Alternatives to the W3C (was Re: Alternatives to the W3C)

Didier PH Martin martind at
Sat Jan 22 02:31:55 GMT 2000

Hi Colin,

Colin said:

In brief: IE5.x 41%, IE4.x 36%, NS4.x 17%, everything else 1% or less.
Based on about 497 million unique visitors (unique over what time period
is not specified) over the month of December. Sites involved are mainly
general-interest and not big commercial ones.

All of which suggests to me that XML is best kept server side in open
environments for a good while yet.

Of course, 1% is enough people to earn you a gold record.

Didier replies:
Thanks a lot Colin, Up to now, these numbers are statistically more
representative. Off course, a better and bigger sample would lead to a
better level of confidence but at least this gives an idea.

If we say that the margin of error of this sample is 10% , it means that at
least 31% of the browsers in the population sampled has an XML browser, not
bad. So, if we make the right inferences:

if you have an XML server able to recognize the user agent and adapt to it
a) creating an HTML document if the user agent is not an XML browser
b) send an XML document and its related style sheet if the user agent is IE5

Then, it means (including our margin for error) that in 31% of the cases you
will be able to send an XML document instead of an HTML document. it roughly
means 1/3 of the users. Not bad. Can we make now the inference that at the
end of the year about 50% will be XML enabled? if that is the case, then in
one case out of two, your intelligent XML server will send the XML document
to be processed and rendered client side instead of server side.

Not so bad in fact and yes, maybe year 2001 (or at least at the end of year
2001) we will see the XML monolith :-)

PS: Be reassured David, I am not playing the game of my browser is
bigger.... I am trying to figure out if it make sense to build an XML site
instead of an HTML site. I see from the number that yes it does. If at least
one third of the browsers can process and render server side the XML
document, then this is not so bad and encouraging. Anyway, I'll give it a
try a see if my own stats reflect the stats above.

Didier PH Martin
Email: martind at
Conferences: Web New York (
Book to come soon: XML Pro published by Wrox Press

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