Why do we write standards?

Steven R. Newcomb srn at techno.com
Thu Nov 11 20:34:44 GMT 1999

[Paul Prescod:]

> "Product XYZ supports the XHTML namespace. We use it in completely
> different ways than anyone else and our software crashes with many
> documents that other people create using XHTML, but we are XHTML
> namespace compatible!" What's the damn point?

I may be wrong, but the only point I can see is the fact that vendors
can make the claim, "We are XHTML namespace compatible", without
having to worry about such a claim actually meaning anything.  Forgive
my cynicism, but isn't this namespace hoohah really all about fig
leaves and marketing and causing customers to have rosy expectations?
So far, I don't see much relevance to information interoperability, or
vendor neutrality.  With respect to the importance of vendor

[Michael Brothers wrote:]

> ... Broadcasters beam one type of signal, sets receive [the same]
> type of signal. The plus side is that once the standard was
> established, all industry participants had access, and any company
> could start producing broadcast hardware or HDTV sets. Thus,
> consumers will reap the benefits of competition between Sony,
> Philips/Magnavox, Toshiba, etc by having a choice of features and
> lowering prices as the technology matures....

If the precise nature of a conforming signal is not rigorously
defined, the benefits of level-playing-field competition cannot be
realized.  Instead, you get Microsoft (just for an example) having its
own flavor of XHTML, and nobody being able to do anything about it, or
to point the finger of blame.


Steven R. Newcomb, President, TechnoTeacher, Inc.
srn at techno.com  http://www.techno.com  ftp.techno.com

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