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Re: W3C Roadmap

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 16:38:30 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200409121538.i8CFcUl00704@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> that they all have their rightful place, and there is no redundancy
> happening as a consequence of simple ignorance of the left hand not being
> aware of the right hand.

My impression is that SVG, at least, is trying to go it alone, with the
result that it is busily competing with Flash at the same time that there
is still no usable way of including simple vector diagrams on universal
web pages.

> developed in ignorance of another already available technology which are
> themselves designed to deliver what these others are also trying to address?

It almost certainly is doing this.  This seems to be the fate of all 
technological standards.  Often some feature gets addressed at a low level
and layers of abstraction get added.  As the abstraction adds, users
insist that they can't understand the details, so the low levels get
forgotten.  Eventually someone re-invents the requirement and layers a
solution on top of the current abstraction level, even though there is
support at a lower level.  (This sort of cycle also occurs in marketing,
in that after a few years you can re-market old concepts as new, just
by using a new name.)

Although not standardised, you can see this in email signatures.  A lot
of the RFC 822 headers carry information that people now put in signatures,
but people first started suppressing headers because they thought them 
too noisy, then started treating them as technical mysteries, even though
they are actually designed to look like the headings on a military
memo.  (You can see some of this corruption of headers in the following:

  From: "Geoff Deering" <gdeering@acslink.net.au>

The quotation marks are completely bogus.  The syntax rules are designed
so that simple cases do not need them, so the format is a friendly name
with a technical name in <>.  However, GUI email software treats this complete
header as technical, and puts in redundant quotes.
Received on Sunday, 12 September 2004 17:01:37 UTC

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