ANSI Committees

Peter Salus peter at
Thu Aug 23 00:16:23 AEST 1990

From:  peter at (Peter Salus)

P. 58
	"the study group countered ... competing technologies"
	I think that it should be pointed out (a fortiori) that 
	where standards in other industries have been concerned,
	this is precisely what has *not* happened, nor been 
	encouraged.  In fact, most industries have waited to 
	see exactly what the industries involved have done 
	prior to attempting a standard.  It is exactly this sort
	of standards process which makes computer folks think of 
	a standard as stultifying to the research and 
	development process.  A standard should be the minimal
	encapsulation of the platform upon which developments 
	can be built.  That way, manufacturers, developers and 
	users know what to expect:  when I buy a toaster at 
	Sears or wherever, I expect it to be 110v and have a 
	flat-pin plug which will go into a wall plug;  I don't 
	expect to get a 3- or 4-circular pin plug.  I expect 
	the phone I buy to be compatible with the service to 
	my home.  But I don't require all phones to be of the 
	same shape or color, nor to have a 3x4 keypad; and I 
	don't require all the pins on my plugs to be of the 
	same color -- just the same distance apart.
In the July/August issue of ;login: (p. 58) the Standards 
reports end up with a brief request concerning the ANSI X3
committees.  Outside of X3J11 (C), only C++ (which is X3J16)
is mentioned.  It seems to me that the interest of the 
audience is much wider, but that few folks have ever even 
through about the many ANSI committees, and not even all the 
X3 committees.  Here's a list of X3:

A = Recognition
	X3A1  Optical Character Recognition & MICR

B = Media
	X3B5  Digital Magnetic Tape
	X3B6  Instrumentation Tape
	X3B7  Magnetic Disks
	X3B8  Flexible Disk Cartridges
	X3B9  Paper/Forms Layout
	X3B10 Credit/ID Cards
	X3B11 Optical Digital Data Disks

H & J = Languages
	X3H2  Database
	X3H3  Computer Graphics
	X3H4  Information Resource and Dictionary

	X3J1  PL/1
	X3J3  Fortran
	X3J7  APT
	X3J9  Pascal
	X3J10 APL
	X3J11 C
	X3J16 C++

K = Documentation
	X3K1 Computer Documentation
	X3K5 Vocabulary

L = Data Representation
	X3L2 Codes and Character Sets
	X3L8 Data Representation

S = Communication
	X3S3 Data Communications

T & V = Systems Technology
	X3T1 Data Encryption
	X3T2 Data Interchange
	X3T3 Open Distributed Processing
	X3T9 I/O Interface

	X3V1 Text: Office & Publishing Systems

The following committees should also be of interest:

	X9 Financial Services
	X12 Electrical Business Data Interchange
	Z39 National Information Standards

The actual body that administers ANSI's information 
standards activities is the ISSB (= Information Systems 
Standards Board).  

All the X3, X9, X12, Z39, and IEEE committees come within
the ISSB's ambit.


Volume-Number: Volume 21, Number 48

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