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

RE: EM Standards List

From: Tom Worthington <Tom.Worthington@tomw.net.au>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 10:11:35 +1100
To: donc@internode.on.net,public-xg-eiif@w3.org, public-xg-eiif-request@w3.org
Cc: humanitarian-ict@yahoogroups.com
Message-Id: <20080224233803.25A7212807@heartbeat1.messagingengine.com>

At 12:09 PM 22/02/2008, donc@internode.on.net wrote:
>...  We may need to consider what we mean by 'standard' when 
>referencing works and developments.  ...

I suggest including commonly used practice which is not part of a 
formal standard. One example of a defacto standard is how the Tsunami 
warning centers format their messages, an area which is in need of 
formal standards: 

There are also formal documents which are really standards, but not 
labelled that, such as W3C "recommendations" 
<http://www.w3.org/TR/#Recommendations>. Clearly these should be 
included. There are of course some e-documents labelled "standard" 
and issued by official bodies, which are not worth the paper they 
aren't written on.  ;-)

The Wikipedia entry for Standard seems to cover it well. 

"A technical standard is an established norm or requirement. It is 
usually a formal document that establishes uniform engineering or 
technical criteria, methods, processes and practices.

A technical standard can also be a controlled artifact or similar 
formal means used for calibration. Reference Standards and certified 
reference materials have an assigned value by direct comparison with 
a reference base. A primary standard is usually under jurisdication 
of a national standards body. Secondary, tertiary, check standards 
and standard materials may be used for reference in a metrology system.

This article discusses formal technical standards. A custom, 
convention, company product, corporate standard, etc which becomes 
generally accepted and dominant is often called a de facto standard.

A technical standard can be developed privately or unilaterally, for 
example by a corporation, regulatory body, military, etc. Standards 
can also be developed by groups such as trade unions, and trade 
associations. Standards organizations usually have more diverse input 
and usually develop voluntary standards: these might become mandatory 
if adopted by a government, business contract, etc.

The standardization process may be by edict or may involve the formal 
consensus [1] of technical experts."

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington@tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, ANU  
Received on Sunday, 24 February 2008 23:38:24 UTC

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