Re: Standards, Work Groups, and Reality Checks: A Radical Proposal.

david (
Sat, 23 Sep 1995 13:20:06 +1000 (EST)

On Fri, 22 Sep 1995, Arjun Ray wrote:

> It's time to realize that there are players here who seek legitimation
> only. All the things that go into a real standard -- goodwill, commitment,
> patience, and discipline to implement things the *right* way -- are being
> upheld by the WG and trivialized by others too clever by half to be smart.

Here! Here! It's the "Visual BASIC effect" all over again (give people
a programming tool that's simple enough to use, and every fool thinks
he/she is magically a powerful programmer).

Things like proper MIME content negotiation are being totally ignored
simply because people are using MIME types that simply don't exist, and
not paying attention to the parameters for MIME types (like "version="
for "text/html").

The type "text/html" is now useless as a serious method of determining
content type because self-serving interests like Microsoft and Netscape
(although they are not alone) have decided to "overload" the "text/html"
type with their own variants, rather than either choosing a completely
different MIME type, or just adding some parameter/qualifier - eg:
"text/html; version=netscape".

I agree 100% - the HTML WG should be disbanded, "HTML" should be
delegitimised, and a "TrueHTML" (of sorts, based upon SGML) should be
built from scratch.

To ensure that browsers who claim to support this language are in fact
not butchering it themselves, can/should W3C trademark the name of the
language and only permit those browsers who pass a validation test to
claim support for the language? If BigBusiness wants to play dirty and
screw-up the Web (as it has done), then it should be aware that two can
play that game.

Perhaps the trademark should be sought by the national standards bodies
in each country (eg., ANSI, Standards Australia, etc.)?