[Foundation-l] proposed new project - wikistandards

Robert Scott Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Sat Aug 26 16:19:34 UTC 2006

No Spam 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).
>The first standard I would like to begin work on is a Project Management standard. The impetus for this comes from my frustration over the Project Management Institute's standard www.pmi.org
>It is also an IEEE standard:
>And there is also the ISO standard:
>There are other lesser known examples of closed committee works or this nature.
>The PMI standard suffers from 'design by committee' and is, to say the least, stultifying. 
>Lets see how the wiki community does at designing standards.
>I look forward to comments.
>I am willing to start the first project off but need some guidance and advice on how to proceed.
Have you seen the pages on Meta:


and a competing proposal


It should be noted that this proposal has been formally "voted" on by a 
small community that has sought to create this idea into a full 
Wikimedia sister project.  I am unsure of its current status by the 
special project committee, especially as Wikiversity has been far more 
dominent in the conversations that have been going on with that group.

I was actually planning on trying to move Wikistandards to the Incubator 
Wiki (http://incubator.wikimedia.org/) to do a trial run of this idea, 
but I'm currently quite overwhelmed right now trying to get Wikiversity 
going instead (for myself).  I know that there is already a small 
community of people who are interested in seeing something like this to 
be developed, and it would really be just a matter of informing that 
group if something were put together and to try and restart the momentum 
that had occured earlier.

I would have to agree that a Wiki being used to develop standards in a 
very open process is something that would be beneficial to the standards 
development community.  The costs of purchasing "standards" range from 
merely very expensive to insane.  In fact, one reason that has often 
been given for the price of some standards is to act as an 
anti-competitive pressure to make sure that those who purchase the 
standards have the financial means to really make something work, or 
specifically to discourage new people from  getting involved in the 
development of the standards.  I have seen some of these standards go 
for a price of over $100,000 for a single 300 page book.

ISO standards are ones that are "merely very expensive", as I don't 
think paying $500 for a 500 page book is necessarily a fair value for 
the standard.  The reason given behind why they charge so much, even for 
a PDF version of the standard that you download off the internet, is 
supposedly the network bandwidth and server storage costs.  You are also 
indirectly helping to pay for the standards development committees, and 
for the office staff of the standards agency (which for the USA is 
located in downtown Manhattan).

I believe that such standards can be made much more cheaply.  Network 
bandwidth and storage costs are not nearly what ANSI or IEEE make them 
out to be (both are local agencies or "chapters" for ISO in the USA).  I 
also beleive that there are sponsorship opportunities to help pay for 
these costs that could be obtained by the Wikimedia Foundation 
specifically to make sure that these standards are made available, and 
they could be made free.

Robert Scott Horning

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