David Megginson: Why do we write standards?
11:41, 9 Nov 1999 UTC | Edd Dumbill

In the continuing discussion over XHTML's return to committee, David Megginson suggests a Socialist/Libertarian dichotomy exists in the regulation of WWW standards.

He goes on to argue that there is a risk in the W3C's policy of creating standards before implementations exist:

"Now that we're trying to standardize in advance of implementation, we run an enormous risk of messing up: our industry simply lacks any real, large-scale implementation experience to guide the process, so we're just publishing our own wild speculations and stamping them as W3C Recommendations or ISO standards or what-have-you."

Megginson suggests that a solution is to standardize incrementally, in order to strike a balance between the cost of standardization and the benefits it brings.

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