POSIX: A Case Study in a Successful Standard, Or, Why we don’t need radical change in the SDO process
Stephen Walli, Softway Systems, Inc.; Interix Software Systems, Inc.
The standards processes of the various Standards Development Organizations (SDO) have been accused for the last decade of being too slow to keep pace with technological innovations surrounding such areas as the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW). There are those that go so far as to suggest that the standards directly conflict with the ability to innovate (while at the same time providing a constant interface against which to develop this new networked world.)This is incorrect and at best a marketing platform from which companies can attempt to push their own solutions as the "standard" solution. This paper looks at the history of one standard developed against a tumultuous background and its complete success in the face of counter-marketing. It demonstrates why the SDO process served it well and resisted changes that could have had a catastrophic effect. Relationships with industry consortia are explored in relationship to the POSIX family of standards, and their supportive role. It closes with observations for the future of the SDO process.