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Consortium Standards Bulletin: The Balkanization of Standard Setting

Mar 27, 2004, 08:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Updegrove)

"A recurring question that underlies the legitimacy of modern standard setting methods is this: 'What is a standard?'

"Almost immediately the definitional process becomes complex, and even contentious. Is the Microsoft Windows operating system a standard, or not? In other words, should we judge a specification only by the process that created it, regardless of its uptake (or the lack thereof), or is success the more important criterion? Most people resolve this conundrum by adding a results oriented modifier, calling widely-adopted commonalities like Windows a 'de facto standard.'

"But what about process-based 'standards...?'"

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