RE: The Standards Manifesto

My comments of this are that 

(a) I think the W3C works pretty well and has been successful.

(b) This success has made the requests on the W3C skyrocket out of
control and the problem now seems to lie in that  a very few select
bunhc of "member companies" are really included in the standardization
processes. I would like to see some peer networking in line with W3C
working groups, but in a more official capacity rather than just mailing

 - (b) would help everyone in that it would get the jobs done and
promote the W3C outwith the larger companies.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Graham Klyne
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 9:56 PM
To: Aaron Swartz
Subject: Re: The Standards Manifesto

At 11:07 AM 5/22/02 -0500, Aaron Swartz wrote:
>W3C-style standards bodies clearly aren't working anymore. Perhaps they
>made sense in the old days of the browser wars, but we're no longer 
>getting innovation from Working Groups who have so many members that
>have to form subgroups to decide what they're going to do about
>what they're going to do.

While I have some sympathy for your frustrations, I think this paragraph

maybe misplaces the role of working groups.  The job of a working group
primarily to produce a specification, not to innovate.  The most
working groups start out knowing pretty much all of the technical
and simply get them down in a concise, understandable form, and
review the result.

If there's a problem with W3C process, I think it is that too much 
innovation is done in working groups, rather than in separate research 
activities.  For example, it's not for the joy of organizational
that the Internet architecture is developed in parallel by the IETF and 
IRTF.  (Not that the IETF doesn't sometimes suffer from the same

(I note that the rest of your message seems to support this view, so
I'm overreacting to a single word here.)


Graham Klyne

Received on Thursday, 23 May 2002 15:13:29 UTC