Alternatives to the W3C

Len Bullard cbullard at
Sat Jan 22 18:56:15 GMT 2000

You want me to say "use IE5 only".  I won't.  That would 
ignore a lot of other useful tech.  There are however, 
applications for which choosing only one browser. 
insisting on it makes good engineering sense, and in fact, 
is the responsible act.  What I will not work 
with is the meaningless labels, "open", "commodity", 
"universal" etc. because they have no provable results. 
You don't know what they mean nor do I, and so really, 
drop them from the conversation unless we have a 
reference we can agree on.

Take this example:  Yoyodyne.  If I use a reference 
to work out what this label means and predict results, 
I would not use that company.  Why?  The reference says, 
"critters from dimension eight; enemies of buckaroo 
bonzai; beware the spider creatures they spit when they 
need to escape an unwinnable confronatation".  
Two nanoseconds of rational thought makes 
me seek an alternate definition, but not finding 
one, I have to conclude the name is a private joke. 

That kind of thinking isn't good enough for building 
reliable applications over component technology.  What 
I need are repeatable test results that provide sufficient 
assurance that the components has features to perform 
the tasks I require and for which I require a legal 
contract binding all parties to the performance.  This 
is why for many applications, citing "IE5 only" is 
the reasonable and responsible answer.

So back to the original question:  who here thinks 
the future of the web is in "TheWebBrowser"?  What 
all of you have shown conclusively (thank you) is that there 
is no way to say what "TheWebBrowser" is, so the 
parties have to pick one and go with that for the 
duration of the contract.

The alternative to the W3C is to cite tests for 
components.  That these components may implement 
W3C specifications is assumed.   In lieu of 
a means of proving that, alternatives are needed.

By the way, this is where the FPI has value.


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