W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 1999

Re: stability of HTML

From: Inanis Brooke <alatus@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 15:52:55 -0800
Message-ID: <003c01be40e2$2cf20e40$bb2fb3d1@alatus>
To: "Ian Hickson" <py8ieh=www-html@bath.ac.uk>, "www-html" <www-html@w3.org>
|For various political reasons, the W3C is itself unable to campaign
|for authors (of both browsers and web pages) to follow standards --
|mainly because the members of the W3C *are* the browser makers.
|
|The Web Standards Project (the WaSP) has no such political problems.
|
|(On the other hand, the WaSP is not a standards making body, that is
|the role of the W3C).

Yet, there are other popularly used standards which don't have nearly as
many compliance / compatability issues as HTML. Java is one, even though it
is controlled by its creator. A far better comparison is OpenGL. Members of
the OpenGL board (I don't remember exactly what it's called) come from
companies like Microsoft, Sun, nVidia, and a few others, and even though
there is a fairly diverse membership of membership representing companies
interested in OpenGL, much in the way there is a wide diversity of
membership in the W3C, OpenGL has far lesser problems as a standard than web
standards in general. If a video card manufacturer or software manufacturer
say their product is OpenGL compliant, it WILL work. If a browser maker says
their browser is compliant with web standards, well... (there's usually some
fine print somewhere that says it doesn't support all of the web standards,
just the old ones.) It isn't the best example, and yes it is a bit
exagerated, but it loosely illustrates that SOMEONE must do something to
motivate the browser makers to all publish software that supports one
standard: that makes the same HTML / CSS / ECMAScript / XML / Whatever else
code look the same no matter what browser is viewing it. I mean, the source
looks the same in a plaintext editor, so why shouldn't the end product look
the same in a web browser?
Even though one could argure that with OpenGL, the application vendor can
finetune compatibility into the application in a way that web authors can't,
I think they will when XML becomes a widely-used standard... but will it
ever be widely used? HTML has always seen an advantage in being so loose,
(compared to application programming languages,) but at the same time, it
suffers with a lack of precision when it's necessary. I think it is
excellent to have loose and strict versions of HTML4. That was an excellent
solution to a very complex problem.
Received on Friday, 15 January 1999 18:56:59 GMT

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