Public Specifications: [was: a bad idea] -Reply

Jim Taylor (
Wed, 10 Jul 1996 16:03:36 -0800

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 16:03:36 -0800
From: Jim Taylor <>
Subject: Public Specifications: [was: a bad idea] -Reply

>>> Murray Altheim <> 07/10/96 02:13pm >>>
Jim Taylor <> writes:
>>>> Erik Aronesty <> 07/10/96 06:08am
>>Would it be difficult to make a DTD for something like this.....
>>VARNAME=X2 ..........
>>That way any tag can have multiple choices for variables, with an
>>optional picking mechanism
>>It's not such a bad idea, which must be why both Ron Schnell and I
>>proposed similar ideas (check the archives for "Proposal: New Anchor
>>Attributes" and "Alternate Source Tags?"). Ron's supposedly working
>>an official proposal (how's it coming, Ron?). Your ideas of extending it
>>cover other choices such as fonts and allowing the user to make the
>>selection have merit and perhaps should be included in the proposal.
>In what context does "official proposal" have any meaning? You're not
>dealing here with the IETF (as discussion in, where
>Internet Draft has a recognized process and procedure for public
>and action. W3C has no formal or even informal public process (nor has
>there been any public discussion of creating one that I'm aware of), and
>given that W3C members pay a great deal of money to influence design
>decisions, I don't see any reason why they should do so. When HTML
>development was still a public process, this forum might have had real
>relevance. I don't see that now.
>You really ought to consider pushing the IETF to close the current HTML
>working group, and reopen a new group with a new charter and
>purpose that
>includes your design ideas. This whole forum often seems to sound like
>of the design process for HTML, when I don't see any evidence of this
>so. Feedback on W3C specs maybe, but design, no.

First off, I should clarify that I used the word "official" in what was
probably too loose a manner. I merely meant that Ron was creating a
more "formal" proposal intended to be submitted to this list for comment,
possibly followed by submission as an IETF draft and a W3C working
draft. I apologize for lack of clarity.

Whether or not the HTML WG is closed or reopened or ever has another
meeting, I view this discussion list as a valuable forum for the
presentation and discussion of ideas related to the development and
evolution of HTML. It's an excellent place to put forward ideas, gather
consensus, and run a "trial balloon" of a proposal before submitting it to
the IETF or the W3C, resulting in a more cogent and useful proposal.
Obviously the W3C has it's own agenda and works in progress, but
apart from paying large sums of money to join the W3C, the www-html
list seems the best channel for public input.

I also would like to see the working group reopened with a new charter
(perhaps similar to what I just mentioned), but I'm not holding my breath....

Jim "The Frog" Taylor, Director of Information Technology
Videodiscovery, Inc. - Multimedia Education for Science and Math
Seattle, WA, 206-285-5400 <>