Alternatives to the W3C

Tyler Baker tyler at
Sat Jan 22 03:13:20 GMT 2000

Steven Champeon wrote:

> On Fri, 21 Jan 2000, Dave Winer wrote:
> > So much heat!
> >
> > Is it passion or fear?
> It's fear that the willfully ignorant attitudes you express may in fact be
> indicative of the beliefs of others.
> > Here's the truth, as best as I can express it.
> >
> > There are lots of different webs.
> No. There is one Web.
> > WAP phones, Lynx, Geocities, Homestead, Linux, SlashDot, XML, eBay, WebTV,
> > AOL, News.Com, NYTimes.Com, Vignette, PornCity, PHP, Wiki, Zope, Mozilla,
> > Manila, and on and on.
> All of them use HTTP (a W3C standard), HTML (a W3C standard), MIME (an IETF
> standard), ASCII, GIF, JPEG, URIs and URLs (IETF standard), etc. That makes
> them all part of one Web. The World Wide Web.

Actually in technical terms if your web site hyperlings to another web site which
hyperlinks to another web site, then yes that is a web. But PornCity probably does not
have any links to Homestead and vice-versa. In this sense, the web is a bunch of different
communities, each community linked together indirectly through hyperlinking. You could say
the search engines act as a gateway to all of these other communities, but in reality
there really are a bunch of different webs out there, potentially millions now.

> > Apples and oranges, but each one says the web is something different.
> No, each expresses their piece in different ways, using the technologies
> that go to form the one Web. You're saying that there are many different
> ideas of publishing based on the fact that there exists more than one book.
> We finally have a way to share information among all the Net-connected
> people of the world, thanks to some highly commodified standards, and your
> reaction is "let's turn it back into a proprietary system, that's what's
> happening anyway" and "let's exclude everybody!"

As I always understood things from the beginning, the WWW was HTTP and in effect reflected
the hyperlinking system of HTML. Real standards are defined by the marketplace, not some
ivory tower standards body. The Windoze operating system became a standard on the desktop
for a variety of reasons, some of them unethical, but in the end the market and the
user-base chose the standard. I have no problem with standardizing protocols or API's for
inter-application communication, but standardizing applications like web browsers is just
plain dumb. It is like all of a sudden after almost ten years of rapid growth on the
internet, we all decide that is the end of technological improvement and we all become
Amish. Why on earth after every century ends and a new century begins a group of people
come together and say that there is no more room for technological improvement or
innovation anymore. They just want to put the world in a time capsule by legalizing all
these silly standards and stop wasting time.

> It's sad, really. Pathetic and sad. And, because you should know better,
> it's raising people's ire.

I think it is sad that some people these days are working harder to prevent innovation
than the creative people are working to create innovation.


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