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Richard Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 11 Jul 2000 20:00:06 -0400
text/plain (118 lines)
As a rule, standards (IEEE, ISO, etc) are extreme compromises,
and, as such, don't necessarily reflect the state of the art or
push any envelope at all.  Many years ago, I participated in the
IEEE standards effort on the use of Ada as a Design Language.
When the effort was started (and the number of participants was small),
the draft of the standard was large (over 100 pages at one time),
but, as the effort went on and on and people came and went to the meetings
(on many meetings, there were sometimes as many as 40% new faces) and
the flow of thought had to be recaptured, more and more compromises were
made.  After 1 1/2 years, the work was done.  The entire standard was
about 15 pages long, of which the text of the standard took 4 pages,
the list of names of all those involved took 4 pages, and boilerplate
(cover page, table of contents) took the rest.  Look it up ... IEEE
Standard 990-1987.

This is not an isolated case.  If you look at the current IEEE 12207
standard for software engineering, you'll find so much motherhood and
apple pie compromises that if you want to find out about good ideas and
best practices in Software Engineering, you'd be much better off buying
a copy of Roger Pressman's "Software Engineering: A Practictioner's
(for the big view) or Steve McConnell's "Software Project Survival Guide"
(for the 3-25 person team project that last 3-18 months).  Steve, who edits
the best practices column of IEEE Software, based this work on the CMM,
NASA's Software Engineering Lab, and his own experiences, and this book is
part of Microsoft's Software Engineering Series (did you know they had

Not too many years ago, Microsoft was much more into forgeing its own way
rather than following open standards.  Microsoft HTML, backed by the MSHTML
ActiveX Control, is a good example of this which caused Microsoft to take a
lot of flack.  The tune at this year's Tech-Ed 2000 conference was
with XML 1.0, an open standard created by the World Wide Web Consortium, was
backed heavily, and there is no Microsoft variant this time that I can tell.
Even the MSDN Library entries on XML contain links to the W3C sites for
Built into Windows 2000, Windows CE, Windows Millenium, and what looks like
rest of the Windows 2000 spinoffs is MSXML, a parser for W3C XML which will
be available to any application that wants it.

So, another view of the issue pertaining to Microsoft.

Richard Conn, Principal Investigator
Reuse Tapestry

-----Original Message-----
From: Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of David Botton
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 12:05 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Leveraging MicroSoft's Marketing

"At Microsoft, we always feel we can improve on a
standard" (InsideCOM, p 252)

--- "Brashear, Phil" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I'd love to get a copy of that flyer.  Can you help?
> I contacted Microsoft a couple of years ago about
> certifying their compilers
> and was pretty much snubbed.  The people I talked to
> indicated that they
> were interested in providing what their customers
> wanted RATHER THAN
> conformance to standards.  (Opinion: Microsoft wants
> to define STANDARD as
> OUR WAY. End Opinion)
> Phil
> Philip W. Brashear
> EDS Conformance Testing Center
> 4646 Needmore Road, Bin 46
> P.O. Box 24593
> Dayton, OH  45424-0593
> (937) 237-4510
> [log in to unmask]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joyce L. Tokar [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, July 10, 2000 9:31 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Leveraging MicroSoft's Marketing
> I recently received a long (7 pages) flyer from
> MicroSoft expounding upon
> the virtues of certifying software.  In their case
> it is Windows
> 2000.  It seems to me that there is an opportunity
> here for the Ada
> community to jump onto the certified software
> band-wagon along
> with MicroSoft and raise the awareness of the user
> community that some tools
> are certified and have been for a long time.
> Comments?
> JLTokar

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