Re: HTML forms

From Sat Apr  1 15:25:32 2000
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2000 02:25:06 +0300 (EEST)
From: Stephanos Piperoglou <>
To: "James P. Salsman" <>
Subject: Re: HTML forms

On Thu, 30 Mar 2000, James P. Salsman wrote:

> The proposal would involve ammending the registration of the
> text/html media type, incorporating the W3C standards extended with
> two attributes of the INPUT element, DEVICE and MAXTIME.

Last time I checked, IANA, and not the IETF, controls the definitions
of Media Types. The entry for text/html [1] says, simply "See RFC
1866". And RFC 1866 [2] is a more or less verbatim copy of the HTML
2.0 Specification (which I couldn't find on, not that I spent
all that long looking). If it's so important to you that this changes,
I'd suggest you first get working at making this point to HTML 4.01 or
even (shock horror) XHTML 1.0. You can work out extensions later on.


Oh, and, BTW, extending the spec with two attributes isn't going to be
all that simple. You need detailed definitions, changes to DTDs, and
more. If you have these details, it would be nice to point us all to a
proposal so we know how "DEVICE" and "MAXTIME" would work.

> I understand that.  There might be substantial benefits from
> reconsidering those opinions.  Within the IETF, public debate is
> assured on almost all controversial matters.  The W3C, however,
> constrains meaningful debate to those willing and able to pay
> US$50,000 per year.

OK, maybe 50k is a bit extreme, but do you *really* have a problem
with the W3C's openness? I've been on this list for oh, about 5 years
and I've seen public debate about issues so ridiculous you wouldn't
believe. If I could point out one flaw in the whole W3C process, it's
that "standardization" comes before implementation. Which is not
really a problem, it's a big HINT you should take: The W3C is *NOT* a
standardization body! It comes up with specifications that it
recommends others should try to follow. Software Engineering 101,
people: Specification comes *BEFORE* implementation. And who is more
capable of creating specs but the people that are going to implement

Cover your sensitive parts, because you're about to be hit by a big
cluestick. The W3C is a place where the people who write the software
for the Web come together, come up with common technologies, SUBMIT
THEM TO PUBLIC REVIEW, adjust them according to comments, then
implement them. It's not, I repeat NOT a standardization body.

> I agree that there was a point in the early development of web
> standards when that constraint was beneficial. 

Where you around back then? Do you remember anybody giving a flipping
f*** about the W3C? I was, and I remember software makers making HTML
user agents they just extended as they went along. On their own. And
we got incompatibilities. And the mess we have today.

> Now, however, with Netscape owned by a company shipping MSIE

Why is it that so many people still suffer from the delusion that
Microsoft and Netscape are the only members of the W3C? Especially
today when at least one of them no longer specifically *plans* to
break W3C specs, and the other one seems to be pressured to be the
same due to the competition, does it even matter?

>, and the stagnation or regression of the core HTML standards

Core HTML Standards? Oh, you must mean ISO-HTML. But I'm going to go
out on a limb here and assume you meant "HTML-related recommendations"
instead of "HTML Standards". In which case please go to the W3C's
Technical Reports and Publications page [4] and point out this
"stagnation or regression" that is plaguing the Web.


> along with the concerns raised in Norman Solomon's article,

dumped one dumb buzzword and adopted another. The big bad corporate
bogeyman is coming to getcha. Lay your paranoia aside, Fox. If you
want a rest, stop thinking about what business has done to the Web
(expand it and promote the need for interopability, which is an
absolute requirement for growth in a network world, and businesses
LOVE growth) and think about what the Web has done to business
(lowered barriers of entry, promoted globalization, created new
markets and generally levelled the playing field).

> I believe the time has come to return certain aspects of the control
> of HTML to the IETF.

The IETF never controlled HTML. The only people that ever controlled
HTML are those that write the software that uses it. They just decided
to come together and co-operate. Hence the W3C.

> Even if that view is not shared by the IETF, I the only way I would
> not be certain that a debate on the topic would be healthy for the
> Internet communty would be if the W3C were to take an affirmative
> stand on issues involving microphone upload for language instruction
> and asyncronous audio conferencing.

We've HAD this technical discussion here AGES ago. Create a form, give
it an accept type of audio/whatever and let the user agent bother
about how to get it. If that's too primitive for your needs, go and
create a separate protocol. I'm sick and tired of people trying to
extend HTML to do everything from boiling an egg to making
coffee. It's bad enough that HTML is a user interface language in the
first place (South Park fans, sing along: "Blame Mosaic! Blaim
Mosaic!") instead of developers getting a clue and just created an
extensible embedding mechanism in HTML years ago and worked on
complementary technologies to facilitate the creation of "DHTML

Next time, before you post such an inflammatory message to a public
mailing list, please do your homework. What you are proposing is
altering a decision-making mechanism that does NOT work as you think
it does to accomplish something completely meaningless. HTML is the
HyperText Markup Language. Before you start another hopeless campaign
against the capitalist oppressors in your head, at least enlighten the
rest of usas to how Microphones and HyperText are related in any way.

I'll shut up now.

Stephanos Piperoglou                              <>
Maintainer, HTML with Style                    <>
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Received on Saturday, 1 April 2000 19:12:08 UTC