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

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On Apr 29, 2004, at 9:39 AM, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> 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.

  I wasn't around back then, but AFAIK, ISO committed seppuku as far as 
"SGML for the Web" is concerned; Tim (Bray and/or Berners-Lee) didn't 
gut it.  :-)

>  "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.

It seems to me that one has to take the long AND the short view.  Joint 
R&D is a Good Thing; Recommendations about what appears to actually 
work and would work better if the relatively small differences were 
smoothed out are a Good Thing; and real honest International Standards 
are a Good Thing, but they should not be promulgated until the 
underlying specs have matured.

So in my very humble opinion:

-- IBEASoft should be more honest that what they are doing with the 
WS-* specs are joint R&D projects, and should correct journalists who 
call them "standards" or "recommendations" (except in the sense that 
their marketing departments "recommend" the products built around 

-- W3C and OASIS should likewise avoid calling what they do 'standards' 
-- they are consortium recommendations, hopefully based on an analysis 
of best practice and applied theory.  (The Design by Committee stuff 
like WXS or XQuery is pretty much equivalent to the joint R&D projects 
as far as I'm concerned, and should have some designation other than 
Recommendation until best practice is clear).  

-- The "real" standards organizations such as ISO, ITU, and CEFACT 
should focus on sweeping up after the parade, and not pursuing pet 
projects of key participants  or pursuing essentially political goals .

In other words, there is plenty of credit and blame to go around for 
the current state of affairs, there's been a lot of innovation but no 
organization or consortium has done all that great a job of following 
their own guidelines, and plenty of soul searching by a lot of people 
(not just stupid journalists) is needed to improve it.


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