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   RE: [xml-dev] Excellent Insight on Standards Development vs Invention

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I liked the bits about not inventing standards.
It is nice to see Tim attempt to restore a meaning to the term 
that holds up under scrutiny, that having been a topic discussed 
here before.  IMO, when inventing, specify; when standardizing, 
edit.  Otherwise build running code and get yourself a market 
that when sufficiently diverse and hot, will then find a need 
to standardize.  In the business I'm in, that point is being 
reached for in-car systems.  To understand when a standard is 
a good idea, one needs to look at a market individually and 
understand the logistical, performance and market pressures. 
A market with two vendors and six customers usually doesn't 
need an ISO standard or a W3C recommendation.  A market 
with two vendors and six customers where the customers get 
killed because the wrong screen colors have been applied 
does.  (Yes, that happens. Screens that glow white and 
bright are excellent targets at night.  Two hands on the 
revolver leave no hands for the touch screen.)

So it varies by application and as standards wonks, 
we are the professionals expected to know when, where, how 
and who.  Tim makes a good case for that kind of thinking.

I agree and have said so:  standards became a marketing ploy.
**We made that happen.  We have to clean it up.**  

Tim makes honest points about the 'invention' of XML.  Is that 
a valid process for syndication formats?  The comparison 
is not tight enough in that the syndication formats haven't 
been around nearly as long as SGML and its forerunners (GML, 
Scribe, Gencode, etc.) were.  SGML had two decades to accrete 
but also two decades of practice so we went in to SGMLOnTheWeb 
with a fairly good notion of what was excisable and as you know, 
that didn't make the debate a whit less noisy, but the results 
were pretty good.  So maybe it wasn't time to clean up RSS, but 
there sure was a lot of noise to get it done and willing hands 
to do it and who are we to say 'nyet'?  If that is all that 
is required, then how DOES one say 'stick a fork in it and call 
it cake'?  Years of experience in both technical and artistic 
work inform me that the hardest decision to make is 'done'.

As to Atom vs RSS, that is a fight in which I don't have a dog. 



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