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   Browser innovation efforts -- where's W3C in this picture?

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  • To: XML Developers List <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: Browser innovation efforts -- where's W3C in this picture?
  • From: Michael Champion <mc@xegesis.org>
  • Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2004 14:40:36 -0400

I've noticed a couple of things that seem a bit odd, and would like to 
get a better idea of the context.  First, there was the Mozilla/Opera 
collaboration on Web Forms 2.0 
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3361141 "The proposed 
specifications include new attributes, DOM (define) interfaces and 
events for validation and dependency tracking as well as XML form 
submission and initialization. The specification also aims to document 
existing practices in the forms area that have not yet been officially 
standardized."  Uhh, why this rather than just supporting XForms? (an 
honest question, not a troll!).

Then there's the story of last week :  Mozilla, Opera Unite to 
Standardize Web 
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3375831 " The Mozilla 
Foundation Wednesday announced a cooperative effort to standardize 
plug-in (define) functionality, ushering in a new era of multimedia 
accommodation on today's Web browsers."

Today I see 
http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/hyatt/archives/2004_07.html#005890  (via 
Tim Bray) that Safari is supporting various extensions to HTML.  One 
can see this as a cause for concern that the standards are not being 
followed, or a cause for hope that people are starting to innovate in 
the browser arena once again (and presumably standards will follow 
along when best practice is clear).

Meanwhile back at the W3C ranch, the HTML group seems to be pretty much 
in maintenance mode, as best as I can tell from 
http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/xhtml-roadmap/ and the fact that there hasn't 
been much XHTML 2.0 activity lately that is visible from the outside, 
and the DOM WG is now officially dead.

So, just at a time when Mozilla, Opera, and Safari seem to be getting 
some traction (due in large part to IE's numerous security issues and 
lack of recent development) and there is a need for coordination and 
standardization of innovative extensions to the browser standards, the 
W3C doesn't seem to be where it is happening.  What's going on?  Or 
what am I missing?


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