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

Re: Conformance and Implementations

From: Rob Lanphier <robla@real.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 10:37:31 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>, "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>
Cc: www-qa@w3.org
At 11:11 AM 10/9/01 -0600, Alex Rousskov wrote:
>     13. W3C becomes a trademark of a few big players and, slowly,
>         fewer and fewer folks, including those big players, care
>         about W3C and what it used to stand for.
>Humans are born with desire to act when something is wrong.
>Unfortunately, ability to predict the consequences of our actions is
>rare. We have to be careful not to make the situation worse when we
>try to fix things. Especially, when things that seem to be
>more-or-less working already.

Wait a sec.  While I think your logic for getting to the dreaded step 13 is 
o.k., I question whether or not you are characterizing it fairly.

A direction that I continue to think we should go in is a way of making 
certification possible.  This does not mean that everyone has to get 
certification, but rather that people have a choice.  Right now, people 
can't choose certified implementations because there's no such thing as 
certified implementations.  Big vendors see only cost associated with being 
spec compliant, not the marketing/sales benefit (because right now, it's 
impossible to characterize).

I'll cautiously bring up POSIX as an example of how things can go.  While I 
don't feel the POSIX standard is an unqualified success, I think it was 
very helpful in the development of Linux.  Though most Linux distributions 
aren't POSIX certified to this day, having the certification carrot out 
there gave the Linux community a fixed goal to work toward.  This is in 
spite of the fact that the big companies involved in the creation of POSIX 
certification almost certainly didn't have that goal in mind.

Received on Tuesday, 9 October 2001 13:38:05 UTC

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