Open standards processes

Paul Prescod papresco at
Fri May 1 16:02:15 BST 1998

Here are some more thoughts about open standards processes:

The XML SIG was pretty wide open, which was admirable, but XSL the DOM,
etc. seem to have no equivalent. My hypothesis is that the XML SIG became
large before anyone "important" realized it was going to be a crucial

On the other hand, since the W3C groups do much of their work online,
there is more of a "bit-trail" (available only to members, but available
nevertheless) that I cannot see in ISO standards processes. I am involved
in the ISO process, but do not go to the meetings, and proposals seem to
drop down from heaven for us to vote on or dismiss. Surely we could
achieve a more global, technology-mediated discussion in this day and age!

Clearly no process is perfect, but I think that whining about them on
XML-DEV is an important part of determining the imperfections. Standards
bodies derive all of their legitimacy from public acquiescence (else, I
would start one myself!). If the public were more aware of their goings
on, they could be forced open and the vendors would still have no choice
but to play along. They also derive their legitimacy from the public.

 Paul Prescod  -

"Perpetually obsolescing and thus losing all data and programs every 10
years (the current pattern) is no way to run an information economy or
a civilization." - Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog

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