Let me share my views in the matter.

Proprietary technology has been used successfully in the past on the
web.  One such example is RealNetworks' RealAudio.  I have nothing
against a company producing a communication technology over the
Internet and selling that product/service.  If people want that
service they will pay for it, vote with your dollars philosophy.

What I am against is fee-based standards.  Once it is required by the
very organization that defines web standards, it is no longer an
option to pay.  A standard put forth by W3C is no longer an option, it
is required, and that is what I'm against.  I don't know where that
leaves Open Source software and the companies that promote it.
Clearly Open Source developers would not have the ability to pay for
the standards and the licensing might such that companies that could
pay for it would not be able to release it as Open Source.

As the first line of the www.w3.org web site states, "The World Wide
Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies
(specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to
its full potential as a forum for information, commerce,
communication, and collective understanding."

The Web can not achieve it's full potential by locking up
specifications it develops.

		|      David Fries                |
		|      dfries@mail.win.org        |

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 16:27:45 UTC