Re: Public Specifications: [was: a bad idea]

Marc Salomon (
Wed, 10 Jul 1996 16:05:11 -0700

From: "Marc Salomon" <>
Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 16:05:11 -0700
In-Reply-To: (Murray Altheim)
Subject: Re: Public Specifications: [was: a bad idea] (Murray Altheim) wrote:
|If the public believes that vendors do and will control HTML development, then
|the IETF process is irrelevant.

|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 part of the design process for
HTML, |when I don't see any evidence of this being so. Feedback on W3C specs
maybe, |but design, no.

The IESG (Internet Engineering Steering close to 'philosopher-kings'
or judges as the IETF gets) decided that the IETF standardizes protocols, not
data formats, such as HTML.  While not at all irrelavent, data formats don't
seem to be in scope for the IETF.

When HTML/data formats are out of scope for the IETF and this is the only
vector in a vacuum for contributions of non-W3C members to the process, then
discussion on design and feedback will default to this forum.

Of the active documents in the html-wg (,
most all, with the notable exception of I18N:

"Internationalization of the Hypertext Markup Language",
F. Yergeau, G. Nicol, G. Adams, M. Duerst, 05 May 1996.

have expired or been taken up as work items by other IETF wg's.


"Compound Documents in HTML" P. Burchard, D. Raggett, 22 Nov 1995.
"HTML and Style Sheets" B. Bos, D. Raggett, H. Lie, 23 Jan 1995
"Hypertext links in HTML" M. Maloney, L. Quin, 15 Jan 1996
"A Proposed Extension to HTML : Client-Side Image Maps" James L. Seidman, 12
Dec 1995
"The META Tag of HTML" D. Musella, 22 Dec 1995


"Packaging Aggregate HTML Objects Inside MIME", A. Hopmann, 20 Feb 1996.
(to mhtml)

After I18N, there doesn't seem to be a "there there" as far as the html-wg is
concerned, and I would bet against a html-wg++.  If the W3C is going to take on
HTML standardization in a smaller forum (both of which are not bad ideas) then
there needs to be the machinery for feedback in place where non-W3C members
especially from the non-corporate world that will be using this technology can
influence its evolution.