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{Loony =?UTF-8?Q?speculation=3F=7D=20Re=3A=20=5Bxml-dev=5D=20Does?==?UTF-8?Q?=20the=20W=33C=20allow=20=22reference=20implementations=22=3F?=

 On Wed, 24 Nov 2010 19:08:31 +0000, Stephen Green 
 <stephengreenubl@gmail.com> wrote:
> Surely...

 This word encapsulates one really important aspect, I think.

 There are personal and cultural expectations connected to documents of 
 authority like standards, and how self-standing they are.

 Lets imagine four stereotypes: Mary is a Baptist from France: we might 
 imagine that she could have a view that documents should be 
 self-standing, complete and obvious (since that might be the attitude a 
 from Bible believing and Code Napoleon.) Abdul is a Catholic from 
 England: we might imagine that he could have a view that documents 
 always need some authoritative human chain who can interpret or explain 
 the meanings (relating to the magesterium and the Common Law). Willy is 
 a Quaker from Japan: we might imagine that he might have a view that 
 variation in interpretation is inevitable and to be coped with socially 
 outside authority structures, or that truth is ineffable. Seriphina is 
 an Orthodox Jew from New York: we might imagine that she has a very 
 covenantal/contractual expectation about standards. (Going through every 
 religious and legal tendency in the world is left as an exercise for the 

 Now, of course, these are stereotypes and ridiculous (and anyone with 
 experience would find that such imagined characteristics are  inevitably 
 disappointed), but I hope the point is clear: to some extent (and I 
 think it is true to larger extent than people are aware of in 
 themselves) the issue of whether reference implementations should be 
 allowed can spring out of what we may call cultural differences (and, 
 primarily, individual personality).

 Some people do view standards as essential contractual documents: 
 someone talking about reference implementations will be treated with 
 bafflement. And the person who thinks reference implementations just 
 make good sense may treat with equal bafflement someone coming along and 
 talking about test suites. And the person talking about test suites may 
 be baffled by a person talking about standards group engagement and 

 Rick Jelliffe

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