OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: breaking up?

-----Original Message-----
From: Guy Murphy [mailto:guy-murphy@easynet.co.uk]

>I learnt the value of standards, and the cost in the absense of their

Good.  Can you tell the difference between a standard and a specification? 
Does that matter?  Do you need that to matter?

>Actually you said more than just that, implying that to follow standards
>pandering to the need to belong, and that to set standards was pandering to
>the need to dominate.... however...

No.  I say these are very strong instincts.  Is there a level of evolution 
beyond being instinctual mammals?

>The W3C represents a collective of companies, or a cartel.... perhaps not
>the most representative of collectives.

It is an organization with processes, rules, products, etc.

>ISO represents a collective of governments, regardless of varying degrees
>democratic representation among said governments it should be remembered,
>but even assuming wide degrees of democracy among ISOs cartel....

Actually, it is a private organization too, a legal entity if you will, 
whose members are nations represented by their national bodies whose 
members are chosen by the companies and other organizations (legal 
entities if you will) that vote.

>I personally feel as a Web developer I have more chance of exerting
>upon the W3C than I do upon ISO, I certainly stand more chance of exerting
>preasure upon the market forces that weigh upon W3Cs members... as was seen
>through IE and NS.

That varies by entity.  There were other HTML browser companies then 
that felt the same way and also vanished in the emergence.

Understand that the web designers were victims of their own making.

>NN4 use of the LAYER tag was nothing of my making. Nor was NN4 JSSS, which
>was NS quite simply believing that it had enough weight to ride rough-shod
>over the top of the W3C, a position that NS had been used to
>they got caught that time round on a down turn that they didn't foresee.

They had a decent little browser in NN3.  I kept on using it until Win95 
went the way of the dodo.  But I consider the NN and IE developers to 
be web developers.  They both embraced and extended and one is almost 
extinct.  How they did that was something one can study but appeared 
to me to be the market doing as it will with unregulated product

Once they screamed for things to be fixed, kill all the lawyers, down with
ISO, up with the W3C, we be fast you be slow, and so forth,

>Well, that might have had something to do with the ISO not implimenting
>the vendors wanted to impliment.

ISO doesn't implement.  Vendors did implement SGML browsers and they worked 
nicely, were seriously more advanced than Mosaic, etc.   What they didn't 
do was put Internet engines under them, develop a sharable protocol, and 
give away product.  Again, bad tactics since all three of these were
and in one case, IADS, the product was given away.  What the Army would not 
do was release the source code and that was the WWW community norm at the 
time.  Timing is everything.  But the politics of the SGML companies also 
got in their way.  That is a fact.  

>Think on that again.... bunch of political bodies mandate standardisation
>and then turn to a bunch of private companies with an expectant look "well
>go on then impliment it".

Your facts are wrong.  First, ISO bodies are made up almost entirely of 
company representatives.  They are not politicians although like most 
bodies, people have those talents.  Two, some ISO standards are created 
from private company de facto standards.  Others aren't.  Just like the 
W3C, it varies from committee to committee.   The real difference between 
then and now is the Internet itself.  When SGML, DSSSL, HyTime, and the 
rest of the there were created, bodies didn't make use of web pages and 
mail lists to coordinate and exchange information.  It was a process 
driven by very exacting documentation processes.  ISO handles a very 
much larger scope of applications as well.  They aren't a political 
body per se.  They are documentation managers. :-)

>The private companies decided to simply ignore the political bodies, and
>together themselves with the purpose to deciding what they wanted to
>impliment... although yes, it took a while for them to see why it might be
>worth their while sticking to what they agreed.

Actually, they have never stuck to it.  They never will.  All the hollering 
in the world won't make them.  The law can and has.

>To argue the merit of the ISO within this domain is to argue the merit of
>political institutions dictating to private companies what they should be
>implimenting... short of turning this into a dictate of substance its
>not a good fit.

I am not necessarily arguing for ISO.  Your views about that organization 
are misinformed, but that is the general symptom of what the web has 
been about.   That will change.  I am asking what you expect of these
in light of what can reasonably be achieved.

>I am all in favour of collective ownership... in a big way... 

That is unreasonable.  Ownership implies property and as John Cowan 
has elegantly explained, there isn't any except the patents and 
copyrights.   At the end, you still have to turn to your elected 
and yes, political legal entities for remedy.

>and watched
>with interest the production of XUL by the open source community. My hope
>would be as disperate diverse groups become better practiced at organising
>themselves that ad hoc comitees might become more viable for standards
>production in the future, but to date they have been somewhat hit and
>miss.... and yes I know there are some notable successes.

Anyone can write a document and call it a standard.  Anyone can write 
code and release it.  None of that has changed nor will it.  The kinds 
of community open ownership systems you are asking for have failed again 
and again historically.  See Ayn Rand for the reasons.


>This issue isn't complex. NS4 lost because in comparison to IE4+ it sucked,
>pure and simple. The better product won... 

Yes, but that product existed in an environment of other products.  Had 
NS not challenged the operating system hegemony, they could have developed 
for a long and profitable time.  They chose their battles badly.  Kids.

>Again I agree with you to a point, but you are (perhaps deliberately for
>rhetorical reasons) ignoring the role that cooperation and symbiosis place
>withing evolutionary processes.

Always best to hunt bigger game in groups.  It was a major advantage 
for any species that made that adaptation.

>I agree, and my hope is that the W3C retains focus upon what is reasonably
>its domain of concern, and what is best handled by others.

I hope they stick to specifications and technology incubation.  They 
will last longer and you can influence that.

>At the end of the day most mortals, such as myself, when we engage with the
>rest of the populace have to choose under which tyrany we'll operate....
>sure there's a book in there somewhere "How to Live With Tyrany".

That isn't necessary.  The evolution away from consortia and towards 
regulation of public utilities is a clear, probable and neccessary 

Contract law drives the convergence of reliable services.  The 
Internet is becoming a set of publically available, costable, 
and regulatible services.   That will force the citation of 
standards in real law enforced by real remedies.  

That is where we are going.  Consider the time from 1993 to now 
an extended version of Haight Ashbury.  It was fun while it lasted, 
but after the kids move on, well-to-do couples and other legal 
entities take over, restore the housing, and take dollars from 
tourists while directing them to the old Jefferson Airplane 
mansion, no longer painted black, but with a peace sticker 
still stuck on the window in Gracie's room.

And we will call that progress.