[LINK] Tim Berners-Lee on Reinventing HTML

Robin Whittle rw at firstpr.com.au
Tue Oct 31 00:41:24 AEDT 2006

Tim Berners-Lee wrote on Friday about the the need to create
a new HTML working group.  Prior to this, HTML development
at W3C ended at the end of 1999.



Relevant sites:

I think the current situation is a mess.  Despite a well
designed (IMHO) standard since the late 1990s (HTML 4.01),
80% or more of people use a browser (MSIE) which doesn't
implement basic OBJECT elements according to the standard,
and worse still requires OBJECT elements to be used in a
way which (so I read) does not work with standards-compliant


I understand that CSS support is still a problem with MSIE.
However, since I run Windows 2000, not XP, I can't try out

Web designers have to make their sites work with this rotten
MSIE 6 browser, whilst trying to be standards compliant.

Meanwhile, most web designers don't have the time or the
intellect to follow all the minutiae of HTML standards and
browser incompatibilities.  (I think life is too short to
try to understand all this stuff fully.)  Most designers
rely on flashy "HTML authoring" software which (as far as I
know) produces HTML which is far from elegant.

Over the last few years, the W3C has been trying to wean
people off the late 1990s HTML 4.01 (yet designers could
never really follow it due to MSIE deficiencies) and to use
XHTML 1.0 instead, which imposes restrictions on HTML 4.01
for no direct gain to the web designer or user.  (The aim
is laudable - simpler syntax to parse, smaller code for
browsers, more browsers hand-held devices etc.)

Now Tim Berners-Lee has admitted that they have failed to
develop standards which are actually used by all the browser
developers and therefore by web-designers.

I can't see how this 10 to 12 year-old mess can be resolved
in less than 4 or 5 years.

I look forward to using Amaya for creating and maintaining
my relatively modest web sites with HTML 4.01 and CSS 2.1.
I have been contributing but reports and suggestions.  The
latest version supports multiple spaces between words.


 - Robin   http://www.firstpr.com.au

More information about the Link mailing list