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   RE: Offtopic: Web Standards Project

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <SimonStL@classic.msn.com>
  • To: "Steven Champeon" <schampeo@hesketh.com>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Aug 98 00:24:34 UT

I have to say I'm awfully damn glad to hear about the WSP, because I can't say 
I've ever had any hope that W3C could provide a semblance of enforcement for 
standards implementation.  Because their paychecks come directly from their 
members, they can't afford to be any more than a deliberative body, leaving 
the rest of us folks to whine and moan about how W3C standards - HTML, HTTP, 
XML, etc. - are hardly worth the paper they're printed on, much less the 
monitors on which we often read them.

<ASIDE>I have to say that I'm mystified, though incredibly impressed, that the 
Software Publishers Association actually found the guts to take on one of 
their largest members.)</ASIDE>

A lot of the work we've done so far on XML-Dev and a lot of the work to come 
is incredibly dependent on a very few market movers choosing to support 
standards they don't fully control.  If XML is going to make it, those folks 
had better get used to liking standards they don't fully control, and which 
may in fact make their lives more difficult and their profits harder to come 
by.  Interoperability means less of a lock-in for vendors - we might as well 
face it.

A few of us are lucky enough to be working on projects, either in the SGML 
world or in niches of XML development where browsers per se don't matter, but 
the rest of us are sitting around waiting for some serious implementations 
from the large vendors, waiting to be able to take screen shots that 
demonstrate that XML can actually be used in an environment that's cheap, 
widely available, and standardized across platforms.  XML: A Primer got by 
with painfully repetitive output from the MSXML parser, but the next edition 
had better have screen shots from multiple browsers, created with XML and CSS, 
or readers are going to lose interest.

I hope the WSP can put some backbone in the standards process, providing a 
close examination of vendor claims for standards support and giving vendors a 
strong incentive to endorse standards - especially standards, like SMIL, in 
whose development they participated.

Where do I send my check?

Back to writing about @#X! proxy servers...

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer / Cookies

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