W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-eiif@w3.org > February 2008

a "standard" = a defensible instructional precedent [was] RE: EM Standards List

From: C H <craighubleyca@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 12:11:14 -0800 (PST)
To: donc@internode.on.net, public-xg-eiif@w3.org, public-xg-eiif-request@w3.org
Cc: humanitarian-ict@yahoogroups.com
Message-ID: <852280.91181.qm@web51411.mail.re2.yahoo.com>

I find the word "standard" problematic.  In general I
don't use it.  The more operational way to describe a
so-called standard is as a set of instructions (such
as a vocabulary or ontology) that may be used as a
design precedent, independent of who or what advocates
using or following them.  Many "standards" are de
facto and poorly documented or documented only in the
manuals of widely used proprietary systems.  Copying
such instructions around as design precedents can be
as complex as the integration of prior case law in a
legal defense.  It doesn't pay to oversimplify this.

You have five different processes going on at least:  

1. An effort to characterize and consider prior
instructions as precedent for future design choices,
such as creating categories and tables of "standards".

2. A subsequent defense of those choices that will in
general involve reference to their status as standards
or precedents or constraints or interoperability needs
or whatever other words one wants to use.

3. Attempts to influence or direct the improvement of
either or both processes, with reference to economics
of capital asset management, time management, and
etc., arguing that "it's worth" or "not worth" doing.

4. Actual use by practitioners in the field.

5. Integration of field feedback regarding deployed
real world systems, which of course can only exist if
the system is actually deployed.  A good reason to
favour actually deployed systems as design precedents.
 ;-)

6. More factional and political processes including
attempts to accredit or discredit particular people,
institutions, instructions, for particular purposes.

Here's a minimal one-page start to dealing with 1 to 3
sanely so as not to derail or bias 4 to 6:

Capital assets that many people call "intangible" can
easily and uncontroversially be categorized as the
human "individual" (real actual non-corporate persons
with bodies that eventually die), the "instructional"
(made out of bits) and "social" (made out of
relationships between living beings, and not reducible
to any sequence of bits or individual body).  Flesh
this list out with "financial", "natural" or
ecological, "infrastructural" or physical or
manufactured, styles of capital as required.  There
are only those six in my opinion, and that opinion
came from much research.

Orthogonal to the capital asset type, one describes
the authority or process by which they are defensible
for inclusion in particular works or projects.  For
that I create a broad category called "defensible" and
make the UN agencies, IEEE, ANSI, ITU, and other
non-institutional sources of such instructions
including widespread use in certain industries a
subcategory of "defensible", i.e. "defensible in Don's
home state due to widespread use in Fire Brigades" is
just another subclass of this "defensible" category. 
Without having to invent a bizarre tangle of virtual
authorities and pseudo-institutions just to fit into
some incorrect model that standards necessarily arise
from institutions.  Similarly, "defensible with
reference to Heidegger's claim that language comes at
us from the future" is just another subcategory of
defensible and can co-exist with any other rationale
one might need to invoke in a design argument.

These are strictly operational definitions and will
save a lot of trouble compared to baroque structural
category systems that make indefensible assumptions.

For the benefit of those who wish to defend the above:

I submit that any fool can tell a living body from a
sequence of bits from a social relationship between
living things.  And that anyone qualified to become
involved in a design argument recognizes such a wide
range of defensible design constraints that there's
more lost than gained in trying to pigeonhole all of
them in advance.  If it turns out that 90 per cent of
the design arguments are resolved by referring to one
of the accredited standards bodies, fine, you might
wish to create a subcategory for such bodies and then
invest in arguing what "accredited" means.  But there
would still be that 10 per cent resolved by some other
means, and they'd remain in the catch-all
"defensible".

And, further, you can describe something as being in
principle defensible without having to agree with it
or appear to advocate it.  So someone is unlikely to
throw around the fact that you added it to a table or
wiki category, representing it as an actual defense of
that design precedent.

So that's my defense of the concept of defensibility
and why I prefer to avoid "standard", "accredited" or
any implication that institutions authorize
precedents.

As Don implies, it's often saner to assume that use in
real world deployed applications is what makes design
precedents worth considering/copying in future
designs.

Craig Hubley

--- "donc@internode.on.net" <donc@internode.on.net>
wrote:
> Hi Renato, all,
> 
> Great to see this project kick-off.
> 
> Just a thought - We may need to consider what we
> mean by
> 'standard' when referencing works and developments.
> A
> standard may be under development, promoted,
> implied,
> adopted and/or ratified. A standard may not be 'the'
> standard beyond a certain group (i.e. Firezone is
> the
> standard emergency information and communications
> interface
> used by 2,600 Fire Brigades and more than 70,000
> response
> personnel in my home state. The contained language
> is
> arguably more of an adopted standard than some
> others
> promoted by simple virtue of use and coverage. I
> think we
> may need to acknowledge where and by whom certain
> standards
> are accepted and applied). There are many such
> industry and
> emergency sector-specific standards to consider, as
> there
> are standards ratifying authorities.
> 
> I would also like to support Gavin's suggestion re
> the
> importance of understanding and incorporating
> affiliated
> (and sometimes legislatively superior) standards to
> this
> initiative, and acknowledge that many are under
> development.
> Eg. Prof David Cliff (QLD University) is currently
> leading
> an ACARP funded project to improve the way
> information is
> collected and communicated in mine and associated
> emergencies (if agreeable I will invite Professor
> Cliff to
> join this group).
> 
> Please find listed below a few of the relevant
> standards
> available through the International Standards
> Association
> and SAI Global (ISO's etc.).
> 
> IEEE 1512:2006
> Common Incident Management Message Sets for Use by
> Emergency
> Management Centres
> 
> ISO/IEC 19763-1:2007
> Information technology - Metamodel framework for
> interoperability (MFI)
> 
> TR 102 444 V1.1.1 (2006) : Emergency Communications
> (EMTEL);
> Analysis of the Short Message Service (SMS) and Cell
> Broadcast Service (CBS) for Emergency Messaging
> applications; Emergency Messaging; SMS and CBS
> 
> TS 102 181 V1.1.1 (2005)
> Emergency Communications (EMTEL); Requirements for
> communication between authorities/organizations
> during
> emergencies
> 
> INCITS/ISO/IEC 11179-2-1999 (R2005)
> Information Technology - Specification and
> Standardization
> of Data Elements - Part 2: Classification for Data
> Elements
> (formerly ANSI/ISO/IEC 11179-2:1999)
> 
> SR 002 180 V1.1.1 (2003)
> Emergency communications Requirements for
> communication of
> citizens with authorities/organizations in case of
> distress
> (emergency call handling)
> 
> ANSI INCITS 415-2006
> Homeland Security Mapping Standard – Point Symbology
> for
> Emergency Management
> 
> SR 002 299 V1.1.1 (2004)
> Emergency Communications; Collection of European
> Regulatory
> principles
> 
> TS 102 424 V1.1.1 (2005)
> Telecommunications and Internet converged Services
> and
> Protocols for Advanced Networking (TISPAN);
> Requirements of
> the NGN network to support Emergency Communication
> from
> Citizen to Authority
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> Don Cameron
> 
> 



      ____________________________________________________________________________________
Looking for last minute shopping deals?  
Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.  http://tools.search.yahoo.com/newsearch/category.php?category=shopping
Received on Saturday, 23 February 2008 20:11:29 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 7 October 2008 02:05:09 GMT