>My (rather irreverent) question is this: what role does the HTML WG
>play, when the features they propose are actively ignored by the major
>companies in favour of similar but inferior features?
If I took you literally, I could conclude that you expect all vendors
to implement everything proposed by/to this working group. Surely
that's not what you mean.
The role of this WG is to reach consensus on proposals.
As I understand it, the consensus of this WG is that while the HTML
3.0 proposal sets forth an interesting set of ideas -- most of them
good -- we don't have enough implementation experience with the whole
spec to evaluate it properly. So the ideas in the spec are being
proposed and implemented in a stepwise fashion.
*** The HTML 3.0 internet draft of March 95 is no longer
under discussion by this working group. ***
The way to get HTML+/3 features on the agenda of this working group
is to write an internet draft.
The Spyglass folks did that for their implementation of client-side
imagemaps. It seems that the Netscape folks (1) saw that the market
saw value in the spyglass CSI functionality, and (2) were able to
implement the feature from the proposed spec.
And Bang! Suddenly we've got two interoperable impelementations of
that spec. If this WG saw fit to submit that spec for Proposed
Standard, it would probably go through the IETF process pretty
If you think the spyglass proposal is inferior to the FIG strategy (as
I do), then you've got some work to do: (1) submit a draft, and (2)
get some implementation experience. That's what the W3C Arena browser
is all about. I'm not sure will be in a position to make impact on
this issue, but it did impact the tables issue, and it's making
impact on the stylesheets and math issues.
So I think that the Spyglass CSI proposal has reached a sort of
critical mass, at least for local applications. I don't see much use
of it by information providers on the net. But when they hear
that Netscape supports it, that's likely to change.