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Standards Body (was Re: Re[2]: Re[2]: WAI Icons. Was: Include default text?)


From: John Foliot - WATS.ca
Date: Oct 26, 2004 10:00AM

jkorpela wrote:
> On Tue, 26 Oct 2004, iain wrote:
>>> And from the formal
>>> standpoint, the W3C doesn't even claim to be a standards body; it
>>> is an industry consortium
>> I think you are incorrect. The W3C defines the standards.
> Occasional abuse of the word "standard" does not make the W3C a
> standards body.
> Recognized international standardizing bodies are listed at
> http://www.wssn.net/WSSN/listings/links_international.html
> You won't find the W3C there.


While the W3C is *not* a standards body per say, the ISO (International
Standards Organization) has essentially assigned standards development and
creation regarding web technologies to the W3C - making them the defacto
standards body whether they admit to it or not.

1) The "Standard" for HTML is actually a Joint Statement from both the ISO
and the IEC (the International Electrotechnical Commission) - ISO/IEC
15445:2000(E). This International Standard makes normative reference to the
W3C Recommendation for HTML 4.01, making the W3C document the "official"
reference. See: http://www.cs.tcd.ie/15445/15445.HTML

1) Recently, the ISO issued an interpretation regarding the commercial use
of ISO Language, Country and Currency Codes. The W3C, as a "standards" body
issued an official letter
to the ISO suggesting that the position/thinking that the ISO was taking
regarding the use of these codes would have serious negative impacts on the
"industry". The long and short of it is that currently the ISO appears to
be backing down. (http://xml.coverpages.org/ni2003-09-20-a.html)

So... If the W3C is providing normative documents to the ISO, and effecting
the thinking and direction of the ISO, then by broader definition, I would
argue they are a Standards Body.

Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca 1.866.932.4878 (North America)