It turns out that ISO now has some standards on the Web. That’s good, but putting all of them there in a Web-friendly format would be even better.
IETF, W3C and OASIS have their specs online. At the same time, ISO has kept its specs offline. Even though in theory ISO is supposed to be the most authoritative standards body out there, specs that are available to anyone via an HTTP GET win over those that aren’t. (Also, given an OASIS spec and its ISO “equivalent”, the OASIS spec is more readable due to reader-hostile ISO drafting rules.) A number of ISO committees have been making their last drafts available on Web, which has lead into a situation where people read last draft instead of the real standards.
Now ISO has made some standards publicly available on the Web, which is a very welcome move. Although I welcome the move, they could do much better.
The URI of the standard list is pointlessly long. So are the URIs for the standards themselves. This means that they don’t fit nicely on one printed line in a bibliography.
It is understandable that the standards are made available as PDFs instead of HTML, but putting the PDFs inside zip files makes no sense! It hides the contents from Google and makes opening the documents inconvenient.
The file names are prefixed with pointless salt.
Not all standards are available. For example, ISO-8601 is missing.
Even though PDF is a lot better than nothing, it would be nice to have HTML versions available eventually.
Why, oh why, is it “http://standards.iso.org/ittf/PubliclyAvailableStandards/c037605_ISO_IEC_19757-2_2003(E).zip” instead of “http://standards.iso.org/ISO_IEC_19757-2_2003(E).pdf”?