Convention versus standard
Hi Folks, The dictionary defines the word "convention" as this: Convention: A rule, method, or practice established by usage; custom For example, by convention street signs in the U.S. are placed at street corners, we expect to find them by looking up, not down, and we expect them to be horizontal, not vertical. The benefits of this convention are: - we can locate street signs quickly, with a minimum of effort - their appearance makes it easy to distinguish them from everything else Another example: by convention books have table of contents that occur somewhere in the first few pages, page numbers are somewhere in the margins, and they will look like a table of contents and page numbers. The dictionary defines the word "standard" as this: Standard: Something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison For example, the XML specification is a standard. It requires, for instance, every XML document to have a root element. I observe a couple differences between conventions and standards: 1. Using a convention is advisable, but not required. The things listed in a standard are required. 2. Conventions are the product of a bottom-up, grassroots evolution. Standards are generated top-down by an authority. QUESTIONS What conventions have formed in the XML community? Are there any conventions that have become universally accepted? Are there conventions that have been adopted only within a community? Conventions typically evolve over time. Do you anticipate an evolution of conventions within the XML community? /Roger
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