A major problem with the previous GEDCOM Standard was that it was never codified as a real standard. GEDCOM was (and technically still is) the product of one organization with its own specific goals. Unfortunately, when the organization determined it really wasn't within the scope of the organization's goals to be a universal genealogical standards developer, all development of the GEDCOM standard ceased. Now in fact the genealogical community is in danger of devolving into a world where little pockets of de facto, incompatible standards exist because no other effort has been made to make all these factions work together.
There are many nationally and internationally recognized organizations that could serve as bodies through which genealogical standards could be recognized. Here are a list of the most likely candidates:
IETF Internet Engineering Task Force
- The only organization not part of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
, the IETF regulates the internet, and its standards, published as standards-track RFCs, define nearly everything in computer programming technology today.
NISO National Information Standards Organization
- This organization is the standards body for things like libraries and the publishing industry. There are synergies with some of their standards, but this seems the least likely body with which to codify genealogical technology standards. They do codify some things like citation and reference standards for other disciplines.
INCITS InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards
- Involved more with computer hardware technology, they still do codify a number of software development reference standards.
AIIM Association for Information and Image Management
- This body does some amazing work related to business process management, content management, document and records management, and Web 2.0 technologies. Initially they may not seem a good fit for a standard specifically to replace the previous GEDCOM standard, but in fact their recent work like the StratML Standard
is very similar to GEDCOM. They might also be of enormous help in helping define a long-term road map for genealogical technology standards.