[standards-jig] [seybold2001] Simplicity and resilience in standards (fwd)

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Wed Sep 19 15:11:34 UTC 2001

Some food for thought from another list...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 09:05:59 +0100
From: Julian Bond <julian_bond at voidstar.com>
Reply-To: seybold2001 at yahoogroups.com
To: seybold2001 at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [seybold2001] Simplicity and resilience in standards

This is a revolution in standards I'd like to see but don't expect in my

Simplicity and resilience in standards.

Someone on the de-centralization list said "Standards shouldn't be built
by amateurs". Well frankly the professionals have made a complete and
utter hash of it. For a variety of vested interests, the standards we're
trying to work with are either broken or have grown so vast that they
might as well be. Or there are an infinite number of standards to choose
from so they're not really standards are they. 

Stand back, try and hide your own emotional attachment to any one of
these and take a look.

- HTML. We still can't agree on what it is. Why do we even need a
campaign for conformance.
- XML. Have you seen how many entries there are in the alphabet soup?
- RSS. No comment.
- RDF. Make the standard infinitely extendible. So where's the standard?
- XML-RPC. Almost "good enough", but inherently brittle.
- SOAP/WSDL/UDDI. I need this in here. And this. And this. And this. How
did the standard get so big that the BDG was even needed?
- WAP. Let's re-build HTML for the telecoms industry. Like, Doh! WHY!!?
- HDTV. Where is it? And why are there 3? 
- GSM, CDMA, G3, and all the other cellphone standards worldwide. What?
Why are there so many?
- Java. Which JVM have you got installed? Oh, that's the wrong one.
- Perl. Check CPAN. See RDF.
- Unix. Sorry, we haven't ported to that one.
- Redbook CD. We just need to make a small change to stop you reading
the data.

Need I go on? The whole computing industry has been throwing rocks at
the mirrors and wondering why they can't see themselves afterwards. 

But look at the TCP/IP standards and all the early RFCs. These are
short, succinct, widely adopted, just plain work and have stood the test
of time. They are the existence proof that it is possible.

Julian Bond    email: julian_bond at voidstar.com
CV/Resume:         http://www.voidstar.com/cv/
WebLog:               http://www.voidstar.com/
HomeURL:      http://www.shockwav.demon.co.uk/ 
M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173  T: +44 (0)192 0412 433
ICQ:33679568 tag:So many words, so little time

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