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   RE: [xml-dev] The Best Technologies Don't Win

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> In my personal experience, many w3c folks think just the 
> *contrary* and react with extreme rudeness to any competitor 
> of w3c "standards".

I'm surprised. For a start, most "W3C folks" have another other foot in
another camp. Secondly, I've rarely encountered any rudeness. There are
people who believe strongly that they are right and that other people are
wrong, but they are usually pushing a personal or company agenda rather than
a W3C one. And without such people we wouldn't get anywhere - sometimes they
are right!

> And do not forget that often the w3c has been acussed of they 
> are not really listening to the web.
> [http://news.com.com/2100-1023-834990.html]

Citing one reference from 2002 isn't really very good evidence. And the main
thrust of that article is that standards are taking too long, not that W3C
isn't listening. In fact the major reason that standards are taking so long
is that W3C spends so much time listening (two thousand public comments on
the XQuery/XSLT specs, which took 2 years to process). The article focuses
on the Web Services scene, and the problem there was that different W3C
member companies didn't agree with each other, not that W3C's view was
different from the rest of the world.
> That is reason that programmers are not very happy with XSLT, 
> that XSL-FO "vanished", that Schemas are so hated, that XHTML 
> 2 is rudely critized, and the trouble with the divine 
> "semantic vision", that MathML has been ignored by most users 
> and browser developers, that last XML was a fiasco, et cetera.

That's an awful lot of mud to throw in one sentence, and none of it supports
your assertion of W3C arrogance.

* XSLT, like most other successful programming languages, has users who love
it and non-users who hate it. I don't have any problem with that. Other
people have tried to develop alternatives, both inside and outside the W3C.
If XSLT gets the most mind-share, then it's probably because it's doing its
job reasonably well. 

* I don't see XSL-FO as having vanished. It seems to have a thriving user

* I don't think one can ascribe any weaknesses in XML Schema to
organizational or structural weaknesses in the W3C organization. It comes
down to individuals, and the way that they work together in teams.

* XHTML 2 was probably too ambitious. There's no harm in ambition, sometimes
it pays off.

* Semantic vision? Yes, I tend to prefer to keep my feet on the ground as
well. But then when I first read TimBLs proposals for the WWW around 1991, I
thought the man was a hopeless dreamer. Without dreamers, where would we be?

* MathML was never intended for most users and browser developers, it was
intended for mathematicians

* The last XML was a fiasco: yes, the costs to the community far outweighed
the benefits. But again, the cause was listening to too many people, not too

It shouldn't be a surprise that some projects succeed and others don't, and
whether the project took place within W3C or elsewhere is in my view largely

>Yes, developers and bigger companies can join and work in aspects that W3C
is not doing well -e.g. the WHATWG >and alternative to XHTML2- and launch
alternatives to W3C specs but users are very limited on the range of 
>thecnologies they can choose.

Standards organizations have a life-cycle, and the W3C is following it
perfectly. They start small and nimble and produce something useful quickly
(or if they don't, they die without trace). Then more people join in, and
they try to produce something bigger and more ambitious and meeting the
requirements of a larger group of interested parties. As a result they
gradually get slower, and people wanting to do something new are more
inclined to do it elsewhere. So a new body starts up, and the cycle starts

If you want to participate in taking things forwards, you have two choices.
You can work within the system, as I try to do: which means you are
constrained by the process and have to spend time answering those 2000
comments. Or you can try and do something "alternative" - which means unless
you are both very clever and very lucky, the chances are the world will
ignore you. 

Or of course you can stand on the sidelines and throw mud.

Michael Kay


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