W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > March 2000

Re: flying pigs considered harmful

From: Braden N. McDaniel <braden@endoframe.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 17:09:48 -0500 (EST)
To: "James P. Salsman" <bovik@best.com>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.10003030526580.24992-100000@boneone.endoframe.com>
On Fri, 3 Mar 2000, James P. Salsman wrote:

> Line noise transmitted the message below unattributed; my apologies 
> to Braden McDaniel.
> >> [JPS:] The only 
> >> way to obtain device upload does not even involve the INPUT tag 
> >> (on Windows' MSIE, the OBJECT tag is used with an insecure 
> >> "ActiveX" binary; on Netscape Navigator under Windows, the EMBED 
> >> tag is used with a similarly insecure arrangement where the user 
> >> must "Grant All" system privileges to the EMBEDed binary code.)  
> >
> > [BNM:] Yes, well, one could probably use OBJECT/EMBED to make pigs
> > fly if one were so inclined and prepared to waive the relevant
> > security precautions.
> The security concerns are actually more significant than the "it 
> won't run on my Mac/Unix workstation" -- at least for the majority 
> that don't have Mac or Unix workstations.  Promiscuous use of 
> insecure binary plug-in applications is another reason against 

If the client machine is secure to begin with, this is really no more true
for applications invoked via OBJECT/EMBED than it is for any other
application. The implementation flaws you're referring to are neither
flaws in the specification of OBJECT nor flaws in the usage of

> >> If the W3C would just take a stand, and tell the browser vendors 
> >> that in order to be compliant with the W3C Recommendations, if 
> >> device upload is implemented then it should be available in a 
> >> certain way, then they would probably conform to stay compliant.
> >
> > The W3C has defined conformance terms for HTML 4, CSS1, CSS2... And how
> > many browsers conform to date? I'm a little bit skeptical that having the
> > W3C stomp its feet would do a bit of good.
> It is completely reasonable for the W3C to act in the general 
> interest of web users.


> Supporting device upload would be in 
> their interest because of the reduced security concerns, the 
> more widespread accessibility on a diversity of platforms, and 
> the general utility of the services enabled for education, 
> commerce and industry.

As has already been pointed out, the W3C already supports a mechanism
which may be used for device upload. What this seems to come down to is
just that they don't support *your* mechanism.

> I believe the W3C will try to hold on 
> to its leadership role in consumer protection pertaining to 
> browser technology.

It's entirely debatable as to whether the W3C even occupies that role. It
is a vendor consortium. The vendors pay the bills. So who do you think the
W3C answers to?

And stop spamming the IETF list with this garbage. It's even less topical
there than it is here.

Braden N. McDaniel
Received on Friday, 3 March 2000 17:07:44 UTC

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