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This won't hunt, Paul. No one is suggesting that MS will
torpedo SVG. You want to redirect the topic away from
the one that disturbs you: MS and yes, all of us, have
options. Standards have to survive on their merits. SVG
is an example of a standard with merit, but even it's more
powerful implementor, Adobe, is lackluster and exercises
options over when to develop and what to develop. Adobe
gets to choose SVG's future today. MS isn't bothering
and has the option to ignore or replace. So does everyone
out there. When Adobe chose to ignore VRML and use
proprietary formats, did you protest that? No. That
was your choice. Options.
The issue was XForms and XDocs:
1. We don't quite know what XDocs is. Mike sent a query
that seemed to suggest that XDocs is an XForms killer. We
simply don't know if that is true or even important.
2. XDocs may be superior to XForms. Again, we don't know,
but don't tell me not to take a superior technical option
because of its origin or because a weaker "standard" might
exist. If you are suggesting that, you have forgotten or
just don't know what a standard should be. XForms is a
spec. XDocs is a technology. Neither are standard yet.
3. If the market decides, let running code be the test.
Otherwise, perceptions poison the web.
But until we see XDocs, it is all perceptions based
on speculation. The question with merit right now
is what is the client. I think it time for developers
to begin to look for alternatives to the web browser.
1. The browser platform is locked in. That makes
it MS's decision and even an MSThrall has to admit
that isn't healthy.
2. The HTML browser is slow and quirky for some kinds
of technology. Database forms is one of them. Maybe
there should be options.
2. Innovations don't come from one source. If the
libraries are powerful, we may get more innovation than
if the lockin constrains us. Between patents and lockins
and fear of the W3C and loathing of the successful,
the web is stagnant. Time for fresh thinking not standards.
Standards cut both ways. If you want the kind of web
development we had five to ten years ago, we will have
to break some existing rules. One of them just might
be that the browser, the universal interface, is not the
only viable platform.
Change takes more than standards; it takes guts. Maybe
developers need more of those and fewer documents that
tell them where the fences are when in fact, the fences
From: Paul Prescod [mailto:email@example.com]
> In this sector I suggest that, in practice, Microsoft can do pretty much what
> it likes. They do have an option to develop a new vector graphics standard,
> whether they call it VML2 or something else.
I think you are wrong. Microsoft has ALWAYS WON by keeping developers
happy. Developers love SVG. Developers would HATE some proprietary hack
that competes with a relatively established W3C standard. Microsoft
doesn't go around trying to piss off developers. Microsoft also has
recurring and ongoing legal troubles. Deliberately and obviously
torpedoing industry standards is a good way to exacerbate them.
Microsoft's corporate customers also will not like it if they perceive
Microsoft as playing dirty pool. Overall, perception counts.