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Re: FW: IE4.0 and W3C Standards

From: David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 23:14:28 -0800
Message-Id: <199703060722.XAA11289@spain.it.earthlink.net>
To: "Bede McCall" <bede@mitre.org>, <scotti@microsoft.com>
Cc: <www-style@w3.org>, <www-talk@w3.org>
Bede McCall wrote:
> On the other hand, if what you're saying is true, your implementation
> is being based on incomplete W3C work, published internally only in
> the form of working drafts and "discussions".  This is very much like
> basing a protocol implementation on an IETF working group's
draft-rfc,
> which can change considerably over time as it gets "debugged" and may
> not even become a numbered RFC.  As a result, I have the feeling that
> Microsoft may be jumping the gun purely for the sake of gaining
market
> share before the final spec is made public by the W3C.  There is
> clearly a resulting risk that "bugs" in the draft W3C spec will
> instantly become part of an entrenched installed base of IE4
browsers,
> which seems unlikely to be good for either the W3C or its ~160
> members, including Microsoft.

I didn't see this as a problem with CSS1. Ideally, MS will release an
early beta and then listen to feedback. I find the 'market share'
argument dubious, as there's no indication MS's early support of CSS
gave them additional market share. In fact, I see no indication that MS
gained an iota of market share as a result of CSS support. What
happened was that website developers had a chance to critique CSS
before it went mainstream, and to add their $.02 to the public
discussion. I pointed out in another message that MS reps with a
presence on this list responded to criticism, and I believe that CSS
has benefited from the discourse.

There is nothing to prevent other browser makers from joining in the
finessing process, and, as I recall, there were unanswered calls for
others to help evolve CSS. If anyone but MS had offered to put forth a
testbed for Dynamic HTML drafts, there would be accolades. Why the
hypocrisy?

The reality is that there are a lot of folks reading this list who are
not exercising their responsibility. MS aligns itself with a process
and opens itself to criticism, and instead of providing input you damn
the motives. In this scenario, nobody wins.

MS and NS use each other, just as Republicans use Democrats and vice
versa. With minimal cooperation they can stifle third-party challenges.
But whether you're an MSer, NSer, or a third party supporter, your own
interests take precedence, and when any party offers to help realize
your interests you should listen.

Dynamic HTML sounds good to me. As advertised, it could do much of what
plug-ins and ActiveX components are currently used for. Even vector
graphics (my pet desire) are promised (CGM, I hope). Why should anyone
complain if a critiqueable demonstration of the technology is offered
at no cost?

David Perrell
Received on Thursday, 6 March 1997 02:23:04 GMT

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