Re: Eolas releases WebRouser via the Internet

Daniel DuBois (
Thu, 21 Sep 1995 12:19:15 -0500

>While paradigms are worth breaking (sometimes) it begs the question - Will
>there be a Certification process for all the Web products to test adherence
>to specifications? A Spec which is ignored is useless.

Curently, the closest thing to certification that exists is for people to
voluntarily validate their own documents, and then voluntarily append a
"Beta HTML 3 approved" gif to the end of their page (See my personal pages
for details; I'm compliant.) This is not a perfect solution. Unscrupulous
or uninformed people could include the gif even if they weren't compliant.
Compliant page creators might not be aware enough to include the stamp of
approval. It's impossible to tell before going to a site (or just by
looking at it with the average user agent) if a site is compliant. And the
stamp doesn't do much to encourage people to comply. We have to mail people
and say "Hey, your using a big FONT to indicate a new chapter, and my
search/indexing utility only stores headings" or "Hey, your page hard codes
pixels widths in tables and my resolution is high, so the boxes are way too
small so the text overflows". Of course, that gets really tedious really fast.

The worst thing is, the average content provider seems apathetic to these

>How important is the entire process to the industry? I have seen this

I think it's important to the industry, but apparently some feel it more
important than others. My own personal feeling on the issue is that it's
extremely imperative. However, companies have different pressures on them.
For instance, Spyglass, a company that holds standards very dear to its
heart, has implemented the <FONT> tag in Spyglass Mosaic 2.1. It was a
business decision made by higher ups that couldn't be avoided. We could not
obtain certain deals without adding this tag. Netscape did it, and we had
to do it too or we wouldn't get $$$. If Spyglass doesn't get $$$, I don't
get $$$, and I don't get to go buy a new laptop.

>to. Without standardization HTML authorship will become an unguided,
>undisciplined, creative expression - not bad stand-alone - but disastrous in
>a cooperative environment.

I agree 100%. And it's just going to get worse as time goes on. Netscape
is adding tags (and other companies are following suit) that cannot fit into
an SGML DTD. (I refer to the plus signs and percent signs we're seeing in
attribute values.) Others will follow that downward path. Multiple people
are coming out with HTML parsing technology that recognizes extensions they
create, and worse, using extensions that *mean other things* to other
software products (or to the specs). Conflicts are going to multiply
exponentially as the number of people in the game increases linearly.

The internet is doomed. Film at 11.
Dan DuBois, Software Animal
I absolutely do not speak for Spyglass.