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   RE: New Generation Browsers (Was: XDocs and XForms?)

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Ture, but remember, Netscape and the earlier Mosaic started the
freebie train over the Internet.  MS didn't innovate that strategy.
Prior to the GenCode Revolution, several systems already handled
SGML for hypertext.  This isn't an innovation precisely.  I believe
that HTML actively harmed hypertext innovation while making
it possible for the ebays and amazons of the world to amass
their millions/billions/whatever, and it is that mass that is as
much a problem as MS.  MS gives it away, as did the earlier
entries, and that made it possible for that mass to accrue.
I have no angst for it, or sympathy.  Just like everyone else
in this business, when time comes to change languages,
libraries or platforms, change or float on the water belly
up and stinky.
Lots of things have to happen for markets to occur.  A loss
leader is "freebies for favors".   I don't protest that.  I worked
hard and took risks to see to it that copies of IADS were
made available "for free".  We got pummeled by the web
community for not making source code free.  I learned the
hard way that this sort of move would be and always will
be treated politically.  So, when someone tosses the
term "standard" around, and uses that to justify stifling
product innovation, I've learned to ignore it and ask instead
if the innovation makes the work of the customer easier,
more productive, and so on.   It is too easy, particularly these
days, for a small group even one unrepresentative of an
industry to claim to be "standardizing" in that industry and
to create an illusion of "right" that actively harms that industry,
its products and its customers.
We knew HTML would create a mess.  We worked hard on
XML as part of the cleanup.   SVG, X3D, XSLT and so forth
are the results of that clean up, not because the organization
responsible for HTML wanted it, but in spite of them.  That they
now consider it their great success is laughable, and the fact
that polls reveal people bought their story, pathetic and tragic.
But life goes on.   Regardless of the ludditism of the standards
wonks who believe that entitles them to tell a company they
have "no option", options will be made and will be marketed.
This serves the customer and ultimately, the industries and
the science.
Let'em wail. The shoe is on the other foot now.  It's tomb raidin'
-----Original Message-----
From: AndrewWatt2000@aol.com [mailto:AndrewWatt2000@aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 3:29 AM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len); xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: New Generation Browsers (Was: XDocs and XForms?)

In a message dated 16/10/2002 23:59:05 GMT Daylight Time, clbullar@ingr.com writes:

Starting development from the assumption
that one develops for the web by developing
for the HTML browser could easily become an
obsolete assumption.  No, the browser is
still there, but not for everything.  It
becomes training wheels for scriptkiddies.


I would certainly hope that intelligent people at Microsoft and elsewhere have already turned their mind to the *how* of moving beyond present generation (primarily HTML) browsers.

Ironically, by making HTML browsers free Microsoft killed browser innovation for a significant period. In fact, with Microsoft's revenue situation it may already be stifling innovation at MS too.

I guess that XHTML 2.0 is one migration strategy, albeit one which may or may not succeed.

The installed base of HTML code/markup is, potentially, a huge lead weight in this area. Surely we need an approach that will handle both "old generation" and "new generation"  (multi-namespace XML??) Web pages (or equivalent).

The lead weight of existing HTML pages provides an inertia to innovation that wasn't present, say, 10 years ago.

Andrew Watt


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