User Petition on Standards to Netscape and Microsoft

This is probably not the first "user" campaign, but it does raise the 
issue of how folks influence the kind of Internet world we work and 
live in.  As the WC3 and IETF work away, I suppose it is nice to be 
reminded that open standards work on the Internet is appreciated and 

Steven Clift
Democracies Online
  Noting that how the Internet comes to use its tools for 
"self-governance" will directly influence how democracies around the 
world will come to use the these tools for political governance. 

This was covered at:

Text From:

the "Talk to each other!" petition to Netscape and

             The two most popular browsers, Netscape and Microsoft
             Internet Explorer, are increasingly incompatible. While
             they fight for market shares, it's the internauts and
             content providers who bear the cost and the bugs of that
             war. If, like me, you've had enough of the victim's role,
             send them the following petition. And spread the word!
             It's everybody's business to see to it that Internet
             keeps serving common interest before self-interest. 


             P.S.: If you have a Web page, please add a link to this
             petition. Thanks. 

             P.P.S.: Sorry if my English is bad. My first language is

               Send to:,

From the form:

I hereby protest against the way you develop your respective
 browsers. The increasing incompatibility between your products
 bothers all internauts and content providers. For Net's sake,
 talk to each other! Match up your tags, attributes, margins,
 fonts, spacing... The Net is about cooperation, not competition. We
 have no use of your latest innovation, however wonderful, if it only
 works with your own software. The Internet cake is big enough for
 everyone. The more universal your codes, the nicer our pages and the
 more internauts. Thank you. 

                        (additional comments)

Your name:

            Your address:
         (electronic or postal)

    Please, send only one petition
    otherwise the number of
    petitions sent won't be as
    significant. Besides, the
    objective is not to jam those
    companies servers. 


     The results of the petition will be updated every Monday. You can
     also access them on WebCarta. 


     The hosting and statistics of this petition are graciously
     provided by Francomédia. The animated chain is a creation of Yves
     Piguet. The original CGI scripts (to send the petition) are from
     Huihong Luo and Lincoln D. Stein. 

Total number of English and French petitions sent from December 1st to
14, 1997: 

       Second week results of the "Talk to each other!"
                 petition to Netscape and Microsoft
                                  first week results 

     1) More than 40% of WebCarta's anglo visitors have sent the

     2) ...but English medias are mute. 

     3) Netscape asks that the petition be moved. 

     4) Reaction at Microsoft. 

                                       * * *

     1) ...according to my server's logs. Here's one of your

     "...I sent URL of petition page to all e-mail addresses I know
     ;)" -Glip 

     Way to go, Cyberanglos! You may have notice I'm doing the same
     with WebCarta, now. As long as the petition will last, all e-mail
     transmitting your cards to your correspondents will also convey
     an invitation to sign the petition. And I hope you have many
     parents and friends 'cause... 

                                       * * *

     2) I haven't seen a line, nor a link in English medias yet.
     (French media do a (very) little better.)

                                       * * *

     3) Nestcape finaly contacted me, through Matt Kovac from its
     Legal Department. In short, he asked that the petition be
     redirected to a new e-mail address he gave me. That was easy to
     do and could have been done days before if he had just asked
     instead of calling Francomedia to have the petition removed from
     the server. 

                                       * * *

     4) Jane, from Microsoft Site Builder Network (where the petitions
     are sent) e-mailed me the same day. At her request, I've added
     space for additional comments under the petition. 

                                       * * *

     'See you next week!



     The hosting and statistics of this petition are graciously
     provided by Francomédia. The original CGI scripts (to send the
     petition) are from Huihong Luo and Lincoln D. Stein. The animated
     chain is a creation of Yves Piguet. 

                             First week results 

     1) Less than 10% of you have signed the petition :-( 

     2) The first media support. 

     3) Netscape asks Francomedia to remove the petition. 

     4) No reaction from Microsoft. 

                                       * * *

     1) Until the media start publishing their first "papers" about
     the petition, you, visitors of COM 1 and WebCarta are almost the
     only ones aware of it. Which tells me that LESS THAN 10% of you
     have sent it! I'm not proud of you. Have web page designers
     worked so well that (you think) you don't suffer from Netscape
     and Internet Explorer's incompatibilities? Or is it that you
     don't care that the Internet now serves private interest before
     common interest? Fortunately, your group is not large enough to
     be representative of all internauts. And also fortunately, the
     petition has received other support... 

                                       * * *

     2) -"The petition is an admirable thing...I sent mine in :-)"
     -Elana Kehoe, Online Assistant Producer, Computer Chronicles/The
     Internet Cafe 

     -"J'applaudis des deux mains et des pieds... Merci!" -José Rossi,
     webmestre de Webdo (I applaud with both hands and feet... Thank

     -"Nous allons y faire suite. Merci et bravo pour cette excellente
     initiative." -André Bélanger, rédacteur en chef, Magazine Mémento
     (We will follow up on it. Thanks and bravo for this excellent

     -"I'll take a peek thanks!" - Bill Cullifer, Executive Director,
     The National Association of Webmasters 

     -"Un papier va passer normalement dans le supplément multimedia
     de samedi prochain du Monde." -Olivier Puech (A paper should
     appear in Saturday's multimedia pages of Le Monde.) 

     -"Il me fait plaisir de participer a votre petition."
     -Jean-Pierre Cloutier, Les Chroniques de Cyberie (I am glad to
     contribute to your petition.) 

     My warmest thanks to all. 

                                       * * *

     3) Last friday, Matt Kovac, from Netscape Legal Department, has
     asked Claude Leroux, Operation Manager of Francomédia (whose
     server hosts the petition) to remove the petition from the
     server, calling it a SPAM(1) operation. Mister Leroux told me he
     refused to comply because he supports the petition and isn't sure
     it does qualify as SPAM. Well, it seems Netscape itself isn't so
     sure of that since, December 1st, their P.R. Department actualy
     thanked me for the petition, by an e-mail saying: 

          "...Thank you for taking the time to write. We appreciate
          your feedback, as it allows us to not only create a better
          product, but provide better service to our customers. I have
          forwarded your comments..."

     Internal incompatibilities, I guess..:-) But don't expect a thank
     you note from Nestcape anymore; Mister Kovac said they were now
     trashing the petitions without opening them. (But don't let that
     keep you from sending them, on the contrary. If a few hundreds
     unsatisfied users don't matter to Netscape, maybe a few millions
     will have more impact.) 

     (1) SPAM: junk e-mail

                                       * * *

     'See you next week!


     Steven L. Clift, Director, Democracies Online
     3454 Fremont Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408 USA   
     Tel: 612-824-3747  E: - Democracies Online -  Home Page

Received on Thursday, 18 December 1997 18:12:52 UTC