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My name is Rob Cherny and I'm a professional Web Developer with 16 years of experience creating Web sites and Web-based applications. This site is where I write about my work, and random other things...

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Web Development

W3C HTML WG Heck

(updated, see below)

I try to keep this from being a simple “link blog” or blogroll of interesting posts elsewhere. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up though and some things just bear mentioning as goings ons elsewhere.

I’ve written about this before, and so it’s just been interesting watching things move here. Essentially, after after years of complaints from both browser manufacturers and the Web community as a whole and general disinterest in the proposed XHTML 2 initial drafts (not to mention the formation of the WHAT-WG), Tim Berners Lee finally announced the formation of a new W3C HTML Working Group.

So what does this mean? It means the W3C has actually been listening and is trying to do something about it. They’re currently working on a new charter and there’s debates over the chair. Also, there’s interesting discussions such as the new group working on the future of XHTML and HTML in tandem.

It’s still unclear to me what the ultimate end results of this debate will be, because some of what the WHAT-WG has been saying is interesting to say the least.

Daniel Glazman of Mozilla fame (specifically Nvu and Composer) and Chris Wilson of Microsoft fame (IE3 and on) have been trading posts on the proposal of Chris Wilson being the chair of the group. I don’t pretend to understand the full scope of the Chair’s influence, but I tend to agree that a major browser vendor being the chair is a little scary in principle alone.

In fairness, I’ve seen Chris Wilson speak, and while I’ve never met him, he seems from his posts and presentation to be a level headed and pretty fair guy. If, his affiliation with the Web Standards Project, Microsoft, and the W3C isn’t a bit confusing. Well, confusing, or a really good place to be.

I guess only time will tell.

And so on. Oh the drama.

It’s a lot of reading, but it’s quite interesting. It keeps me wondering what the future of the Web will be and who will be driving it. Either way, the W3C has got to understand repeating the mistakes of the 1990’s and cutting out the browser manufacturers is a horrible idea.

Update 2007-01-20: Apple’s Safari team (for full disclosure I feel like I should note they’re part of the WHAT-WG) responds to the Charter talk.

Jan 20, 02:45 PM in Web Development (filed under Web-Standards)

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