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I thought "caveat emptor" applied in all fields of work.
It is tempting to hold one set of people to a higher moral standard than
another but I have to say that you will be disappointed at the end of the
In civil engineering - a field I know a very little about ,a
customer/client would hire 2 sets of engineers - one to do the work, the
other to check that the work was up to spec. So, not much trust amongst
engineers there, then. Maybe this is the way to go for safety-critical
<frank@therichard To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
s.org> cc: email@example.com
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] ISO and the Standards Golden Hammer (was Re: [xml-d ev]
29/04/2004 19:54 You call that a standard?)
I just have to ask. Why do you find it ok for business folks to do any
slimy thing short of armed robbery in search of making money, but
morally reprehensible for techies to cut procedural corners in preparing
specs for doing cool stuff.
Lawsuits and bespoke statutes are 'just business', but you have a real
attitude of outrage about 'rough consensus and running code'. I can see
getting upset about both, or accepting both as 'mammal stuff' but just
plain don't get the different outlooks on the two.
On Thu, 2004-04-29 at 13:01, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> From: David Megginson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote (to Tim Bray):
> > 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
> > "co-inventor of XML" but don't accept any role in the damage done by
> > gutting of ISO and the norms of standardization that stood
> > in your way.
> >Len, that's a bit hard to swallow.
> Try real hard, David.
> >ISO is an organization designed to handle negotiations among countries.
> >That's not a bad idea for things that tend to depend on heavy national
> >regulation, like, say, smokestack industry or retail, but it makes
> >sense for computer technology and networking standards
> That is coming soon. A regulated Internet, taxed and the whole bit, but
> that isn't the issue. The issue is conformance testing such that one
> can reliably cite a standard without having to be there when it is
> written by those 'real smart guys' who document badly and don't
> procurement at all. Those guys who don't believe in patents and so
> now JPEGs are getting people sued left and right. Those guys who
> believe 80% is good enough, so some years later, big security holes
> open up and mission critical systems are compromised.
> >Using ISO's national-body structure for negotiating computer
> >standards is about as effective as the two of us negotiating a mideast
> >plan, then expecting Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon to thank us and
> >implement it.
> Traceability of a process, transparency of a process, rules for
> these things mean nothing to five guys hacking a design, but they mean
> a lot to the people who buy them. This is what happens at scale.
> >The fact is that ISO never did well with computer technology, either
> >*or* after XML.
> The fact is that where ISO works with a technical consortium, they do
> well. They can do better.
> >We use the four-layer DoD networking stack, not the
> >seven-layer ISO/OSI stack, and we look to the IETF, not ISO, for our
> >protocols. Even modest computer tech successes like SGML have been rare
> And as a result, a lot of glue is sitting on top of TCP/IP, DDNOS has
> no credible defense, security is something of a shambles, and so on.
> It isn't the organization; it's the people, I agree, but the people
> aren't there to explain or indemnify.
> Not megalomania: inexperience. A computer science degree is the
> least part of that if not a trivial part. Did you really expect
> the industry to walk away from patents or just give up all their
> rights to intellectual property as the open sourcers worked to
> drive the value of their products to zero? That is blisteringly
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