Alternatives to the W3C

Len Bullard cbullard at
Fri Jan 21 05:08:27 GMT 2000

Ann Navarro wrote:
> At 12:24 PM 1/20/00 -0600, Len Bullard wrote:
> >The minute my customer requires a feature that only one browser supports
> >or supports reliably, they have contracted for a transaction.
> If you produce work that only does exactly what a customer *thinks* they
> want, then that's how you'd accomplish this, yes. A good consultant,
> however, educates the client during the project phase that looks at needs.
> Indeed, if customers knew exactly what was best for them and how it worked,
> they would have little need to turn to consultants.

If the consultants who write the proposals that come to us knew as 
much about the system, I might buy it.  I don't.  Too many of the 
consultancies design instead of procure and they design all the 
way to the bleeding edge and beyond into fantasy.  Because of that, we 
have a PCR process designed to say "no" by default.  We design turnkey 
systems to be implemented on a site;  trainers educate.  Consultants 
advise and write, and sometimes completely screw over their customers. 
I put the HyTime ilink in MIL-D-87269;  I've been there.

Question:  do you know at what number or rate of transactions 
an ASP server fails?  If not, you aren't qualified to consult 
for our customers.  That is the level at which your thesis fails 
and if we were to rely on that, our customers would fail.  In our 
case, that means the ambulance does not get dispatched on time to your 
Mom's house when your uncle has a heart attack. 

Features analysis.  Failure mode effects analysis.  Reliability. 
This is what web engineers, not page artists, engineers must 
come to grips with.  This is what we need.  I can design a 
web page interface to do lots of splendid looking things, be 
more efficient, take fewer clicks, dance like an apsara if needs 
be, but if I click and ASP stares back going "huh!" not 
returning an error all because the MDAC is desynced (know 
how to prove that is the cause?), then the web is just one 
more piece of worthless crap: Darn Harmful To Mortal Life (DHTML).

Markup can make a system more reliable (figure it out) but it 
does nothing for the component level reliability and the components 
are where the webblicccattionns fall on their butts and die.


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