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Story: Are there too Many Consortia?Total Replies: 8
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Oct 08, 2010
5:13 PM EDT
So, choose wisely. Pick a limited number of "standards bodies" and make them worth while for others to join by keeping the quality consistently high. (See: ISO)

The beauty of a relatively free market is variety. Something for everyone. Maybe several somethings.

What need isn't being met by standards body A that is causing the establishment of standards body B?

Oct 08, 2010
5:37 PM EDT
Sorry, Bob, but ISO is no longer an example of consistently high quality, not after the OOXML fiasco.

Oct 08, 2010
5:48 PM EDT
A free and open market for standards means no standards at all, unfortunately. Look at how Microsoft tried to subvert web standards. If everyone can create their own standards and standards bodies and they have conflicting standards the net result is no real standardization. This is one case where competition is NOT a good thing.

I also agree with gus3 about ISO.

Oct 08, 2010
6:01 PM EDT
I'm with gus3 on this one - the ISO lost all credibility after demonstrating that they could be bought off easily and completely, allowing the voting boards to be stuffed with microsoft partners who rubber stamped everything, and approved a 'standard' which was riddled with serious problems, and did not even begin to meet ISO's own criteria for approval.

Oct 08, 2010
6:10 PM EDT
> ISO is no longer an example of consistently high quality, not after the OOXML fiasco.

I put it there as an example of what NOT TO DO.

Really, I thought it was such an obvious example that I wouldn't have to explain it.

Oct 08, 2010
10:07 PM EDT
There is a difference in the quality of the standard setting process, and the standards themselves.

OOXML isn't the only flawed ISO-standard, I saw lots of other flawed standards (mainly technical drawings because that is what I used to do). We made it a sport to spot errors and inconsistencies in those standards. Some of the Alu-standards about tolerances of profiles are nearly incomprehensible, you have to read six times before you get it, and the next day again. Even then, questions remain unanswered, because there are always cases which are not in the standard.

The simpler standards - like metric screw thread, pins and such, most of the times the ones derived from DIN - are very good though.

So, the problem is probably "big standards", if they're cut in tiny pieces it often leads to better results.

Oct 09, 2010
4:45 AM EDT
Competition in stardards bodies is like competition in SSL certificate authorities: the winner is whoever makes it easiest to push shady standards/certificates.

Oct 09, 2010
10:59 AM EDT
“The nicest thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.” -- Andres S. Tannenbaum

Oct 10, 2010
9:14 AM EDT
That's the problem, if there's too many choice in standards, then there is no standard.

It's the nonsense MS is spreading: "More standards is good for competition". I've responded to the blog of the MS-chap that wrote it to call him on the utter cr@p his statement was, but sadly never got a response.

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