> >  > I think TeX society should not go under indirect supervision
> >  > of ISO, W3C, etc. because there will come some time that one considers
> >  > charging
> > oh come! dont be *too* paranoid. if we have to pay a license fee to use
> > ISO standards, the world will have become *very* odd...

in fact, there do exist iso standards which require you to pay
implementation licence fees.  there are very strict guidelines,
however, about standardising patented techniques: in particular, the
owner of the patent is required to declare that they will never refuse
an application for licence.

> 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.

if you want a copy of the latex book, you have to pay a sustantial sum
to addison wesley longman.  less, i admit, than one pays to one's
national standards body[*] for a transposed copy of something as big as
fortran, but the principle is the same.

personally, i would be quite happy to be using something for which a
formal specification, to which i could test compliance, existed.  but
i think i'm a bit unusual in that.  perhaps it comes from having seen
the standardsation process from the inside...


[*] none but a true idiot _buys_ standards from iso.  bsi's charges
for standards are extortionate, but as nothing by comparison with