[Foundation-l] proposed new project - wikistandards

Lars Aronsson lars at aronsson.se
Sat Aug 26 01:20:38 UTC 2006

No Spam (sic!) wrote:

> I would like to propose a new wikiproject, called wikistandards, 
> in which the community at-large contributes to the creation of 
> international standards (a wiki version of ANSI and ISO).

> I look forward to comments.

You can already use Wikibooks to (collaboratively) write a 
document on how some things should work.  But how do you get from 
there to making it "a standard"?  The point with ANSI, ISO, IEEE 
and these other organizations is that they already have a large 
body of members from industry and governments that are bound by 
laws and contracts to follow their standards, rather than yours.

For example, housing projects in Sweden get building permits and 
government loans if they follow existing national construction and 
housing standards.  Even though these standards have at times been 
quite ridiculous, down to specifying the size of the coat hanger 
racks, there is an enormously strong incentive for adhering to 

If you are in a position where you can change standards at will, 
such as the coding standard for the MediaWiki source code, then 
why do you need "a standard" at all?

I guess you could build a smorgasbord (a menu) of documents that 
various organizations can pick and adopt as their internal 
standards, just like you can pick your favorite prefabricated 
license agreement text from Creative Commons.  For example under 
coding standards you could publish the Free Software Foundation's 
GNU Coding Standards [1] side by side with some alternative coding 
standards.  But this could be done already as part of Wikibooks.  
I'm saying this not to discourage your project proposal, but to 
empower you to get working right now rather than waiting for the 
foundation to consider your proposal.  (Hey, it was you who wanted 
to avoid the "by committee" thing.)

I'm not speaking for the Wikimedia Foundation.

[1] http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/

  Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

More information about the foundation-l mailing list