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Source for ISA standard
Can somebody point me to a place where i can obtain ANSI/ISA Standard S5.1-1984, formerly ANSI Standard Y32.20-1975 "Instrumentation Symbols and Designations" and Standard S5.2.
By SIDHPURKBPL on 19 October, 2000 - 2:46 pm

Hi list,
Can somebody point me to a place where i can obtain ANSI/ISA Standard S5.1-1984, formerly ANSI Standard Y32.20-1975 "Instrumentation Symbols and Designations" and Standard S5.2.
Web based sources where i can download them freely would be preferred.

Thanks
Tomy Zacharia

We would like to be able to give them away.

Unfortunately, these standards are not free, nor can you download them freely from any website (legally). These standards are copyright by ISA, the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society, and can only be used by permission.

You can purchase for download (for a very nominal fee) these standards from the ISA website, http://www.isa.org.

The contribution you make for this service helps to defray the very considerable cost of developing and maintaining these standards.

I'm sure you understand that.

If you would like to help us, ask your company to make a donation to ISA for the Instrument Standards Foundation, and if we can endow the foundation, we may be able to offer standards freely to members.

We are working on other ways to make it easier to get inexpensive or free copies of the ISA standards family, but we need help to do that from you. And one of the most important ways you can help is to not try to get them for free.

Thanks, and I hope this helps.

Walt Boyes
VP-elect, Publications Department/ISA

By Curt Wuollet on 23 October, 2000 - 10:53 am
1 out of 1 members thought this post was helpful...

Hi Walt

This is the information age and that is an anachronistic approach. A suggestion: Why don't you sell really useful forms like CAD templates and bound versions that have added value and offer
the basic text free. This provides a compromise that helps to encourage the use of standards without bankrupting the org. A CD with all the standards would still sell at a fair price for
the convenience factor and people who are just looking for one answer wouldn't have to put money down and wait for snail mail. This is working for other standards organizations. It's time to begin finding ways to transition to more the more open information environment or be left behind. I'm not asking you to give away the store (before you accuse me of that) simply to look at more imaginative ways of answering the needs of both the organization and the users you wish to serve.

Regards

Curt Wuollet

1 out of 1 members thought this post was helpful...

Part of the reason the Internet evolved so quickly was the RFC (Request For Comment) system. Anyone could get the standards documents for free. An equivalent system would do better than providing a value stream to ISA. ISA should be able to support itself without charging for the documents. The user community doesn't care if the documentation is slick. We just want the
information. I discount ISA standards as long as they lock them up and charge a fee to get to them.

In fact, we are looking at really imaginative ways to provide added value for standards customers. For example, how about a book called "How to use ISA Sxx.0...and get the most benefit from it." And included in the book is
a copy of the relevant standard. So you buy the book, get the standard...or buy the standard, get the book. We're thinking as widely as we can. If you have more suggestions, I recommend that you let Marty Zielinski, the VP of Standards and Practices know. If you want help, join the S&P Board. Contact Marty for that too.

Best,

Walt Boyes
VP-Elect Publications Department, ISA the Instrumentation Systems and
Automation Society

By Glass, Philip on 24 October, 2000 - 1:42 pm

That sounds like an excellent idea. Not only where the standards should, by design, be used but also suggestions where they might be useful. For example, you could explain ISA S5.1 and how it should be used in building P&ID's and suggest that the same standards be used to develop HMI screens. I think that key element is what has been missing in previous standards books that I've read. The pieces are presented but no instructions on how to build the puzzle. The books read like legal documents which makes them quite boring.
Keep us informed.

Philip L. Glass
Secretary / Webmaster
Central Arizona Section ISA
www.cenaz.org

By Matthew da Silva on 25 October, 2000 - 9:59 am

I second the idea. As a non-engineer and having a very short attention span I often have trouble with standards. A guidebook such as has been suggested would be a valuable addition to the bookshelf.

Matthew Yamatake Tokyo

By Curt Wuollet on 25 October, 2000 - 1:07 pm

Hi Walt

I don't have enough money to be involved with ISA, about all I can contribute are clues. I don't suppose Marty hangs out here?

Regards

Curt Wuollet

By Adolfo Jimmy Saldivias Valarezo on 25 October, 2000 - 1:10 pm

One of the most useful books that I have bought is: DESIGN AND APPLICATION OF PROCESS CONTROL SYSTEMS by Armando Corripio.
This is structured as an ILM Independent Learning Module. I wish I could track down what other ILM you have. But that has been hard for me when visiting the ISA website. A very easy task is to browse the MINIBOOKS. And they are very easy to buy. I wish the ILM were as easy to buy too.
I wish I could enter a section on ISA and go to the ILM section right away, and not having to go to my book and search for other ILM titles available.
This is my suggestion # 1.
My other suggestion is to sell more of these books as pdf.
I am located at Bolivia. When I buy a book, I have to pay U$15 for freight and wait at least 3 weeks. If the book is lost (which has happened 3 times over the last year) I have to make my claim, and wait for a similar period of time.
When I bought a MINIBOOK, I paid U$12 for the book and spent NOTHING in transportation to bring it to my country. And I had the book in the time it took the download. That was great experience. I wish I could have more experiences like that one.
Jimmy Saldivias
TECSIM
Phone: 591-4-523438
Fax: 591-4-523413
http://tecsim.trading.net

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 26 October, 2000 - 10:44 am

<sarcasm>
WHAT!?!?! You actually expect someone to *BUY* a book or a standard? How provincial. Why can't ISA do something more in line with the new
economy? ISA just can't seem to get itself out of the old way of thinking. If I can get paid to surf the web, why can't ISA pay me to use standards?
</sarcasm>

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

Sarcasm alert noted...

but that's the argument we're hearing all the time. "If your standards were free we'd use them."

TAANSTAFL folk.

If you want free "standards" go to the vendors. Each of them has a "standard" they'd love to give you, and make you a devotee of. It's just that if you use theirs, you can't use anybody else's. Some people call that being a captive customer, and others call it Customer Relationship
Management (CRM).

If you want real interoperability, real standards to measure products against, and know that you are getting what you think you are, you have to
have third-party standards, which take professional development, and which cost money to develop.

I don't care if you are ansi, iec, isa, ieee, or whoever...it costs money to develop a standard, even when most of the actual writing and arguing labor is donated.

Now, some manufacturers have such market dominance that they can develop a "standard" and deed it to the public domain. Hart and IEEE-488 (better known originally as Hewlett Packard Instrument Bus, or HPIB...later GPIB). ODBC, OPC, and Profibus. There are others.

Other manufacturers rely on the fragmentation of the market, and the fact that much controls engineering is being done by people with little training as controls engineers to "slip their stuff by." An example of this is the insertion paddlewheel flowmeter manufacturer whose specification reads in part, "The __(name and model withheld)_____shall be accurate to 1-1/2% of
indicated flow rate in any pipe size from 1-1/2" to 96"."

The "Nightmare on Fieldbus Street" is a case in point.

The movement to "open source" is a reaction to all this. But it is fraught with danger. Somebody has to develop the "oen source standard" itself...and we are back at square one.

Jim Pinto says that defacto standards always win. I say he's slightly off.

In a market that has no recognized single standard making body, and in a market where standards do not have the rule of law, the defacto standard that wins is the one with the biggest bucks and the best marketing, and the
best ties to government intervention and regulation.

Cases in point:

Hart
VHS
S-VHS
IEEE488
Profibus

...and anybody can think of lots of others.

ISA faces some very difficult problems in its effort to continue to provide quality standards for automation and control.

1. Vendors challenge and delay every major effort to gain competitive advantage.
2. Other standards making bodies are making automation standards without any coordination between efforts. There are four or five bodies making standards for flow meters without any coordination.
3. ISA standards do not have the force of law: you don't have to use them, unlike NFPA, or AWWA standards for example.
4. ISA spends much more money to support standards development than the standards bring in.
5. Most of the standards are developed largely by volunteer effort, for no pay, and usually no recognition, either. The average volunteer is able to devote less and less time to the effort, and companies are allowing them less and less support.

Unless something radical happens to the standards making effort at ISA, it may be ultimately doomed to end.

Yes, my friends, Tinkerbell is dying.

If you don't want Tinkerbell's light to go out, to the detriment of controls engineers and practitioners all over the world, start clapping now. Clap so we can hear you. In fact, don't bother clapping. Send money, spend time. Help us make ISA standards work. Contribute to the Instrument Standards Foundation. Get your companies to do so. Sponsor employees to do standards work. Do standards work.

If you truly believe, it will work. Do you believe? What? I can't hear you!

Walt Boyes
Vice President Elect, Publications Department, ISA the Instrumentation
Systems and Automation Society

---------------------------------------------
Walt Boyes -- MarketingPractice Consultants
wboyes@ix.netcom.com
21118 SE 278th Place - Maple Valley, WA 98038
253-709-5046 cell 425-432-8262 home office
fax:801-749-7142
---------------------------------------------

By Curt Wuollet on 30 October, 2000 - 12:42 pm

Hi Walt

What I do is a nightmare of conflicting standards and deliberate attempts to prevent standardization and interoperability. That is
the state of the art in the automation market. I have put myself in the position of changing that. With any endeavor, especially one that challenges entrenched, deep-pocketed, incumbents, you have to have a plausible "business plan". That is, you have to have a value proposition that is superior to the competition. (I'll dispense with the buzzwords soon) With the Linux PLC, ours is clearly defined and easily
communicated.

We will provide a superior solution that is cheaper, faster, and better and is owned by you the user. We will do our best to eliminate
proprietary barriers to interoperability and will never leverage your use of our system to force you to buy anything from anyone. We will guarantee
this by giving you all source code under the GNU General Public License which prevents anyone else from exploiting you or our code. You have
the same rights as anyone else to improve or change the code providing you share the changes for the common good. You may use this in any way
you wish and share it with anyone you wish providing you grant them the same access and rights. Our correspondence and differences are worked out in a public forum in which anyone can participate to ensure that our motives and decisions serve the _users_ interests.

Now, I'm giving you the straight line, I'd like for you to elucidate what your value proposition is. Bear in mind you will find no greater proponent of truly Open Standards as the solution to the "Tower of Babel" we now endure and no greater critic of the fraudulent and subjective use of the terms Open and Standard. We had ought to be perfectly aligned and my cards are all on the table. Why should I use ISA standards?

Regards

Curt Wuollet, Wide Open Technologies

Curt Wuollet challenges:
<discussion/sales pitch for Linux PLC deleted to save bandwidth>

> Now, I'm giving you the straight line, I'd like for you to
> elucidate what your
> value proposition is. Bear in mind you will find no greater proponent of
> truly Open Standards as the solution to the "Tower of Babel" we now endure
> and no greater critic of the fraudulent and subjective use of the terms
> Open and Standard. We had ought to be perfectly aligned and my cards are
> all on the table. Why should I use ISA standards?

The value proposition of an ISA Standard is that it is a recognized, professional, impartial, open standard that provides a detailed method of
comparing what you/somebody/anybody are doing/selling against an agreed-upon norm.

Why should you use ISA standards? Because if you don't you have to make up your own. If you make up your own you are in danger of falling into the trap of the vendor-created "standard". The description of the GNU open standard process is the same as the description of the ISA Standards process, basically. Anybody can join a standards committee. No one need be a member of ISA to do that, and about half of our Standards volunteers are in fact, not members of ISA.

If we don't make a stand for real "standards" we get what we deserve.

Why should you use ISA standards? Because it makes sense. Especially for someone with your value proposition, it makes sense to support standards activities that will provide clear and open methods and practices for you to base your PLC routines on, your I/O and math subroutines on.

So, tell me why you feel you _shouldn't_ use ISA standards.

Walt Boyes
Vice President Elect, Publications Department, ISA


---------------------------------------------
Walt Boyes -- MarketingPractice Consultants
wboyes@ix.netcom.com
21118 SE 278th Place - Maple Valley, WA 98038
253-709-5046 cell 425-432-8262 home office
fax:801-749-7142
---------------------------------------------

By Heavner, Lou [FRS/AUS] on 1 November, 2000 - 2:58 pm

Walt makes an excellent rebuttal regarding the value of ISA standards. I would also suggest that whether it is good or bad, we live in an increasing litigous society where judges and juries are frequently incapable of evaluating highly technical issues and testimony and end up making emotional judgements. Small integrators and manufacturers may not have a lot to lose
relative to larger corps like Emerson, GE/Allied/Honeywell, Invensys, Rockwell, Seimens, etc. Those big guys try to follow good engineering standards and practises to maximize success and minimze exposure. I'm no lawyer and standards don't eliminate exposure, but it would be difficult to prove negligence if you followed industry accepted/approved standards. One
thing that standards like ISA, ASME, ANSI, etc offer is some manageable level of stability. An open internet based standard like you describe could potentially change more than once during the course of a single project. I'm not saying that is bad, only that large companies face tremendous exposure and are going to try to manage that exposure.

Regards,

Lou Heavner

By Curt Wuollet on 1 November, 2000 - 2:59 pm

> So, tell me why you feel you _shouldn't_ use ISA standards.

I don't , that's why I fed you the straight line. :^) The only problem is, that with my value proposition, I don't have a lot of money
to pay for those standards I need. Especially when I need 3 lines out of a very tedious document. This discourages me and whether or not it makes sense for a million dollar company is irrelevent. You offer no solution for the most
prevalent case, quick answers. If you want your standards to be preferred to guesswork, you need to make them accessable to all at a cost in line with their need.

Regards

cww

Okay, why don't you think about the problem, as you have with the Linux PLC, and come up with a suggested solution, and suggest it?

Everybody else try that too.

Together we will figure out a way to be able to support the costs of development and make standards available to whoever needs them.

The best way to get everybody to use ISA standards, in my view, is for them to be freely available.

How to get there, is the problem.

Walt Boyes

By Rob Hulsebos Philips CFT on 3 November, 2000 - 12:17 pm

>Together we will figure out a way to be able to support the costs of
>development and make standards available to whoever needs them.

What is the "cost of development" of a standard? In a committee there are people active. Their companies pay their hours, expenses, travel, hotel. The standardisation committee only pays the secretariat, etc. and sometimes even that is hosted by one of the companies involved.

When I buy a standard, (not only ISA, but from others as well) I consider it reasonable to pay for the multiplication: the paper or the CDROM. The standardisation organisation does not pay back the price of the document bought to the companies that helped developing it. So I wonder
why all these standards have to be so expensive.

Rob Hulsebos

Rob Hulsebos wonders:
> When I buy a standard, (not only ISA, but from >others as well) I consider it reasonable to pay >for the multiplication: the paper or the CDROM. >The standardisation organisation does not
>pay back the price of the document bought to the >companies that helped developing it. So I wonder
> why all these standards have to be so expensive.

First of all, your premise is just flat wrong.

Companies rarely help the price of developing a standard these days. Most of the members of ISA standards committees are NOT supported by their
companies, and in some cases (more than just a few) companies have viewed the time devoted to standards committees as a CLM (career-limiting move).

We are looking at whether companies can be induced to fund standards activities by contribution to the Instrument Standards Foundation. So far, the answer is indeterminate.

So, ISA pays for the infrastructure, whether physical (meeting rooms, staff support, paper, printing, distribution, etc.) or digital (standards committee listservs, web space, web administration costs, staff support, etc.).

As I have said before in this forum, and people just seem to blow by it in the drive to get free standards, ISA recoups about half the cost of
supporting standards.

IEEE, as I understand it, is in about the same place, as are most of the ANSI/IEC standard making bodies, other than those which are direct
government agencies.

So, Rob, how are you going to get your company to shoulder its weight in the standards making process?

Walt Boyes
Vice President Elect Publications Department,
ISA the Instrumentation Systems and Automation Society

By R A Peterson on 7 November, 2000 - 12:38 pm

In a message dated 11/6/00 11:13:36 AM Central Standard Time, wboyes@IX.NETCOM.COM writes:

> So, ISA pays for the infrastructure, whether physical (meeting rooms, staff
> support, paper, printing, distribution, etc.) or digital (standards
> committee listservs, web space, web administration costs, staff support,
> etc.).
>
> As I have said before in this forum, and people just seem to blow by it in
> the drive to get free standards, ISA recoups about half the cost of
> supporting standards.
>


I'm curious. Is the reason the ISA cannot recoup the funds it spends on creating standards because:

1) The ISA is a bloated bureaucracy
2) Inefficient use of technology to create standards
3) Ineffective use of volunteer labor

Or is there something else. I understand there is some cost associated with publishing standards (particularly if you print them), but I am baffled by the continued claim of high costs to create them when most of the work is done by volunteers.

I can't say whether ISA is a "bloated bureacracy" or not, because you haven't specified what those extremely loaded terms mean. Do _I_ personally
think ISA could administer standards work better and cheaper? No. The people at ISA who administer the standards activity are seriously
understaffed and overworked, and give greater value for the money than any private sector group I know of. Will that convince you? Probably not.

Since ISA has been working electronically in the standards creation process since 1997, I don't think your second point is true, either. There are some things we'd like to do electronically that we can't yet, but we're working on an all-electronic completely consultative standards creation process. By the way, that cost a lot of money to produce, so far, and doesn't look like
it is going to get any cheaper, either.

Volunteer labor is inherently less effective than paid staff labor. WE could write standards much faster if we just wrote them, and didn't care how
well they matched the needs and uses of the automation community and profession. But, it doesn't hurt much to be fired from a volunteer job, and of course, if you have time constraints, volunteer assignments take a backseat to paying work. Shouldn't they?

Finally, if after everything that's been said here, you still have difficulty believing that doing standards, even with volunteer labor, costs
money, I fear your bafflement is at least partly self-created.

I challenge you, personally, to come up with at least one concrete suggestion for making ISA standards free.

Walt Boyes

By Adolfo Jimmy Saldivias on 8 November, 2000 - 3:21 pm

Walt:
I personally work and live in a third world company.
I am a member of the ISA.
I do NOT consider your price for standards high. And I consider them less after all the explanations you have given in this forum, which I personally thank you.
I consider the prices for the publications very reasonable taking into account the high quality of the technical material included.
I do NOT believe in having things for free, as much as I sometimes feel the need for having things. I guess I am a believer that you must earn things.
I just wanted to give a word of support and thanks for your work.
Regards
Jimmy Saldivias
TECSIM
Bolivia

Good for you. The capitalist system is alive and well and works much more effectively than any economic model that dispenses knowledge with no
expectation of return.

Bob Pawley

What do you mean by the "economic model that dispenses knowledge with no expectation of return"?

The volunteers that work the standard dispense knowledge without payment. Is not the sharing of software dispensing of knowledge?

By R A Peterson on 8 November, 2000 - 3:39 pm

Hi Walt. After reading your reply to my post, and rereading my post, I think you missed the attempt I was making at subtlety. I understand there are expensives associated with creating standards, and somehow those expenses have to be covered.

You have mentioned some of the expenses involved but have carefully avoided mentioning the magnitude of the expenses for each area (such as printing, meetings, web hosting, etc.). This tends to make me (and apparently others judging from the responses) wonder if maybe ISA's practices are a part of the problem. Perhaps you would care to layout the ISA's budget for standards making and distribution.

I've stood on the sidelines watching poor Walt get beat up long enough, and feel it's time to respond.

I'm a member of the ANSI/ISA S84 committee. It took us 10 years to write S84. We met 3 times a year. About 50 people showed up at each meeting, each of which took 2.5 days. There were plenty of writing assignments and discussions between meetings. We had just about every interest group
imaginable participating - a variety of users, PLC vendors, DCS vendors, TMR vendors, solid state vendors, engineering firms, consultants, regulators, etc. Lots of *heated* arguments, behind the scenes meetings, discussions over beer, etc.

Similarly, the AIChE CCPS textbook "Guidelines for Safe Automation of Chemical Processes" took 5 years to write, and that committee only consisted
of 12 users (no vendors, etc.) and they met every 6 weeks.

Writing documents like this is not a trivial task! I have difficulty envisioning how these could have been done using the internet, although I for one would be very interested in giving it a try (as the S84 committee is still meeting on various other related topics, and the standard will be up for its 5 year review soon). Some things do require face-to-face interaction.

As Walt said, ISA does not have much in the way of staff, and I for one think those overworked folks are doing a great job.

Also, I think $50 or so for a standard is a *trivial* fee. I pay over $500/yr out of my *own* pocket to be a member of multiple professional
societies, keep my P.E. license, buy a variety of books to stay current, etc. If a *company* won't even pay $50 for a standard or a training
textbook, something is *seriously* wrong!

Paul Gruhn, P.E.
Safety System Specialist
Siemens Moore Process Automation, Inc.
8924 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77054
paul.gruhn@smpa.siemens.com
713-666-7686 (phone)
713-666-8421 (fax)
www.smpa.siemens.com

By roger Irwin on 9 November, 2000 - 4:50 pm

At $65 a year, including the right to technical participation, ISA membership does seem very fair. Contrast this with standards groups who
charge $1000 plus a year just to see the specs, heaven forbid be involved in their generation.

And, lets face it, they are actually providing quality open standards, which is more than can be said for a lot of their higher priced cousins,
some of which appear to be leading potential standards users a gum tree.

By Rob Hulsebos on 10 November, 2000 - 8:03 am

>If a *company* won't even pay $50 for a standard or a training
>textbook, something is *seriously* wrong!

I have seen this quite often when I worked for a PLC supplier. We developed modules for all sorts of industrial networks, and in our documentation we referred to the standard as we didn't want to expand our user manual in a book about freely available technologies. (with manuals it is just as with standards: nobody wants to pay for them!)

This was a serious mistake. Almost nobody had the original standard available. The price-tag for such things is not $50 but a few hundred
instead. This is a serious part of the total cost for using a certain technology, i.e. I buy a Profibus board for $500 and to this the spec adds another $500 (back in 1997).

But it doesn't end there as one may require other specs as well in order to understand things fully. Let's continue with Profibus. Its floating-point format is described in IEEE 488. Its string format in ANSI 676 (or so). The PLC/PLC functionblocks are in a PNO profile, which in turn is based on IEC 61131/5, which in turn is based on IEC 61131/3. Etc. etc.


I worked for a company which had bought them all, and with hindsight I consider it essential for good engineering to have the appropriate documents at hand.

I have seen companies spend huge amounts of time in debugging sw that could have been written the first time right, had they bought the appropriate specs. But even when you buy one, you're not ready. Many a standard is quite unreadable, and requires quite a lot of effort to comprehend.

Rob Hulsebos

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 7 November, 2000 - 9:07 am

I'm a little surprised at this kind of question. The cost to procure intellectual property is never simply the cost to produce a copy of it. Operating like this is a road to bankruptcy. While we might argue about the productivity of the ISA as a standards organization (and I'm sure that this will improve with Walt Boyes involvement) it is simply not reasonable to expect that ANY organization would be able
to provide standards at the cost of reproduction only. Even so-called "free" web access has costs associated with it. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Even electrons cost money.

So then you might ask why ANY standards organization is needed. Perhaps we can all just use anonymous chat rooms on ICQ or Hotmail to
develop standards. Unfortunately this simply won't work. You will never get the involvement of industry experts in a completely anonymous effort. These people are busy. They won't put in the time unless there are other serious experts involved. They won't put in the time unless they can see that the result is useful as measured by
the level of participation by other experts in the process. The only way to confirm this is to know who is involved.

OK so it can't be anonymous, why can't we all just get together and do a standard without an organization? To answer this imagine a standards effort where people from Rockwell, Schneider, GE, Alstom, Siemens, Emerson, and Siebe are all present. But B&R, Control, and National don't even know its going on. I'm afraid that the guys in black hats from the FTC, FBI, EU Commission, etc. would be arresting CEOs left and right for collusion. Standards organizations are needed
because they provide an umbrella under which people with conflicting interests can gather and work together without fear of lawsuits and
arrest.

The reason that RFCs are free is that the IETF, IAB, ICANN, etc. etc. all receive millions of dollars in subsidies to cover all the overhead. ISA doesn't receive millions in subsidies. They receive membership dues which they have a fiduciary responsibility to spend for the benefit of their members. If you want to benefit join. Or pay the few bucks they charge for their reasonably priced standards.

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

By Greg Goodman on 3 November, 2000 - 1:27 pm

make the standards, as written, freely available. the ISA can recoup the development costs by providing added value in the form of training, publishing books on how to apply the standards, charging for certification of compliance with a standard, etc. (i'm not sure how high the development costs could be, given the volunteer nature of the participants and the labor-intensive nature of the task.)

it's true that the standards are dense, heavy reading, not readily accessible to people who haven't time to invest in mastering arcana.
but if the standards were free, i'd expect to see a lively discourse in "cliff notes" style handbooks and cheat sheets, mini-tutorials, etc.

my (possibly naive) two cents.

--
Greg Goodman
Chiron Consulting
chironsw@swbell.net -- http://www.swbell.net/chironsw -- (713) 869-6876

Here's the quick answer. It costs well over twice what ISA recoups to produce standards. We are not sure we can sell enough books, cheat sheets, etc. to be able to offset those costs. We certainly will be trying to.

That's what we're trying to figure out: Can we make enough money from publications _related to_ standards, and seminars and training _related to_
standards to be able to give up the money we make from selling the standards themselves?

If the answer is yes, we'll stop charging for standards in a New York Minute.

Walt Boyes
Vice President Elect, Publications Department
ISA the Instrumentation Systems and Automation society

By David W. Spitzer on 10 November, 2000 - 5:49 pm

Dear List,

I just returned from the main ASME MFC (flowmeter standards) committee and was amused by requests for free standards. Do people recognize that their costs have to be covered somehow? Also, volunteerism and timeliness do not go hand in hand.

How many have served on a standards committee? How many would devote adequate time and efforts to standards? How many people are competent to
serve in an expert capacity (and know when to abstain where they lack competence in an area)? Not everyone can do the work (and most are not
interested). It seems that most want something for nothing.

Standards are about technical correctness and concensus. Getting everyone slightly involved in an undisciplined forum will likely create chaos.

The above committee (that many readers may not have known existed) was attended by about 15 people at various times during its 3-day duration. I do not recall the presence of any instrument users except myself (now a
consultant) and another individual who previously worked as a flowmeter user and now works for a manufacturer. The remainder of the attendees were
flowmeter manufacturers and members of standards organizations. There was not even a quorum at the main committee meeting.

Quite frankly, given the above "enthusiasm" for standards generation, the instrumentation community should be thankful that standards exist. Even an approximate US$1000 price tag every few years for entire sets of standards is
a bargain when compared to the cost of an engineer's salary and/or the added cost of re-inventing the wheel.

Regards,

David W Spitzer
845.623.1830
www.icu.com/spitzer

By Curt Wuollet on 6 November, 2000 - 2:54 pm

I'm thinking............

Really, my thinking goes way beyond that. This industry really needs to get their act (I cleaned that up) together on standards or be rendered
irrelevent by those that do. The current situation with 50 incompatible ways to solve each problem is a paragon of inefficiency and waste. That shows up in the pricing, distribution, quality, really every facet. I know of no other industry that will tolerate this total refusal to standardize and act in the interest of it's customers. The whole fieldbus fiasco is a prime
example of total non-cooperation and competition at any cost. Years and years of petty devisiveness with a conclusion that is laughable at best. How can we credibly advise modern manufacturing that is several orders of magnitude more efficient and standardized if this rediculous
childish, NIH attitude and competition on every front but value continues.

Automation is being threatened by companies internal IS and CS structure simply because what these guys propose makes more sense. They buy equipment in bulk and it works together. I couldn't be at all surprised if thay can do a better job cheaper simply because they have better tools.
We have already seen the start of this in the pressure to use Ethernet. The cost of hiring talent and developing custom solutions is way too
close to the cost of solving interoperabiliy issues and incompatibilities with "off the shelf" solutions from the automation vendors. And these
trends are visible in the rise of DAQ companies and "do it yourself" automation vendors, yet the established vendors continue to fiercly defend
an indefensible position that you should use only their product line and the type of "just works" networking the rest of the world enjoys is quite
impossible with automation.

I would hope that ISA would be leading the charge, we need a strong standards organization to rationalize this whole mess when the status
quo collapses under the weight of their own blindness and averice. One would hope that they read the writing on the wall and effect change
before this comes to pass, but history would suggest otherwise.

Regards
Curt Wuollet, Wide Open Technologies

Free, Open, and user oriented Automation? see www.linuxplc.org.

Standards are fine.

The problem as I see it, is that developers are hard enough to come by without telling potential contributors they have to pony up some $$$ to get a copy of the "standards we are using" before they can play...

( "It's not a secret, but it will cost you to find out..." )

Maybe ISA would consider the project as a single entity and allow all the developers to share a single copy of the standards? Yeah, Right! ;-)


Another question:

What happens when ISA standards get quoted or paraphrased in the source code documentation? Is this legitimate?


Rufus

By dbouchard@paprican.ca on 3 November, 2000 - 10:36 am

> Another question:
>
> What happens when ISA standards get quoted or paraphrased in the source
> code documentation? Is this legitimate?

I would think this would work the same way as a reference to any other copyrighted document. A direct quote or close paraphrase should be attributed to the source, including number, name, and date of the standard and a paragraph or page reference, with ISA as the publisher.

Diana Bouchard

*******************************************************************************************************
Diana C. Bouchard
Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (Paprican)
Process Control Group Chair, Books Advisory &
570 St Johns Boulevard Oversight Committee
Pointe Claire Quebec H9R 3J9 Canada VP Elect-Elect
phone: (514) 630 4100 x2376 fax: (514) 630 4120 ISA Publications Department
email: dbouchard@paprican.ca

By Matthew da Silva on 1 November, 2000 - 3:23 pm

Anybody can join a standards committee. No one need be a member of ISA to do that, and about half of our Standards volunteers are in fact, not members of ISA.

Walt -- Is there an online location where members of the public can apply to join a standards creation organization? I recently sent an email on this subject but it was returned by the target company's server as unavailable.

Furthermore, why doesn't ISA make the standards creation process totally or at least largely online? I see no reason why this can't be so. By creating an online community (in the real sense of the word, not just a subscribed list) there are several advantages that ISA would reap:

1. Faster standards creation
Because people can leverage those snippets of time that are available here and there, from their own desks. Because they can do their thinking in familiar, everyday surroundings not cluttered by any factional or institutional ambience. because the motivation for participating is then purely professinal.

2. More updates and improvements
Because if it's all online and there are discussion forums that can be referenced by the 'authors' from time to time there will be more and better proofreading for mistakes of language and logic, etc.

3. More projects
Not only for standards, but also other types of projects could be handled such as the creation of XML schemas. If it's online, the overhead on
already-overcommitted individuals would be relaxed and new participants would take up the slack when needed.

I have worked in a global online community (ODP) such as this and I am confident that it would only add value. It is interesting to see how well
people work together and act appropriately so that the project evolves organically toward its goal.

If this were to be realized (*warning* heavy initial PERL writing overhead) I would suggest that the community be populated by people using aliases. The use of aliases helps to keep attention off personalities and on the facts. It also helps to maintain impartiality and is cement for the identity of the community.

Matthew Yamatake Toyko

Some ISA standards committees are moving in that direction. SP88 is an example. This committee will meet in mid November to decide if it wants to do a Part 3 of the standard. If the committee agrees that we want to do a Part 3 standard (I believe that they do) and if we can pick a topic for that part, we have already agreed that we will
write the standard over the web. Doing this may not totally eliminate face-to-face meetings, but it should make them few and far between.

Tom

That is great that you are doing them in web format. Now when you are done just make the final web document freely accessable. I will be looking for SP88 to be a simple web click away.<br>
<br>
When I mentioned how the original RFC process for Internet standards someone made the statement that the standard changed while people were trying to use it. That wasn't the case. Making standards free and easy to access on the Internet<br>
is what I am talking about. That has nothing to do with allowing people to start working on an unfinished standard. That can happen anytime someone has access to a pre-released standard.

> That is great that you are doing them in web >format. Now when you are done just make the >final web document freely accessable. I will be >looking for SP88 to be a simple web click away.

Maybe I should be taking a collection???

I want people on this list who have asked for free standards to stand up and tell me how they are going to help ISA pay for the development of them. Let's be accountable, friends.

I'll start it off.

"My name is Walt, and I want free standards.

As Vice President of Publications at ISA, I am going to push us in the direction of tying our book publishing and electronic publishing efforts
more closely to standards development, putting out books that are relevant tie-ins in a timely fashion."

Who's next?

Walt Boyes
Vice President Elect, Publications Department
ISA, the Instrumentation systems and automation society

By Ed Mulligan on 7 November, 2000 - 8:48 am

Well, I know that the NEC comes in a small, cheap paperback that just gives the rules. It also comes in a much larger, more expensive hard cover
version that has lots of application examples. I bought the big version, but only after using the cheap version for a year or so. I was willing to
pay for the extra convenience after dealing with the stripped down version. I never would have bought the expensive book first.

Let us have very cheap access to the standards and we'll see the need to buy the big books.

I have attended ISA training in the past. Excellent class! However, the cost has kept me from attending any more, since the cost per class was typically more than my training budget for the year with my previous employer.

Getting people into using the standards by letting them go for the cost of
duplication/mailing is the way to sell the more expensive support items.

FWIW,

Ed

Speaking for me, not for Starbucks. . .

By Bouchard, James [CPCCA] on 8 November, 2000 - 1:11 pm

Have you considered that the NEC is not that cheap compared to ISA Standards and that the print run for the NEC is at least an order of magnitude greater than the print run for an ISA Standard? Most electricians need a copy of the
NEC and there are a lot more electricians than there are technicians. Also you might look at the structure of the code making body for the NEC to see how it is different from the structure for ISA Standards.

James Bouchard

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 9 November, 2000 - 8:17 am

There is also a very important distinction to make when comparing NEC standards to ISA standards:

Compliance with NEC standards is required by law in the U.S.

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

By Heavner, Lou [FRS/AUS] on 10 November, 2000 - 5:06 pm

I made a point earlier that may bear repeating. In our litigious society, following standards even if not required by law is not only good engineering practise, but insurance for large corporations against claims of negligence. It is not perfect insurance, but this is not a small point, either.

Lou Heavner - not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV either...

By Curt Wuollet on 7 November, 2000 - 12:46 pm

Hi Walt

OK, I'll play.

As Organizer of the Free Standards Committee, I will dissolve the present organization bringing the burden cost to zero. Henceforth all standards
work will be on a volunteer basis. The Standards will be available in machine readable format only on our hosted web site donated by_____________. A team of volunteers will be recruited to handle
hard copy, book, and CD requests on a print on demand basis. This group may retain funds generated and buy beer or morph themselves into whatever size non-profit .org the sales will support, provided the first paid employees fill positions whose need is agreed to by a 2/3 majority of contributors. Equipments funded shall also meet this standard. Contributors shall collaborate by means of mailing list, www forum, or other public means. Such means may be moderated as necessary to maintain a working
environment but, any rejected input must be published seperately as this is a public.org.
Companies who wish to contribute are encouraged to make facilities available at no cost to the organization for thos few occasions where physical premises are needed. The Standards produced will be protected by a public license resembling the GPL used for software and can be copied and disseminated freely to encourage
their use.

Regards

cww

Well, Curt, I _won't_ play. The last thing the world needs is another standards organization, free or not.

The challenge was to come up with a way to help ISA pay for standards...

Walt Boyes

By Curt Wuollet on 8 November, 2000 - 4:02 pm

Hi Walt

You miss my point. That's what _you_ could do to solve the situation. I am already doing my level best to provide choice and truly open software
to the industry. And before you dismiss it out of hand, eliminating cost is every bit as effective as fund raising as a solution and much better for
the consumer. This model has been shown to work. I am willing to bet that trust, utilization, and support would follow.

regards

cww

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 10 November, 2000 - 5:25 pm

> You miss my point. That's what _you_ could do to solve the situation. I am
> already doing my level best to provide choice and truly open software to
> the industry. And before you dismiss it out of hand, eliminating cost is
> every bit as effective as fund raising as a solution and much better for
> the consumer. This model has been shown to work. I am willing to bet that
> trust. utilization, and support would follow.

Yes, but you aren't writing a public standard so I'm not sure how this is relevant to answering the question of how a non-profit member organization whose primary responsibility is to operate for the benefit of its members can sponsor the development of "free" standards. ISA's essential predicament is that the members demand (rightly so) that membership dues be spent on other things than just standards. If the only task of ISA was writing standards, and if the members saw the only benefit of ISA membership was the availability of "free" standards then ISA would be offering "free" standards.

> Obscure processes and private meetings erode trust rather badly.

ISA standards processes are not obscure and their meetings are not private. They are only obscure to those that CHOOSE to not participate.
They only appear to be private if you CHOOOSE not to attend. I will admit that you have to actually make an attempt at understanding something before you can trust it.

> When companies think that their competition might be getting their way
> with the standards, you have immediately and emphatically lost support.
> It must be open, public, accountable and justifiable to get widespread
> acceptance.

This is exactly why you need an organization like ISA: to provide the umbrella for standards activities so that domination by companies can be
avoided.

> The perception that ISA is in the "Standards Business", true or not, is
> what limits ubiquitous acceptance. There is simply no other way to gain
> the trust, you have to earn it.

The fact that ISA operates as a business will only limit acceptance and trust from people who don't understand what that means. For those that
don't understand it means that ISA operates for the benefit of its customers: its members. The members are individual professionals, not
companies. Most people are perceptive enough to recognize that this is the only proper way for ISA to operate. As a result, ISA standards are widely respected and utilized across the globe even though you might actually have to pay a few bucks for them.

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.
6605 19-1/2 Mile Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48314-1408 USA
T: +810-254-0020 F: +810-254-0053
mailto:ralph@sisconet.com http://www.sisconet.com

By Curt Wuollet on 21 November, 2000 - 4:45 pm

Hi Ralph

The question was, how to change and why. You and others seem more interested in the question "How do we maintain the (apparently) bankrupt and ineffective status quo" This seems to be a big problem in every facet of the automation business. "This sucks, but don't change
anything"

Deming's definition of insanity is where you keep doing the same thing and expecting the results to be different.

I've said how I see it, time will tell. I'm back to deep lurk mode.

Regards

cww

By Matthew da Silva on 27 November, 2000 - 1:42 pm

Curt Wuollet wrote:
>Deming's definition of insanity is where you keep doing the same thing and
>expecting the results to be different.

Yes, but you want to try something different with no guarantee that the results will be useful? Have a look at this
http://www.india-today.com/btoday/20000522/interview.html
Risk management is really what any business is all about.

I suggest that an online method should be adopted. Credibility could be guaranteed if participants are first vetted and certified for involvement. I suggest that Control-dot-com staffers here could set it up and administer
it. Recognition of the anonymous participants should be performed by a few individuals and the list held in secrecy. I think that it would be pretty easy to do this. ISA should of course be involved in the recognition process and in the administration process, but it might be better for an independent entity such as Control-dot-com to handle the operations. This would ensure
global participation at a level commensurate with the diversity of participants in this list.

Trust, of course, would be a prerequisite.

If you don't believe it is possible, look at ODP (open directory project) which has outgrown Yahoo as the world's No.1 online directory of sites. All
editors (bar a handfull of staffers) are volunteers. Yahoo OTOH pays about 125 editors, but they cannot handle the work load. There is almost no way to get a free listing anymore. you must nowadays pay 199 dollars to get a site
listing. But Yahoo is full of dead links and its structure barely changes to meet growth. ODP is free and while it is suffering from its success, it continues to grow organically. One reason for this (which has been highlighted here in this list) is that editors often make suggestions for
improvements such as a How-To guide for standards. In a structured arena such as a working group, such ideas are too easily dismissed. This is one reason for having anonymity. Another reason, is that words from 'senior' or 'established' figures may have the same weight as words from newcomers. We
should always concentrate on the words people say, not who they are.

Matthew Yamatake Tokyo

This purported penchant for anonymity on the part of stardards developers escapes me. Can anyone tell me why elaborate arrangements must be made for this?

Aren't there enough knowledgeable people available to create the standards, and who don't present this drawback?
Don't most companies *want* to be known as contributing to the good of the industry?
Don't most participants enjoy the networking with their peers and the glory of getting your name in the book?

The use of The Internet during the development of standards *could* facilitate the anonymity of the participants, but I think that's irrelevant.

The Internet is useful because it's such a great communication tool.

o It's universally accessible via a PC and a telephone.

o Supports fast transfer of information - vs surface mail

o Email reflectors provide easy distribution from one to many.

o Copious storage frees filing cabinets in my cubical

o Ubiquitous office automation software provides reasonably appropriate tools - wp, db, drawing

o Supports multiple access mechanisms for the convenience of different people - webboard, nntp, email, instant msg, website

o Convenient for timeshifting, whether I'm busy at the moment or you're 7 timezones away from me.

o Electrons are much cheaper than paper and no one complains about how many electrons were killed for this email attachment.

o Automation of procedures can save a lot of time processing the comments.

Best,
B.O. Nov. 22, 2000
--
Robert Old, System Architecture, bob.old@sbt.siemens.com
Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., HVAC Division
1000 Deerfield Pkwy., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-4513 USA
Phone: +1(847)941-5623, Fax: +1(847)419-2401

I think the reasons for anonymity are several including:

1. desire to avoid taking any personal responsibility for something that might go wrong.

2. desire to have the result be an organizational effort rather then an individual one.

3. desire to not have an "expert" out there who speaks with more authority than other "experts" becuase he/she wrote the standard, or a big chunk of it.

By Matthew da Silva on 30 November, 2000 - 1:48 pm

I think the reasons for anonymity are several including:

1. desire to avoid taking any personal responsibility for something that might go wrong.

<response> Why is this so? Why should anonymity reduce accountability a whit? Have you any proof or reason? In fact, I would maintain that since anonymity requires guarding the validity of one's persona and highlighting the value of one's contributions in the absence of any non-technical supports, anonymity would increase the importance of accountability for the
individual. Since the individual would not be allowed to cancel a persona and make a new one (that is one of the rules), if they simply make bad judgements and then try to support them by stating (as some posters here) unsupported facts then they just have to work harder to reestablish their credibility again.

2. desire to have the result be an organizational effort rather than an individual one.

<response> What is the result? It would seem to me that the result would be a set of standards that surpass and incorporate the efforts of any individual or group of individuals. Indeed, what is so unsavory about organizational efforts? If individual thought there was no value to organizing, I would maintain that there would be a real lack of organizations, friend. It's not
as though participation were a precondition for practicing as an engineer, as taxes are.

3. desire to not have an "expert" out there who speaks with more authority then other "experts" because he/she wrote the standard, or a big chunk of it.

<response> Instead of seeking praise from one's peers, one should perhaps seek to assist in the furtherance of the art of engineering, such as it is. It seems to me that there is a real need to improve the standards process. I didn't start this discussion on standards; it happened in the list by general fiat and has held its momentum over a period of many months.

My suggestion, which is a very good one, is that it is possible to make a standard in an online environment that significantly reduces the cost of
creating standards, at least in the long term.

In addition, because I have been involved in such a project, I suggested that anonymity would be a value-added function. The reason why I have
already said is that it takes the spotlight off the personalities and puts it onto their words. This is a fact. In ODP, which is now the largest online directory and is entirely created by volunteers (bar a handful of paid staff; maybe ten people out of 30K editors, I don't know) has surpassed all others and is practically the ONLY place to get your company or other site listed for free. Yahoo! leverages $200 per listing, Looksmart likewise. Why? Because they support staffs of editors.

Inside ODP, the anonymity is an added value, without which the directory would not have grown to its present size because it gives people a place to dvelop not only the ontology of the directory and their categories, but also
to develop their online and other written techniques. The community that is created sustains itself by participation and support, and this is a facet of the community spirit that it largely exchewes some aspects of plain-vanilla
social interaction which demand recognition based on conventional perception and which are often reactive in nature. I could go on, but it would take more of my time than I'm able to give right now.

I truly think that such an environment is the way of the future, and especially for explosive atmospheres such as are present where standards are debated, the anonymity factor serves as a buffer and a damper on individuals' reactions. For XML, for example, I can think of no other way to do it in a timely and (and this is critical) truly iterative fashion.

For standards, once printed and published, should not languish in the archives but should be updated continuously. How to manager this? How to
address issues such as comprehensiveness and comprehension, updates and addenda, changes and quality control? instead of having it done by staff and in meetings to which people come for several days, it can all be done online from the office, from home, from the back of a truck. Anywhere you are, in fact.

By Matthew da Silva on 28 November, 2000 - 1:59 pm

Here we go again...

Bob, please explain why my, in reality explicit and not purported, 'penchant' (which means an inclination towards), is a drawback, since you
present not one reason to support your statement. Same as the last person, in fact...

Furthermore, I fail to see why anonymity would reduce a feeling of satisfaction or pride. On the contrary, it may increase those feelings. In
my post there are several arguments, but none of them have attracted the direct attention of any person. All points to the contrary so far are
unsubstantiated opinion. Such argument as this, as I said before, would carry no water in an anonymous volunteer environment.

Notwithstanding recognition, I would question whether it is at all important to have one's name published on standards. It would seem to me that the goal was the creation of standards that are good and useful rather than the publishing of the names of participants. First one should ask What is the goal? Then the solution will more rapidly appear. The pleasures of participation and other intangibles would serve to reward participants.

Why is it irrelevant that there be anonymity? What is the reason? Several people have claimed such a position but none have put up a single reason why it should not work. It have demonstrated many.

Rgds,
Matthew Yamatake Tokyo

By Jansen, Joe on 30 November, 2000 - 1:53 pm

- -> -----Original Message-----
- -> From: Matthew da Silva [mailto:mdasilva@IBD.YAMATAKE.CO.JP]
- ->
- -> Here we go again...
- -> Bob, please explain why my, in reality explicit and not purported,
- -> 'penchant' (which means an inclination towards), is a
- -> drawback, since you present not one reason to support your statement.
- -> Same as the last person in fact...

For those that are familiar with open source software, I would throw out the term Noosphere. This is one of the motivators for people to
contribute freely: The recognition for their exceptional work. If I was asked to contribute my time and energy without any recognition
whatsoever, I would not do so. Any contributions I make to any project come with some sort of payment. Whether that payment is in cash or in ego gratification, it still exists. Don't mean to sound conceited, but if you told me I was not going to receive either form of payment, I would not contribute. I suspect there are many others
who feel the same way, and I think many of the OSS developers do so for the same reason.

By Matthew da Silva on 6 December, 2000 - 9:30 am

<response> Joe, me too. if there were no recognition, why would it happen that ODP grows beyond the wildest dreams of its planners. If people got no recognition, they wouldn't do it. But the fact is that they get recognition and that's why they participate. Participants who really do exceptional work get more recognition, regardless of what their name is or whether they've published before or whatnot. Focus is only on their words and their actions, not what people could otherwise think of their opinions. Peer pressure and the corresponding reward system is very finely attuned to achievement and other factors, in accrediting or avoiding.

Matthew Yamatake Tokyo

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 6 December, 2000 - 9:31 am

> Why is it irrelevant that there be anonymity? What is the reason?
> Several people have claimed such a position but none have put up a
> single reason why it should not work. It have demonstrated many.

Actually, there have been such reasons posted previously.

Anonymity is not irrelevant, it is simply not conducive to standards development. Standards development requires compromise. Sometimes compromise must be made even though you feel strongly in the opposite direction.
Compromise requires trust. Trust is an essential element of the standards process. Anonymity is not conducive to trust.

Although, generally, the designes/developers of the standards that drive the Internet make specific efforts to allow users of the Internet to be anonymous, NONE of the successful (and free) IETF standards that run the Internet and that are so admired on this list were developed in anonymity. The IETF would never consider anonymously developed standards. Anonymity would spoil the standards process not improve it.

As an example take this list for instance. This discussions on this list are conducted with civility in spite of the fact that there are strong disagreements between some of the parties. Compare that to numerous anonymous lists like Usenet, IRC, etc. The so-called "flames" that occur here are not even warm embers compared to the vitriol that is typical of the anonymous side
of the Internet. One of the factors that makes this forum successful for civil discussion is that you know who you are dealing with.

Another example: Imagine an anonymous standards committee involving communications for PLCs. Most comittees limit the number of participants from
any one company in order to avoid "stacking" the votes. For instance, ISO/IEC allows only one vote per country. Most country rules limit each company to one vote per standard. A small company has the same voting influence as a large company in most countries (including the US). In an anonymous committee there is no way to impose these limits. Who would devote the effort to a standard when their efforts could be made pointless simply because a company stacked the
vote?

I think Bob's assertions about you can't get credit anonymously were a little facetious and were off the main point. The question he is asking, that hasn't been answered, is to explain how anonymity helps the standards process.
Improving the pride factor is unlikely to improve the situation with standards in the IA industry. I don't think we are suffering from a lack of pride. IMHO, we are suffering from a lack of perceived value in standards.

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

By Matthew da Silva on 6 December, 2000 - 9:42 am

>Why is it irrelevant that there be anonymity? What is the reason?
> Several people have claimed such a position but none have put up a
> single reason why it should not work. It have demonstrated many.

Actually, there have been such reasons posted previously.

Anonymity is not irrelevant, it is simply not conducive to standards
development. Standards development requires compromise. Sometimes compromise
must be made even though you feel strongly in the opposite direction.
Compromise requires trust. Trust is an essential element of the standards
process. Anonymity is not conducive to trust.

<response> I beg to differ on this opinion, which is not a reason, rather a bias without rational base. Why should anonymity repel trust? A reasoned response, please, Ralph.

Although, generally, the designes/developers of the standards that drive the
Internet make specific efforts to allow users of the Internet to be
anonymous,
NONE of the successful (and free) IETF standards that run the Internet and
that
are so admired on this list were developed in anonymity. The IETF would
never
consider anonymously developed standards. Anonymity would spoil the
standards
process not improve it.

<response> One reason, please. Just because it hasn't happened before in your experience, doesn't mean it is impossible per se. Maybe the IETF has something to learn, too.

As an example take this list for instance. This discussions on this list are
conducted with civility in spite of the fact that there are strong
disagreements between some of the parties.

<response> This is a chat room, not a working environment. There's nothing seriously at stake here. The comparison is invalid. Flames are a part of life, and it occurs to me that without flames we would have no need for engineers. ;)

Another example: Imagine an anonymous standards committee involving
communications for PLCs. Most comittees limit the number of participants
from
any one company in order to avoid "stacking" the votes. For instance,
ISO/IEC
allows only one vote per country.

<response> I didn't say that no controls were needed. I said that the identity of participants should be hidden. It would be the role of the
governing council or entity to approve and accept participants. Once approved, their anonymity would positively assist in speeding and refining
to a point hitherto unknown, any works under their guidance (warning: that last part is based on personal experience but should not be taken for
incontrovertible fact).

Most country rules limit each company to one
vote per standard. A small company has the same voting influence as a large
company in most countries (including the US).

<response> It occurs to me that the reason why voting is required at all is because people don't trust each other... Hmm, am I missing something?
Because in an anonymous environment there is no 'stakeholder' and no concern about 'representation,' and the only conceivable personal outcome of the franchise is the pleasure of participation, any regulatory or
'administrative quality' control would be in principle redundant, if not essentially heretical. Aghast, is how I feel that there should even be a voting process for selection; as though it were a jury and the technologies the defendants. I fail to see how such a contorted community could produce an effective offering in terms of 'standards' which are 'open' and
'universal'.

In an anonymous committee there
is no way to impose these limits. Who would devote the effort to a standard
when their efforts could be made pointless simply because a company stacked
the
vote?

<response> In an anonymous community there is no way to 'stack the votes' because peer pressure and the fear of exclusion for any such behavior is
adequate motivation to play nice.... Like that last scene in Toy Story; they come out of the sandpit to defend abuses of power, and they do so _because_ there is anonymity. The identities of individuals or companies losing their materiality, the immeditate goal becomes the prime target, instead of peripheral motivations such as have been presented here as 'reasons'.

I think Bob's assertions about you can't get credit anonymously were a
little
facetious and were off the main point. The question he is asking, that
hasn't
been answered, is to explain how anonymity helps the standards process.
Improving the pride factor is unlikely to improve the situation with
standards

<response> Please re-read my previous posts and also this one. In fact, why not volunteer to become an ODP editor yourself? If you email me privately I will take an active interest in any recruitment. See for yourself. If you don't like it, just quit at no cost bar a few months of ISDN access.

in the IA industry. I don't think we are suffering from a lack of pride.
IMHO, we are suffering from a lack of perceived value in standards.

<response>No comment.

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 6 December, 2000 - 9:49 am

> > Anonymity is not irrelevant, it is simply not conducive to standards
> > development. Standards development requires compromise. Sometimes
> > compromise must be made even though you feel strongly in the opposite
> > direction. Compromise requires trust. Trust is an essential element of
> > the standards process. Anonymity is not conducive to trust.
>
> <response>I beg to differ on this opinion, which is not a reason,
> rather a bias without rational base. Why should anonymity repel trust? A
> reasoned response, please, Ralph.

I'm sorry, but I thought it was intuitively obvious. How can you trust someone you don't know? I guess it is an ingrained thing being raised in a city and all. I may be civil to strangers but I don't trust strangers. I might even respect a total stranger who articulates a certain view point but I would not trust them until I know them. If someone is unwilling to
identify themselves, I am unwilling to trust them. I don't think I am that different from many people in this regard. How is it "rational" to trust people you don't know?

You will have to excuse me for presenting my opinions as reasons. I never presented them as facts. This entire issue is one of opinion. It is
therefore necessary for me to present my opinions as the reasons for my assertions. The facts that I draw on are anecdotal and are based upon my
own participation in standards and would certainly bore this group. However, my opinions are based upon a rational interpretation of the facts that I have seen. I don't expect you to accept my opinions as fact or even as your own opinion, but my opinions are not irrational.

> > Although, generally, the designes/developers of the standards that
> > drive the Internet make specific efforts to allow users of the
> > Internet to be anonymous, NONE of the successful (and free) IETF
> > standards that run the Internet and that are so admired on this list were
> > developed in anonymity. The IETF would never consider anonymously
> > developed standards. Anonymity would spoil the standards process not
> > improve it.
>
> <response>One reason, please. Just because it hasn't happened before
> in your experience, doesn't mean it is impossible per se. Maybe the
> IETF has something to learn, too.

I never suggested it was impossible. I simply stated that anonymity is not conducive to standards and I haven't seen anything yet to change my mind. The line of this thread started with the assertion that if the standards
process was anonymous then truly "open" standards adoption in the IA industry would get better. I don't see how anonymity in the standards
process addresses any problem that the IA industry currently has with standards. And, I don't think the IETF is perfect but they do seem to have developed a numer of successful open standards without any anonymity of the participants. I would think that it makes sense to try to learn from a successful standards organization.

> > Another example: Imagine an anonymous standards committee involving
> > communications for PLCs. Most comittees limit the number of
> > participants from any one company in order to avoid "stacking" the
> > votes. For instance, ISO/IEC allows only one vote per country.
>
> <response>I didn't say that no controls were needed. I said that the
> identity of participants should be hidden. It would be the role of the
> governing council or entity to approve and accept participants. Once
> approved, their anonymity would positively assist in speeding and
> refining to a point hitherto unknown, any works under their guidance
> (warning: that last part is based on personal experience but should not
> be taken for incontrovertible fact).

For one thing, what you describe is not really an anonymous process. The governing council knows who everybody is. If you know and trust the
governing council then I suppose that there is some minimal trust in the people they select for the process. If there are never any conflicts and
the participants never have any ulterior motives then this small level of trust might be sufficient.

However, I don't think that this is practical. Regardless of the intentions of the governing council there will be conflicts and someone
will have an ulterior motive. The standards process must still function in this environment. I think that anonymity will get in the way of resolving these conflicts because you will never really be able to understand why someone is taking the position they are because you won't know anything about them.

> > In an anonymous committee there
> > is no way to impose these limits. Who would devote the effort to a
> > standard when their efforts could be made pointless simply because a
> > company stacked the vote?
>
> <response>In an anonymous community there is no way to 'stack the
> votes' because peer pressure and the fear of exclusion for any such
> behavior is adequate motivation to play nice.... Like that last scene
> in Toy Story; they come out of the sandpit to defend abuses of power,
> and they do so _because_ there is anonymity. The identities of
> individuals or companies losing their materiality, the immeditate goal
> becomes the prime target, instead of peripheral motivations such as have
> been presented here as 'reasons'.

I think here is the crux of the difference between us. You believe that by hiding the underlying commercial motivations of participants via anonymity that the commercial interests will be neutralized and everybody will play
nice as a result. I believe that hiding these interests via anonymity will make them more difficult to overcome and will impede the process of developing an objective standard and/or make the result more biased towards the hidden commercial interests. An effective standards process must be able to mediate between parties with strong interests commercial and otherwise. Public voting is the worst method for resolving technical conflicts in standards except for every other method that has been tried <apologies to Winston Churchill>.

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

By Matthew da Silva on 6 December, 2000 - 2:01 pm

For one thing, what you describe is not really an anonymous process. The
governing council knows who everybody is.

<response> Yes, that's correct. The process is anonymous, but the participants are vetted for knowledge and capability.

However, I don't think that this is practical. Regardless of the
intentions of the governing council there will be conflicts and someone
will have an ulterior motive.

<response> Yes, but that's the thing; ulterior motives are immediately identified as such and the community resolves the issue through debate in
the open forums. If the commitment of participants is adequate (and I assume it would be) there will be very little ground where a seed of ulterior motivation could take root.

> <response>In an anonymous community there is no way to 'stack the
> votes' because peer pressure and the fear of exclusion for any such
> behavior is adequate motivation to play nice....

I think here is the crux of the difference between us. You believe that by
hiding the underlying commercial motivations of participants via anonymity
that the commercial interests will be neutralized and everybody will play
nice as a result. I believe that hiding these interests via anonymity will
make them more difficult to overcome and will impede the process of
developing an objective standard and/or make the result more biased
towards the hidden commercial interests. An effective standards process
must be able to mediate between parties with strong interests commercial
and otherwise. Public voting is the worst method for resolving technical
conflicts in standards except for every other method that has been tried
<apologies to Winston Churchill>.

<response> The behavior that I have observed is that due to the interest and satisfaction of participation -- agreed, in my experience, the location had a somewhat lighter commercial burden than in a standards process -- the governing narrative is swift and positive in the direction of resolving issues, and cascades past objections and blockages that would otherwise block a less rapid, more highly moderated flow. This characteristic tends to make it very hard for bottlenecks to form, since in the event that such an obstacle should form, the narrative immediately finds an alternative route toward its ultimate goal. This would not be possible in a situation where vested interests had a public persona, since any group would treat others in
a way that it itself would prefer to be treated, and conventions of long acquaintance should provide glue for the impediments that normally gather at points of critical passage.

In the absence of some of these conventions (it is true that others occur, but that I could help with), and in a vehicle having a larger moment (I'm not sure if these terms are correct, but possibly you smart engineers understand my drift) which derives from the nature of the medium (internet time is swift, I think most would agree) a fast and open method can speed the production of standards.

Maybe a test case can be identified.

By Mark Blunier on 6 December, 2000 - 4:46 pm

> > <response>I beg to differ on this opinion, which is not a reason,
> > rather a bias without rational base. Why should anonymity
> repel trust? A
> > reasoned response, please, Ralph.
>
> I'm sorry, but I thought it was intuitively obvious. How can you trust
> someone you don't know?

How can you trust someone you do know?

> I guess it is an ingrained thing
> being raised in a
> city and all. I may be civil to strangers but I don't trust
> strangers. I
> might even respect a total stranger who articulates a certain
> view point
> but I would not trust them until I know them.

There are very few people that I know that don't intentionally lie about some things. In the US, many people accept and seemed to expect people to lie, even when under oath, and the lies would be perjury. Bill Clinton comes to mind. The better question, is their position or opinion justified by the facts presented?

> If someone is
> unwilling to
> identify themselves, I am unwilling to trust them.
> I don't think I am that
> different from many people in this regard. How is it
> "rational" to trust
> people you don't know?

I don't know you. But I trust that you are giving your truthful opinions. But your honesty is not that important, if you can give the basis for your statements. If what you are saying can only be backed up from, 'your opinion and your annectdotal evidence', then I need to trust you.

> You will have to excuse me for presenting my opinions as
> reasons. I never
> presented them as facts. This entire issue is one of opinion. It is
> therefore necessary for me to present my opinions as the
> reasons for my
> assertions. The facts that I draw on are anecdotal and are
> based upon my
> own participation in standards and would certainly bore this group.
> However, my opinions are based upon a rational interpretation
> of the facts
> that I have seen. I don't expect you to accept my opinions as
> fact or even
> as your own opinion, but my opinions are not irrational.
>
> > > Although, generally, the designes/developers of the standards that
> > > drive the Internet make specific efforts to allow users of the
> > > Internet to be anonymous, NONE of the successful (and free) IETF
> > > standards that run the Internet and that are so admired
> on this list were
> > > developed in anonymity. The IETF would never consider anonymously
> > > developed standards. Anonymity would spoil the standards
> process not
> > > improve it.
> >
> > <response>One reason, please. Just because it hasn't happened before
> > in your experience, doesn't mean it is impossible per se. Maybe the
> > IETF has something to learn, too.
>
> I never suggested it was impossible. I simply stated that
> anonymity is not
> conducive to standards and I haven't seen anything yet to
> change my mind.
> The line of this thread started with the assertion that if
> the standards
> process was anonymous then truly "open" standards adoption in the IA
> industry would get better. I don't see how anonymity in the standards
> process addresses any problem that the IA industry currently has with
> standards. And, I don't think the IETF is perfect but they do
> seem to have
> developed a numer of successful open standards without any
> anonymity of
> the participants. I would think that it makes sense to try to
> learn from a
> successful standards organization.

In the case of ISA standards, the ISA is the presenter. For me, its do I trust the ISA, and the people in charge of creating and maintaining
the standards. If the ISA put out a standard that says all 75 volt DC wires should be purple, I don't care if Fred Flintstone wrote that part
of the standard, I need to be able to trust that the ISA believes this is what the standard should be, and if my plant is going to follow ISA
standards, then all 75 volt DC wires would be purple, even if I knew Fred was an idiot, lies under oath, and cheats on his taxes. It is not Fred's standard, its the ISA standard. (Note, I made this up, there is no such 75 volt standard that I know of.)

> > > Another example: Imagine an anonymous standards committee
> involving
> > > communications for PLCs. Most comittees limit the number of
> > > participants from any one company in order to avoid "stacking" the
> > > votes. For instance, ISO/IEC allows only one vote per country.
> >
> > <response>I didn't say that no controls were needed. I said that the
> > identity of participants should be hidden. It would be the
> role of the
> > governing council or entity to approve and accept participants. Once
> > approved, their anonymity would positively assist in speeding and
> > refining to a point hitherto unknown, any works under their guidance
> > (warning: that last part is based on personal experience
> but should not
> > be taken for incontrovertible fact).
>
> For one thing, what you describe is not really an anonymous
> process. The
> governing council knows who everybody is. If you know and trust the
> governing council then I suppose that there is some minimal
> trust in the
> people they select for the process. If there are never any
> conflicts and
> the participants never have any ulterior motives then this
> small level of
> trust might be sufficient.

And if I don't trust them, does that mean I shouldn't use the standard? Even if I think its good anyway?

> However, I don't think that this is practical. Regardless of the
> intentions of the governing council there will be conflicts
> and someone
> will have an ulterior motive. The standards process must
> still function in
> this environment. I think that anonymity will get in the way
> of resolving
> these conflicts because you will never really be able to
> understand why
> someone is taking the position they are because you won't
> know anything
> about them.

That presumes that that you can change their position, and this debate takes place before the standards are implemented.

<SNIP>

> I think here is the crux of the difference between us. You
> believe that by
> hiding the underlying commercial motivations of participants
> via anonymity
> that the commercial interests will be neutralized and
> everybody will play
> nice as a result. I believe that hiding these interests via
> anonymity will
> make them more difficult to overcome and will impede the process of
> developing an objective standard and/or make the result more biased
> towards the hidden commercial interests.

A standard may be biased toward a hidden commercial interest, but that doesn't make it a bad standard. Modbus is a standard that was designed with Modicons interests in mind, but that doesn't make it a bad standard. Do you know any of the people that wrote the standard, so you can determine if you can put your faith in that standard?


Mark Blunier
"Any opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the company."

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 8 December, 2000 - 9:48 am

...snip...snip...

> In the case of ISA standards, the ISA is the presenter. For me, its
> do I trust the ISA, and the people in charge of creating and
> maintaining the standards. If the ISA put out a standard that says
> all 75 volt DC wires should be purple, I don't care if Fred Flintstone
> wrote that part of the standard, I need to be able to trust that the ISA
> believes this is what the standard should be, and if my plant is going to
> follow ISA standards, then all 75 volt DC wires would be purple, even if I
> knew Fred was an idiot, lies under oath, and cheats on his taxes. It is
> not Fred's standard, its the ISA standard. (Note, I made this up, there is
> no such 75 volt standard that I know of.)

You make good points, but the issues I was trying to address are related to the process of making standards, not the standards itself. When all is
said and done you certainly can and should judge a standard on its own merits regardless of how it was created (many Internet standards are 100%
proprietary but they are still good because they have enabled the Internet to work). I remain very skeptical that anonymity during the standards
process will create better standards.

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

By Johan Bengtsson on 6 December, 2000 - 3:05 pm

>As an example take this list for instance. This discussions on this list are
>conducted with civility in spite of the fact that there are strong
>disagreements between some of the parties. Compare that to numerous anonymous
>lists like Usenet, IRC, etc. The so-called "flames" that occur here are not
>even warm embers compared to the vitriol that is typical of the anonymous
>side of the Internet. One of the factors that makes this forum successful
>for civil discussion is that you know who you are dealing with.

Ehh, what?
Does everyone on this list actually know who everyone else is except me? I don't think so.
(My reply has actually not anything to do about whether you need to be able to be anonymous when developing a standard or not)
I certanly don't know you, ok I could find you by your company, and I recognise the name of that. I do even think I have seen your name in several other posts (I might be very wrong on this point).
For some other people on this list I don't even have that part of recognition, for other I can almost recognise who wrote it before I get to the name.
How many on the list recognises me? I guess there are some since I try to answer the posts I feel I have an answer to, but how many know more than simply recognise my tagline?

Then the interesting question is: is this small recognition enough?

>Another example: Imagine an anonymous standards committee involving
>communications for PLCs. Most comittees limit the number of participants from
>any one company in order to avoid "stacking" the votes. For instance, ISO/IEC
>allows only one vote per country. Most country rules limit each company to
>one vote per standard. A small company has the same voting influence as a
>large company in most countries (including the US). In an anonymous
>committee there is no way to impose these limits. Who would devote the
>effort to a standard when their efforts could be made pointless simply
>because a company stacked the vote?

I fail to see why this would be the best option in order to get the best standard. You don't have to answer it however.

>I think Bob's assertions about you can't get credit anonymously were a little
>facetious and were off the main point. The question he is asking, that hasn't
>been answered, is to explain how anonymity helps the standards process.
>Improving the pride factor is unlikely to improve the situation with
standards
>in the IA industry. I don't think we are suffering from a lack of pride.
>IMHO, we are suffering from a lack of perceived value in standards.

Good point.


----------------------------------------
P&L, Innovation in training
Box 252, S-281 23 H{ssleholm SWEDEN
Tel: +46 451 49 460, Fax: +46 451 89 833
E-mail: johan.bengtsson@pol.se
Internet: http://www.pol.se/
----------------------------------------

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 27 November, 2000 - 2:37 pm

> The question was, how to change and why. You and others seem more
> interested in the question "How do we maintain the (apparently)
> bankrupt and ineffective status quo" This seems to be a big problem
> in every facet of the automation business. "This sucks, but don't
> change anything"

This completely misrepresents my position and several other positions taken in this discussion. Its clear to me from the responses of those
directly involved in ISA that the ISA is trying to change. ISA is a responsive and innovative professional membership organization.

My fundamental objection to all this is the assertion that paying a modest fee for standards is the root of the problem. I personally paid $31.USD ($96.USD without member discount) out of my own pocket for the SP95 standard because it was of personal and professional interest to me. If you can't afford that kind of a modest fee, then you obviously place NO value on the standard. Its no wonder that standards are not widely implemented in this industry if this is the value that the people that need them most put on them. That's the problem.

> Deming's definition of insanity is where you keep doing the same thing and
> expecting the results to be different.

Yes and here we are insisting that the only reason that standards are not widely used in the automation industry is because you have to pay a modest fee for them. Here's a rephrase of the argument being made: If professional membership organizations would just stop expecting to
actually receive money (yuk!) for standards then we could finally use standards in our work <sarcasm>(oh by the way...please ignore that I
actually expect to be paid for MY work)</sarcasm>.

From another post:

> What do you mean by the "economic model that dispenses knowledge with
> no expectation of return"?
>
> The volunteers that work the standard dispense knowledge without
> payment. Is not the sharing of software dispensing of knowledge?

The VAST majority of participants in standards activities ARE paid to participate by the company that employs them. Not only that, they are not
dispensing their knowledge like they contribute to some charitable organization. They contribute their knowledge to standards in expectation of receiving quantifiable benefits to themselves and/or their companies:

1. Vendors hope that a standard will help their customers justify actually paying money for goods and services that conform to the standard.

2. Users hope that by setting a standard that vendors will comply with it and their costs for implementing systems will decrease.

3. Some participants are consultants who are paid to participate on behalf of a client.

Granted these are simplistic, but the point is that participants generally do expect to benefit from their participation. And, they are generally
paid for their efforts. And yes, dispensing (sharing) software is dispensing knowledge.

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

By Curt Wuollet on 27 November, 2000 - 3:35 pm

Ralph Mackiewicz wrote:

> > The question was, how to change and why. You and others seem more
> > interested in the question "How do we maintain the (apparently)
> > bankrupt and ineffective status quo" This seems to be a big problem
> > in every facet of the automation business. "This sucks, but don't
> > change anything"
>
> This completely misrepresents my position and several other positions
> taken in this discussion. Its clear to me from the responses of those
> directly involved in ISA that the ISA is trying to change. ISA is a
> responsive and innovative professional membership organization.

I'm sorry if that is a misrepresentation. That is my perception and perception _is_ the problem here. I deal with several types of
organizations. When the first thing they are interested in is a credit card number, they go on a different mental list than those I perceive are trying to help me. There is no shortage of people who will _sell_ me purported solutions to my problem. I get 30 calls a week from that group. It is as difficult for ISA to get past that and reach me as it is for printer ribbon scammers or life insurance scammers or others of that ilk. I suspect the great majority of people react in a similar fashion. I'm sorry if you don't like it and if people sre supposed to think differently, but I'll bet on human nature every time.

> My fundamental objection to all this is the assertion that paying a modest
> fee for standards is the root of the problem. I personally paid $31.USD
> ($96.USD without member discount) out of my own pocket for the SP95
> standard because it was of personal and professional interest to me. If
> you can't afford that kind of a modest fee, then you obviously place NO
> value on the standard. Its no wonder that standards are not widely
> implemented in this industry if this is the value that the people that
> need them most put on them. That's the problem.

The problem is getting their attention and raising their level of interest to the point where the information is of sufficient value to them. This is where ISA has failed. If people desperately needed the standards it would be like selling ice water in hell. I believe we acutely need standards, you believe we need standards. Unfortunately, all the proprietary vendors believe what they do should _be_ the standard, and this makes the potential users somewhat jaded and cynical. This is the status quo that has prevailed for the history of the industry. To break out of that rut, which shows every sign of perpetuating itself forever, will take something more compelling than wishing and hoping that lip service to openness and objectivity will be enough.. There is a clear parallel to the LinuxPLC here. I cannot coerce people to use it or force the commercial vendors to a more customer friendly posture. The only force it has behind it is that people who contribute to it and use it act _both_ in their own interest and for the common good. The only way to achieve that is for it to be unquestionably free and open and obviously in the public interest. I doubt very seriously that there is any other way that we could generate enough enthusiasm, interest, or consensus to bring people together in the common interest. Adding money to the equation would
only serve to instill destructive competitive forces and make it part of the problem instead of a solution.

> > Deming's definition of insanity is where you keep doing the same thing and
> > expecting the results to be different.
>
> Yes and here we are insisting that the only reason that standards are not
> widely used in the automation industry is because you have to pay a modest
> fee for them. Here's a rephrase of the argument being made: If
> professional membership organizations would just stop expecting to
> actually receive money (yuk!) for standards then we could finally use
> standards in our work <sarcasm>(oh by the way...please ignore that I
> actually expect to be paid for MY work)</sarcasm>.

No the primary reason is that there are too many standards and not enough objectivity. I was referring to the work we do for the LinuxPLC project which is donated with no expectation of recompense other than that we can also share in the result..

> >From another post:
>
> > What do you mean by the "economic model that dispenses knowledge with
> > no expectation of return"?
> >
> > The volunteers that work the standard dispense knowledge without
> > payment. Is not the sharing of software dispensing of knowledge?
>

Not my post, I don't even understand it out of context.

Regards

cww

By Dave Ferguson on 28 November, 2000 - 9:24 am

I have sat on the sidelines for a long time on this one but it is time to speak.

This is my opinion of a part of the problem and only that, unfortunately I have not replied because I can not quite figure out the answer and us Engineers........have to have the answer to speak...... :)

Part of the problem is we live in a world where I can buy the average book for any PC program or topic of interest on the web for $20-$30 and the
average book from ISA is probably $40-$50.

Now I understand that there is a difference in scale between millions of users and thousands and therefore the price.

I also notice classes for a $100-$200 on a ton of topics for PC's etc, but several hundred from ISA and for the most part available only after several
hundred miles of plane travel and hotel usually at companies expense. The bean counters look at this and say "WHY".......even though I know we are
talking about specialized equipment and knowledge.

I also know that we live in a world of "free" information on the web, yet this is information that you want to be correct and always right, unlike the info on the web sometimes.

I do think there is a happy medium somewhere between "old world" and "new world".

Unfortunately this is the same issue that DCS vendors face today. They were proprietary and "expensive" and got beat out by off the shelf hardware and PC software and now are scrambling to compete because "CUSTOMERS" demand it. Same for ISA, the budgets to travel and hotel are being slashed in this quarter to quarter world we have created, and yes we are all part of
it.........just follow your 401K and move a couple of options when the price goes down and you are contributing to the issue.

Also Y2K spending put a damper on future spending for a while, we spent a lot of money upgrading and now have none for a year of 2 for "new" stuff or training or standards etc.

Again I don't know what the answer is other than to adapt or die but unfortunately that may mean die. If you constantly go in the red to produce
standards because users want them for free, then that is the price we all pay for our demand of freedom.

I do think there is a happy medium whereby we could hold "virtual" meetings without the perks of donuts and plane fare and could post and discuss those results on the web. The old world view of face to face is the same argument I have with my boss about telecommuting, they still think that out of sight must mean "not working". I can only say one thing........

Patience, patience..........the customers will win, they usually vote with their dollars and that is the only vote that counts. If they are not willing to spend them on your standards, your standards will lose. Unfortunately this is probably why we are in the boat we are in over standards now, the big companies dish out cash to create standards and no-one trusts them because of the big money behind them, and yet no-one is willing to participate in ISA's efforts to do it "independently".

Oh well, by the way I have been an ISA member since 1980 but will admit, only because my company pays my dues, when they don't pay my dues I probably would not (being honest here).

I think they do a great job, are a little bureaucratic, but do a good job. But if I have to choose between college for my kids, or a boat or a beer or ISA dues, unfortunately ISA dues will probably lose......sorry.

Dave Ferguson

Blandin Paper Company
UPM-Kymmene
DAVCO Automation

Sounds good to me.

Some people keep saying they can't believe that people are asking why they have to pay for "standards", yet the idea of "free" source to software is well understood. Linux and many other pieces of software have been created by volunteers and the output from their work finds a place on the net for all to have at.

Look at this mailing list. It is free to use thanks to Mr. Control himself Ken Crater. In the October issue of "Industrial Computing" Mr Crater has an article about Linux, GPL and the need for this "industry to open itself" up. Maybe Mr.
Crater will provide the web space for the standards to be placed on. This will save ISA the cost of housing the standards and everything will be groovy.

ISA is a business. The purpose of the business is to provide funds for member benefits and standards activities. If we don't run it like a
business, there are no funds, and there are then no member benefits and no standards activities.

What would the CEO of SquareD say if you asked him to run your company the way you think ISA should run?

Come on, folk, let's get serious.

So Ken donates the webspace. Who's going to adminster the accreditations so that the standards mean something? Who's going to pay for the delegates to IEC?

Who's going to adminster the 80+ email lists? Jennifer? I think she's rather busy, don't you?

Who's going to oversee the content of the website and correct typos and make sure that the HTML and other code is correct?


Walt Boyes

By Matthew da Silva on 9 November, 2000 - 1:24 pm

Walt -- this is the point. The A-list members would do that stuff. It is possible.

With Control-dot-com hosting and providing part of the admin. costs, and ISA accrediting the anonymous participants (only accredited people can do editing) all the actual editing and admin. Tasks are performed by private individuals on a volunteer basis. What is needed initially is a team of programmers to make the program. That would require some recruiting I think.

As to sharing the knowledge once it's done -- I think that it is not right for participants to receive free copies. That would cloud the motivation for joining and project and possibly endanger the project.

It can only be done on a purely volunteer basis because people _want_ to do it. The accreditation of applicants would offset any misgivings held by some subscribers to this list.

Matthew Yamatake Tokyo

(Note: the following paragraphs are not necessarily an accurate representation of the way I do business)

I can't deny that there are many costs in creating standards, distributing standards, defending standards and keeping them up to date.

But as a potential user of the standard:

<devil's advocate>
Unless the customer specifies that certain standards will be followed, or my new piece of equipment has to peacably coexist with existing equipment that is designed to a certain standard, what would compel me to BUY a set of standards to design to?

I already need to supply documentation to my customer. I could just document the design as constructed, whether or not standards were followed. ("Adhering to standards" may have other additional costs (to me) other than just the price for the "book of standards")
</devil's advocate>

I think we're looking for developer "buy-in" most of all.

How do you get "buy-in" without having to "buy"?

I fear what may happen is we may start out with a set of homemade standards (or none at all).

Then a motivated developer will modify the standards: "..to be compatible with ISA, which I already use!".

moores3@squared.com said...
>Maybe Mr. Crater will provide the web space
>for the standards to be placed on. This will
>save ISA the cost of housing the standards
>and everything will be groovy.

We'd be glad to... for that matter, would be glad to host the discussion forums, archive sites, etc., that go into standards formation.

However, having said that, I think it needs to be pointed out that there are two very different forms of standards that are prevalent today. The first is the official standard, typically the subject of ANSI standards processes,
professional society sponsorship, and perhaps ulimately governmental mandate. These tend to be big, cumbersome projects with a heavy (and
intentional) political content, since they may ultimately carry the weight of legislation.

The second form, perhaps more useful for most standards needs, is a lightweight, solution-oriented process, typically the result of one person or company contributing a good design. This is sometimes literally a "design", constituting a reference implementation of the proposed standard. Lots of changes are then suggested, some of them are adopted by [typically
the original contributor] and then people start using the standard when they feel it has become useful.

The first form virtually requires an organization like ISA, since formality is needed to insure a politically "fair" process. Like legislation, this can take decades to work out.

The second form, exemplified by the RFC process (at least as it used to exist), is now needed in our industry for a range of standards that must
move more quickly that the IEC/ANSI standards tracks allow. An example of the latter might be XML schemas for industrial applications. These would typically not be the subject of regulation, but rather would be useful conventions, adopted quickly in response to changing technology.

This forum has already spawned an open source development project ( PuffinPLC.org ) -- is anyone ready to take a crack at a lightweight
standards project? We'll give it a good home :-).

Ken Crater
Control.com Inc.
ken@control.com

Archived email reflector, 20 MB storage per group, privacy, moderation if desired, calendar, chat:
http://www.egroups.com/

25 MB per user:
http://www.driveway.com/

Collaborative software development:
http://sourceforge.net/


These are advertiser supported, free registration required, and not real scaleable. But I've been working on several related standards efforts using
egroups--the email reflector is the main thing.

Mechanism is available--credibility is missing. Supply-Push works if you're Microsoft. Demand-Pull is working (if not very efficiently) for Echelon. CEN and ISO end up being the "law" in the European Union. But other than that, I'm not sure how standards get widely implemented. Ad hoc, I guess. I think that was an earlier thread on this list.

And about that GPL, I'm not sure I want people extending the standard, even if they return it to the wild. I'm afraid of another fiasco like
Manufacturing Automation Protocol 3.x totally incompatible with MAP 2.x. Perhaps some constraints about backward compatibility could be added. Or maybe the cultural disapproval of the Fork may be all it takes.

Best,
B.O. Nov. 7, 2000
--
Robert Old, System Architecture, bob.old@sbt.siemens.com
Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., HVAC Division
1000 Deerfield Pkwy., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-4513 USA
Phone: +1(847)941-5623, Fax: +1(847)419-2401

By Curt Wuollet on 9 November, 2000 - 8:20 am

Hi Bob

That's why I said similar, the GPL doesn't really fit literature very well but, it was the best way to convey the principles of public ownership and enforced objectivity. Obscure processes and private meetings erode trust rather badly. When companies think that their competition might be getting their way with the standards, you have immediately and emphatically lost support. It must be open, public, accountable and justifiable to get widespread acceptance. The perception that ISA is in the "Standards Business", true or not, is what limits ubiquitous acceptance. There is simply no other way to gain the trust, you have to earn it.

Regards

cww

By John F .Vales on 8 November, 2000 - 12:47 pm

Walt-
I've been watching this discussion for some time now, and cannot remain silent any longer. I'm having a tough time understanding _why_ so many on this board are getting heartburn over paying the few bucks necessary here and there to obtain
a copy of a standard. The cost is minimal, and the need is often plenty justifiable on nearly any size of project.

If one needs an API reference, for example, one goes to Amazon.COM, etc. to buy the reference, with no guarantee that the required API or
other info is specifically listed in the purchased document. Why should reference standards be any different?

An even more value-added service might be one where a subscriber (user/tester/etc.) could pay a regular fee in exchange for a researcher
looking for the answers to specific questions, pointing to the pertinent specs in a given situation. One could be allowed a certain number of queries per quarter or year based upon the fee paid. This would narrow the number of fruitless searches, thus increasing the value of the spec,
once purchased.

Another concept might be that if one contributes towards the writing, evaluation, testing, or otherwise increases the validity of a given spec,
that this individual would be given a certain number of "credits" toward spec purchases or look-ups.

<Flame minimization mode, please>
Opinions here are my own, etc. etc. etc.

jfv

John F. Vales
Director of Technology
jfv@wes-tech.com

By Roger Irwin on 8 November, 2000 - 2:16 pm

> I've been watching this discussion for some time now, and
> cannot remain silent any longer. I'm having a tough time
> understanding _why_ so many on this board are getting heartburn
> over paying the few bucks necessary here and there to obtain
> a copy of a standard. The cost is minimal, and the need is often
> plenty justifiable on nearly any size of project.

Actually, a major problem is that publishing (source) code that implements standards invariably gives away the standards itself, so standards bodies fight this so they can sell the standard. That means you cannot share code snippets and a lot of people waste time re-writing the same code. We pay for it all in the run times we pay.

> If one needs an API reference, for example, one goes to Amazon.COM,
> etc. to buy the reference, with no guarantee that the required API or
> other info is specifically listed in the purchased document. Why should
> reference standards be any different?

Many open standards groups do work like that. They publish the standards, but as reading formal standards is pretty heavy going, most people also want to buy handbooks, tutorials, and buy tech support. So the people who create and maintain
the standards write books and set up consultencies, natrually they need very
little marketing, who better to consult than the person who developed the damm thing.

Throughout this discussion, I have not seen anything that comes close to giving actual numbers. What are the costs, specifically? Meeting place, Travel, etc? How much of this could be replaced by video conferencing and online discussion? I realize not all, but probably more than what is done now.

How about a list that we can look at that would justify the pricing? Maybe there are ways to decrease cost rather than increase revenue?

- --Joe Jansen

Joe, I am not going to release confidential financial information about ISA. Not in this forum. If you want to see ISA's confidential financial data, you must be a member, and you must ask your District Vice President to show
you the numbers.

Are you a member, Joe? If you aren't, we'd love to have you join. Currently, your District Vice President is John Feldhausen of Appleton
Paper. You can reach him at mailto:jfeldhausen@appletonpapers.com.

Now, to try to answer the question.

ISA's standards revenue brings in about 50% of what ISA spends for standards activity. That includes staff support and some overhead, and some costs for warehouse and printing and manufacturing of CDs and providing meeting rooms,
coordinating physical meetings, administering email mailing lists like this one (there are over 80 email lists devoted to standards functions that ISA administers) and other assorted expenses.

Video conferencing is still far too expensive to replace physical meetings (we check every three months, just to make sure). New web-based
conferencing like PlaceWare and ICQ chat simply are not fast enough to reproduce the give-and-take in a standards meeting. The technology is
coming, but it is not ready for prime time.

REMEMBER, THIS STUFF COSTS MONEY TOO. In some cases it costs _more_ to do web and internet based stuff than "low tech."

Now, how much staff support does ISA have to pay for? Very small, actually, in terms of numbers. There are three people who devote much of their time to standards activities, including updating websites, moderating mailing lists, coordinating activities. They put out much more effort for the money than we could get from most private sector administrative departments. They
coordinate over 80 different committees, provide finances and financial controls, and report to the S&P Board for oversight issues. I don't think
we can squeeze any more blood from that particular rock.

We print standards just-in-time on an inhouse Xerox docutech so that the cost of storage is minimal, and we never have to throw away huge amounts of paper when we issue a revised standard. Can't save any more there, or you'd
see Kinko's using something else, too. Believe me, when _they_ go to something other than a docutech system, we sure will too. It is the
cheapest we can do.

We add some overhead to the standards operation, to assist with things like paying lawyers to defend the copyright on the ISA symbol set for ISA 5.1. We add some overhead for G&A, just like any company does. ISA serves 40,000 members with fewer than 150 people on staff worldwide. Do you think there is any fat there? If you are a member, you are very welcome to get active in leadership and help root it out.

Do you think you can operate a worldwide third-party accredited standards making body for less than we do? If you do, you're welcome to come and try it. Frankly, we'd welcome the help.

Walt Boyes

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 3 November, 2000 - 4:26 pm

I hope Walt won't mind me preempting his response to this:

> > Anybody can join a standards committee. No one need be a member of
> > ISA to do that, and about half of our Standards volunteers are in
> > fact, not members of ISA.
>
> Walt -- Is there an online location where members of the public can
> apply to join a standards creation organization? I recently sent an
> email on this subject but it was returned by the target company's
> server as unavailable.

I would suggest that you go to the ISA web site (http://www.isa.org) and click on standards. you can easily find a list of all the standards activities that are active. Some of these standards have email lists in which the committee members discuss the standard. Contacts for several committee members are usually listed in addition to an ISA staff contact. It is pretty easy to get involved.

> Furthermore, why doesn't ISA make the standards creation process
> totally or at least largely online? I see no reason why this can't be
> so. By creating an online community (in the real sense of the word,
> not just a subscribed list) there are several advantages that ISA
> would reap:

Much of the standards process of ISA, and other groups, is already done on-line. However, face-to-face meetings between people are still
occasionally necessary in order to resolve some issues in a timely manner. From what I have seen of the SP95 process you can actively participate, contribute, and influence the standard without attending the meetings. I don't think that SP95 is much different from other ISA activities: the participants seem to welcome constructive help
from wherever it comes.

> If this were to be realized (*warning* heavy initial PERL writing
> overhead) I would suggest that the community be populated by people
> using aliases. The use of aliases helps to keep attention off
> personalities and on the facts. It also helps to maintain impartiality
> and is cement for the identity of the community.

Aliases might be a good idea for IRC chat boards, but not standards. Anonymity will not focus activities on facts or help cement the
"identity of community". I would think anonymity has the exact opposite effect. IMHO personal knowledge of the people you deal with is essential in building trust. Trust is essential for all compromise. And compromise is essential to the standards process.

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

By Rob Hulsebos Philips CFT on 27 October, 2000 - 9:32 am

perhaps a scheme just like the profibus user group does: sell a CDROM full of doc (pdf's)
for a low price, but disallow printing. That's usually enough for the casual reader who only
occasionally needs to find something.

Rob

By Béla Lipták on 23 October, 2000 - 3:43 pm

Section 1.4 in Chapter 1 of the 1st volume of my Instrument Engineers' Handbook describes ANSI/ISA S.5.1

Béla Lipták

By Juan Valderrabano on 24 October, 2000 - 9:38 am

Dear Tommy

Only to ISA standard:
You could find and buy this Standard on www.isa.org, I don't about a site where you could download this free. But you can ask to some
Engineering Services Company by your location and they would have this standard. Or you could locate a reference library in some Goverment
Institution or University related to Instrumentation.

Good Luck

Juan Valderrabano
Instituto Mexicano Del Petroleo.
Ingeniero Especialista en I & C

By Vitor Finkel on 13 November, 2000 - 4:32 pm

After following closely such controversial shootout on ISA's ability to generate standards, and spent & trying to recover money while doing it, from my personal status as a member, I decided to do what Walt kept saying is our privilege to do.

I asked to ISA's staff to supply some explanations on what ( and how ) is it going on, and provide some figures to help understand the answers.

This is what they came up with as an answer to my questions, so let me share it with you guys:

o The ISA S&P program has two main components:
(1) Development of standards (administration of the work and communication of the nearly 150 committees that are active at any one time in ISA). In 2000, this effort has three full-time equivalent staff and a total cost (almost no revenue) of $575K, of which $445K (77%) is staff-related (salaries, benefits, overhead). This cost has been reduced significantly (by nearly one-third) since 1998.
(2) Publication and distribution of developed standards (about 130 are currently actively distributed). In 2000, this activity has about $550K of revenue and $425K of expense for $125K of net. Staff-related costs are about 66% of the expenses here.

o The total S&P program of ISA costs about $1.0 M/year, with a net cost to the Society of about $450K a year. Solely through cost reduction (because sales have been declining), this deficit has been reduced from ~$700K in 1998. But we have reached the limit of gains through cost reduction. Further cost reduction would reduce the level of the program (number of standards developed and administered).

o It is the development costs that most people can't see, and often don't understand how much effort goes into the administration of a big program like ISA's, or even into an individual committee's work. All of the technical work is indeed done by volunteers, but most, if not all of the administrative work is done by ISA.

o ISA's costs, and distribution of costs among staff and other expenses, are in line with what other Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs)have.

o Financially, the goal of ISA's S&P program is to operate on a break-even basis, NOT to make any positive profit. Companies are the true beneficiary of strong standards program, which indirectly benefits our individual members who work for the companies. The issue we are working now is how to recover the total cost from the parties that directly benefit from the ISA standards program.

o ISA's standards have wide use and are considered a very important part of what the society does, but do not have a big potential sales market.

The Society conducts the program as an essential part of its mission. But the high net cost of the program, which primarily benefits companies, needs to be recovered in some way. Raising standards prices is one way, but not desirable. We welcome any constructive advice on how to make the program breakeven, which is our goal.
OK, this roughly matched ( sometimes surpassed ) my expectations, and loose pieces of information I already heard about. It surely matches the policy we members ask our staff to implement. Staff surely is trying to implement Policy as determined by the proper committees, within "real
world" constraints. No "Santa Clauss wish list, free meals, etc allowed here".

I think it only proves you can not really judge
someone else's work unless you try to undertake it yourself. I don't believe anyone that never took active part into developing a standard can easily imagine the amount of organizational and administrative "behind the scenes" work involved. Sometimes I think we are so naive about the unseen work in this activity as an 8 years old boy watching an experienced pilot to fly a Boeing.
"That's easy, ...I could do it, all you need is to taxi it to the head of the runway, push the thrusts forward and wait until it takes off. Once in the air, turn the nose into the direction you want to fly and wait till you get there. Reduce your speed, lower the landing gear and flaps, align with a landing strip and let it go down graciously to a touch down, then taxi it back to the guy with the two flashlights.
Easy, cheap, safe, anyone can do it....,no big deal, I wander why they need to keep so many guys on their payroll just to do that..."... "Oh, why so many panels full of switches, lights and indicators in the cockpit ? Well, I would not really need to use them, they are not really necessary just to fly..."

Of course we can always imagine this huge administrative task could be made more efficiently... also anyone involved into generating standards can point out several cases where things did not run exactly as well as expected....but who really knows or may evaluate how efficient ISA is at it ? I can't even grasp all that is really involved when 150 committees with (what ?) maybe some 50 members each ( 7500 individuals ) start to generate correspondence ( some by e-mail, some by fax, by snail-mail, even hand delivered ) that has to be classified,
copied, filed, distributed, generates secondary comments by other committee members, and all this should be consolidated, included in the revised drafts, copied, printed, re-distributed before certain deadlines for meetings, evaluated and commented by peers, filed for future references, etc.... Just handling this correspondence without loosing or misplacing any of it, seems to me to be more than enough to fulfill the 3 assigned staff persons with work. Generating the notes of meetings, when the 3 staff persons should ideally be present to all simultaneous committee meetings during the ISA President Meetings and other occasions also seems to be simply an impossible task. God knows how they can handle it, but we can always complain that they should do it better... lower costs, narrow time frames, less mistakes, etc... There is no end to what we may think or wish about those largely unknown and unappreciated tasks involved.

Now, anyone with a bright idea about how could we generate and distribute free standards ? I'd really like to see that. I also want my free standards CD-ROM as much as anyone else. How about the Instruments Standard
Foundation ? I heard it is already working. Dave Rapley and a group of volunteers and staff are working at it, and donations are already being
accepted. I don't have an e-mail for details or snail-mail address to whom you may sent your company checks, but if someone cares to ask for it, I'll surely dig one and inform it to the list.

Vitor Finkel

By David W Spitzer on 14 November, 2000 - 5:15 pm

Vitor,

Your e-mail below presents the issue very very well. Standards really are a bargain. People who want them for free should join a committee (in their area of expertise) to see how things work. Afterwards, they may feel that their efforts and those of their peers are worth much more than what is charged.

With regards to ISA's standard generation efficiency, I suggest evaluating the work of other professional societies that generate similar
standards...ASME (flowmeters), AWWA (water meters), AIChE (safety systems), NEL (UK), AFNOR (France)... to see if there some organization that has found a better way to generate standards.

I suspect that ISA is reasonabley efficient. As you state, the challenge then becomes how to recuperate costs from those who benefit from the
standards.

Um abraco,
David W Spitzer
Consultant
845.623.1830
www.icu.com/spitzer

By Curt Wuollet on 16 November, 2000 - 11:51 am

That's right and anybody who has a dissenting opinion is just obviously wrong. Simply compare ISA to the fieldbus folks, they're the penultimate of efficiency. Remember, the whole point is to get _paid_ !

Seems like some of the first things that need opening up in this industry are ears and minds. And one of the most prevalent trends is to pay no attention when people tell you how they perceive you products and services. What in the world would you want to listen to the customer for? Just tell them they're wrong and how they really ought to think.

No wonder the business is declining.

Regards
cww

Curt, what you've said in your last several posts is polemic and unfair, and you know it. You are trolling on a very serious issue, and I wish you'd stop it. It isn't useful, and it isn't helping the cause of open standards.
ISA's standards are open, consensus standards. If you wanted to, you could participate. If you have the time, we'd like to invite you to do so.

ISA is paying extremely close attention to this thread, from the Executive Director on down. There are at least 20 members of the staff and Executive Board who are lurking on this thread, and making copious notes on what people say they want, and how they perceive ISA and the making of standards.

So, we are listening.

May I suggest some reading to you? Read the report on consensus standards bodies from ANSI at http://web.ansi.org/public/nss.html for a discussion of the National Standards Strategy. If you haven't read it, you should. It will help you understand the perspective of a neutral party consensus standards developer like ISA.

Walt Boyes

Walt Boyes said:
> ..we are listening.

Walt,
Entirely agree that ISA Standards cost money, (a lot), to generate and therefore we have to pay, (a comparable amount to what we would pay for any other standard from any other professional body). But agree with many of the group that we need
to look at a more 21st Century solution to the problem.

Having been a Senior Member of ISA since 1979, (but absent overseas 2 years), I am embarrassed to admit that I have never even seen an ISA Standard! (This I believe to be more a reflection on my employers during that time than on me.
They won't send me to Conferences or Training Classes either and I can't afford $950 for an exciting Video on how to tune PID loops!) Your average member simply can't afford to buy these standards and pay these prices. So you have limited your market to Corporate buyers only. (The $5 dollar coupon refund on my division memberships doesn't go far towards buying a
$100-200 Standard and the ones offered in InTech seldom interest me sufficiently to ask my wife to buy me one for Xmas!).

I can't get my hands on ANSI, UL or European CE Mark Standards either, (Which I would dearly love to peruse), but did recently talk my employer into purchasing all of the SEMI, (Semiconductor Equipment Materials International), Standards,
(All 11 Volumes, on CDROM for $695, where, with full SEMI permission, they are available on the Company Intranet - a fantastic bargain).

I am , however, building up a library of, (And making good use of), NEMA Standards, which are available, FREE, on the Web, (At www.nema.org). I
understand that NEMA, realizing that they had a problem and that their Standards were not being widely used, (Sound familiar?), and not wanting to go the way of the dinosaurs, made the decision to put a selection of their standards on the
WWW and make them available until the end of this year. They will then review the situation.

Perhaps you could contact NEMA, Walt, and see if ISA could learn anything from their experience.

Regards,
Tony Firth, Electrical Eng.,
Quester Technology Inc., Fremont,CA

By Diana Bouchard on 18 November, 2000 - 4:35 pm

I would be interested to know how NEMA proposes to fund the standards development process if they give away their standards for pdf download. I can't imagine hard-copy sales supporting the process. The source of golden eggs does eventually dry up if you don't feed the goose.

What we seem to need is a business model for standards development other than selling the end product. This is what the ISA Standards Foundation, in existence for some years and in process of being revived and expanded, is trying to provide. ISA is trying to get companies and individuals to support the standards development enterprise as a whole, rather than relying on sales of the half-dozen individual standards that sell more than a handful of copies. This would appear to me to provide a broader and more reliable funding base for standards development. Does NEMA have anything similar?

Diana Bouchard
dbouchard@paprican.ca
ISA Publications VP Elect-Elect

I don't think web access to .pdf or .html version of the specs would cannibalize 100% of hardcopy sales--undoubtedly some, though. I know I
always go to my hardcopy of the BACnet spec rather than the CD-ROM or the electronic files I had as a member of the developing committee. Viewing the doc on a computer screen one page at a time is sub optimal, and printing the .pdf leaves you with a pile of unbound papers which cost more than buying it from ISA.

Also, posting the specs to the web should be considered advertising. People can see if the spec is really what they need, and if it is, buy the hardcopy. I used the BACnet spec for developing extensions to the standard and developing products that used the protocol. What are ISA specs used for and is it easier to use the hardcopy for these purposes than an electronic
copy?

Best,
B.O. Nov. 20, 2000
--
Robert Old, System Architecture, bob.old@sbt.siemens.com
Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., HVAC Division
1000 Deerfield Pkwy., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-4513 USA
Phone: +1(847)941-5623, Fax: +1(847)419-2401

By Ralph Mackiewicz on 27 November, 2000 - 1:15 pm

> Entirely agree that ISA Standards cost money, (a lot), to generate and
> therefore we have to pay, (a comparable amount to what we would pay for any
> other standard from any other professional body). But agree with many of
> the group that we need to look at a more 21st Century solution to the
> problem.

I'm certainly not against looking at alternatives, but I wouldn't exactly call "free" a strictly 21st Century solution.

> Having been a Senior Member of ISA since 1979, (but absent overseas 2
> years), I am embarrassed to admit that I have never even seen an ISA
> Standard! (This I believe to be more a reflection on my employers
> during that time than on me. They won't send me to Conferences or
> Training Classes either and I can't afford $950 for an exciting Video
> on how to tune PID loops!) Your average member simply can't afford to
> buy these standards and pay these prices. So you have limited your
> market to Corporate buyers only. (The $5 dollar coupon refund on my
> division memberships doesn't go far towards buying a $100-200 Standard and
> the ones offered in InTech seldom interest me sufficiently to ask my wife
> to buy me one for Xmas!).

You get a coupon for standards that is equal to your ENTIRE membership dues, not just a division membership coupon. I recently used my $65
membership coupon to buy SP95 for $31. If a standard that costs $31 is not of enough interest for you then the whole thing is a moot point: You just don't need any ISA standards free or not.

> I am , however, building up a library of, (And making good use of),
> NEMA Standards, which are available, FREE, on the Web, (At
> www.nema.org). I understand that NEMA, realizing that they had a
> problem and that their Standards were not being widely used, (Sound
> familiar?), and not wanting to go the way of the dinosaurs, made the
> decision to put a selection of their standards on the WWW and make
> them available until the end of this year. They will then review the
> situation.

NEMA is an employer sponsored organization that exists to benefit its members: manufacturers of electrical equipment. It has been quite a while
since I worked for a NEMA member. In the past, NEMA did not derive a significant amount of revenue from standards sales. Giving them away for
free would have little affect on their financial situation.

ALSO: The documents available for download are scanned documents and you cannot do keyword searches on them.

That said, I would encourage everyone to go to the NEMA site and download the ICS-1 standard (Industrial Control Systems: General Requirements) at a minimum. There is lots of good stuff in that one including excellent noise
immunity tests that you can build yourself using inexpensive parts.

It will be interesting to see what they do after the end of the year. ISO tried a similar thing several years ago but quickly backed off after their revenue collapsed.

From another post:

> I would be interested to know how NEMA proposes to fund the
> standards development process if they give away their standards for
> pdf download. I can't imagine hard-copy sales supporting the process.
> The source of golden eggs does eventually dry up if you don't feed
> the goose.

NEMA is supported by membeship dues and actually subcontracts out the sales of their standards to a third party (global.ihs.com). The IHS web
site doesn't display properly on my computer so I can't investigate them further. NEMA dues are based on the sales of products fitting NEMA
categories and typically run into the many tens of thousands of dollars a year. NEMA is also an active industry lobbying group and sponsors research (most notably into the health effects of EMI).

Regards,
Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.

By Curt Wuollet on 27 November, 2000 - 1:36 pm

Hi Walt

Don't blow me off, you and I both know I'm trying to help. What you guys need is more buy-in and participation and you might have to trade away some conventional thinking to get it. IMHO, we got one useful response that put the situation on the table. Dismissing me as an anarchist is not gonna accomplish anything. Refusing to reach out to your customers and rely on their goodwill so
far hasn't set the world on fire. A simple change in attitude and focus can change the perception from "standards business" to a "customer supported standards service" I think you want to be the latter, but you have to stress the service. Although it isn't directly applicable you might want to look at "The
Cathedral and the Bazaar". I am working in a movement that manages to attract thousands of the best and brightest to give time and talent for the common cause.

No commercial venture has thus far inspired so many to cooperative effort. Perhaps your organization needs to hover in the middle, between the extreme commercialism in this industry and the idealistic goals of the FSF. You do need to migrate towards the end that elicits cooperation and sharing and you simply can't (as far as I can see) have it both ways.

I stand by the quote from Deming.

I'm sorry for the sarcasm, but the rhetoric I am hearing is all about business and business as usual and nothing that would encourage anyone to take up your cause and work to improve things in the common interest. Even given the difference in
our definition of the term "open" I support your effort. Now, if you guys can take it farther in that direction, as far as possible, maybe accept some risk in your effort to serve, people will notice and support you. Right now you are asking how you can change things without changing anything, how you can recieve gifts without giving anything and thus have yet to make any better case than you had going in.

Regards

Curt Wuollet,
Radical, Anarchist and Linux Systems Engineer.

By Curt Wuollet on 27 November, 2000 - 1:52 pm

Hi all

Just a note to mention that the last couple of posts, one in response to Ralph and one in response to Walt were delayed by a couple of weeks (at least ) and are not to be construed as an attempt to restart the debate. I see no interest in change which renders the whole discussion rather moot. I am interested in how these were delayed for so long. Was this success in moderation or failure?

(MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: I was on vacation last week, during which time Curt's posts came in. Another of my colleagues filled in when she could,
but a substantial backlog remained. This has finally been cleared out, but we apologize to Curt and anyone else who got stuck in Backlog Hell. I will post any response to Curt's posts that have already been received as of this moment, but as he notes, portions of the discussion are now moot. Thanks for your understanding. --Jennifer Powell)

Regards

cww

Curt Wuollet says:
> Don't blow me off, you and I both know I'm trying to help. What
> you guys need
> is more buy-in and participation and you might have to trade away some
> conventional thinking to get it. IMHO, we got one useful response
> that put the
> situation on the table.

I _am_ thinking radically. I do not represent the ideas of many people on the ISA Staff or Standards Committees. I certainly am not blowing you off. If I wanted to blow you off, I'd just stop talking about this.

> Dismissing me as an anarchist is not
> gonna accomplish
> anything. Refusing to reach out to your customers and rely on
> their goodwill so
> far hasn't set the world on fire. A simple change in attitude
> and focus can
> change the perception from "standards business" to a "customer supported
> standards service" I think you want to be the latter, but you
> have to stress the service.

I agree wholeheartedly. This is the subject of ongoing dialog inside ISA.

> Although it isn't directly applicable you might want to
> look at "The
> Cathedral and the Bazaar". I am working in a movement that
> manages to attract
> thousands of the best and brightest to give time and talent for
> the common cause.

Yes, I've read it. I also believe that the jury is out on the open source movement. I don't think it is sustainable over a long period of time.

> No commercial venture has thus far inspired so many to cooperative effort.
> Perhaps your organization needs to hover in the middle, between
> the extreme
> commercialism in this industry and the idealistic goals of the FSF. You do
> need to migrate towards the end that elicits cooperation and
> sharing and you
> simply can't (as far as I can see) have it both ways.

The standards development function _is_ a cooperative. It is the support function and the publishing and dissemination function that costs the money. I don't know how, except by endowing the Instrument Standards Foundation, to make that happen.

> I stand by the quote from Deming.
>
> I'm sorry for the sarcasm, but the rhetoric I am hearing is all
> about business
> and
> business as usual and nothing that would encourage anyone to take
> up your cause
> and work to improve things in the common interest. Even given
> the difference in
> our definition of the term "open" I support your effort. Now, if
> you guys can
> take
> it farther in that direction, as far as possible, maybe accept
> some risk in your
> effort to serve, people will notice and support you. Right now
> you are asking how you can change things without changing anything, how you can recieve gifts
> without giving anything and thus have yet to make any better case
> than you had going in.

I'm sorry you feel that way. I had hoped that people would come up with more constructive suggestions than "throw it all out and do it this way." I believe that you can be of tremendous assistance in this process. Your ideas are excellent. I don't agree with all of them, and you elide gracefully over much of the intricacies of "making it work," but you have a clear grasp
of what has to be done in the end result. We need to transform the image of ISA standards development into a customer supported, customer serving activity. It actually is that, and it is the main reason ISA exists.

Walt Boyes
(who is speaking here entirely on his own, and not for ISA)

By Curt Wuollet on 28 November, 2000 - 9:31 am

Walt Boyes wrote:
>
> Curt Wuollet says:
> > Don't blow me off, you and I both know I'm trying to help. What
> > you guys need
> > is more buy-in and participation and you might have to trade away some
> > conventional thinking to get it. IMHO, we got one useful response
> > that put the
> > situation on the table.
>
> I _am_ thinking radically. I do not represent the ideas of many people on
> the ISA Staff or Standards Committees. I certainly am not blowing you off.
> If I wanted to blow you off, I'd just stop talking about this.
>
> > Dismissing me as an anarchist is not
> > gonna accomplish
> > anything. Refusing to reach out to your customers and rely on
> > their goodwill so
> > far hasn't set the world on fire. A simple change in attitude
> > and focus can
> > change the perception from "standards business" to a "customer supported
> > standards service" I think you want to be the latter, but you
> > have to stress the service.
>
> I agree wholeheartedly. This is the subject of ongoing dialog inside ISA.
>
> > Although it isn't directly applicable you might want to
> > look at "The
> > Cathedral and the Bazaar". I am working in a movement that
> > manages to attract
> > thousands of the best and brightest to give time and talent for
> > the common cause.
>
> Yes, I've read it. I also believe that the jury is out on the open source
> movement. I don't think it is sustainable over a long period of time.
>

Yes, I suppose, but 10 years is a long time for the jury to deliberate before coming to a decision. The number of heavyweights now comitted
makes me think the fix is in, just like for Microsoft ;^).

What people totally ignore is the significance of achieving this even for one bright shining moment. This degree of cooperation across all
boundaries is unique in the human experience and could rightly be considered impossible if it weren't happening. Stop and really think about that, please. Then, go ahead and find a better model. With the enormous technical and economic benefits already derived, OSS isn't going away any time soon. IBM "gets" it. Even Microsoft "gets" it.
The automation market is technologically isolated, balkanized and fortified against commoditization and standardization but bridges
are being laid to the mainstream and the customers will soon taste freedom. After that, standards will take on their proper role as a
given rather than a competitive weapon.

> > No commercial venture has thus far inspired so many to cooperative effort.
> > Perhaps your organization needs to hover in the middle, between
> > the extreme
> > commercialism in this industry and the idealistic goals of the FSF. You do
> > need to migrate towards the end that elicits cooperation and
> > sharing and you
> > simply can't (as far as I can see) have it both ways.
>
> The standards development function _is_ a cooperative. It is the support
> function and the publishing and dissemination function that costs the money.
> I don't know how, except by endowing the Instrument Standards Foundation, to
> make that happen.

These words I so crudely forge, for what little value they have, are now available to each and every member, potential member and curious
observer of your specific target audience. This for a cost that they are already bearing cheerfully even if they choose to delete them.
With very little effort and no incremental cost I have just far exceeded the wildest, most optimistic dreams of distribution your hard-working staff may entertain. If you wish your standards to become universal and ubiquitous you may draw your own conclusions. With that exposure and increased utilization you may very well have
thousands willing to part with $5.00 instead of hundreds? grudgingly parting with $50.00. In any case your organization must scale with whatever you sell and volume is far more likely to solve your problem than higher prices. You are much more likely to attract contributors as well.

> > I stand by the quote from Deming.
> >
> > I'm sorry for the sarcasm, but the rhetoric I am hearing is all
> > about business
> > and
> > business as usual and nothing that would encourage anyone to take
> > up your cause
> > and work to improve things in the common interest. Even given
> > the difference in
> > our definition of the term "open" I support your effort. Now, if
> > you guys can
> > take
> > it farther in that direction, as far as possible, maybe accept
> > some risk in your
> > effort to serve, people will notice and support you. Right now
> > you are asking how
> >
> > you can change things without changing anything, how you can recieve gifts
> > without giving anything and thus have yet to make any better case
> > than you had
> > going in.
> >
>
> I'm sorry you feel that way. I had hoped that people would come up with
> more constructive suggestions than "throw it all out and do it this way." I
> believe that you can be of tremendous assistance in this process. Your ideas
> are excellent. I don't agree with all of them, and you elide gracefully
> over much of the intricacies of "making it work," but you have a clear grasp
> of what has to be done in the end result. We need to transform the image of
> ISA standards development into a customer supported, customer serving
> activity. It actually is that, and it is the main reason ISA exists.
Well then you're halfway there :^)

I am not gracefully glossing over the details of how to accomplish this. As a customer focused organization, your customers should tell you how
to accomplish this. it's about them. I will excuse this as customer orientation is a novel concept in this market sector and needs to be
learned. We call it CRM in the rest of the world.