Standards The Good, The Bad And The Uglly

Joe Gregorio

Over the past week or two there has been a lot to chew on in the realm of standards.

One of the big items was Tim Bray's post on RDF, which is interesting for a couple of reasons, the first being a great quote:

It's the Syntax, Stupid!

It is also nice for me to see other people question RDF. As Ziv points out, we spent a lot of time last September questioning the utility of RDF, specifically the utility of RDF in RSS 1.0. It's great to see Tim challenging the RDF community on a much broader base.

Jim Waldo asks Why Standards?, which echoes the a common refrain of mine, that standards are what you do after the innovation is done. It also seems to mirror Tim Bray's thoughts on standards.

So, let the market inovate, then define a standard based on what the market has decided. HTTP is a good example of that, and Simon Fell asks why all of the blogging APIs, except RESTLog, don't use the native authentication mechanisms of HTTP. On the flip-side, filtering Spam using the Bayesian Chain Rule is an example of the speed of development outside standards committees. Remember, Paul Graham's article A Plan For Spam was only published last August, and Bayesian spam filtering is already incorporated into the Mozilla mail client and more toolkits are appearing regularly, now the meme is jumping pools and Joh BeimlerJohn Beimler is talking about using Bayesian techniques for filtering up interesing posts from his RSS subscriptions. When I jump into the deep end of this pool, CRM114 will probably be my first stop.

Not to forget that there's a real world outside of computers, we are still exploring replacement cameras for our dead Olympus, and once I get back to taking more photos, even if I don't go into a Starbucks, I'll make sure I always have a handy copy of the Legal Handbook for Photographers [via].

Oh, and one last thing, Lambda the Ultimate rocks. Very few sites can match their consistent quality of posts or commentary on languages and language design.

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