Optical standards: What takes so long?

About this time, ISO/TC172/SC1 will be meeting in Tokyo to finalize several major optical standards documents, including one on how to indicate optical element attributes on drawings. This document has been undergoing writing and revision for over 10 years and, in spite of substantial pressure, it is not obvious that agreement on its final form will be reached at this meeting. Why is it so difficult to write optical standards such as these?

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