Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group Launches Mailing List

Friday June 4th, 2004

Ian Hickson writes: "Some of you may be interested to hear that people from Opera and Mozilla have set up an open mailing list for discussing Web Forms 2 and other new specs that have been discussed in various places over the last few months."

The list is the public forum of the newly-formed Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group, an organisation made of contributors from several major Web browser development teams. Current invited members are Brendan Eich, David Baron, David Hyatt, Håkon Wium Lie, Ian Hickson, Johnny Stenback and Maciej Stachowiak.

The group is working on specifications for Web Forms 2.0, Web Apps 1.0, Web Controls 1.0 and a CSS object rendering model. This work will be largely done outside of the World Wide Web Consortium, though finalised versions of the specs are expected to be submitted for formal standardisation. While the decision to operate independently of the W3C may be seen as controversial, many feel that formal standards bodies move too slowly to react to proprietary technologies such as Microsoft's forthcoming XAML. In addition, many in the W3C are pushing for Web applications standards based on technologies such as XForms and Scalable Vector Graphics, whereas the members of the WHATWG favour backwards-compatible HTML-based solutions, which they believe would be easier to implement and more likely to be adopted by Web developers.

#23 Re: When will they ever learn?

by Grauw

Sunday June 6th, 2004 12:14 PM

You are replying to this message

I disagree on two issues:

1. It is not just that they 'do not comply with standards'. The problem is that IE *controls* the technologies. If you allow that, you will *always* be running behind on IE. Instead, you must aim to take the steering wheel while you're still able to. The more you allow the proprietary technology XAML to take hold, the less chance you have. Besides, there's nice things in this Web Forms 2 for M$ as well... The basic data typing for example, very useful for the Tablet PC support in Longhorn.

2. XAML will certainly not be adopted completely in a few years. It will take much longer. According to an interview with Microsoft employee Bob Muglia (on, only now after about 2 years companies are really starting to migrate from Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2003. And there are still many around which use Win2k. The consumer market develops similarly. Just like the common/'dummy' user (the large part of those 90% you mention) doesn't download a better browser than IE, most people won't upgrade their OS until they get a new PC and the OS that is being delivered with it. And even after that, usually their older computer is still being used, given to a child or relative. It's really astonashing if you see the numbers about how many people are still using IE 5!! So, XAML will only get really commonly used in software and web applications when the backbone for it (Longhorn) has been widely spread. After all, it is not a matter of just upgrading the software, but will require an OS upgrade. This is also obviously an opportunity for Mozilla to kick in, because it is much easier to tell people to 'download another browser' (or just 'a product to make this web application work', really) than to require them to make an OS upgrade.


p.s. 25% of the visitors of one of my sites use Netscape/Mozilla. Admittedly, it is a pretty technical site, but nevertheless it shows that there definately *are* areas where the non-IE browsers have a pretty big share. If the experience of my site (and other related sites) were really much much better in Firefox than in IE, it could definately convince a number of people to choose Mozilla instead of IE. If the technical guys (who the 'dummies' turn to if they have a problem) start strongly recommending a different browser to them dummies, it may turn things around a little.