Re. Nonstandard HTML

Subject: Re. Nonstandard HTML
From: David Blyth <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 1996 14:36:56 -0700

> David Blyth suggested that <paraphrase> if a significant
> number of folks aren't following the [html 2] standard,
> than perhaps it's not the standard.

I'll stand by this paraphrase.

>I'd dispute the logic behind that assertion: lots of folks break
>the laws of the land, but that doesn't mean the laws are no longer
>enforced.

You know, you can save a lot of gas and lives on Interstate Freeways
when the speed limit is 55. But the US goverment decided that this
law was not enforceable.

Thus, a much better analogy is French. A lot of people - that is,
the entire population of France - break the language called "French"
as clearly and formally defined by France's official goverment agency,
L'Academy Francais. And the government still tries to enforce the
standard. IMHO, this is a waste of time and money. The law is not
enforceable.

Like the Academy Francais, the W3 has no power to enforce what occurs
in the market place.

> HTML _is_ a standard, and if you write to the standard, you'll meet
>the needs of more users than if you ignore the standard.

I disagree. There are a _lot_ of users (about 90% of the market)
who believe that their communication needs are better met with
non-standard HTML elements. I mean, how wild are we getting here?
Why is centering text or using a table so controversial? Why am
I supposed to gain 10% so I can annoy 90%? Because it's the standard?

Like the French, I'm far more interested in actually communicating
than I am in actually following the standard.

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