14th, 2006: Independent is not the same as Neutral
is a process to get allround accepted rules and regulations on all kinds
of subjects. Usually standards are made by people from organisations
who have knowledge about the subject of the standard or have a stake
in exploiting products and services conforming to the standard.
A standard is nearly
always developed after products and services are in the marketplace.
To change such an existing product or service to conform to the standard
may cost a large amount of money. One not only has to change the product
or service, you also have to change the implementations. For that reason
vendors of products and services are very aware the standard should
not be very different from their implementation because of the cost
of these changes.
Developing a neutral
standard means a group including a number of vendors
is trying to write a standard where each of there views, products and
services are kept as much as possible. This is done to minimise cost
as much as possible.
Another way to
develop a standard or to agree on ways to do things is on a professional
basis. This would lead to an independent
development of a standard.
- Standards are
not developed before there are already products and services on the
market. One reason is that the necessity of a standard becomes clear
because of these products and services. Another reason is the time
that is needed to develop a standard: it may take years and companies
are usually not going to wait and stand by to get the profits of the
standard by putting products and services on the market for them.
For this reason nearly every standard is developed on a neutral
of products and services conforming to a standard do not
benefit from neutrally developed standards because these standards
(and therefore the products and services) usually contain
trade-offs regarding professional rules and principles.
- If a vendor
puts forward an internal concept, product or service
forward as a standard, this is to be seen as a neutral standard.
Such a concept is usually developed with the market in mind, and therefore
will fit optimally to the range of products and services this vendor
puts to the marketplace. Therefore such a standard can NEVER
be an independent development.
are true for industry standards as well as for international standards
from organisations as ISO.
or Independent management of a standard
A standard usually
develops itself in time. New notions are put forward, certain points
need to be changed and text has to be updated. This is true for any
standard, whether it is a neutral development or not.
One may chose for
neutral management (for instance by groups of one
or more vendors like the Open Group, IBM or NAF) or for independent
management (like ISO or another market independent body, usually
management. For the same reason as above: this will usually lead to
a large political "circus" that will have to decide on the
development and change of the standard. Again, due to the interest
vendors have in the implementation of the standard this is not the
best way to go.
management. This is a difficult way to manage because it usually is
not possible keep parties with interests out of these groups. But
in fact it is the only way to do it right.
standards are developed on a neutral basis and are management in a neutral
group. To do a better job, this ought to be changed. This can only be
done if non-vendor communities take charge of both processes. It will
take time and money, but it will also be the basis for the products
and services they really need.
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