Re: Introducing NetscapeML

Marc Salomon (marc@pele.ckm.ucsf.edu)
Sun, 30 Jun 1996 09:42:05 -0700


Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 09:42:05 -0700
From: marc@pele.ckm.ucsf.edu (Marc Salomon)
Message-Id: <199606301642.JAA18513@pele.ckm.ucsf.edu.UCSF-LIBRARY>
To: s-ping@orange.cv.tottori-u.ac.jp
Subject: Re: Introducing NetscapeML
Cc: html-erb@w3.org, www-html@w3.org, www-style@w3.org

s-ping@orange.cv.tottori-u.ac.jp wrote:
|If less people were as lethargic or fatalistic as you seem to
|suggest, perhaps they might have a real effect.  

Its a matter of atomization of diverse individuals who would have to do this
on their own time vs. organization of recently-turned-huge corporations with 
a clear mi$$ion who can include "bad" standards/product differentiation work 
in their bottom-line, heaped with a load of hype of course.  

Lethargy is not a factor when there are no viable avenues for action.  Yet.

Waving the magic wand of neoliberal political/economic theory and casting 
the blame for bad standards on the inaction of lazy users in forums they
don't have acces to instead of focusing on corporations frantically posturing 
for increased market share with other large corporations with little concern 
for the end-user merely obfuscates the forces at work here.

|The creation of a new organized discussion group with a mandate to provide
|well-formed suggestions (e.g. in the form of I-Ds or RFCs)
|could be a positive step; i recently wondered whether the HTML
|Writers' Guild might take this role.

That might work for HTML, (although the users' interests in specifying a meta
language might not be best left to its day-to-day practitioners just as it
is not best left to the browser vendors--these are academic issues that
require analysis) but there are issues in the WWW system as a whole, as is 
and in its evolution in which users' interests remain unrepresented, such as 
privacy, data entombment in dead-end encodings and cache/bandwidth ownership.

Can't do IETF I-D's or RFC's for data formats anymore.  But some kind of Users'
Manifesto of Web Rights might be in order.

I've been toying with the idea of a World Wide Web Users Union (w3u2.org) to
advocate the needs of individual web users who would rather not be relegated
to the status of consumer and provide a forum for well thought-out 
vendor-independent language extensions.  Anyone up for it?
 
|Besides, do you really think we are *better* off ignoring the problem?
 
Who's ignoring the problem?  I'm describing the problem in the HTML area 
with the hope that it can be addressed, and working in the still-open 
standards forums to promote the information provision needs of the <SPAN
CLASS="sarcasm">rich and politically powerful </SPAN> academic library 
community.

-marc
<BLINK> and you'll miss it