> 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.)