Randy, 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 virtually 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 complex will take a while to learn. And the documentation I used, in the MSDN Library (which I view as the source of the Microsoft standards), was very clear to me. 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 background and perception? What is clear to one person isn't necessarily clear to another. 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 that 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 and working. You are welcome to try to contradict what I just said. Rick ==================================== 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 disagreed > 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: "STANDARDS. 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.) Randy.