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Re: The Standards Manifesto

From: Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 14:05:24 -0500
Cc: www-talk@w3.org
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <DED87EF7-6DB6-11D6-A14A-0003936780B2@aaronsw.com>
[trimming cc list]

On Wednesday, May 22, 2002, at 01:42  PM, Karl Dubost wrote:

> Aaron... tss tss... I have read ***w3t***, so you are talking about the 
> W3C Team. So the 70 persons who are employed by W3C. I'm one of those 
> and we have not all of us the same ideas about the web, the community, 
> or the standards process.

You are certainly right. My point was simply that I didn't see team 
members using their power to ensure specs remained simple and so forth. 
And I can certainly understand their hands-off approach, it's simply not 
what I would prefer.

> Let's take for example SVG which is a huge spec, which has taken a long 
> time, if you look at implementation, they are very good wrt to other 
> specs.

I've spoken to some implementers who are very unhappy with the SVG 
process. They feel that their feedback was ignored, their contributions 
snubbed, and the spec made things more difficult for them than necessary.

> Who knows the stuff? ;) not easy to reply and you will see that in a 
> sense, nobody knows... and hopefully, the creativity comes from the 
> research. So I think what you wanted to say, is let a place to 
> creativity and expression of ideas.

Indeed.

> So I wish thousand of times more participation to the W3C from 
> governments, universities, research centers,  individual people. You 
> have forgotten two main issues. [digital divide and cultural 
> differences]

I have not forgotten them. They are difficult problems to overcome. I do 
hope to overcome them, but first we must overcome some of the larger 
barriers to standards work at the W3C:

  - working for a Member org or paying $5000 to get member access

> While I tend to agree to the general and optimistic ideas of your 
> choices, I would like to make the membership wider (criterias still to 
> be determined) and have more people participating and less monotyped in 
> the sense of your email (too much industries ?).
>
> So is the problem the consortium or a too small consortium and not 
> enough representative of the Web Community?

I think the problem is that we have a consortium at all. Let the 
programmers and researchers sit and work out a specification that they 
believe in. Then the Big Companies and the consortia can "standardize" 
it later.

Anyway, I hope to convince people of this thru practical action rather 
than mailing list discussion. I'm eager to start work on the projects I 
mentioned.

--
Aaron Swartz [http://www.aaronsw.com]
Received on Wednesday, 22 May 2002 15:05:26 GMT

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