to RFC or not (was: Re: Toward Closure on HTML )

Martijn Koster (
Tue, 05 Apr 1994 09:48:19 +0100

In your elaborate message you wrote:


> Making HTML an internet standards-track RFC involves more overhead
> than is warranted. In the future, the HTML specification will be
> published as informational RFCs (FYI documents) from the WWW team at

I'm not sufficiently familiar with the standards-track, to judge how
much overhead there would be. However, I have some concerns about

- My impression is that FYI's aren't standards. Not having something
marked as an international standard will seriously hamper acceptance
by corporate people. While some might consider this a feature I
think it would be nice to create an environment where we can have
supported and financed products and services.

- Becuase FYI don't go through the standards process they are not as
fixed, and could be updated anytime. While some might consider this
a feature because it allows good ideas to flourish, it makes it
impossible to write compliant documents and software (ie the situation
we're in now).

- Because they are posted by a particular group they aren't
independent. This puts a burden on that group, and could mean the
standard evolves in a particular way not optimally beneficial to the
community at large. (I know they're good guys, I do, honest.)

I would really like to have RFC's for HTTP/HTML/HTML+, with defined
forums to discuss issues, ensured follow-ups, and defined time
schedules for actually deciding on something.

-- Martijn
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