The Smart Way to Create Standards

I’ve been working, off and on, in between writing about the Mabinogi, on some pieces about standards. This morning I saw one of the smartest things I’ve ever read about working with a group, on standards or, frankly, just about any collaborative project.

Dave Winer writes:

Idea #1 — Yield to others

First, everyone involved, hopefully not too many people, must agree to the following statement.

If possible I’m going to do it the way you want to do it.p/>Look at how the words I and you are juxtaposed.

This is the inverse of how most mail list workgroups work, where people fight and dig in on having it their way. Instead of adopting the me-first approach, I’ll adopt the you-first approach. This is how you reach closure quickly and get the best ideas into the spec, and cull out the weak ones.

This makes a lot of sense to me. I’m definitely going to remember it. It’s generally the way I work (compromise is one of my best things) but I think a deliberate effort from everyone is an even better idea.

Now go read the whole thing. And yeah, I know, it would be nice if people practiced what they preached, but they don’t. That doesn’t mean you and I can’t though.