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How can we avoid unneeded standards

Oksala suggested that beyond coordination, one important question is how to prevent uninteresting proposals from moving forward. He suggests that this might be done ``by requiring some positive endorsement rather than the lack of opposition.'' He suggests that:

Under the current systems a relatively small group . . . can initiate new work and, in the absence of sustained opposition, this work may well become an approved standard.
He observes consistent with the findings of Spring et. al.[29] that most organizations require some sort of rationale for a negative vote, and people who work to block a standard are viewed in a negative light by nearly all technical participants. This generally leads to negative votes only in the case of explicit and significant objections. Oksala suggests that
Perhaps the voting on whether or not to start a new work item should include a commitment from a certain percentage of the market (as measured by current revenue) or maybe voters should be required to post a bond. But this ability to develop a standard and get it approved with a small community of interest is one of the reasons why we have so many standards.
Oksala sees some action in this direction as one possible assist in the proliferation of duplicate or unneeded standards.

Michael Spring
Mon Nov 27 18:45:46 EST 1995