HTML and International Standards

Shane P. McCarron (
Thu, 14 Jul 1994 14:32:06 -0400

I have been watching with interest the discussions in this list. It seems
to me that there is a family of software interfaces in this community that
are mature enough to merit "standardization". By this I mean the formal
codification of the interfaces into a standard by a ISO accredited
standards development organization (perhaps even ISO itself). By codifying
the stable interfaces, WWW application developers will be in a better
position to develop software that they can be confident will continue to be
supported by conforming implementaitons of both servers and clients. One of
the most significant advantages of standardization is that core features of
a system can be locked down even as the fringe continues to evolve. This
has been done successfully with other Open Systems interfaces such as

It appears to me that the interfaces that are ready for standardization
include parts of HTML (an SGML DTD), and some of the WWW library
interfaces. However, I am certainly no expert.

I expect that other members of this community have discussed the
possibility of standardizing portions of the WWW interfaces before, but I
wanted to raise the issue again. There are a number of Standards
Development Organizations in the world that would be happy to sponsor new
standards in such an important area.

Until recently I was an officer in the IEEE POSIX activities, and I have a
lot of experience with starting and developing standards in the US and
international arena. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to promote these
particular interfaces, mostly because of lack of expertise. Many of you are
in such a position. If there is sufficient support, I would be happy to
volunteer my expertise in developing standards to help get things rolling.

Shane P. McCarron                               Work: +1 201 691-2228
Testing Research Manager                        Inet:
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