Lotsa laughs

Chris Lilley chris at w3.org
Tue May 25 22:57:59 BST 1999

Didier PH Martin wrote:
> Hi Chris,
> you said:
> > Three points
> > a) You seemed to be asserting that Americans in general, (and the
> > preponderence of them in W3C) made us incapable of producing
> > internationalised specs and it was that which I was refuting
> > b) RFC 2070 was used by the W3C HTML WG as part of the creation of HTML
> > 4.0 and it was a requirement that HTML 4.0 be completely compliant with
> > that RFC
> > c) The authors all work for W3C member companies, or in one case for W3C
> > itself. In the case of "now works for" I don't think that joining W3C
> > made him suddenly less interested in Internationalisation; if anything,
> > he had more time to devote to the subject.
> reply:
> I never said that american _cannot_ produce good international specs. Read
> again my words and don't put in my keyboard things I never said. 

It appeared to be quite clearly inferred from your choice of
juxtaposition. I am happy you have confirmed that this was not your

> I am just questionning what the word "standard" really mean. And what is
> really behind that word. This is because it seems that a lot of folks are
> using this word like other previously used that word to support an opinion,
> a religion, a market share.

Yes. I agree, it is a word used to describe ,multiple things, from a
fully documented and implemented and accepted International Standard
down to  ... well, anything, really.

> I just replied to your example (a bad one). RFC are made under the auspices
> of IETF and the IETF process or spec creation is not restricted to solely
> consortium members who paid a fee. It does not show that W3C produces
> international specs just that IETF does. But I said that I got your point,
> you just picked the wrong example :-) (And I do not mean that W3C do not
> make efforts to have a more international composition - Do you want me to
> repeat it again, so I am sure you understand ;-)

No, I am happy enough that yiou clarified it here.

> I do not pretent that W3C is less international. Don't try to change the
> focus. 

Sorry I got misled by what you appeared to be saying. Glad you weren't.

> The point is:
> What is really "standard" and what is _really_ behind this word. And when
> can we say that "this" ( a spec , a document, etc...) is a "standard".
> You said:
> > Thats another difference between W3C and ISO - in W3C we are designing
> > stuff, not just ratifying it, and we don't have infinite time to do so,
> > typically a year or less. We typically have a bunch of divergent
> > interests to try and satisfy and we also want it to fit into the
> > framework of existing Recommendations and concurrent work in different
> > working groups, and we want to get buy-in from implementors and web
> > designers.... in less than a year.
> reply:
> can you tell us, apart from what you mentionned earlier. What is currently
> presented from W3C to ISO? 

HTML 4.0 and PNG 1.0 are well on their way through ISO standardisation.
WebCGM is likely to be registered as a Standard Profile of CGM.

Other specs are being considered, but some folks want to see the value
of transitioning a W3C Rec to IS before investing the effort.

> Is CSS in the process? 

Not currently.

> is HTML in the process (I
> heard that yes) can you confirm? 


> Is XML in the process (not as Web SGML but
> as XML)?

Don't know. I have heard contradictory reports and have no firm fdata at
this point.


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