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> Now, any discussion comparing various standards and specification bodies
> needs to show how, for example, the ISO process has caused, say, ANSI C++ to
> be a fairer, cleaner, more widely-implemented, less vendor-bound, freer,
> and/or less bug-ridden spec than non-ISO specs like XML or HTTP.
Access, openness, constituencies and the number of competing specs are also
Expensive specifications and extensive travel requirements inhibit access and
openness. We're seeing more specs that are freely-downloadable or cost $18 for
an electronic version. There are also more working groups augmenting F2F
meetings with telcons. Ubiquitious broadband means video conferencing is on the
horizon so the financial barriers are fading.
Constituencies are a different story. ISO voting will still consist of
representatives of national standards bodies. Consortium voting is often by
persons who represent a company that's a technology provider in a competitive
space. Neither paradigm is always good or always bad.
Competition will continue stirring the standards pot. If you employ a number of
ISO voting representatives, then the ISO path looks good. If not, you might
prefer to work first through an organization such as ECMA or create a new
alliance (e.g., Enterprise Grid Alliance, recent RFID alliances). Competing
alliances and consortia sometimes produce competing specs.
As Jim Gray said recently, the result is you have lots of ten-page specs instead
of a single standard and an ISO spec that run to hundreds of pages.