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Re: [DRAFT] Heartbeat poll

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 02 Aug 2009 05:43:40 -0700
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, 'HTML WG' <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <8809CB19-5337-4FDA-B6AB-F4546E5D5656@apple.com>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>

On Aug 1, 2009, at 11:47 PM, Julian Reschke wrote:

> Ian Hickson wrote:
>> ...
>>> Your sampling is flawed because it doesn't account for a  
>>> significant number of web pages that are not accessible to the  
>>> public.
>> Pages that are not part of the Web do not need to use a standard  
>> interoperable across the entire Web, they can use proprietary  
>> formats.
> > ...
> Sorry? I think this is something we need to discuss. Just because a  
> web-based application only runs on an intranet doesn't mean it's  
> irrelevant. It just means it is harder to collect data about it.

I don't think intranets are irrelevant, but they do raise an  
epistemological problem. People often claim that intranets have  
content with substantially different characteristics than the public  
Web, in particular respects. But in practice it is usually impossible  
to test this kind of hypothesis. That means these kinds of claims are  
not falsifiable and therefore not scientific.

So we have three basic options: (1) ignore all data and make decisions  
purely based on armchair reasoning;  or (2) by Occam's Razor, assume  
intranet content is much like public Web content unless specifically  
shown otherwise with concrete evidence; (3) ignore intranet content  
except when we can gather concrete data about its unique  
characteristics or special needs.

I don't think #1 is the most rational of these choices.

Received on Sunday, 2 August 2009 12:44:23 UTC

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