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   Re: why distinctions within XHTML?

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  • From: David Brownell <david-b@pacbell.net>
  • To: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 08:53:18 -0700

Ann Navarro wrote:
> At 12:08 AM 8/31/99 -0700, David Brownell wrote:
> >Ann Navarro wrote:
> >>
> >> Part of the problem here is what is and what isn't confidential discussions
> >> in a WG. If this were a W3C-internal list, I could be more forthcoming ...
> >
> >And of course, that's the cause of a lot of the problems.
> >
> >The more I watch things at W3C, the more I feel that the Web should be
> >driven instead by a standards organization with public accountability.
> >Being accountable to vendors who have vested interests in bloatware (as
> >key parts of new barriers to entry) isn't the right model.
> Take a look at the membership list: http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Member/List
> While there are certainly the large industry players on there, there's lots
> of little guys

I didn't say "big" vendors -- you did.  Smaller vendors (including
"little guys" whose incomes are a function of taming complexity) can
have interests in creating bloatware too.

The folk who do _not_ have vested interests in bloated software are
typically represented by checks and balances in the standards-making
process.  But W3C, unlike other groups (such as the IETF, IEEE, ANSI)
doesn't have any effective checks on such biases.

>	 -- and indeed my own constituency (the HTML Writers Guild),
> effectively represents 100,000 individual little guys. We're not
> "accountable to vendors....". We act on our own behalf, and have the same
> power as any other participant. Our Microsoft participant doesn't get his
> way any more than anyone else does :)

And I didn't mention Microsoft, either.  It's evident that they're
a vendor with the proven desire and capability to create bloatware,
but they're not in it alone.

One doesn't need to be a conspiracy theorist to identify real flaws
in how the W3C does its business.  As a steward of an international
resource, it should be as accountable to customers as to vendors.

- Dave

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