W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > April 2007

Re: Control Text-file Embedding in HTML-docs

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 16:20:26 +0100
Message-ID: <460E7C3A.8080104@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

sunil vanmullem wrote:
> to invention, innovation or the ability to progress.

Change is often equated with progress, because it is a good argument for 
sell new products (although often a bad one in terms of depletion of 
natural resources).  I don't think that is particularly valid and I 
think the software industry has been in a fashion mode for some time, in 
which change happens because people want to have the newest, rather than 
because it benefits the end user.

> It doesn't necessarily follow that the lowest common denominator should 
> have the highest influence. i.e. the assertion about being back to square
> one.

There tend to be two schools of thought.  Commercial content providers 
want ever more glossy features, so they can leapfrog their competitors, 
but there is also a class of HTML users who think that the ability to 
reach the maximum audience is important, and, as I understand it, that 
was one of TBL's primary design constraints, which led him to reject 
glossy presentations in the initial concept.

> 1) for the new standard to be initially released to the Browser Developers
> along with a reference implementation and a certification process that tests
> conformance. 

This isn't how W3C standards work.  The reference implementations are 
created by the vendors themselves, and the test is that there are two, 
independent, compatible implementations.

Also, what gets implemented is very much decided by the vendor 
commercial considerations, and what actually gets used is determined by 
the authors.

> 2) Once the certification process is complete or reached its milestone, the
> Browser Developers release public patches or new products so that their
> products are ready for the new standard while continuing to support existing
> standards.

If the major vendors haven't already implemented, the standards are 
never completed.  Also, in nearly all standardisation areas, not just 
W3C, there is a lot of after the fact standardisation.  Many of the 
features of the transitional version of HTML are after the fact.

> If the end user chooses not to use certified browsers, that is their choice 
> and at some point in time they would need to upgrade as applications evolve.

Most users of web browsers do choose to do exactly that; they use IE, 
which is well behind the standards and deliberately violates them in 
some cases.

Normally, though, when we are talking about maintaining compatibility, 
we are talking about people who cannot afford to run the hardware needed 
for the latest browsers, or can't afford the bandwidth required for 
current commercial pages.  Client side includes are interesting in this 
respect in that they do not benefit the people who can afford to 
upgrade, as their bandwidth increases in line with bloat.  They 
potentially benefit those sharing a 33k modem.

Received on Sunday, 1 April 2007 16:50:59 UTC

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