Re: Why Standards?
Jonathan Robie wrote: > This is, of course, the standard propaganda technique known as poisoning > the well. Here are two good descriptions of this technique: > > http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/poisoning-the-well.html > http://seercom.com/bluto/skepticism/criticalthinking/irf.poiswell.html I've re-read my message and Jim Waldo's blog entry a couple of times, and I can't seem to figure out what prompted this reaction. Perhaps you can explain in what sense my posting (or Waldo's post) is an example of poisoning the well? Quoting from your first link: "This sort of "reasoning" involves trying to discredit what a person might later claim by presenting unfavorable information (be it true or false) about the person. This "argument" has the following form: 1. Unfavorable information (be it true or false) about person A is presented. 2. Therefore any claims person A makes will be false." I'm not quite sure what unfavorable information you're referring to, or what person it was directed against. I respect your contributions here on xml-dev and to the larger community, so if I have inadvertantly given offense, I apologize. > The fact that something is developed by a standards body says little > about its relevance to a market or its future adoption. Agreed. In fact, I'd go further; individual companies or developers are MORE likely to produce bad solutions to technological problems than standards bodies are. But see below... > XML, XPath, XSLT, DOM and CSS were all developed by standards bodies, > and have been widely accepted. My purpose in posting the link to Waldo's post was not to insinuate that standards are useless, or that standards bodies are incompetent. Instead, I thought I'd bring an interesting article by a person whose opinion I respect to the attention of the xml-dev community. I also was attempting to propose some of the XML standards as a counter-example to his simple description-good/invention-bad dicotomy. > RELAX NG has not achieved widespread > adoption, but the standardization of RELAX NG core has not hurt its design. Agreed again. But, it's possible that the standardization of XML Schema may have hurt the adoption of RELAX NG and led to a less-optimal situation than if neither had been standardized (or standardized at such an early stage). I said above that individual companies or developers are more likely to produce bad solutions than standards bodies are. The difference is that the cost of non-standardized bad solutions are borne by those who produced them, while the costs of standardized bad solutions tend to be propagated to a wider community. Of course, the benefits of standards are spread wider as well, and can be magnified by network effects that are much harder to gain where multiple competing solutions exist. I agree with your advice about deciding when to use standards. I'm still looking for the answers about when and what to standardize. Jim
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