OSS vs W3C? was: Next Round

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at simonstl.com
Thu Jan 21 20:45:08 GMT 1999

At 03:10 PM 1/21/99 -0500, Chris Maden wrote:
>Did you mean the bunch of vendors who invented XML, or the one vendor
>of that bunch that developed Java?  If you don't trust them, why are
>you building further on their technology?  And if that technology was
>so good, why not give them a chance to keep going?

Because sometimes you get a tool that's good enough, and you don't need the
vendors to carry on extensions as usual.  XML 1.0 isn't perfect, but it's a
foundation that we can build lots of things on without having to care what
MS or NS might think.  Java isn't perfect either, but it makes building
software on top of it a lot easier, and you don't need Sun for that.

How far do I trust vendors?  About as far as I can throw them.  Given the
real estate involved, that's not very far.

>I wish the process were more open.  But we had an open process, and
>Netscape and Microsoft ignored it.  If we have to throw them a bone of
>early adoption to get buy-in, I'll go for it.

I wish we could all stop wishing and start doing.  I've yet to hear anyone
wholeheartedly defend the W3C's 'buy-in' of $15,000 for access to
information, but I've also yet to see anyone do anything about it. I'm
working on a few ideas of my own, but it's damn hard to do anything about a
well-funded consortium with name recognition.

>Unfortunately, it looks like the actual buy-in may have been
>temporary, but I'll wait for an FCS to make that judgment.

All the more reason to move on.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Building XML Applications (March)
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