Our First Weekend Discussion

Friday February 11th, 2000

I've decided to try something new at MozillaZine: a "weekend discussion". Every Friday, we'll have a forum on a topic of interest to Mozilla users and developers. Hopefully it will generate some interesting conversations.

This week's topic is "Web Standards". What are your feelings about the current standards "process"? About Mozilla and its standards support? About what standards Mozilla should support in the future? I'm also interested in getting some opinions from Mozilla developers on this issue. How do they feel about being the "guinea pigs" of the standards process, being the first to implement standards specifications and also being the ones to deal with the vagaries and inconsistencies between revisions in the current specs? How are developers feeling about Mozilla's standards support so far?

Our forums are quite civil, so don't be afraid to speak your mind. We'd love to hear what you have to say. Just click the "responses" link below to get started.

#3 The problem with standards

by sdm

Friday February 11th, 2000 11:38 AM

You are replying to this message

The problem with standards is they take so long to get finished, and they are designed by committee. The particular flaw with the W3 standards is that they come with no reference implementation. (Contrasted with IETF standards which usually have a decent implementation). Since there is no reference implementation, it is up to the browser makers to interpret the standards in edge cases the standards writers didn't even think of. The incompatibilities between CSS1 and CSS2 are an example of this. Particularly with font mapping (see the CSS2 notes for details). The W3C sits up on high and decrees commandments for authors and browsers to follow, but, does not do very much to help the browser makers or authors actually implement them.

This is changing a bit with the latest standards. CSS2 has some detailed discussion and pseudo code, as does parts of the DOM spec. But we need something like Amaya (or a version of Amaya which is stable and full featured) as a reference.