The LXDE wizard Hong Jen Yee (“PCMan”) makes some bitter remarks concerning the Desktop standard process:
Why should we always be forced to follow all those things we don’t like or don’t even need? If we don’t follow them, we lost compatibility with many existing Gnome/GTK+ and KDE programs. In addition, they modify the specs frequently, and always break backward compatibility. So our precious time are wasted on re-implement everything in their new specs and try to fix all broken compatibility left by them. It’s enough!
And his recommendation:
So, every enthusiastic developers/users of lightweight desktop environments, please join their xdg mailinst list and join their discussions and let them listen to your voice.
For me that is not only an issue rooted in my genuine interest in LXDE but me and my colleagues discussed within the Digital Standards Organisation, which we established in The Hague, how to make standardisation work and I researched policy options in standardisation for quite a while. Of course you won’t find a magic bullet, and most problems concern the correct application of the openness concepts concerning disclosure and licensing. The typical predatory pratices are patent ambushes. Likewise the European Commission IDABC develops a multidimensional standard/specification evaluation model named CAMSS and some EU whitepapers outline the way forward in standardisation.
Another aspect which is often overlooked is technology infection. What I mean is that certain commercial interests abuse a standard to mandate specific services. This is the scenario here and concerns standards on a different level.
To members of the XDG list Hon Jeng Hee now proposes a voting process. If I understand his motivations correctly he wants to see the interests and requirements of lightweight desktop environments better considered or considered at all, and the voting process is a means to this end.
Liam R E Quin disagrees:
Voting inherently disenfranchises minorities. That is, the nature of a majority vote is such that the people who vote No get overruled; this is very different from achieving consensus.