W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2009

Intranet pages

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 08:15:52 +0000 (UTC)
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: 'HTML WG' <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0908050810020.18950@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Sun, 2 Aug 2009, Julian Reschke wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > >
> > > Your sampling is flawed because it doesn't account for a significant 
> > > number of web pages that are not accessible to the public.
> > 
> > Pages that are not part of the Web do not need to use a standard 
> > interoperable across the entire Web, they can use proprietary formats.
> 
> Sorry? I think this is something we need to discuss. Just because a 
> web-based application only runs on an intranet doesn't mean it's 
> irrelevant. It just means it is harder to collect data about it.

Standards are important for cases where software from unrelated vendors 
has to interoperate. By definition, content in a walled garden such as an 
intranet is controlled by a single organisation, and therefore a standard 
is unnecessary -- local conventions are a perfectly suitable substitute.

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't take intranet use cases into account, 
but it does mean that if we fail to address an intranet use case, or if we 
make an intranet-incompatible change, software vendors can provide vendor- 
specific extensions that solve the problem without affecting the rest of 
the community. We see this all the time, for example IE8 has Intranet- 
specific features, and even defaults to different rendering modes in 
Intranet environments; similarly, intranet frequently make use of custom 
ActiveX components in a way that would simply not work on the open Web.

I care about the open Web first and foremost. If we can make a technology 
that happens to displace proprietary alternatives in walled gardens, 
that's a bonus. It's not a goal, however. If it _was_ a goal, we'd be 
woefully underprepared to address it. Indeed our entire approach would 
probably have to be rethought. It would also mean we probably couldn't 
suitable address the open Web use cases; the two are, in many cases, 
incompatible in pretty fundamental ways.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 5 August 2009 08:16:31 GMT

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