OT: ISO standards who? (was Re: French character names ingucharmap)

On Sat, 2003-12-20 at 00:07, Keld Jørn Simonsen wrote:

> I think we should even use Microsoft specs
> if it would help our users,

We are already doing that by going OpenType.

> In most industrialized countries all companies are allowed to go to the 
> standards commitees. I think the standards organizations are obliged to 
> allow all companies.

You may not be a company. You may only be a random expert.

> I understand that in some countries this is not so, and it is hard to
> get into the work there. I feel (but am not sure) that these countries
> are amongst them that have a real hard time getting heard at all on the
> international scene anyhow.

Nice point. So ISO process is not good either. Some things are better,
some things are worse.

> Open standards are publically available specifications defined by a
> standardization organisation with an open process.

ISO standards are not publicly available for random access (e.g.,
quoting a section number in an email and make sure a random reader can
go and check it, or read the rest). W3C ones are. Unicode is. I believe
accessible standard are more important than open process standards in a
free software community. (Of course, *better* standards are the most
important. If ISO HTML was better than W3C HTML, people would have gone
for that instead.)

Also, both W3C and Unicode have an open process of standardization.
They're just picky about the level of participation and who has the
right to vote. In ISO, bureaucracy is a barrier, in Unicode and W3C
money is. All of them listen to you, of course, to make sure the
standards are competent.


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