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Re: 2.1 a-d: Link Recognition by Reserved Attribute?

From: <lee@sq.com>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 97 00:01:51 EST
Message-Id: <9702220501.AA09588@sqrex.sq.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Michael, a well-written (as always) response.

I wish to add one small comment to sonething Len wrote:
> It will be ISO, authoritative

ISO has no authority on the Internet.  Actually, people generally conform
to ISO standards because they choose to, not because they are forced to --
that is, people who make decisions about whether to conform.

The IETF has authority over networking protocols used on the Internet.

It's a different world...  SGML and ISO are tolerated where they
are useful and not overly intrusive, not obeyed.

Frankly, after X.400 and OSI networking, few network programmers can have
much respect (if any) for any "authority" of ISO.  It will take a long
time to regain confidence.  It will be necessary to show that the ISO
standards are well and clearly written, that they have been well tested
before being approved, and that they really work in practice, before
that confidence can be regained.  The current HyTime standard meets
none of those requirements (if it did, perhaps the TC wouldn't be so
badly needed).  Neither does the SGML standard (sorry).  I think that
DSSSL comes close, and if it lacks anything it is in the area of testing;
ISO doesn't have the IETF's concept of a trial implementation period.
I wouldn't really have a problem with referring to DSSSL, even if it
is (to me) a little overly legalistic.  But I see no point in referring
to HyTime, with or without TC.  If by some happy coincidence it
turns out that XML is expressible HyTime -- and Eliot assures us that
any scheme whatsoever is so expresible if a grove plan be constructible --
then a separate document can explain that.

An RFC for hyperlinking will carry immeasurably more weight in IETF
and World Wide Web circles than any number of ISO standards.  As I
understand it, W3C recommendations become RFCs, so we have a route there.

ISO standards may now (as of 1994) reference IETF standards track RFCs
in their normative text, and vice versa.

Sorry for a long reply.  I am not trying (although it may seem like it)
to put down ISO, which does a useful job; rather, I am trying to point
out and expand a little upon a cultural difference.

Received on Saturday, 22 February 1997 00:01:56 UTC

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