Re: w3process-ISSUE-54: Change Recommendation to Standard

On Nov 12, 2013, at 2:40 PM, David Singer <singer@apple.com> wrote:

> Hi Doug
> 
> I think the word 'standard' has overtones of something that is endorsed or mandated, e.g. ITU standards for telecoms, and is produced by a formal standards body.  I am not sure we want the overtones.
> 
> I think we produce specifications, and that's a good word.
> 
> As I say, 'recommendation' is a poor word;  when we say something is 'recommended' *within* a spec., it's a 'should' statement. Even in normal english terms, what exactly are we 'recommending' and to whom in our specs?
> 
> People who do formal standards might be concerned, though the IETF uses the term and it's accepted there.  I don't think it would raise too much opposition.
> 
> But, people say, casually, "go read the CSS specification", "it's in the HTML spec", and we may as well embrace that and use the name.

Since 2008 our Web site top navigation has the word "Standards" next to the W3C logo. I have not heard significant pushback to our use of the word. I think people also are comfortable referring to organizations like W3C as "SDOs" 

But saying both "standards" and "recommendations" causes confusion. I'd like to reduce that confusion and move us to the next level after 5 years of experience calling our products Standards.

Ian


> 
> On Nov 12, 2013, at 14:33 , Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org> wrote:
> 
>> Hi, Davidľ
>> 
>> On 11/12/13 10:29 AM, David Singer wrote:
>>> Ouch.
>>> 
>>> Traditionally, 'standard' means something from a standards body, and
>>> we are a trade association.  But I agree, 'recommendation' is a poor
>>> word (who is recommending what?)
>> 
>> That's an interesting point. I'm not sure I agree with it, based on the definition of a trade association on Wikipedia [1] (emphasis mine).
>> 
>> [[
>> A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association or sector association, is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising, education, political donations, lobbying and publishing, ***but its main focus is collaboration between companies, or standardization***. Associations may offer other services, such as producing conferences, networking or charitable events or offering classes or educational materials. Many associations are non-profit organizations governed by bylaws and directed by officers who are also members.
>> ]]
>> 
>> However, I sense that there's some underlying reason you are shying away from the word "standard", and I think it would be valuable to explore any potential risks or confusion there.
>> 
>> Personally, as someone who does a lot of developer relations and outreach, it's burdensome to clarify to that audience what a "Recommendation" is, and I end up saying "it's what W3C calls a 'standard'", which is a known and common nomenclature (even informal groups like WHATWG use it for their deliverables). So, this would clarify and simplify our communications to several audiences.
>> 
>> Are there audiences we aren't thinking of that would react badly to our using the word "standard"?
>> 
>> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_association
>> 
>> Regards-
>> -Doug
>> 
> 
> David Singer
> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
> 
> 
> 

--
Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel: +1 718 260 9447

Received on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 06:45:04 UTC