Surely the obvious point Mr Davis is missing is that standards committees
have (in the most part) come up with over-politicised piles of c+++. While
there have been some high points (ANSI C was a great improvement over K&R
C and ANSI C++ has, over the years of its standardisation, acquired some
*really* good language features: STL, anyone), there have also been some
shocking disasters coming out of the ivory towers: X400, anyone? Or OSF Unix?

IM(NS)HO, standards need, more than anything, to be pragmatic (foresight
doesn't hurt either): the ANSI C, C++, Fortran and SQL committees have all
shown this in abundance and, as a result, their standards have been widely
accepted. Most of the Internet standards which Mr Davis bruits so highly
*didn't* emerge from (politicised) standards committees but from small groups
of engineers developing protocols which everyone else agreed were "good-enough":
SMTP, FTP - ****, even IP - aren't perfect but they work because everyone
else in the industry saw them in use and reckoned that they'd add value.
The global adoption of SMTP mail, for instance, has only happened in the
last few years and many (most?) companies still have proprietary internal
email systems. Is Mr. Davis suggesting that these all be retired in place
of a (less-featureful but standards-compliant) alternative? Certainly few
of the Notes, Exchange, Groupwise, PROFS or SNADS sites I've worked at would
be happy with this suggestion (in truth, mind, most of them would think it
hilarious <g>).

Finally, no Web browsers and few Web pages conform to the W3Cs standards
(even their own Amaya browser doesn't, at their own admission, fully support
CSS). Running a selection web pages through the W3Cs HTML validator shows
somewhere upwards of 95% failing to conform to the W3C's standards - including
ones on their own website and on the websites of several members of the Web
Standards Project. What was that about the mote and the beam again?
--
Cheers

Jon