Help Petition MS to Support Standards

Thursday August 12th, 1999

Eric Krock writes, "The Web Standards Project has launched a petition drive to pressure Microsoft to support HTML 4.0, CSS1, DOM1, and XML in IE. Read the press releases here and here.

... then sign your name to the petition by sending an email from this page."

With Microsoft's posturing regarding messaging standards recently, you might have forgotten that Internet Explorer is not yet standards compliant. Microsoft, in fact, has yet to commit to full standards compliance.

It took the WSP nine months, but they seem to have finally gotten around to petitioning Microsoft on this issue (as you may recall, they petitioned last year).

Now if they could only petition the W3C to revamp their faulty standards process. The W3C could start by creating a certification process for browsers. A standard isn't a standard if there isn't some body enforcing the standard and giving its certification. Would you buy a bike helmet that wasn't approved by a standards body? A car with seatbelts that didn't meet safety standards? A TV that wasn't certifiably able to interpret the signal coming into it?

The W3C could then follow up by creating a verifiable implementation of the standard themselves, instead of forcing the browser makers to spend countless hours and dollars working through vagaries and inconsistencies in the "finalized" spec. (I have seen indication of this at times in the mozilla forums - I'd love it if a developer would speak up and give us a concrete example or two). Seeing as there is no longer a browser "market" - other than the incidental revenues browsers can draw in from portal sites - it seems silly to force browser makers to shoulder the burden of winnowing the standards specifications.

What do you think? Is it time for more fundamental changes in the web standards process? Let us know what you think in the talkback forum.

#20 Microsoft response

by hto

Monday August 16th, 1999 12:52 AM

You are replying to this message

I don't know the the URLs/documents where they say it, but I have both heard personally from MS people and read, printed on paper that:

- MS has done user surveys and these show their users do not need/demand standards compliance so they will not bother doing it

- MS is trying to implement the standards but is faced with the same shortage of resources as any other software company

Really, that is what they have said. I seem to remember there are some official MS web pages that basically state MS is committed to implement all relevant standards. Believe what you want.

In any case, there are MS people sitting in the W3C working groups and they are doing their share in defining the standards. As for implementing them, we'll see...