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Re: Re[2]: Re[2]: Re[2]: WAI Icons. Was: Include default text?


From: julian.rickards@ndm.gov.on.ca
Date: Oct 26, 2004 7:14AM

They define standards. Whether or not they are on some self-appointed
standards body list is of no consequence whatever.

I don't want to heighten this discussion too much but I think that the W3C
does recognize that it is *not* a standards organization and at the same
time, there are many pointers to the W3C that seem to suggest that in fact
it *is* a standards body.

The W3C releases recommendations and it states this and I take this as a
recognition on their part that they are not a standards body. On the other
hand, The Webstandard.org and WebStandardsGroup.org (and I am certain, many
other groups and web sites) and there are books, such as Zeldman's, that
talk about coding to standards and following standards and in the same
breath, talking about W3C's HTML and XHTML recommendations. I personally
don't see any other alternatives to HTML (other than XML or XHTML which also
are W3C recommended web technolgies) for a web page mark up language that
could replace HTML. There have been other attempts to create hyperlinking
technology such as the Xanadu project but they were never as successful
(there's an understatement). It is therefore not surprising that people
refer to the "only" technology out there as a standard.

I don't believe that calling W3C HTML and XHTML a standard is such a bad
thing. What people refer to as the better browsers these days are those that
adhere best to the recommendations of the W3C. Does that make HTML/XHTML a
standard? Perhaps not in the ISO/ECMA sense of the word but it is a marker
against which the "standards advocates" measure compliance.

Is HTML/XHTML perfect? Not at all. Is it pretty good? Yes, I think so. It is
a work in progress and it will continually evolve to improve what currently
exists and to incorporate other ideas and technologies and along the way,
some broken things will get fixed, and new things will be broken in their
first implementation.

Just my 3 cents (the Canadian dollar has increased in value against the US
dollar so my contribution is worth a bit more these days :-))


Julian Rickards
A/Digital Publications Distribution Coordinator
Publication Services Section,
Ministry of Northern Development and Mines,
Vox: 705-670-5608 / Fax: 705-670-5960