@Julian “WHATWG’s economic model is that a lot of the “˜volunteers’ are actually vendor backed (Apple, Mozilla, Opera, at least)”
This is an extremely important point and I’m glad you brought it up. I don’t believe it was originally that way, but became that way over time. I might be completely wrong, in which case someone please correct me! Nevertheless, it’s definitely the way things are going now so bears watching IMO.
@Al: Community approach is very idealistic, and therefore appealing to me. One of the reasons I used circles in the metaphor for this article is to suggest that each of these circles offer up people, resources and a variety of skills. Finding the middle circle (I wanted a Venn diagram but Zeldman forbade it ;)) is a huge part of that concern - that we realize we ARE a community and act as one.
Ideals aside, alas I’m not convinced that this would be any easier to achieve in any reasonable period of time than let’s say the dissolution of all borders and a completely communitarian global world where economy, resources and people move freely and peacefully.
I think we need to work with what we have and avoid ADDING more layers of stuff, at least for now.
@Loughlin: I think those cracks started to appear somewhere around 1994 - which ironically is the year the W3C was formed. I would very much prefer to see the W3C reorganize and be run more efficiently than scrapped. I know that many people there are working very hard to find ways to do just that.
@Stephen: Very important point you bring up regarding apps versus “pages” - there is work going on wrt web application specs, I don’t know too much about it but if you hop over to the W3C you can find the public list and information about what’s going on there in terns of Web Apps. Also, HTML5 was originally conceived to BE application-centric. Within the W3C HTML5 (along with EcmaScript, a strong document object model, and related technologies) is really set up to be a player within a W3C-led web application platform.
Reminds me of a quote I got from Dean Edwards [dean.edwards.name] for a presentation, I’ll share it here because it’s very telling reading something like this from a person who spends most of his time with script:
“HTML5 tries to be the best of both worlds: a better HTML but a forward looking, webcentric HTML that knows about the web and
its quirks If HTML had been properly specified and implemented in the first place then HTML5 would be considered an upgrade. As it stands, HTML5 is a rewrite. That difference is pretty f**king fundamental.” (censorship mine out of consideration for the publication)
@Richard: “The main thing is to ensure that Microsoft acts responsibly.” I’d personally include quite a few other companies and groups in there. I apologize if I sound like I’m complaining. I’m not just complaining, my concern is very genuine and clearly felt by many as well. You got it in one - I feel very frustrated and unsure what to do. All the more reason to have these discussions and share ideas. By the way, I, too, lament the fact that many people do not take advantage of the availability of Chris Wilson and others at Microsoft. It’s a fantastic opportunity. I wonder what causes the low turn out? Lack of awareness? Lack of care? It’s Microsoft? Hmm.
@Jim: If something doesn’t exist, how can it fail? ;)
@Beth: Acting locally, sharing resources and skills, etc. is a very good thing to do and I applaud your efforts.
@Fred: “I just want to stop having to spend hours adjusting css to accommodate these different browsers.” There are a few good bits of news on this front. The CSS working group is building an impressive shared test suite that all interested will be free to use - exactly the way we can work toward more consistent user agent implementations. The other helpful technique of which you are probably aware but I’ll put it here just in case others aren’t is to consider CSS Reset both yahoo user interface library and Eric Meyer [meyerweb.com] offer up reset information and actual code for you to work with to.
Very interesting discussion thus far, and I’ll respond by page as I am able. Thank you for being so willing to share experience, opinions and ideas. -M