Manufacturing guy-at-large.

ISO should be an open source project

Added on by Spencer Wright.

Or, I mean, whatever. I *guess* they can keep trying to get ~$400 from me to see the spec for representing geometric data (ISO 10303-42) in STEP files... but I'm not sure that's sustainable long term. Right?

Seriously, though: What am I missing here?  Why are standards bodies organized in ways that seem to specifically prevent small (but potentially motivated) teams from participating? Are the projects they're working on too complex? In light of counterexamples ranging from the Linux kernel to GCC to the Apache web server and Android, I can't see how this is the case. Is it just a matter of entrenched interests refusing to relinquish control of a powerful governing body? Are there examples of similar open-standards projects that I'm not aware of?

Regardless, I wonder what the long term prognosis for standards regulation of this type is. I would *hope* that in ten, fifteen years max I'm seeing these standards in a web browser for free. Am I crazy?  

If I am, I hope somebody speaks up :) 

 I posted a related question on Quora. Answer it!

N.B. It strikes me that my nomenclature might be a little off, and that perhaps there are good examples of open-standards projects in the web world (e.g. W3C). Forgive my ignorance.