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The mechanics of standards

From: <mattias.inghe@idg.se>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 14:40:36 +0200
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF73925D3F.627FC593-ONC1256AD9.0042DD5E@idg.se>
Dear Sirs at W3C,

I would like to point out what I belive would be the
most major mistake in supporting RAND and
non-free standards.

Pepole tend to follow the infamous Path Of Least
Resistance. The reason that the major standards
for constructing the web (HTTP; HTML, XML) as it
looks today are the ones that you have developed
are not simply because you say it is The Standards.

It is the delelopers, the sers of the standards that
has given you the mandate to define what the
standard is. The reason you are given this mandate
is because you have your very existance have been
a guarantee for a free, nondiscriminating standards
open for anyone to use.

If a fee - any fee - were issued for using a protocol or
language defined as the standard, there is a major
risque it will in fact not become one.

The idea of a standard is that by coordinating efforts
and using the same techniques everyone will save
time and money. The big software corporations, the
small , independent developers, and the end users,
John and Jane Doe surfing the web.

If (say) the current HTML standard would suddenly be
taxed with a fee for developing or use in publications,
the majority of developers would start looking for
alternatives. Development of new and innovative tools
for writing in the standard by independent software
makers would probably cease. However "reaslonable
and non-discrimiate" a lisence fee might be, it will
alienate the majority of the developers and ISPs in the
world, and put numerous out of business.

A standard is what most pepole use. Not what W3C
say they should use. By deciding to go with the
RAND proposal I fear that W3C's position as an
institution for standards will get severely damaged.
That would not benefit anyone.

regards (still),
Mattias Inghe
client web developer, IDG.se
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 08:59:08 UTC

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