Re: HTML3.2

Foteos Macrides (
Thu, 09 May 1996 16:35:02 -0500 (EST)

Date: Thu, 09 May 1996 16:35:02 -0500 (EST)
From: Foteos Macrides <>
Subject: Re: HTML3.2

Paul Prescod <> wrote:
>At 11:30 AM 5/9/96 -0500, Foteos Macrides wrote:
>>	I'm sure a great many people, and I especially, would appreciate
>>a clear exposition of the standardization process, and whether there is
>>one at present which could lead effectively and reasonably soon to
>>reversals or corrections of what we consider ill advised choices in
>>HTML 3.2 -- which could have severely adverse consequences, no matter
>>how well intended they might have been.
>Standards bodies are only as authoritative as the communities they serve
>decide that they are. IETF is authoritative because it is historical and
>because it has a fairly rigorous process for arriving at standards. I'm not
>sure what ISOs credentials are, (and is an
>abomination!). But they are well accepted as "authoritative." W3C is a
>vendor consortium. I do not see them as authoritiative at all. (though if
>enough people _believed_ that they were authorititative they would _be_
>Right now, they do not have much more standards-setting authority than any
>other private body (and less than and Wilbur
>weakens their authority in my mind.

	Thanks Paul, but I am still hoping for a substantive
elaboration from Erik Sink on the message he posted.

	I feel very uncomforatable about blindly entrusting the
making of standards for electronic information sharing systems to
an organization which repeatedly now has demonstrated difficulty
drawing distinctions between information versus propaganda, and
seems permanently wedded to the practice of releasing privately
generated and ill-discussed drafts in conjunction with press
releases aimed at having them perceived as ratified standards.
This is exactly the opposite of what many who have worked hard
and long on development of the Web were seek to achieve.

	But the IETF standardization mechanisms also seems to be

	So what constructive options are available?
	And capitulation to scare tacks about creating "fear,
uncertainty and doubt" is not one of the options.  Uncertainty
and doubt are healthy states of mind in such matters.


 Foteos Macrides            Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research
 MACRIDES@SCI.WFBR.EDU         222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545