WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives



From: Michael D. Roush
Date: Jun 27, 2005 4:00PM

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* James Pickering
> ML
> The ISO -- International Organization for Standardization --
> consists of the national standards institutes of 151 countries, on
> the basis of one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in
> Geneva, Switzerland. It promulgates, develops and maintains world
> wide technical standards.
> Note that the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) only makes
> recommendations -- it is the ISO that publishes standards.

I think my biggest reservation with giving a significant amount of
attention to designing for the ISO-HTML standard instead of / as well as
W3C's recommendations has to do with functionality. ISO standards are
the result of discussions of the presentatives of member countries. Not
one of those countries produces a web browser. The W3C, on the other
hand, has a much more open membership organization. If ISO wants to
issue a standard of its own devising on HTML, that's perfectly fine.
They can issue standards on anything they want, including how many
chocolate chips are standard in a half-kilogram bag of chocolate-chip
cookies. However, I think this 'standard' being revered as anything
more than just a renamed recommendation goes against the open nature of
the World Wide Web - only allowing government(s) to have control over
what is and is not "standard" html. I think browser developers should
not be left out of the discussions in what should be "standard" html -
and whatever way you spin ISO by saying that they can still ask the
browser developers in a non-member kind of way, or that the browser
developers can make their thoughts known to the various national
representatives, I don't like the idea of the developers and other
technology fields being left out of direct discussion of and
contribution to 'standard' html (which should never be enforced as some
standards are anyway) independent of a national affiliation.

If ISO-html goes beyond W3C recommendations, it goes too far. If
ISO-html stops short of W3C recommendations, it doesn't go far enough.
If ISO-html matches W3C recommendations specifically, why bother?

<acronym title="In my humble opinion">imho</acronym>.