But Tim, it *is* a good OS. A good OS for complaining about, a good OS
for use as an example when comparing to other operating systems, a good
OS for coining terms like "plug and pray"...
> * W3C doesn't just kiss Microsoft's ass. There's a lot of Netscape
> * puckering, too.
> prove it...
<RANT WARNING="Escape now while you can, save yourself, it's too late for me!">
If anything, you should be worried about Mainspring, not Microsoft and
| I a member of the Strategic Advisory Board for Mainspring
| Communications, for which I also provide consulting services.
| Mainspring Communications is an interactive information service for
| businesses and professionals deploying Internet technologies. I see a
| synergy in the work of Mainspring and that of the World Wide Web
| Consortium, of which Mainspring is a member.
Let's assume the ONLY scarce resource in our existence is time.
Everything else you can buy, given enough time.
So, is Mindspring a good use of a scarce resource by the director
of the World Wide Web Consortium?
Of course, one could extrapolate the time-is-the-only-scarce-resource
metaphor and ask why W3C has so many meetings. Isn't "meeting"
synonymous with "timesucker"?
> * The goal is to build a web so conceptually consistent, socially relevant
> * and technically expandable as to allow the next great paradigm to become
> * conceivable.
> * -- http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Talks/9702ComNet/slide24.htm
That's what I said. I've been running around the W3.Org pages today,
trying to pick up bits of information here and there, and I've
determined that the pages are a MESS.
For example, I wanted to find out recent W3C activity in Naming and
Addressing, specifically URLs. So from the main page, I go to
Addressing, from which I hop to
This page provides me with a potpourri of topics without clear
organization, but okay, I find a link to Link Relationships that looks
This gives me a page that, as best as I can tell, is cut-and-pasted from
the HTML specification around 1991 - "Typed links are an important
feature of the Web architecture. They are one of the original design
I can't think of anyone who has used Link Relationships. But that's
okay, the page says it's not part of the standard. And yet, the page
says "it is intended to illustrate the use of link relationships and to
provide a framework for further development."
Well, I'm very confused from a design standpoint why link relationships
are a good thing. So I go to a link from this page:
and open Pandora's Box. First off, there are a bunch of documents that
I guess taken together list the so-called original design issues of the
Web from 1990. These documents are coupled with several
stream-of-conscious seeming rants about current web design issues.
Together, they form a confused amalgam of opinions, conjectures,
attempts to dispel myths, axioms, sweeping statements, and metadata.
And yet, these are supposed to be the underlying design principles that
serve as rules of thumb for the entire W3C team!
It's just completely unclear to me (1) where these "design issue" pieces
are going, (2) who the intended audience for them is, and (3) how the
intended audience is supposed to use these design issues at all.
Even in isolation, I click on...
And I get gems of wisdom like "The save as filename dialog box is one of
the things currently holding up our civilization." Again, it's unclear
to me (1) what good comes from making this statement, (2) who the
intended audience for this statement is, and (3) how the intended
audience is supposed to take this advice and use it.
Personally, I thought that all design principles on which the Web are
based stem from the "divine trinity" -- URL, HTML, and HTTP -- that
together provide a clean, intertwined, understandable design.
What I'd *really* like to see is a coherent, unified DesignIssues
directory that is simple to understand, helps me to map out in my mind
an overview of the basic design issues that motivated (and continue to
motivate) the architecture of the World Wide Web, and gives me insight
into how to help the process if I personally make a breakthrough.
Likewise for the other directories under the W3.Org/pub/WWW/ domain.
Seeing random notes scattered across each of the areas doesn't really
help me understand the stuff if I want to use any of it, and it doesn't
help me understand how to contribute if I have some insight.
Furthermore, shouldn't the W3C serve as the MODEL for how to use an
information space effectively, both to convey meaning and to foster
While I'm ranting, what IS the W3C mission statement? Why ISN'T the W3C
out there in the trenches telling everyone how great they're making the
Web? One article a year like the recent "HTTP 1.1, CSS1, and PNG can
make the Web as much as 2-8 times faster" is not enough!
It's not enough that W3C just present the world with cool technology
like PICS, JEPI, Jigsaw, Amaya, Libwww, CSS, using PEP with HTTP... the
W3C should be out there, actively pushing this technology as the latest
and greatest that everyone should be eager to adopt...
But back to cleaning up the W3.Org/pub/WWW/DesignIssues pages... If the
W3C says it doesn't have the peoplepower to do it, they should hire more
people. And if they say they don't have the money to hire more people,
they should raise the rates they charge their members. When last I
checked, they had two levels of membership: the $5000 a year and the
$50,000 a year. Why not have 3 tiers or 4 tiers? Clearly Microsoft and
Netscape can afford a $5,000,000 a year membership, given the value
they're getting out of the W3C, can't they?
I guess the Design Issues thing is a touchy thing with me. I look at
and I get the original goals of the Web
| Orginal goals of WWW
| Working together through shared knowledge
| Capturing group state
| Machine analysis
| see Bush, Englebart ... still to be implemented.
and I just don't see how the complicated circle of design issues
provided in that directory correspond with the philosophy that motivated
the Web in the first place.
Almost makes me fed up enough to write my own book on the design
principles guiding the architecture of the Web. *evil grin*
We should work toward a universal linked information system, in which
generality and portability are more important than fancy graphics
techniques and complex extra facilities. The aim would be to allow a
place to be found for any information or reference which one felt was
important, and a way of finding it afterwards.