Lotsa laughs

Didier PH Martin martind at netfolder.com
Tue May 25 16:03:23 BST 1999

Hi Lisa,

You said:

> It won't be ignored.  It will have to be dealt with, just like any other
> pseudo-standard widely implemented Microsoft creation.

> Oh I'm sorry, did I say pseudo-standard?  I meant just like any other
> proprietary format.

More and more I am getting confused by the word "standard":
a) Sun claim that Java is a standard but still keep control on it. However,
they try to find an organism to put a stamp of approval or a "standard"
stamp on this even if it remains that most of Java is a Sun production and
that the API is mostly a SUN byproduct. Even with that state of fact, a lot
of people embrace the Java as a standard song.
b) European ECMA organism at some time declared that some part of Win32 is a
standard. There is even a group of people that implement the Win32 API on
other platforms(this is not mainsoft or Bristol). They are not suited by
Microsoft . But Win32 is said proprietary
c)W3C is a consortium of several companies and produces "standards". However
the W3C composition is mostly American. Could we say that W3C produces
international standards?
d) ISO is an international organism with representative from different
countries. But ISO weight seems to be less and less significant.
e) Sometime a group of manufacturer comes with a new common API and declare
this as a standard.
f) some Linux group claim that their version is the "standard" Linux
g) IETF is also producing standards. Is IETF more or less democratic than
W3C? Is IETF representive?
h) Is what a group of people choose a standard? Is a market share a
standard. English is the "de facto" official US language. Can I clainm that
we got 1000 signature to state that laplander is a US language "standard".
Will this group be taken seriously? are we doing the same thing in our

I do not say that one is better than the other. Just ask: what do the word
"standard" means now. What is behind this word?

It seems that the word "standard" is a new modern marketing magic wand. what
do this means exactly? If W3C has 320 members and claim to produce
"standards". Does this means that if I get 320 friends (not from the same
company) and produce a spec, could this be a "standard"? if not why? Did we
forget some historical lessons when at some period of time people where
claiming authority based on some "standards", even attributed themselves the
right to burn people not conforming to the "standards". So, what this word
really mean today? disguised power struggle? Do "standard" really mean
"against Microsoft" (this does not necessarily I am for _ and that I have to
say this just put more emphasis on the quest to find the real meaning of
"standards") ? Do "standard" mean... What this word really means anyway?
What is really behind it?

PS: about the URL stuff and the Biztalk site. The specs says that a URLs
having spaces are to be transformed so that the spaces are replaced with %20
or encoded before "name resolution". Some browsers do this when the URL is
typed in the address box but not when the URL is contained in a text. Is
this a bad implementation? maybe. However we can say that this omission
could leads to problems as you experimented on this site. Where is the
breakdown? in the browser that do not do the transform or the author that do
not manually do the transform (from " " to "%20")? And, what is objectivity
then? What about the reflex of some members of this list to claim guilty
without doing some homework?   Why not instead report the problem to
Mozilla.org so that we can correct the problem.

Didier PH Martin
mailto:martind at netfolder.com

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