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Trouble Brewing at the W3C?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the so-many-to-choose-from dept.

The Internet 339

An anonymous reader writes "A breakaway faction of the World Wide Web consortium (W3C) called WHAT-WG, or the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group--which includes Apple, the Mozilla Foundation and Opera--is threatening to revolt over electronic forms standards. WHAT-WG has announced its intention to submit the draft to the W3C, posing the potentially awkward possibility of the consortium advocating two conflicting avenues for Web forms. The fate of a standard could also determine whether the order form could be accessed in any standards-compliant Web browser, or if it would be available only to users of a particular operating system--an outcome that has browser makers and others worried about the role of Microsoft."

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339 comments

Is it really a Battle of the Browsers? (5, Interesting)

Hulkster (722642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731553)

Ummmmm ... is the combined market share of ALL browsers outside of "Apple (aka Safari), Mozilla, and Opera" and IE even close to 1%? I.e. I don't want to be unfair (even though this is /. which is anti-MS), but is this really shaping up as a everyone-but-Microsoft vs. Microsoft battle? Or (and I did RTFA), is it more a matter of which technical standard is better?

Support Celiac Disease Research [komar.org]

Re:Is it really a Battle of the Browsers? (1, Informative)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731648)

Ummmmm ... is the combined market share of ALL browsers outside of "Apple (aka Safari), Mozilla, and Opera" and IE even close to 1%?

You haven't kept up with the stats lately, have you?

WebSideStory this January has Firefox alone at 5%, and IE is about 90%. Nobody I know is reporting anything below 1% for the "other guys". Besides Firefox, Opera was at 2.1%, Netscape (maybe including the Moailla suite as well) was at 2.6%, and I don't know about Safari or others.

OneStat even has IE below 90% at 88.9%, and that was last November.

So, yes, the combined non-MS marketshare is certainly more than 1%, which you could have easily found out with a little research.

Re:Is it really a Battle of the Browsers? (2, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731698)

I think you missed the point. He was saying that (Safari + Mozilla + Opera + IE) > 99% market share. So if Apple, Mozilla and Opera all get together and make their own non-standard "standard", ot won't really make things worse than they already are. IE already does things differently to everyone else, and this doesn't change that.

Re:Is it really a Battle of the Browsers? (1)

Hulkster (722642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731719)

So, yes, the combined non-MS marketshare is certainly more than 1%, which you could have easily found out with a little research.

Uhhhhhh ... what I said in my original post was that the combined non-MS/Safari/Mozzila/Opera marketshare is less than 1% ... which I believe is true (although I forgot about the Netscape guys).

So as I stated, this seems to be everyone-but-Microsoft on one side of the discussion which is why I asked if it was a political or a technical battle/discussion.

Re:Is it really a Battle of the Browsers? (1)

lakerdonald (825553) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731836)

No this is everybody vs. w3c it would seem, with microsoft potentially being favored in the long run.

Parent not a troll (1)

Swamii (594522) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731821)

Ok, so the everybody at 1% is off obviously, but come on he has a valid question -- is this a case of everybody vs. MS?

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731557)

frist p0st d70814866e5859909070db4006a8cd9105ebd479

You know the saying - (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731567)


"The best thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from."

Re:You know the saying - (2, Insightful)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731595)

We have a saying at work, "If there is a standard, then we will support it." Be it Java, .NET, Oracle, MsSQL, SyBase, Perl, ASP. If it's a standard we will support it.

Re:You know the saying - (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731784)

As opposed to Microsoft's saying: "If there is a standard, then we will embrace it, pervert it and destroy it!"

Re:You know the saying - (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731809)

My standard involves you licking my unwashed filthy hairy asshole.

So, you will support it?

Re:You know the saying - (3, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731676)

So many standards indeed. According to the article "The W3C is saying the answer is XForms. Microsoft is saying it's XAML. Macromedia is saying it's Flash MX. And Mozilla [along with Opera and Apple] is saying it's XUL."

OK. Lovely. It looks like the Internet Explorer vs. Netscape Navigator browser war is back with a vengeance, only with some new players. I think it's safe to say that Macromedia isn't going to get its way, and I hope we've all learnt our lessons about Microsoft's bait and switch tactics with standards by now. Yeah, right! I'm betting Microsoft will go with XAML, and everyone else will go with XUL only to add XAML support later because Microsoft will refuse to support XUL. <Sigh> It's going to be CSS and browser specific hacks all over again, isn't it?

Re:You know the saying - (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731798)

Well, Mozilla sure has some weird links regarding XUL.
http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there. is.only.xul [mozilla.org]

Re:You know the saying - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731857)

That would be a "Ghostbusters [imdb.com] " reference, perhaps?

Re:You know the saying - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731695)

Uhhh, what the hell did you think "from the so-many-to-choose-from dept." referred to?

BROWSER WARS IV - A New Hope (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731571)

It is a period of civil war.
Mozilla spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil Microsoft Empire.

During the battle, Mozilla
spies managed to steal secret
plans to the Empire's
ultimate weapon, INTERNET
EXPLORER 7, an armored web
browser with enough power to
destroy an entire website.

Pursued by the Empire's
sinister agents, WHAT-WG
races home aboard its
browser, custodian of the
form standards that can save
their people and restore
freedom to the galaxy....

Wow... (3, Funny)

Quixote (154172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731574)

FTA:
Forms based on current Web standards are used in every Google search, every Amazon.com sale, every automated blog entry, every online tax payment, and every Web e-mail log-in.

Wow... I didn't know these all-powerful "forms" were everywhere!

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731613)

I for one, welcome our new standards-compliant form overlords.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731636)

I didn't know that bloggers were automatons.

Re:Wow... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731831)

I didn't know that bloggers were automatons.

Duh. Most blogs are just scripts that copy articles from news.google.com and randomly insert the words "meme" and "blogosphere".

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731880)

HOLY DOGSHIT MOD PARENT UP

modupmodupmodupmodup
Mozilla sucks. Firefox is a piece of shit.

I luv Microsoft. It just works.

All-powerful forms (5, Funny)

flargleblarg (685368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731637)

Kid, I've flown from one side of the galaxy to the other and I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe that there's one all-powerful form that controls everything.

Re:All-powerful forms (1)

Ramses0 (63476) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731901)

Where is the +5 Hilarious option?

--Robert

Re:Wow... (5, Funny)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731876)

Oh yeah, read your Plato. The Forms are awesome. First of all, there's the Form of the Good, which is a lot like the sun. And everyone else is like a slave in cave. (Basically, it's just a rip-off of the Matrix. Still, it's kind of interesting.)

So, if I understand this story correctly, Microsoft feels that Forms are just properties of webpages that already exist, but the others feel that Forms are timeless, ideal webpages that we can remember experiencing before our birth. You know, like the Englebart hypertext computer.

If the standards committee is really torn between these two ways of understand the Forms, it may come down to someone like Hegel, showing that the Forms are a historically evolving entity, moving towards an inevitable conclusion.

Or, Microsoft will do whatever the hell they want in IE7 and everyone will just have to complain about it.

Either way, it's good to see more public philosophy.

So what with TFA? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731575)

Lord, fucking change the default IT skin!!

Frist Pr0st!!

huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731706)

One thing I really miss about using Safari is that with PithHelmet I could s!*.slashdot.org/*.pl!it.slashdot.org and not have to put up with that terrible green.

Oh Great (2)

timigoe (797580) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731576)

More differences between browsers... that won't be good. Its already a nuciance with standards not being fully supported as is across the different browsers.

Re:Oh Great (1)

conna01 (842613) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731666)

Not to mention the different versions of the same browser...

Re:Oh Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731736)

Actually, the standards are supported. It's just that IE supports non-standard stuff as well, and since many web developers test on IE only, you end up with a little mess from time to time.

Re:Oh Great (1)

kalakala (783483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731910)

microsoft does not support standards, or at last, it does not fully support them and has created it owns standards, changig basic stuff

Ahh man (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731577)

I like the W3C!

Competing standards (3, Insightful)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731586)

I'm all for choice when it comes to how to do things, but standards should be, well, standard. The point of such arbitrary standards is lost if the bodies that are supposed to arbitrate the mechanisms are squabbling.

However, given the members of the W3C that are in the breakaway faction, it gives me pause to think that the only non-participating engine coder on the list is Microsoft. It makes me think that perhaps the standard that our favorite punching bag monopoly is trying to do something with the web forum standards that the others aren't liking.

Of course, this is without R-ing the FA, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Re:Competing standards (3, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731635)

You make a good point. I looked at the XForms spec [w3.org] , and it was written by IBM, Xerox, Adobe, SAP, Novell, Sun, et al. What do these companies have in common? None of them develop major Web browsers.

Re:Competing standards (3, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731741)

None of them develop major Web browsers.

True enough, although Sun does produce a web browser called HotJava it's not exactly got a great market share. What they (mostly) do have in common however is that they write the backend applications that will be receiving the data *from* the forms. I guess it depends on which where your first priority lies; getting the form looking pretty or getting accurate and useful data into your backend systems.

Re:Competing standards (4, Interesting)

Nik13 (837926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731888)

The thing is, the forms won't be used by the browser makers nor the back end makers (well, indirectly in both cases). It's the web application developpers who do, and they'er also the ones left using whatever technologies that are available to solve the problem.

XForms wouldn't work "out of the box" for most users of my stuff, so I'm a bit hesitant. Ideally I'd have to have an alternate method of entry with "old" forms. And I just don't feel I'm gaining much, never was big on XForms (neither has been anybody it seems, since the first draft). It could become an alternative later on if browser support improves.

Flash MX? Flash is known to too many (including me) as a way to create highly annoying ads, making us use extensions like FlashBlock. It's not a good way to make your site "accessible" either. It just feels like some field (no pun intended) where Flash doesn't belong into and shouldn't extent into. Leave it for unusable site nav and annoying ads.

XUL - you hear a lot about it lately. Haven't really seen much or heard of anybody who's really done anything (web forms related) with it. And even though it's getting more popular, it doesn't work on most browsers, so I can't really consider it anyways.

XAML - are you out of your mind? Another Windows Monopoly-OS centric solution, forcing adoption of the worst browser of them all. People are starting to get the point that those kind of standards (like ActiveX) are bad. If you need LH+IE7 to use it, it's completely and absolutely out of the question. Alternative OS/browsers are left out. And I can't see the W3C drink bad microsoft kool-aid and adopt XAML as some web standard.

I've been dying for better forms for the last year mostly as I've been doing more web stuff. I haven't read much onto Web Forms 2.0 yet, but it might be an option, especially if it has good browser adoption, and by seeing the members of the WHAT-WG, you'd think it should be the case. Otherwise, XForms may be the next best bet still.

Either ways, I'll be happy when this is all resolved, and that we have something better and consistently available for all our visitors, no matter what OS or browser. (If that ever happens, that is).

Wait a minute... (3, Interesting)

Apreche (239272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731587)

So let me get this straight. Microsoft wants to make Xforms the standard. Everyone else wants something else to be the standard. But does it really matter which standard we choose as long as its an open one? And aren't all W3C standards open? So what's the problem? I say choose the better standard regardless of other factors.

Or is there something I'm missing here?

Re:Wait a minute... (4, Interesting)

ekuns (695444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731629)

Nope, Microsoft is ignoring XForms just like everyone else. Microsoft would prefer people use XAML (from Avalon). It seems the only folks implementing XForms are not browser makers, but people developing intranet based software.

Having written forms-based code with current browsers, I agree with the XForms supporters in that scripting is a terrible way to handle form input. It just doesn't scale and you have the form in one location and the code scripting in another place, so if you change something you have two separate locations to update everything in.

But I know nothing about the XForms standard, so I can't speak intelligently about it.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731644)

I find XForms the better idea, as it doesn't rely on the ludicrous assumption that HTML is the only markup language which forms will ever be used in.

Re:Wait a minute... (5, Interesting)

overunderunderdone (521462) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731887)

No, You didn't get it straight. Microsoft is pursuing their own proprietary solution completely separate from these two competing standards.

The fight at the W3C is over the open standard Microsoft will be ignoring and/or attempting to crush. One side (tech purists?) is advocating a completely new, technically elegant revolutionary new standard. The other side (Microsoft competitors) is worried that this totally new miracle standard, despite it's technical advantages will be crushed in the marketplace by the proprietary Microsoft "standard". They believe it will be crushed for two reasons: 1) It will take a long time to implement and then for users to adopt and Microsoft will beat it to the market with their solution and 2) It will never be supported by dominant web browser. The alternative they advocate an "evolutionary" refinement of existing standards that can actually be implemented with existing browsers using javascript. It beats Microsoft to the market, it's already supported by everybody including Microsoft(!) it's a no-brainer for web application developers trying to decide which technology to use.

Correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Interesting)

FoboldFKY (785255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731589)

...but aren't WHAT-WG and the W3C advocating two standards for different purposes?

I thought that Web Forms was seen more as an extension of HTML 4.0 forms to make building HTML applications easier, whilst XForms was to improve things like introspection/interoperability (at the cost of being close to impossible for mere mortals to grok)...

In my humble opinion... (3, Insightful)

astebbin (836820) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731611)

... this'll all turn out just like Beta vs. VHS with some initial worriement that resolves itself with one set of standards beating down the other and becoming the norm. As for the possible role of Microsoft... whoever gets Bill Gates on their team, wins.

Re:In my humble opinion... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731646)

i.e. Bill Gates for teh win!!!!!1

Give me a break... (3, Insightful)

ThePatrioticFuck (640185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731617)

I just love how :

"Apple, the Mozilla Foundation and Opera--is
threatening to revolt over electronic forms standards."


suddenly becomes Microsoft's fault :

"an outcome that has browser makers and others worried about the role of Microsoft."

Geezus guys, feeling a little insecure are we?

What's the difference?? (5, Interesting)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731618)

I actually read the whole article trying to figure out the main differences between XForms and Web Forms 2.0, and this is what I come up with:

XForms:

  • Doesn't require scripting
  • Is not backward compatible
  • Microsoft doesn't support it
Web Forms 2.0:
  • Requires scripting
  • Is backward compatible
  • Microsoft doesn't support it
No clear winner here, yet, but I'll put my money on XForms.

Re:What's the difference?? (5, Insightful)

ArmchairGenius (859830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731690)

Yeah the article was a bit confusing on the details, but I think that summary is accurate.

In addition to those two, there are other "standards" out there made by different proprietary makers. Microsoft has XAML, Macromedia has Flash MX, and Mozilla has XUL....

It sounds like the splinter faction is concerned about the lack of backward compatibility in XForms, i.e., it wouldn't be supported by their browsers and would probably require a plug-in.

Sense no current browser supports Xforms, this group figures that Microsoft won't implement it and instead use its XAML form specification. And since IE has over 90% of the market, that would make Xforms essentially irrelevant. XAML would become the defacto standard, and the spliter group's products (alternative browsers to IE) would not be able to implement the proprietary XAML standard. This would effectively lock thei products out of any corporate market that utilized form technology.

So it is a pretty big deal, and it makes sense that the splinter group members are concerned enough to take this action.

Re:What's the difference?? (2, Interesting)

thammoud (193905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731744)

You are making an assumption that developers will write for XAML. Did not really happen with Active-X and other technologies that MS tried to push down developer's throats. Open standards are important to Web developers. Do not bet on automatic success for XAML.

Re:What's the difference?? (3, Interesting)

leerpm (570963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731871)

XAML will be successful, on the Win32 platform. WinForms is going to go away. No one at MSFT is publicly admitting this yet, but there are lots of hints around. Avalon/XAML is going to be the next Win32 GUI API. But until it's well integrated with the Dev Tools, it won't really catch on. Look for XAML to really start catching momentum in 2007/2008.

Whether XAML will be successful on the web, well that is a different story..

Re:What's the difference?? (2, Informative)

0x20 (546659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731782)

IE doesn't have over 90% of the market. Currently the number is somewhere around 60-80% and falling. Still too much, but the situation is improving.

Source 1: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.a sp/ [w3schools.com]
Source 2: http://www.upsdell.com/BrowserNews/stat.htm/ [upsdell.com]

Re:What's the difference?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731740)

There's no clear winner because they both suck!

You can't "require" people to run scripts, it's bad enough trying to get html jockies to write accessible, standards compliant pages as it is. I agree with what Hixie and friends were trying to do but they failed miserably.

XForms are horrible, I'm just as likely to author self-validating form controls using xsl. Recent W3C standards have been a complete joke, I'm looking forward to them ditching xhtml2 when they take their heads out of their asses,

Chicken and Egg Problem (1)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731762)

I get the feeling that the problem with adopting XForms is the "chicken and egg" issue of current browsers not supporting it so current websites would look like they were moving in REVERSE if they supported it.

It looks like nothing will get the current standard adoption out of NEUTRAL (XUL, XAML, XForms, or some proprietary tech) unless it can be compatible with the current browser tech.

Web Forms 2.0 offers something that the web sites could adopt that would still be backwards friendly to Internet Explorer. It's the lubrication that can get the websites to move their tech forward.

It seems that Apple and AOL are on the cusp of a new major browser release things are just about to be pushed into DRIVE. At the very least, this "super scripting" solution of Web Forms 2.0 looks like a way to push the website providers into an upgrade cycle for everyone.

My guess is that there's no significant reason this was done outside official W3C procedures other than the rapid speed of making changes, but it looks like they're planning to submit things to the W3C for the full, slow, tectonic ratification.

Re:What's the difference?? (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731870)

I haven't RTFAed, myself, but from what I've read elsewhere, you have it right.

Not a clear winner? Depends on who you are. If you want more powerful forms applications, but don't think that XForms will be widely implemented before the next Ice Age, then Web Forms is the clear winner. If you want a nice clean, well-specified, easy to implement forms specification, XForms is the clear winner. And if you don't care...

This is your typical W3C specification hassle. The W3C keeps grinding out really detailed new specifications, but seems totally indifferent to the fact that that these specs take forever to get implemented in the real world, if they ever do. It's not as bad as it used to be, since everbody except Microsoft seems to be on the standards bandwagon. (Netscape used to be militantly indifferent to standards.) But unfortunately, Microsoft still has 95+% of the browser market.

Irony? (1, Troll)

kdark1701 (791894) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731621)

I find it very ironic that Mozilla, an organization that touts itself as standards compliant, is party to making new standards. Making new web standards, by the way, is something that Mozilla chastizes Microsoft for.

Uh, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731631)

No one said they can't work with the W3C to make new standards that everyone can use. This isn't like back in the mid-90's when people just made up standards for their browser and didn't care if someone followed them or not.

Standards (1)

sbszine (633428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731658)

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Re:Irony? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731664)

Funny, since Netscape at its peak was worse than Microsoft for shoving their own 'standards' at everyone.

Re:Irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731705)

Well, yeah, that's the whole point of open standards. I, for one, do not wish to code to some set of standards without some say-so about what the standards actually contain. Would you?

Re:Irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731709)

Mozilla doesn't even follow existing standards. Firefox ignores backgrounds on <col> and <colgroup> even though the standard explicitly allows them. (IE handles it fine...)

Re:Irony? (1)

TLLOTS (827806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731722)

I think you'll find it more correct that Mozilla chastizes Microsoft for making new psuedo-standards based off of other standards, thereby using their monopoly to create a new standard that others either must support or face having their websites not function correctly. The creation of new standards isn't a bad thing, at least in the instance when they're used to address a need for additional functionality.

Microsoft hasn't chosen a side (1)

shift.red.avni (858445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731626)

Last I checked Microsoft hasn't chosen a side of the argument. Right now it's the browser makers vs the plugin makers.

What's the point? (4, Insightful)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731647)

No matter what the 'winner' is, people will still be running older browsers that don't support the new technology. So, as a 'just in case' scenario, application developers will still be using whatever programming language they're coding in to do the verification and whatever it is they need in the background. Unless I'm missing a magical thing that XForms, XAML and Web Forms 2.0 would be doing?

xforms-- how long have we been waiting? (2, Interesting)

helix_r (134185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731651)


We have been waiting for xforms for far too long.

Forms, the way they are now, are a mess. And the very very late introduction of the long-awaited xforms will serve to F things up even more because all the developer toolchains will have to be made compliant (or not). Its going a long and painful road.

Part of the blame goes to java (sun) and microsoft for screwing up and/or sabotaging the applet concept.

If things were done right, developers would be writing user-input pages as applets rather than a messy rat's nest of css, html, forms, javascript, jsp's, etc...

Re:xforms-- how long have we been waiting? (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731701)

Forms are easy:
form name='frmBobsForm' action='loadinfo.jsp'
input type='text' maxlength='20' name='txtField' size='22'
input type='submit' value='Send Info'

Easy as pie.

Re:xforms-- how long have we been waiting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731732)

Some angle brackets might help.

Re:xforms-- how long have we been waiting? (1)

helix_r (134185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731769)


By saying that forms are a mess, I do not mean they are hard (by themselves).

The problem is the whole big picture of what needs to be done to get forms-on-web-page to work properly and meet all requirements.

In fact, I would argue that forms are too simple. That's why we need all the exessive junk on many webpages.

At some point, things will get so messed up that it will just make more sense to go back to an application (applet).

The bell tolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731660)

It's time we reconsider the place of closed organizations like the W3C. We should start a new open source based open standards organization, free as in freedom.

Re:The bell tolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731696)

damn straight... I'm sick of standards being made by these ivory tower types, most of whom have probably never seen an actual web page in their life.

w3c sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731673)

some crap from the w3c:
  • Don't use that <font>... you can do it in CSS and it only takes 3 times as much code!
  • All tags must be terminated explicitly. Because it happens so often that you need to nest a <td> directly within another <td>, with nothing between them.
  • CSS can do any styling you want! Unless you want a centered div that's only as wide as a content... or a full-height sidebar... then you're just screwed. (hint: use tables instead)
  • <input checked="checked">. 'Nuff said.


hopefully WHAT-WG actually has somewhat of a clue when it comes to designing stuff.

Re:w3c sucks (4, Insightful)

handslikesnakes (659012) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731733)

Let's see here...

  1. eliminating the exaggeration eliminates your point
  2. so use HTML instead of XHTML
  3. you're wrong
  4. see 2.

Re:w3c sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731776)

  1. so it only takes 2 times as much instead of 3, that doesn't change my point at all.
  2. HTML is deprecated.
  3. Care to elaborate on that?
  4. Even in XML, they didn't have to do that. checked="1" would have worked fine.

Re:w3c sucks (3, Informative)

W3bbo (727049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731737)

a) Using CSS instead of the tag actually uses less code if you need that "font style" a lot in a page or website.

b) XHTML is based of XML, therefore all XML rules (including code termination) must be met. If you've got a problem with this, go back to SGML based HTML4.01 which allows this

c) In CSS you can have a
as wide as its content, use: "width: 0; overflow: visible;"

Full height-sidebars? "height: 100%;"

d) Attribute="value"s have to be completed in order to comply with XML spec, as I said earlier, SGML-based HTML4.01 is more flexible....And you forgot to close your element properly ;)

The W3C Standards exist for a reason and many are devised by people who, lets face it, are waaaay smarter than both you and I. If you've got a problem with this, then join one of the W3C Working-Group Mailing lists and ask them yourself.

Re:w3c sucks (2, Insightful)

hsoft (742011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731775)

I'm all for css, but the last time I tried "height: 100%;", it didn't work in all browsers (I think it only worked in IE). I love CSS, but we must admit that it is sometimes a pain in the arse.

Re:w3c sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731796)

And for the other one, "width:0" is no good if you want a border or background.

Re:w3c sucks (1)

W3bbo (727049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731824)

"height: 100%;" only works when an element has a parent with absolute height. You need to set "body { min-height: 100%; }" first. Of course, CSS2.1 still does have short-comings where are the only viable way to achieve a particular aesthetic effect. But I stress this is in the minority of cases, and there's almost always workarounds. Just remember kids! "If in doubt, do without!"

Re:w3c sucks (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731819)

Don't use that <font>... you can do it in CSS and it only takes 3 times as much code!
I call bollocks on that. Separation of style and content is very important for machine readability, being able to change the style of your site without trawling through every single page and editing every tag and defining the font-family ONCE for an entire site in ONE file makes for a lot less lines than in every single page on your site.
All tags must be terminated explicitly. Because it happens so often that you need to nest a <td> directly within another <td>, with nothing between them.
Again, crapola. All tags must be terminated explicitly so that HTML4 is XHTML1 compliant - allowing browsers to lose a lot of bloat that is otherwise needed to correct mistakes made by numpties - and the more stupid the page designer, the more bloated the browser needs to be to compensate.
CSS can do any styling you want! Unless you want a centered div that's only as wide as a content... or a full-height sidebar... then you're just screwed. (hint: use tables instead)
Hint, use properly nested DIVs and a little imagination and CSS can do a lot more elegant styling than huge bloated tables filled with 1 pixel shim.gifs

XForms too complex(?) (2, Insightful)

janbjurstrom (652025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731674)

I read Joe Gregorio's take on XForms [bitworking.org] a while back. XForms seems to make everything regarding forms/interactivity unnecessarily complicated. (The standard might've been simplified since then, un-RTFA etc.)

Like saying... (5, Insightful)

ET_Fleshy (829048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731679)

FTA:
"The XForms group tried to do the right thing, but as a result they dropped backwards compatibility" ... "And I think that's very unfortunate, because trying to replace a few hundred million browsers is a rather hard thing to do, and I don't think XForms is 10 times better."
Seams comparable to gas stations "revolutionizing" the way fuel is pumped into cars with a new fuel nozzle. The only catch, it doesn't work with any of the gas tanks installed in cars today, nor are there any cars planned to support the system in the near future. "...however we believe our system is so much better that the world should conform to us."

Now while I am one who loves standardization, the idea that you can impose standards that render all known browsers obsolete is ridiculous. Most people can't figure out how to update their computer with security patches much less download a whole new browser gasp... it'll never happen. The industry will not just leave 90% of their customers out in the cold because they cannot support the new forms. On another note, I am glad to see that some people are not affraid to stick up for the average person and challenge the W3C's authority.

Re:Like saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731847)

Sounds like the IPV4/IPV6 problem...

Re:Like saying... (1)

GloomE (695185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731905)

I disagree.
It seems to me that most people can figure out how to install all manner of junk on their PCs, or have it installed for them at the click of a button.
All you have to do is put "Free" or "Cool" or "My" in the name and you're all set.
There's probably no reason why the compatibility can not be provided in the form of of a plugin for 90% of existing users (you know who I mean), we could get all those SPAM mailer zombie trojan writers to "help" those without the ability or confidence to install new software.

You fail iT! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731681)

poor dead las7

Around and around the mulberry bush we go (2, Insightful)

SavannahLion (701337) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731682)

Ok, the way I'm interpreting, "more sophisticated forms," is more hours spent trying to code websites to be compatible across different browsers. More hours spent adding and debugging code to check for the existence of support for a particular, "standard." More hours spent writing parallel code for users who support the new, "standard," and for users who don't. As well as yet another access point for virus writers to potentially exploit.

I like pretty forms to look at as much as the next user, but I'd rather have a fast loading site that gets me the information and products I want instead of having to deal with yet another pointless error message. I'm sure sites like eBay and Amazon might adapt this new specification, but not without using parallel code for those users with browsers who don't support it yet.

Blasphemy! (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731684)

A breakaway faction of the World Wide Web consortium (W3C) called WHAT-WG, or the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group...

Sorry, I'm holding out for the WHAT-WJD!

Re:Blasphemy! (1)

dahin (798456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731721)

Sorry, I'm holding out for the WHAT-WJD!
Or WHAT-WMD!

Actually... (2, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731792)

...I'm waiting for the OHHKAAAY-WG and the YEEAAAHHHH-WG.

It doesn't scare me too much, I know how to make HTML forms and (as the old "Chevy Van" song goes) that's all right with me... I guess we'll soon abandon the "relic in Internet time" known as HTML 4 soon though (not sure when that'll happen at Slash"HTML 3.2 Final"dot--just look at that DOCTYPE in the page source...).

Re:Blasphemy! (1)

ET_Fleshy (829048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731812)

You're forgetting WJHI (would jesus hit it)

W3C making itself irrelevant (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731704)

The last 2-3 years the W3C has been so caught up in retarded politics that it's out lived it's usefullness. Rather than focusing on stuff people want like webservices, they've been focusing on semantic bullshit and RDF crap. I hear their funding is seriously going to get yanked because they haven't produced much. The pressure is on, but I think the W3C is clogged by beaurocratic BS.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731781)

Then take a look at recent w3c recs and pity the idiots that drafted them.

Storm in a teacup? (5, Informative)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731707)

Sound to me as if someone either missed the cluetrain, was having a slow news day and decided to invent a crisis, or swallowed some Microsoft FUD without checking his facts.

From the Web Forms 2.0 draft spec [whatwg.org] :

"This specification is in no way aimed at replacing XForms 1.0 [XForms], nor is it a subset of XForms 1.0.

XForms 1.0 is well suited for describing business logic and data constraints. Web Forms 2.0 aims to simplify the task of transforming XForms 1.0 systems into documents that can be rendered on HTML Web browsers that do not support XForms."


The Web Forms proposal is hugely important precisely because it can be implemented for IE using a "standard library" of client-side script. It won't be quite as nice as native implementations, but it'll work. It's the first evolutionary proposal I've seen that actually makes allowance for the festering carcass of IE holding everybody else back.

Not much said about the lesser faction WHAT-TF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731708)

I saw in other news that further arguments have led to another breakaway faction called WTF, or WHAT The Fuck.

The W3C is a follower not a leader (2, Insightful)

CpILL (538487) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731712)

Most of the big standards that the W3C has published to date are more about documenting and unify existing technologies that have already emerged (i.e. HTML, XML, RDF). This XFroms thing would seem to be the first major thing they have tried to pioneer where all the major vendors have their own interests at stake.

I would be expecting more solidarity from the Mozilla side of things but I guess there is big business there too now. The web is about sharing where business is about Darwinism. This sort of problem has to be resolved if the web is to progress.

As for XForms, what can you do with them that you can't do already? Less Javascript perhaps? Is that worth having to support 3 separate technologies? If it doesn't get resolved then I know I'll just stick to the current standard as it will always be supported.

use the force ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731713)

We're talking about a cross-platform plugin, right ?

Aren't there like 7 code monkeys who could whip this out in a few days and then just redirect people to get the plugin ?

we're talking about a truly open source plugin, written to a stable standard...not a java plugin, or a macromedia plugin, or a realplayer plugin.

it seems to me, that any road except the proprietary one (miscrosoft/avalon/XAML) would be somewhat easy to do this way....and a redirect for a plugin is pretty much the same across all browsers.

Succeeding standard (2, Funny)

Anonymous Writer (746272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731730)

None of these companies or organisations are going to dictate what the used standard will be. As usual, it will be the porn industry :P

Re:Succeeding standard (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731797)

And on behalf of the porn industry: we'll settle for whatever gets the chicks nekkid.

Obligatory Deliberate Karma Whoring (1, Redundant)

Eil (82413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731756)


"The good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from." -- Andrew S. Tanenbaum

Re:Obligatory Deliberate Karma Whoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731793)

Somebody else who was too lazy to read even the "from the..." tag of the story made the same witless comment 28 minutes before you did.

XUL? XAML?? Flash??? (3, Informative)

idlake (850372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731773)

XUL and XAML are general markup languages for GUIs. And Flash is a complete runtime.
The notion that XUL and XAML are substitutes for a forms standard makes about as much sense as saying that a C compiler is a replacement for a web browser: just add a little bit of code yourself. I guess we should count our blessings that at least they aren't proposing to use Java.

XForms is specifically for forms: things you fill in and submit. XForms also has facilities for off-line filling and mailing of forms. We need a standard like that.

Having said that, I find neither XForms nor Web Forms 2.0 particulary persuasive. XForms suffers from second system effect: there is just too much of it. And Web Forms 2.0 seems like a mess; reliance on JavaScript is a no-no.

Thanks, but not thanks: everybody should go back to the drawing board. Maybe in another few years, they'll come back with something reasonable.

Give me a break (2, Interesting)

FyberOptic (813904) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731789)

This is exactly what I've been talking to lately with people about the W3C. They're becoming useless. They have these factions and everyone wants things done one way or another, nobody agrees, and nothing gets done to help the people. And like in this case, it only creates new problems.

And they apparently won't even consider taking any of Microsoft's adaptations to the standards into consideration, even though many times some of these changes are actual improvements. IE is such a superpower that the only way we can ever have ONE standard is to start blending everything together. At the rate we're going, the browser compatibility divide will only continue to INCREASE, not get better.

So really, why should Microsoft give any credibility to these standards and the people behind them when they can't even agree with one another on such important things?

Re:Give me a break (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731892)

because their market dominance in the browser is decreasing and has gone below 20% on many active websites.

Priorities. (4, Funny)

Asprin (545477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11731818)


Mozilla, Opera and Apple are allied? I don't even have to know what it's about to know which side I'm on.

Hmmmm... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11731820)

Fron TFA:
The W3C is saying the answer is XForms. Microsoft is saying it's XAML. Macromedia is saying its Flash MX. And Mozilla is saying it's XUL.

The "standards" committe is saying one thing; Microsoft is saying another; Macromedia is saying another and Mozilla is saying yet another!

Did I misunderstand just WTF a standard is?
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