Re: Re. Nonstandard HTML

Subject: Re: Re. Nonstandard HTML
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 1996 16:27:00 -0600

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'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. 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.

Unfortunately, Geoff, the difference between laws and the HTML standard is
that there are no means of enforcing the standard. The W3 folks can't say,
"If you don't adhere to our standard you cannot use HTTP." It just doesn't
work that way.

Take a look at BASIC. There's an ANSI standard in place for that language.
Not one compiler in 10 that are currently in use adhere to it.

True, MS and Netscape ignoring the W3 Consortium won't deprive HTML of its
status as a standard. It will, however, diminish its usefulness as a
standard, and relegate it to the pile of unused (or little used) standards
such as OSI or Standard BASIC.

The marketplace has in the past, and will in the future, ignore standards
bodies whenever it feels like it. W3 is no exception to this, and as you
pointed out, they have nearly squandered what intellectual capital they

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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