Alternatives to the W3C

David Megginson david at
Mon Jan 17 16:03:31 GMT 2000

"Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl at> writes:

> Is there any chance of forming the ad hoc group that Michael describes
> above, using as open a model as possible?  The IETF and the W3C appear to
> have moved beyond their cease-fire to a peace treaty, so I don't think the
> IETF is an option for such work.  Similarly, it's not clear that OASIS
> (which charges fees, but at least the level is much lower) would be
> interested in work that might well compete with W3C initiatives.

It might be a lot more useful to start by getting an informal group of
2-4 vendors or developers together, publishing a simple, open spec,
and providing interoperable software that implements it.  If the world
needs it, it will jump at it, and then you can hand over the spec to a
standards body for formalization; otherwise, the world will simply

Note how much of what we use was developed or is being developed this
way (a small group of developers or vendors, a public spec, and
running software first; formal standardization afterwards, if demand
warrants): consider HTML, ECMAScript, Java and its dependent specs (I
hope, if we can even pry Sun's fingers loose), SAX, OpenGL, and so on.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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