that now that 3D is seen as the best way
to integrate product model environments, the big guys
are stepping up to pirate the prize. Because standardization
and standards processes are now meaningless, they
get to do that with IP-encumbered, proprietary technology.
The one bigCo that has stood by VRML and now X3D from day one
and fights this trend is Sun. Talk to Rob Glidden.
The IP keiretsu and the standards organizations are all
that is standing between that outcome and a better one.
Where do you stand?
From: Tim Bray [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
On Apr 28, 2004, at 8:06 AM, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> ISO is political. Extremely. They are also
> process-bound which makes them reliable and
Len is having so much fun raving away on this one that I almost hate to
spoil it, but the notion that ISO is "predictable" really can't be
allowed to go unchallenged. Some may have forgotten those days in the
early nineties when any whimsical HyTime-related theorizing could get
ISOfied in weeks, in one case with insiders sitting up the night before
ratification, long after the votes had been counted, hacking the query
language... then there's the way that IBM used to get proprietary
extensions into SQL by having small-country IBM field offices arranging
to cast the votes for their countries.
Which isn't to say that ISO is notably better or worse than any other
organization that publishes specs.
Which *is* to say that nobody is ever free of the responsibility to
evaluate a specification on its merits without too damn much regard for
which acronym is stamped on the side.
> 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
I'm glad to hear that VRML is working stunningly well, that word hadn't
reached my neck of the woods.
> What people don't get is that standardization
> and technical innovation are two entirely separable
I'm on board with that. -Tim