SC 34 Meetings, Okinawa - Day 1

by Alex Brown 26. January 2009 09:10
The Ruins of Nakagusuku
The Ruins at Nakagusuku

Today (apart from visiting the Ruins of Nakagusuku Castle), was mostly given over to a discussion of JTC 1 Procedure. The JTC 1 Directives collectively make an ever-surprising document — just when you think you've got your head around some point, a new paragraph is discovered which calls it all into question. When combined with jet lag, this can be heavy work.

I have been following the tweets of some fellow SC 34 people as they make their ways from various corners of the globe to join the Okinawa meetings. I expect tomorrow will see the influx of even more standards wonks into the hotel. Already there is a certain amount of "geeking out" going on. Over the breakfast table the hot topic of discussion concerned marking-up pagination decisions in documents from systems which flowed footnotes over multiple pages. And at lunch there was much debate over whether editors should prefer using "shall" to "has to" in standards documents (consensus: non-native english speakers find "shall" easier to understand).

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2/3/2009 6:25:18 PM #


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Note that everyone directly involved in the development of ISO standards is a volunteer or funded by outside sponsors. The editors, technical experts, etc., get none of this money. Of course, we must also consider the considerable expense of maintaining offices and executive staff in Geneva. Individual National Bodies are also permitted to sell ISO standards and this money is used to fund their own national standards activities, e.g., pay for offices and executive staff in their capital. But none of this money seems to flow down to the people who makes the standards.

Rob Weir


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