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Re: [xml-dev] Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

Rick Jelliffe wrote:

> 1) Participation is good. The people who should *not* participate in a
> standards effort are the people who don't want that standard and have a
> rival standard of their own:

Um, no, absolutely not. People who don't want a standard most definitely 
should participate in the process and attempt to derail it. Well before 
the current case I've seen far too many examples of standards that were 
pushed through in the face of significant opposition and gone on to 
cause severe problems for many parties who did not participate: SOAP, 
WS-*, W3C Schemas, XML Namespaces, and the list goes on.

The presumption that a standard will be approved is a major flaw in the 
many standards processes. IMO, a standard should only be approved where 
broad consensus exists. Significant opposition among people other than 
those who created a standard should be taken as de facto proof that a 
technology is not ready to be standardized.

There is a difference between a specification and a standard and we need 
to understand. Rejecting something as a standard does not equate to 
preventing people from using it. OOXML could be fully specified (though 
to date it hasn't been, and that alone is reason enough to reject it) 
without approving it as a standard.

*All* the benefits I have seen attributed to approving OOXML as a 
standard are no more than benefits of specifying it. I have yet to read 
one single, plausible argument in favor of *standardization* of this 
format as opposed to mere *specification*.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

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