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From: Rich Salz [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>> 1. It is ISO standard (which has a specific meaning)
>> but created by technical committees from consortia
>> (not the marketing guys who go to committee meetings
>> to represent their bosses' viewpoint).
>No, this does not necessarily make a better deal. I think Robin's
>message gave a great deal of information. Here's an example I know
>about. <snip> BFD. :)
And others have counter examples. This is like security; it isn't
a binary proposition, as in, you are secure now; now you aren't. It
is a percentage and the effort you put in determines that.
>> 2. Is Royalty-free by dint of a signed participation
>If I'm purchasing, as opposed to implementing, I probably don't care.
Some do. They need to know the average quality and the precise
conformance before they will certify. As you have probably done
some business with the government, you also know that they do
and they attach money to the citations, and that drives the RFPs
unless the procurement official issues waivers. It isn't a two
step process from the vendor to the buyer. That would be nice.
>Yes, I *might* have fewer vendors to choose from, but in my mind "ISO
>standard" equates to "the big boys" anyway. As long as there exists one
>vendor that meets my needs, the patent portfolios are an implementation
>detail that need not concern me.
Not true. It was true when Bob was doing his work. ISO made a good deal
with the W3DC. The only person doing much traveling is Dick. Yes he
gets paid for that and well he should, but seldom does he get paid
more than it is worth given his efforts. I agreed earlier and still
do that ultimately the quality of the people comes first. We do a
lot of work on the net and on the phone. The W3DC has the right to
publish the specification for free. ISO charges for their copy but
they are identical. What the W3DC does control is when non-members
can see drafts. So do most consortia. Anyone is free to implement.
You will be charged a fee to use the test mark.
>> 3. Comes with conformance tests and a test mark (a
>> formal variation of a trade mark).
>Yes, this is the most important of your three criteria. In my very
>limited experiences, X/Open (now The Open Group) were among the most
>comprehensive branding/conformance in this area, although the Windows
>and Novell logo/branding programs are good.
The flaw is this isn't enough alone. It can guarantee what you get
is what you ordered, but it won't stop the bigCoTakesTheTable syndrome.
Note that France now forbids the listing of trademarks or processor
clock rates in government bids precisely because some use the Intel
trademark to keep AMD out of the bidding.
I wish this could be a neat algorithmic solution that guarantees
every result is clean as a hound's tooth. Any set of rules written
for that will be so Draconian as to cause side effects one can't
predict. I've had to write bylaws for organizations and one has
to leave some holes open or risk killing the organization. What
one looks for is a percentage of the deal that is the best deal
one can get. That may change at different times. In 1990, ISO
was the best deal we could get. In 1998, everyone flocked to
the W3C, but it set an example for coporationsAsConsortia that
others emulated without the same agendas. So now some of us
have to find a better solution, and in my opinion, for many
problems, the hybridization where consortia do specs and
real standards orgs do the standards is a better deal if they
implement those three conditions.