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One point that might differentiate standard from specification.
A standard is like a street light. Everyone uses it, recognizes it,
and is made better off by it as opposed to other alternatives.
Or the electric wall socket and its matching plug, or clothes in the form
of shirt and pants and shoes, or doors in standard sizes and or windows in
Standard implies universal distribution, universal acceptance, universal
adoption. In order for a componet of our society to meet the rigours of
standard, it must be open source, easily adpatable, by all with the need,
to the circumstances of its use in such a way that its utility out weighs
the benefit of any other alternative.
An implementation of specification or a set of specifications may
eventually become standards. The wide free distribution of the netscape
browser was designed to transition a specfication into a standard.
A possible subset of a universal standard as described above might be
vendor specific specification which one or a few vendors agree to adopt,
but that does not make it a universal standard.
Anything short of universally distributed, understood and adopted would
seem to be short of the utility that constitutes a standard. Or said
differently, to be a standard, the utility element must be univeral.
On Wed, 28 Apr 2004, Dare Obasanjo wrote:
> Nope, what you've described is a specification. Anyone can slap a document with some rules in it one the Web. Does that make it a standard? I designed a query language for XML when I was in college and you can read the description at http://www.xmldb.org/sixdml/sixdml-lang.html/. By your definition, it is a standard. To me that is worse than meaningless. It is meaninglessness masquerading as being meaningful.