Re: Netscape & New HTML

Tim Pierce (twpierce@midway.uchicago.edu)
Thu, 27 Oct 94 18:09:05 CDT


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 94 18:09:05 CDT
From: Tim Pierce <twpierce@midway.uchicago.edu>
To: northrup@chuma.cas.usf.edu
Cc: Multiple recipients of list <www-html@www0.cern.ch>
Subject: Re: Netscape & New HTML
In-Reply-To: Your message of Thu, 27 Oct 1994 22:52:31 +0100
Message-Id: <CMM.0.90.4.783299345.twpierce@quads.uchicago.edu>

Dylan said:

> Given a choice of giving a customer what they want and waiting for a 
> committee to decide on a final draft of something that hasn't been talked 
> about seriously for months, I'd choose the former every time without 
> thinking.

This Mcom apologism is really terrible.  Mcom knew in
advance that what they were going to implement was behavior
not held by any other browser available at the time.  They
had the choice in front of them to take a path that at least
had *some* force of standard in front of it, even if the
draft was old and dusty at the time.

Instead, they chose to spurn it entirely and forge ahead
with their own tags.  MarcA's justification: no browser was
presently implementing <P ALIGN=CENTER> and the other tags,
so they saw no compatibility issues.  True enough, but there
was still nothing stopping them from becoming the first to
implement them, and establish a status quo that fell more in
line with the standards process.  They decided against it.

That speaks very poorly of their intent, or judgment, or
both.

> The problem being, that this is *not* what most of the people who 
> actually use and peruse the web care about.

That is a point to take into advisement when designing a
standard.  It should never be a driving motivation.

> If they don't, then 5-10 years from 
> now they'll be a historical footnote in their ivory tower overlooking 
> some long forgotten off-ramp of the Infobahn.

I still get more information from the radio than from
television.  Newspaper gives me more than either one.  I do
not see that becoming the Liberace of the information
superdonkeytrack is an enviable goal.