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Re: Please explain the role of the W3C in the continuing development of HTML

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 08:45:47 +0000 (UTC)
To: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
cc: nathan@webr3.org, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1102250838210.28618@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Fri, 25 Feb 2011, Danny Ayers wrote:
> On 25 February 2011 03:26, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
> > On Fri, 18 Feb 2011, Danny Ayers wrote:
> >>
> >> At the other end of the scale, at the 'living spec' end, what 
> >> safeguards are there to prevent a single vendor setting the agenda 
> >> with the features it has in the pipeline?
> >
> > They're all always trying to do that. That's what competition is 
> > about. This happens regardless of the spec (indeed, it happens even 
> > without specs). It's not a problem specific to the "living standard" 
> > model.
> But with a versioned spec there is a finite boundary for a particular 
> version, and while a single vendor may still dominate there's only going 
> to be room for features A, B and C. With a "living standard" it's 
> open-ended, a single vendor can continually influence the trajectory by 
> proposing features D, E, F...

Well sure, but in the time that the "living standard" would have those six 
features, the versioned spec would have had two versions each with three 
features, right? So the effect seems identical to me.

The specs follow the market, not the other way around. At any particular 
time, a useful spec is being dominated by whatever the most innovating 
user agent is. Whether we just have one document that's continually 
updated or whether we such a document but describe as unstable and publish 
the occasional snapshot that we stop updating and describe as something 
more mature seems to be orthogonal to market forces.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 25 February 2011 08:46:16 UTC

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