[thelist] Web standards (was: The Web's future: XHTML 2.0)

Peter-Paul Koch gassinaumasis at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 22 06:30:00 CDT 2002

>So who would you rather have dictate the language of the web? The
>W3C, REDMOND, or total anarchy?
>For me I am all for the W3C they do not have any hidden motives and
>they are not trying to sell you an OS and Browser combo.

I've seen this way of reasoning before and just the other day I understood
what is wrong with it (in my opinion, then).

First of all: standard making obviously belongs to W3C.

However, many people are confusing two things:

1) The idea that there ought to be standards that everyone follows.
2) The actual standards themselves.

The great attention that WaSP and other involved parties have given to point
1 by convincing everyone that standards are there to be followed, means that
point 2 gets no attention at all.

In fact, whenever someone (me, for instance) says that this or that detail
of the standards is wrong, too complicated or whatever, other people see
this as a denial of the fact that there ought to be standards. Not so.

W3C has done a great job in inventing CSS and it deserves to be a standard.
Nonetheless I think there are some errors in the CSS spec, for instance:

- the box model is completely illogical
- there is no way to vertical-align a text in a DIV with a fixed height
- fixed backgrounds on layers should be positioned relative to the layer,
not relative to the entire screen

This does not mean CSS shouldn't be a standard, it merely means it can
become a *better* standard.

On the other hand, I don't see much use for XHTML 2.0 and I think it'll
never amount to much. Once again, this doesn't mean I don't agree with other
standards devised by W3C.

In short, it is possible to generally support the standards movement but to
disagree with the W3C specs on points of detail. I merely want the standards
to become better. They aren't perfect yet.


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