W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-sw-meaning@w3.org > October 2003

Re: in defense of standards

From: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@isr.umd.edu>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 22:42:31 -0400
Cc: public-sw-meaning@w3.org
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Message-Id: <65011D9C-FACB-11D7-82AF-0003936A0B26@isr.umd.edu>

On Thursday, October 9, 2003, at 10:18 PM, Sandro Hawke wrote:

>
>>> So working back, I end up saying you SHOULD NOT say things like that,
>>> and MUST NOT do so knowingly.
>>
>> Piffle. Why project your fears and insecurity onto specs?
>
> There's "best practices" advice and there's conformance to
> specifications.

We have, perhaps, both. We certainly have the latter. We also have 
applications and application specific behavior.

>   Certain constraints in the design of open systems can
> be expressed in either place, often with tradeoffs in ease of
> implementation and likely failure modes.

Sure.

[snip another 'spec spiel', my first from Sandro; tim gives me these; 
word to the wise, they haven't worked yet :)]

> Maybe you know some way to build open systems without protocol
> specifications?

Y'all act like I don't do any standards work, or am ignorant of well 
everything around me. Worse, you act like I didn't propose a "protocol".

> It may be that my particular suggested SHOULDS and MUSTS don't need to
> be in the spec, but if you're going to argue that nothing needs to be
> said,

Or rather, that nothing more need be (at least immedately) said on this 
topic in this context.

And yeah, I'm arguing against your SHOULDS and MUSTS. Wasn't that clear?

> and you're still going to build an open systems, I think you're
> just arguing for an undocumented protocol.

Or evolved ones. Or these aren't "protocols" in the networky sense.

>> If you don't
>> like it, communicate with your partners. You're free to say, "That way
>> of saying this irritates me. I'm avoiding that"
>
> Negotiating with partners doesn't scale.  That's why we have
> standards.

Uh. Right. I forgot about human society. (And standards are a form of 
negotiating with partners and are involved with such.)

Oh, I thought W3C specs were "recommendations", not standards :)

Cheers,
Bijan Parsia.
Received on Thursday, 9 October 2003 22:42:33 GMT

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