Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th May 2007 10:08 UTC, submitted by Ford Prefect
Java Sun Microsystems has announced the release of an open-source version of its Java Development Kit for Java Platform Standard Edition. Sun has contributed the software to the OpenJDK Community as free software under the GNU GPLv2. Sun also announced that OpenJDK-based implementations can use the JCK (Java SE 6 Technical Compatibility Kit) to establish compatibility with the Java SE 6 specification. OpenBSD has already started importing the release.
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The rules of grammar are a standard to follow

No it's not. At least not in Denmark. I'm not aware of any democracy where there is such a standard to follow. There are guidelines to make it easier but no standards (standards are something you _have_ to follow). Most so-called language standards are not standards but merely an interpretion of how the language is being used at that time the "standard" was created.

Besides that the two situations cannot be compared.

Two persons are still speaking the same language even if they dynamically enhance the language. They will often understand each better when they do so, rather than sticking to a government body's static interpretion of the language.

However with software and hardware the situation is completely different. Even small violations of a standard can make a driver incapable of communicating with the hardware - or make it impossible for the client to communicate with the server. A slight variation in standard implementations can often result in situations akin to one speaking Old Norse (the Danish Tongue (dǫnsk tunga in Old Western Norse, dansk tunga in Old Eastern Norse, dansk tunge in modern Danish) and the other speaking Thai.

Besides that people have the option to clarify their statements if other people don't understand a word. Even if we invent new words on the spot we are still talking the same language.

A language's nature is to evolve dynamically. Creating a "standard" for a language is merely in order to be helpful and not something one _must_ follow. A standard in software is different since a small variation equals a completely different language.

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:

Most so-called language standards are not standards but merely an interpretation of how the language is being used at that time the "standard" was created.

Back when I was in high school (many moons ago), one of my English teachers would often say that dictionaries are "descriptive" rather than "prescriptive".

I whole-heartedly agree that is the way it *should* be.

Grammar guides should be the same way.

And yet dictionaries and grammar standards are frequently used to demonstrate that users of a particular word or grammatical expression are *incorrect*.

This is particularly irritating when the person wielding the dictionary or grammar manual is using out of date information. e.g. "irregardless" is a perfectly good word today. And the phrase "begs the question" (confusingly) can mean either "passes over the question" or "suggests the question". (The word "beg" is now its own antonym).

Amusingly, I was sitting next to a crotchety old guy one evening at a meeting, when someone used the word "irrelevant". I heard him utter under his breath, in an irritated way, that there was no such word as "irrelevant"! :-)

I started to correct him. But decided not to bother.

Reply Parent Score: 2