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Richard Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Richard Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 18 Jul 2000 19:25:57 -0400
text/plain (89 lines)

If Microsoft has not created standards, then how can there be thousands
of products conforming to them?  How can there be a certification program
in place for people?  How can such an industry have evolved around it?

How can I develop a Web Browser using this which is compatable with
every website out there, including the MSN communities, in 2 hours?
How can I write a program in Visual Basic that exploits a timer and
multitasking in 30 minutes that runs on my own PC and a family of Pocket PCs
with different CPUs?

Granted, it took me a while to figure out the big picture well enough to
write the Web Browser and the Pocket PC demo app.  But any system this
will take a while to learn.  And the documentation I used, in the MSDN
(which I view as the source of the Microsoft standards), was very clear to
I am working at a higher level of abstraction when I do this (Visual Basic),
but it's still a standard.

As for your issue about "clear" and "unclear," isn't that a matter of
and perception?  What is clear to one person isn't necessarily clear to
The background you need to have to understand some of these standards may be
extensive, but that does not detract from the standard.  It simply means
the standard is written for a specific audience.

Randy, your arguments simply don't make sense in the face of the industry.
Just open your eyes and look around ... the Microsoft standards are there

You are welcome to try to contradict what I just said.

Richard Conn, Principal Investigator
Reuse Tapestry

-----Original Message-----
From: Randy Brukardt [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2000 5:03 PM
To: 'Richard Conn'; [log in to unmask]
Subject: RE: Standards

> Since my position matches that of the definition quoted by Mike Feldman,
> I have no idea why you think it's not supported.  I started off saying
> that a standard can be proprietary (which was my point), and Mike
> and then agreed, quoting his definition.

Certainly there can be proprietary standards: Sun's Java work seems to
qualify. But then you've gone on to argue that what Microsoft is doing today
is somehow a standard. But much of what they've done doesn't have any of the
characteristics of a standard (based on Mike's dictionary definition). And
then you've claimed that the E-Mail confirmed that position.

> As for your issues, it sounds like you are saying that something cannot
> be a standard if it is not clear and unambiguous.  That's not the case
> either ... some standards are ambiguous or unclear, as is the English
> language.

Mike's dictionary definition starts out:


Clearly defined and agreed-upon conventions for programming
intefaces. Standards may be..."

If you accept this definition, there cannot be such a thing as an unclear
standard. (OK, in practice, every standard will have a few glitches where
things aren't defined well.) But the Microsoft SDK does not come close to
"clear" in any sense of the term. Especially given that every version of
Windows works differently. (I've spent the last several days trying to
figure out why a program that works on Windows 95, Windows NT 3.51, and
Windows NT 4.0 doesn't work on Windows 98. Why? Because Microsoft has no
clearly defined standard for Win32, so they cannot keep the behavior
consistent -- as the programming teams have no way to know when they've done
something that could cause trouble.)