I work for AFNOR and i am in charge of the standardisation in the field of
"Structured Documents" and it seems to be necessary to report here part of
the discussion initiated in France regarding the standardisation of html at

In 1996, AFNOR witch is the French National Standardisation Organisation,
member of ISO, received strong requirements from some French High level
Groups of IT users like the French GII to initiate a standardisation of
html at the ISO level. AFNOR discussed (in July 1996) with French
representatives to W3C : M. ABRAMATIC and M. PEYNAUD (INRIA) the way to
conduct such action with the objective to standardise in ISO a new version
produced by W3C : html 3.2 

We raised to the conclusion that two different ways was open :

1- given to the W3C to status of PAS Submitter in JTC1 (witch is a new
procedure in ISO/IEC JTC1 to give to consortia the opportunity to submit
standards to the ISO process)

2- initiate a New Work Item in ISO/JTC1/SC18 (Working Group 8) wich
produced 10 years ago SGML standard. 

It was reported to AFNOR the W3C refused to become an "PAS Submitter".
However, there was some support (at least no opposition) for the second

AFNOR French standardisation committee on "structured documents" (mirror of
ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC18 working group 8) approved the submission of a New Work
Item on html with the objective to assume for SGML user's the compatibility
between SGML and HTML. It was agreed that the html 3.2 specification would
be the basis for such a standardisation.

There was also a strong requirements for the standardisation of html
expressed by a majority of French experts, members of the  JTC1/SC29
"multimedia" (involved in the area of JPEG, MPEG, MHEG standards).

AFNOR supported also the proposition of M. Price (IBM-France) to become an
ISO editor of the future ISO html standard.

This message is also transferred to the French Committee Electronic
Distribution list.

Department  " Information Technologie and Communication "

Received on Thursday, 3 April 1997 06:06:00 UTC