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Re: You call that a standard?

Re:  You call that a standard?
On Apr 28, 2004, at 8:06 AM, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> ISO is political.  Extremely.  They are also
> process-bound which makes them reliable and
> predictable.

Len is having so much fun raving away on this one that I almost hate to 
spoil it, but the notion that ISO is "predictable" really can't be 
allowed to go unchallenged.  Some may have forgotten those days in the 
early nineties when any whimsical HyTime-related theorizing could get 
ISOfied in weeks, in one case with insiders sitting up the night before 
ratification, long after the votes had been counted, hacking the query 
language... then there's the way that IBM used to get proprietary 
extensions into SQL by having small-country IBM field offices arranging 
to cast the votes for their countries.

Which isn't to say that ISO is notably better or worse than any other 
organization that publishes specs.

Which *is* to say that nobody is ever free of the responsibility to 
evaluate a specification on its merits without too damn much regard for 
which acronym is stamped on the side.

> The VRML guys did the smart thing.  They formed
> a consortium to work on the technology and
> liased with ISO to get the documentation process
> right.  It works stunningly well

I'm glad to hear that VRML is working stunningly well, that word hadn't 
reached my neck of the woods.

> What people don't get is that standardization
> and technical innovation are two entirely separable
> activities.

I'm on board with that. -Tim


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