RE: The harm that can come if the W3C supports publication of competing specs

Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> For what it's worth, I (the MediaWiki developer who proposed we use
> microdata) don't really care what the W3C says.  I use the WHATWG spec
> myself, recommend others use the WHATWG spec, and will continue to do
> so if it diverges significantly from the W3C spec.

That has got to be the stupidest thing I've read to date on this list.

Should the W3C spec and WHAT WG spec continue to diverge to the point of 
significant differences, rest assured that any industry, government or 
academic institution that is mandated to meet W3C standards will be left 
with no choice than to abandon any and all instances of a software "web 
application" (such as MediaWiki) that does not do so, not because the tool 
doesn't do what is advertised on the tin, but because it contradicts other 
legal or official requirements those organizations must meet. Do you really 
think that those organizations are going to tolerate another "Best Viewed 
In" scenario reminiscent of the Browser Wars era? And if you don't think 
governments have that kind of clout in our industry, why not ask Microsoft 
how things worked out for them in Europe.

That might sound stupid (or at best unreasonable) to many reading this, but 
then those people probably don't work in any of those situations.  So go off 
and make your shiny WHATWG application and good luck getting widespread 
implementation down the road - I'm sure somebody else will come along and 
provide a sufficiently comparable solution that *does* use W3C standards.

This of course is not a judgment on Microdata or RDFa, (I don't have a horse 
in that race) but rather on a mindset that thinks that the engineers hold 
all the cards - which is simply not the case.


Received on Sunday, 17 January 2010 05:44:37 UTC