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Re: Conformance and Implementations

From: Andrew Thackrah <andrew@opengroup.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 10:30:28 +0000
Message-Id: <1011010103028.ZM29465@hyperion.rdg.opengroup.org>
To: www-qa@w3c.org

Some thoughts on brands and their relation to conformance.

The W3C currently promotes the use of an online HTML validator. If a page  is
sucessfully validated the author is invited to display a small 'conformance'
graphic on the page. This is a form of branding. What is the thinking behind
this service? What is the W3C hoping to achieve by this?

The QA group will have to evaluate the thinking behind such services before we
can  come to a conclusion not only on the nature of conformance procedures but
also our  attitudes to conformance and certification.

The conformance graphic itself is a brand. However it carries no legal power
(AFAIK) and  the certification system behind it is simple and free. (yes ! it
is a certification system,  and the graphic is the certificate) Does the
promotion of this brand lead to small vendor lock-out? I suspect not. Is it
useful as a quality assurance for buyers? possibly not.
 I think it promotes the visibility of the W3C as a standards organisation. It
promotes the  idea that there is a correct way to do HTML.

One problem it may have is the kind of negative 'halo effect' that would come
from a  broken browser rendering a conformant page badly. The page, although
technically correct,  would look broken. If every page bearing a W3C brand
looked broken (in that browser),  there is the danger of creating a bad
association with W3C.

This is a case where we have to think about the relationship between the
quality of the  standards (validating chunk of HTML) and the products that
implemement them (validating a  browser)

Received on Wednesday, 10 October 2001 06:27:06 UTC

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