Open Standards Processes

Simon St.Laurent SimonStL at
Sat Apr 25 22:13:36 BST 1998

It sounds like the 'small sticks' are quite firmly sheathed, which may have 
something to do with the fact that this discussion seems to be producing some 
positive results.

After taking a quick look at the membership list, I noticed that at least two 
key players aren't members: Opera Software and the Apache Group.  Opera 
(, in Norway, is producing a much smaller Web 
browser than either Netscape or Microsoft, and has been getting a lot more 
mention lately everywhere I look.  The Apache Group ( is 
a looser organization of the people keeping up Apache, the freeware HTTP 
server that continues to outpace MS and NS in Internet market share.

Opera is still tiny, while Apache is amorphous.  Still, it seems like the W3C 
would do well to actively live up to its claim that:
>In its quest for universality, W3C seeks a diverse membership from around the 

Opera may well join on its own - I have no contacts there and can't speculate; 
they just seem like an odd company to be missing - but I don't know if the 
Apache folks could join if they wanted to.  As their model of software 
development is spreading rapidly, with Linux, DNS, Perl, and now Netscape 
joining the fray, the W3C's membership policies seem more and more of an 
anachronism every day.

Accomodating these kinds of members may ruffle some feathers among the W3C's 
current members, but it seems like it would create a fuller, more capable 
organization.  It might also allow the XML-DEVIL organization, comprised of 
XML developers working toward common goals, to join the W3C without seeming 
like a weird attempt to 'subvert' the organization.

I remain pleased with how the XML process has worked, though I too might join 
XML-DEVIL (or something of the sort) for the heads-up and opportunity to 
participate that a W3C affiliation would bring.

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer / Cookies

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