Netscape and Standards [Was: %flow and headers and address]

Murray Altheim (murray@spyglass.com)
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 11:09:24 -0500


Message-Id: <v02140b02ae759f911692@[192.168.22.85]>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 1996 11:09:24 -0500
To: Peter Flynn <pflynn@curia.ucc.ie>
From: murray@spyglass.com (Murray Altheim)
Subject: Netscape and Standards [Was: %flow and headers and address]
Cc: www-html@w3.org

Peter Flynn <pflynn@curia.ucc.ie> writes:
[...]
>   > Moot anyway, in view of James Clark's talk at Princeton on Thursday...
>
>   Sorry, he forgot to invite me.. :-) What was it about?
[...]
>The gist of it was a declaration that Netscape is committed to
>standards, but Mr Clark then muddied the waters with a comment about
>the IETF, variously quoted as "in the real world, standards don't make
>money: money drives standards" and "standards don't drive volume,
>volume drives standards" (both of which are wrong anyway: it's
>consumer choice usually, aided by money to kid them :-)

God, I was frightened. When you first mentioned James Clark, I was thinking
not of Netscape's James Clark, but of the author of nsgmls, the SGML
parser. What a difference!

>He was also apparently less than forthcoming about SGML, and
>unwilling to make any statement other than to refer it to Marc
>Andreessen (who I think has other things to do).

It's too bad someone didn't put his speech through an SGML parser. It would
have shown most of his comments as invalid.

>It is instructive to compare this with his talk at CERN earlier in the
>year, when he made it clear that standards were something that should
>be set by companies, on a proprietary basis, and not something that
>should be debated publicly, let alone decided publicly.

This just goes to show that being in charge of a large company doesn't make
your opinions any more or less right or wrong; it just gives one an
audience. Too bad he's in charge. If he wasn't so inlined with the bottom
line of his company and thought a little about the future he was helping
shape, he might have a little more foresight. He has been given the
opportunity to create something truly great and important, and he's blowing
it. Think fifty years into the future, Jim.

Murray

```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
     Murray Altheim, Program Manager
     Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
     email: <mailto:murray@spyglass.com>
     http:  <http://www.cambridge.spyglass.com/murray/murray.html>
            "Give a monkey the tools and he'll eventually build a typewriter."