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Re: David Baron: The W3C Member Companies Conspire to Kill the Web

From: Gary Stewart <gary@deltagreen.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 11:04:52 +0100 (BST)
To: www-forms@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0407071014580.5062-100000@riff.albionsoft.com>

On Tue, 6 Jul 2004, Gerald Bauer wrote:

> Hello,
>    David Baron has written up a blog story titled "The
> W3C" arguing that the W3C member companies have no
> interest in a free and open web for all and instead
> prefer W3C standards that push closed, controlled,
> environments (where interoperability doesn't matter)
> and where the W3C member companies can charge money
> for the client offering.

An interesting belief for an open standard. I was thinking about this
about ten years ago, that if everyone wrote to the same standard then
anyone can write a program to view your documents, the main thing that
differencates between your product and the next is the quality and
features of your product. People would then choose to pay for your product
based on the strength of it compared to the competetors. 

Many of the W3C standards are quite new and companies that have been
developing products are bound to be quicker to market than open source
equivalents that are often done on peoples free time. Now using these on
the web is a slightly different issue, web adoption is slower because any
company wants to insure that anything they release works on anything their
clients use, could you imagine the sales loss Amazon would have if they
pumped XForms data to the client? So many standards that come out of the
W3C aren't used directly on the web, using web browsers, and probably
won't be for years. However an image can be created in SVG and then
exported to PNG for the web (as much as it pains me) and server side
XForms can speed up development time while still allowing current browsers
to view a page.

>      David writes:
>   SVG and XForms weren't even designed for the Web.
> SVG was designed by graphic designers who wish the
> fact that Web pages aren't printed on paper would go

I'm blinded by this logic. That SVG is developed by graphic designers,
yes, it's a vector based graphic language, so graphic designers are bound
to have a say. Of course the benefit of using SVG that can scale well for
vector based graphics, rather than writing that to a PNG which doesn't
scale so well are significant. Want to annotate the graphic with text, can
do, you can copy and paste that text from the SVG image, try that with
your PNG. Given that vector images generally don't play a huge part in
printed press world, where having a 10MB raster image doesn't effect the
time it takes someone to read your book and that you are unlikely to scale
something that was designed for A4 onto A3 Landscape then I wouldn't state
that SVG is for the benefit of electronic viewing.

The Adobe SVG browser plugin is free, so no money is to be made there, you
could argue that it is hoped that it will increase the sales of
Illustrator, but I could just as well use Sodipodi to create images.

> arguments for XForms always seem to relate to
> "intranet" forms (where companies can earn money), not
> Web forms (where they can't earn nearly as much, since
> they can't charge for clients).

What? I'm looking into using XForms to use on an intranet, I'm not going
to make money from it, I'm not even sure how I would, after all everyone
on our intranet works here, unless I have a button that says "Click Here
to Donate Your Salary to Me". An intranet is something your company has to
keep staff informed, the reason I'm developing software for an internal
system, is we can install plugins on the company's machines to view the
form, we can't do that with the general public.

One of the reason I went with XForms is that if someone doesn't want to
use the XForms viewer that we have given them then they can choose their
own. This also allows opening the forms from other devices such as PDAs.

I don't think XForms is a particular good choice when it comes to trivial
forms (but then they don't take much effort to write in either XForms or
HTML Forms), however online forms are becoming more and more complex and
on these complex forms that where XForms starts showing its strengths.

Received on Wednesday, 7 July 2004 06:05:33 UTC

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