OSS vs W3C? was: Next Round

Matthew Sergeant (EML) Matthew.Sergeant at eml.ericsson.se
Thu Jan 21 09:00:24 GMT 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Bill la Forge [SMTP:b.laforge at jxml.com]
> If the validity of a standard is based on the process which defines it, I
> suspect that
> the work done on xml-dev has the greater validity.
> Open Source Software and vendor controlled standards bodies, IMHO, are a
> poor marrage.
> The advantage of Java and XML is that they let you do significant work
> without the need
> for a large team effort. Agreement and support of a few large vendors is
> no longer the
> significant factor.
> We need standards. But I suspect the process needs to be updated.
	It's interesting I was thinking about the very same thing just the
other day. Currently our standards as defined by the W3C (and other
standards bodies) are defined by effectively locking a group of "members" in
a room and waiting until they emerge with something worthwhile. It's a
fairly impenetrable room from the outside, even though it's possible at
certain stages of the process to make suggestions from the outside - there's
no guarantee that those suggestions will even be considered. The "members"
tend to be large corporations who have a vested interest in the technology
(yes, I know Tim is the exception here).

	Is this neccessarily a bad thing? I don't know - we've never really
experienced anything different. And yet when I compare it to the software
world, and read "The Cathedral and The Bazaar", I can't help wondering if
developing standards in a Bazaar might be a better model. It would certainly
be interesting to try.


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