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Re: [xml-dev] Standards and Antitrust (was: seduced by markup)

On 17 Nov 2013, at 08:54, Pete Cordell <petexmldev@codalogic.com> wrote:

> ----- Original Message From: "Michael Kay"
>> The point raised by Steve Newcomb was not about the quality of standards work, it was specifically about the legality.
> I had read Steve's e-mail as suggesting (among other things) that the big companies had made the various standards unnecessarily complex in order to lock out the smaller players.  My response was to try and show that complex standards could emerge without any such conspiracy.

In that case I agree. I've heard of some standards activities that were heavily politicised, the "open office XML" (or whatever it's called) being the most notorious. But on the whole you can assume that standards groups consist of people who are well-intentioned. They may vary in competence, and they may sometimes have contradictory good intentions, but they are usually trying to do what they think is best for the industry (and not just for the company they represent).

Where standards are over-complex (as with XSD) I think it's usually through having too many people injecting good ideas. It's not the competence of the individuals that's the problem, it's the effect of putting them together in a team without strong leadership. It can also be true that their experience is in areas that aren't directly relevant, e.g. some of the people on the XSD group had a predominantly database background, and this can lead to distortion of objectives.

Michael Kay

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