Re: ISO and the Standards Golden Hammer (was Re: You
On Sat, 2004-05-01 at 05:34, Ken North wrote: > > > Characters sets and coding (ASCII, OCR-A, OCR-B, MICR, bar codes) > > > Audio and video compression (MPEG 1, 2, 4) > > > Graphics: GKS, PHIGS, CGM, JBIG > > > Messaging/mail: X.400 > > > Languages: C, C++, Ada, SQL, FORTRAN, COBOL, Pascal, Modula-2, POSIX, CLI > > > Storage, networking, bus interfaces: SCSI, SCSI-2, FDDI, CSMA/CD, VMEbus, > > > Multibus, HIPPI, RS-232/V.24 electrical > > > Markup: SGML, RELAX NG, VRML > > > Geocoding: ISO 19100 (19107, 19108, 19123, 19127) > > > > Most of these weren't ISO/ITU committees, but were either private > > industry consortia, or other standards work that got a "finishing > > polish." > > > The origin of ISO standards is a mixed bag. Standards such as JPEG and MPEG were > created by expert groups affiliated with ISO. JPEG, for example, was originally > an ISO working group, then a joint group (with CCITT). > > Before there was a de jure standard for C, the de facto standard was Kernighan > and Ritchie's book ("The C Programming Language"). You had to pay close > attention to what compiler and features you were using as the language evolved > past K&R. > > Newer standards have been fast-tracked from "local" standards organizations or > industry consortia through the ISO process. Examples include > SQLJ (ANSI->ISO) and VRML (Web3D->ISO). > > Perhaps a more interesting question is not how an ISO standard originated, but > what long-term impact we've seen from them: > > 1. ASCII was a draft ISO standard about 40 years ago. IBM owned 70% of the > computer market by the late 60s so EBCDIC was commonplace. The IBM user group > (SHARE) even opposed the adoption of ASCII in the mid-60s. Today it's hard to > find EBCDIC outside of the IBM mainframe world. On the other hand, ISO 646 / ISO > 8859 web pages are pretty common -- clear evidence of the effect a standard can > have for several decades. > > 2. Admiral Grace Hopper and a CODASYL committee published the first spec for > COBOL in 1960 and it became an ANSI standard in 1968. There are two million > COBOL programmers today, long after Y2K is no longer on our radar screen. One > reason is because there are still 200 billion lines of COBOL code in production > applications. Most of the transaction processing code that runs every day is > COBOL ( processing 30 billion transactions per day). > > Has COBOL persisted because it's elegant, or because it's a standard? or it's just embedded? > > > > > > > ----------------------------------------------------------------- > The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an > initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org> > > The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/ > > To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription > manager: <http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/index.php> >
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