Re: HTML4, CSS2, and XML: Accelerate Conformance!

Test documents for HTML, CSS, and XML are, IMO, the best way to go if one
wishes to test a browser's compliance.

Searching through mounds of source code would be time-consuming and not
necessarily productive, if the logic is complex and the identifiers (keywords)
are abbreviated (usually both are true). There could be confidentiality issues
in letting someone see that code, since it and the programmers who wrote it
are a software company's primary assets. I'm sure the W3C wants to be fair and
impartial as a standards body.

I think it's a good idea for the W3C to certify compliance with the XML, HTML,
CSS, and future standards. Web sites and software publishers could advertise
"Certified 100% compliant with HTML4 and CSS2 by the W3C," or "W3C Standard
HTML4 and CSS2 Certified." Just a line of text and maybe a *small* W3C icon.
It would encourage conformance.

However, there are two problems: 

1. By meeting the standard, is a company prevented from innovations (new tags,
new ways of using standard tags, etc.) that would expand visitors' ability to
use and enjoy the Web? Such add-ons are one reason why we now can view and do
so much on the Web. They give sites and publishers a competitive advantage.
Yes, there are also many bugs that should be fixed. 

2. Do we really want/need another line of legalese besides what's already
there? --I'm sorry, lawyers. I know that language is there to protect both the
publisher and the consumer. Sometimes, though, it just buries us all (lawyers,
too) under mounds of paper, disks, screenfuls, and so on.

Anyway, just my opinion. Don't let my comments deter your interest or your
contributions. That the W3C seeks public comment is IMO one of the best things
going for it.

Ben Whisman

Received on Friday, 8 January 1999 12:58:51 UTC