Re: ISO and HTML

Paul Prescod (papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca)
Wed, 02 Apr 1997 06:54:12 -0500


Message-ID: <334248E4.66CA@csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 1997 06:54:12 -0500
From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: ISO and HTML

Jukka Korpela wrote:
> 
> Previously Paul Prescod wrote:
> "ISO is not competing with the W3C or IETF. They are
> validating W3Cs efforts in an international forum."
> 
> On Wed, 2 Apr 1997, Paul Prescod wrote:
> 
> > The CENTER element was a brain-dead Netscape-ism - -
> > DIR and MENU have not found market acceptance - -
> 
> and so on. So you admit that the intention _is_ to make ISO HTML
> different from HTML 3.2 after all. 

Yes, they will take the best features from W3Cs efforts and augment them
to meet their user's needs. That is both a validation of W3Cs efforts
and an acknowledgement that ISO "customers" want stricter controls on
the HTML that they create and share with each other than does "Jane
HomePage". And so it should be.

> There will be debates on the
> _desirability_ of this and that feature instead of just writing up
> a more rigorous specification. Probably endless debates. 

So why do you care? If the debates are endless, it will never become a
specification and thus never cause the "confusion in the marketplace"
that you have described. Anyhow, you are completly out to lunch on that
one. ISO has created standards much more complicated and intricate than
ISO HTML. I expect ISO HTML will be relatively simple to standardize.

> Still, I'm a bit sad about wasted human resources.
> People involved would certainly be competent to do very useful things.)

How many ISO committees have you been on? It is rather offensive to me
that you seem to think you know better than the participants what is an
is not possible to standardize. 
 
> Really? Does it say so? It is really beneficial for the World Wide Web
> community to have a different standard for corporations and governments
> than for the rest of us? What kind of standardization is that?

Pragmatic standardization that recognizes that Joe Homepage should not
be restricted to the strict language that ISO participants would want to
restrict themselves to. Standards are wings, not chains. When different
users have different needs it is time to make a new standard.

 Paul Prescod