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Robin Fairbairns <[log in to unmask]>
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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 13:26:24 +0000
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> >  > From what I understand with regard to Fortran standards, if you want a
> >  > copy of the standard, you have to pay a substantial sum to ISO.
> >
> > that sounds like a reasonable fine for those using Fortran.
> Well, it applies to ALL standards.

as i said, it's terribly rare for sensible people to buy from iso.

what's more, if iso ever does get involved in xml/xsl standardisation
(and it would require a serious access of sanity in the relevant
committees for this to happen) i wouldn't be at all surprised if the
resulting standard appeared on the web.

there's a precedent: vrml, which was once being touted as a serious
part of the web, is iso-standardised and the iso standard is available
from the web.

> > you also have to buy newspapers and books and electricity and food.
> Yes, of course, I have no problem with this in principle (I use VMS not
> linux and don't mind paying for the work someone has done).  However, if
> one USEs a standard, in practice one would need a copy, so it's either
> pay money or do it illegally.

this is of course tosh.  i used to write standard fortran all the
time, once, long ago.  i had a little note (written by someone who
knew) which told me which of the extensions available i should avoid.
i have never read a fortran standard: fortran standards, by and large,
are only of use to people writing fortran compilers.

similarly, many sensible people write entirely reasonable latex on the
basis of the `not so short intro' rather than the supposedly
definitive lamport book.

i have little doubt that similar documents are going to spring up in
the xml world, if they don't already exist...