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RE: Future version of HTML!?

From: Nir Dagan <nir@nirdagan.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 11:50:08 -0400
Message-Id: <199910231548.LAA09652@vega.brown.edu>
To: "Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor" <roconnor@uwaterloo.ca>, W3C HTML <www-html@w3.org>
With all due respect to Mr. O'Connor, it would be more constructive 
if his remarks were more focussed. The documentation of XML, CSS etc.
discusses their motivation. Arguing with it explicitly is more useful
than a general statement that they have no purpose.

Concerning ISO-HTML, one should note that ISO 
fully relies on the semantics of HTML as defined by W3C's HTML4.0
Also the syntax is almost identical to W3C's. 95% of ISO HTML was developed
by W3C. 
I am not sure that ISO would have come with a better standard without the
work of W3C.
Showing at least one "good thing" about W3C, even if one considers ISO's HTML 
as the authoritive one. 


At 11:04 AM 10/23/99 -0400, Russell Steven Shawn O'Connor wrote:
>On Sat, 23 Oct 1999, Keith Bowes wrote:
>> Ah, the W3C-  a typical case of high authority on an ego trip.  
>>  Like HTML, the W3C has to change a bit too, or they'll always  
>> be greedy tyrants.
>The W3C doesn't have any authority.  They are self-proclaimed keepers of
>the HTML standard, but this is no more valid than if I proclaim myself to
>be keeper of the HTML standard. 
>Their authority would come from authors and UA developers agreeing to
>listen to them.  As a consortium of UA developers you'd think they would
>actually have some authority, and maybe they do come close to being an
>authority on HTML.  But the problem is that few people listen to them. 
>Most importantly the UA developers that are part of their consortium don't
>listen to them.  So why should we? 
>The W3C has neither compromised on a standard that reflects what people
>use, nor have they stuck to an ideal markup language.  They are left in
>some wishy-washy middle ground that none are satisfied with.  The W3C seem
>to be bent on redesigning existing international standards for no good
>XML     <-> SGML
>DOM     <-> groves
>But the W3C has possibly developed some good standards.  HTTP 1.1 is
>pretty good as far as I understand, although I don't know much about the
>protocol.  PNG is a great standard, but also stuffers from a lack of
>implementation from the consortium's members.
>So the point is, if you are looking for authoritative HTML standards, I'd
>look at ISO-HTML.  Not that anyone would use it, but at least it is
>developed by a creditable international organization.
>Russell O'Connor                           roconnor@uwaterloo.ca
>       <http://www.undergrad.math.uwaterloo.ca/~roconnor/>
>``And truth irreversibly destroys the meaning of its own message''
>-- Anindita Dutta, ``The Paradox of Truth, the Truth of Entropy''
Nir Dagan
Assistant Professor of Economics
Brown University 
Providence, RI

Received on Saturday, 23 October 1999 11:48:12 UTC

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