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

 On Fri, 26 Nov 2010 08:59:30 +0000, Stephen Green 
 <stephengreenubl@gmail.com> wrote:
> True. But what about the 'ecumenical movement' to allow the 
> respective
> bodies to work together and their products to be aligned? "Surely" 
> they
> are meant to move towards greater unity aren't they.

 Well, the ISO/IEC view of a standard is certainly that it is primarily 
 an "agreement."
 This clearly resonates with some (me) more than others. In contrast, 
 one of the most extreme views
 (and repellent) I have read about standards was a US corporate 
 representative who wrote
 that standards are about "picking winners": spot the triumphalist 
 worldview there!

 It also opens the question of how regional standards bodies need can 
 make standards
 workable within their cultures and laws, and indeed I suspect that one
 of the benefits of this kind of localization or acculturation could be 
 to make us
 all richer as the approaches trickle between countries: just as many 
 countries now
 have Ombudsmen even though it was not part of our cultures (or had been 

 For example, I associate Islamic law with a strong emphasis on 
 bargaining and mediation(1) and I wonder whether, for example,
 the XML DTD validation that returns merely "valid" or "invalid" (which 
 may be too doltishly
 extreme to be much use, but congenial to people with a 
 "guilty/not-guilty" mindset)
 --rather than, say, "almost right" or "needs rework"-- was a product of 
 the original
 personalities that put the SGML standard together originally: the 
 contractual capability
 was supported better than than the reporting capability.

> That would be helped
> if some of the minimalist 'surely's can be agreed and that seems to 
> be
> happening with shared concepts of 'conformance clause', 
> 'implementation',
> 'normative', keyword alignment ('MUST' = <bold>'shall'</bold>, etc) 
> and now

 I associate two rather different views with "ecumenical". One is the 
 that we need to agree on fundamentals and agree to disagree on or 
 discard non-fundamentals
 (a "Fundamentalist" view). The development at OASIS of the CALS 
 Table Model is a good example of fundamentalism in the standards world.

 The other is a Catholic view, that "Truth is Symphonic" (2): that our 
 different approaches
 make us richer and we need to support them. The focus on seeing what is 
 good in what
 is different and what collective arises, rather than on paring truth to 
 its dry bones.
 I'd see the ordered pluralism supported by TCP/IP, MIME and XML as this 
 kind of mindset
 in the secular standards world. This view also emphasizes the need for 
 participation in standards making, not passive disinterest that others 
 do the work for you. Support for organic plurality and the need for
 participation are certainly part of my prism!

 (I apologize to XML-DEVers who may think this is too far from 
 technology, but I think
 it is intrinsic to standards questions like why some people or bodies 
 reference implementations and others don't. The pluralistic view would 
 be that there
 should be a variety of standards groups with different rules in this 
 regard, I guess.)

 Rick Jelliffe

 2) http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=3203

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