Published on May 22, 2017
Edward van Leent
There have been many debates on the internet to discuss this topic including the confusion about its relation to codes and arguments about using a capital letter to indicate the term Standard. I think it is good to go back to one of the first definitions (as far back as 1667) which defined a Standard as ‘a specified principle, example or measure used for comparison to a level of quality or attainment’. A guideline was defined as ‘A non-specific rule or principle that provides direction to action, behaviour or outcome’. These definitions of course still leave some level of interpretation about what exactly can be identified even to the point that some would argue that the both terms can be used for the very same thing. I would argue that a Standard has a few important factors;
There is a variance to the above which are typically called de-facto/semi standards which are defined as specifications which are accepted by its relatively widely spread usage.
So how can one make sure that a standard is a real Standard? One can review it from a “legal” perspective or one could just apply the following logic;
Coming back to the main question and based on the explanation provided I believe it is very clear, and nobody can even argue, that ANSI/TIA-942 is a real Standard. UTI-TST is not a Standard but a guideline. At best, and with a fair amount of imagination, you could consider calling it a de-facto standard but anything beyond that statement clearly is a misrepresentation of the facts and the intent as how WSC and its members would define and recognize an SDO and a Standard.
Article 2 | Uptime vs. TIA-942: A short history
Article 3 | Uptime vs. TIA-942: Standard or guideline?
Article 4 | Uptime vs. TIA-942: What is within the scope?