[ answering Mike ]
> I think Visual C++ is clearly a standard, by your own
I think that's more related to a lack in Mikes explanation
than to what I understand his opininon to be.
Most important of all, a standard is a relatively clear and
complete document describing a "technology".
I may be mistaken, but as far as I have observed it what
Microsoft calls a standard is actually an implementation.
This is of course practical for them, since it reduces the
risk that a competitor will make a better implementation of
A related (but not Microsoft related) topic: Some friends
and I are working on a definition of what an "open standard"
is, but we have run into a problem.
Here is a summary of the definition:
(0. Openness in the decision process - still undecided)
1. May be used for anything
2. May be implemented by anybody
3. Maintaining the integrity of the standard
4. Shall be freely available ("libre", not "gratuit")
Our problem is the last point. It excludes most ISO
standards even though we would like to be able to call them
free. We haven't been able to formulate that point in a way,
that makes ISO standards free without making practically any
proprietary "standard" free too. Currently the full text of
the last point is (translated from Danish):
An open standard shall be freely available
You are allowed to distribute all or parts of the
standard to others, keeping exactly the same
restrictions as you received the standard under.
(with apologies for my limited English)
Those of you who understand a bit of the Nordic languages
can follow parts of the discussion at:
Growing older is compulsory. Growing up isn't.