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RE: Alternatives to the W3C

  • From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@m...>
  • To: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@n...>, "Dave Winer" <dave@u...>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 13:43:59 -0500

programmers slogan
At 11:20 PM -0500 1/19/00, Didier PH Martin wrote:
>Hi Eliotte,
>[long post and answer to Dave...]
>Didier replies:
>Eliotte you made me think of something: the cost of publication and the type
>of thing that can be on the web.
>a) to test on all browsers increases publication cost or you have to find
>the least common denominator to publish and not to use new features. Just
>the minimum possible. This is a good strategy for maximum diffusion. This
>also create a tremendous resistance to change and thus, like I said
>previously, we are in big trouble with XML since the question now is: how
>long will it take before we have enough XML browsers so that we are not
>accused of being "not accessible".

You don't absolutely have to test on all browsers, but I certainly 
recommend that any site that goes beyond a personal home page test on 
a reasonable subset including IE and Netscape on both Windows and the 
Mac. Bigger budgets can do more.

As far as XML not being accessible, I completely disagree. XML+XSLT 
works wonderfully in all browsers provided the transformation to HTML 
is done on the server side.

>b)Now what about the plethora of innovation that we are appearing now,
>things like, desktop.com, halfbrain, etc that actually mostly work on IE
>because Netscape still lag seriously when we speak of DHTM.

I haven't looked at any of these. My personal opinion is that I don't 
have enough readers that I can afford to exclude and [expletive deleted] off 5% of 
them, much less 50%. That's why my sites are designed to work well on 
as many browsers as possible on as many platforms as possible. I'm 
not saying I always succeed, but if someone points out a problem to 
me I hunt it down and fix it if I can find it. Maybe these sites 
don't mind excluding 50% of their potential user base. Maybe they're 
really doing something useful that can't be done more simply in older 
browsers. Most likely, their developers are just trying to make their 
work easy at the expense of making their potential customers lives 
harder. Old Mac programmers's slogan: Making software easy to use is 

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@m... | Writer/Programmer |
|                  The XML Bible (IDG Books, 1999)                   |
|              http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/books/bible/               |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764532367/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq/ |
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