W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org > October 2001

RAND proposal - obsolescence of W3C

From: Daniel Stone <daniel@sfarc.net>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 17:32:34 +1000
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <20011002173234.A7463@kabuki.sfarc.net>
From http://www.w3.org/Consortium/:
"The W3C was created ... to lead the WWW to its full potential by
developing common protocols that ... ensure its interoperability."

That's from the very first sentence of "About W3C". Number one. Numero
uno. The most important bit.

And yet, you people are seriously considering implementing a proposal
which is in direct contradiction to this sentence. So, let's see, what
are your goals? Aha, here it is again - number one.

"1. Universal Access: To make the Web accessible to all by promoting
technologies that take into account the vast differences in culture,
education, ability, material resources, and physical limitations of
users on all continents". Again, it raises the question - you are going
to blatantly contradict your first and most important goal? The mind
boggles.

If Netscape had to pay a "Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory" fee
towards HTML, it's extremely doubtful that Netscape would be free (as in
beer) today. If everyone else had to pay a RAND fee for proposals, then
I can assure you that there would be few, if any, Free Software (or even
Open Source, except maybe for Mozilla) browsers around. Hell, would
there be any? I mean, if there was, surely one could take the
Recommendation more or less from the source?

And then, what constitutes "reasonable" and "non-discriminatory". I'm a
high-school student, living on a reasonableish budget, attempting to do
various Free Software stuff. For me, even a fee of around $500 would be
"discriminatory", since I don't exactly have that sort of cash on hand.

The only reason the W3C is around and relevant today is standards. If
the RAND proposal goes ahead, we won't have a return to the 4.0ish days
(where you either designed a text-only site, a site for Netscape, or a
 site for MSIE). We'll have much, much worse. Why? Because it's
sanctioned by the very authority that was meant to keep things open and
sane.

It's ironic that you're attempting to make yourselves irrelevant. I
fully agree with Alan Cox; this is not at all in the spirit of Tim
Berners-Lee.

Keep the Web open. For free. For capital-F-Free, as well.

-d

-- 
Daniel Stone						    <daniel@sfarc.net>

Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 03:32:48 GMT

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