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W3C's Role In the Growth of a Proprietary Web 228

Posted by kdawson
from the slow-even-for-standards dept.
Paul Ellis writes "Mozilla's Asa Dotzler has said 'It's really hard for me to believe that either [Microsoft or Adobe] have the free and open Web at heart when they're actively subverting it with closed technologies like Flash and Silverlight.' But are they really subverting it? Where is the line between serving the consumer and subverting the Web? This blog post makes the case that the W3C's glacial process should share in the blame for the growth of proprietary technologies."
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W3C's Role In the Growth of a Proprietary Web

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  • Please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) * on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:20PM (#24103519) Homepage Journal

    Just keep in mind, there's nothing stopping web developers from using straight HTML, CSS, JPG, PNG and GIF for basic animation. If you need media, you can embed an mpeg or a simple wav file. If you need processing, you can do it as CGI/server-side, at the same time ensuring 100% browser compatibility and avoiding the hijacking the web-client's CPU. Don't blame Adobe or MS or Sun for providing closed or deeply complicated, uncontrollable technologies; blame yourself for using them.

    Flash no more "subverts" the web than Photoshop "subverts" image processing, or the GPL subverts how software is published. You want to use these things, that's your choice. There are other options available that are just as useful, and in some cases, more so.

    • Agree, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:28PM (#24103629)

      I agree that this article is complete flamebait. SVG is largely usable RIGHT NOW but MSIE have chosen not to adopt it for obvious commercial reasons. It could of course easily be fixed (perhaps the best practical way to do it is for governments to implement and enforce online accessibility legislation which would automatically force major sites to code to standards).

      However, the article is completely right in denigrating the remarks of Asa Dotzler. IMHO he is completely overrated as a member of the Mozilla community. He was head of QA at the time of the appalling security REGRESSION in FF 1.0.4. He spends all his blog-time denigrating Opera and Safari instead of getting on with QA. He categorically denied the memory leaks in FF2 regardless of the evidence. It's fine to engage in advocacy but if you want to start being snide to opponents on technical grounds you should really be backed up with solid technical credentials instead of hot air. Fortunately he is no longer really engaged with the QA side of things, and is just a 'professional loudmouth'. PRO TIP: He is listed on feedhouse.mozillazine.org but not on planet.mozilla.org; the signal/noise ratio improves markedly if you subscribe to the latter Mozilla aggregator instead of the former.

    • Re:Please (Score:4, Insightful)

      by electricbern (1222632) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:28PM (#24103631)
      Although I agree with you, no one is forced into using these technologies, look at the way the Internet is today. Many sites employ IE specific bugs to render and end up being displayed wrong or not at all in other browsers that are fully standards-compliant. "Force"-feeding people with this proprietary and often crappy technologies tends to bind people to these technologies in the long run and slow down improvement therefore diminishing quality.
      • Re:Please (Score:5, Interesting)

        by blueZ3 (744446) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:48PM (#24103961) Homepage

        But don't you see this (coding for IE) as a separate issue (from Flash/Silverlight/PDF)?

        I'm totally ticked off whenever I try to open a site that has IE-bug hacks that won't display in FF, or on my iPhone, or Mac. I generally try not to re-visit those sites... but it stinks because there's information out there that would be useful to me that I can't access because it's tied up in some odd display scheme that renders images over the text. (Yes, for really interesting things I could look at the page source, but manually ignoring HTML tags is a crappy way to parse information)

        This is because I expect a "normal" page to render in a browser-agnostic way. (OK, "expect" is too strong, because I've been around a while now. But that's the way it SHOULD be). For a basic HTML page, no matter how it's built on the back end, I expect to get something viewable.

        I see the Flash/Silverlight/PDF issue as separate, because it's usually (over)used for stupid stuff like an on-line "catalog" where you can actually "flip" the pages (horrors! an IRL metaphor gone badly wrong on the Web) or to do games or something else that is (to me) trivial. I mean, I'm not expecting to be informed by pages that have a 30-second Flash intro...

        But that's just me, and I do see how the two issues are related to the problem of "proprietary" stuff on the Web.

        • But don't you see this (coding for IE) as a separate issue (from Flash/Silverlight/PDF)?

          Well sort of. I've been guilty of building "IE Only" sites in the distant past. But when the choice was either use DHTML/AJAX with the only browser that had decent support for it at the time, versus Java or Flash, it wasn't necessarily a bad decision. (For the record, these were intranet sites.)

          • Well sort of. I've been guilty of building "IE Only" sites in the distant past.

            I hear ya there bud, one day I sat down and thought about my target audience, this was years back of course. Only a few hundred to a thousand people most of whom I could contact IRL, 99.8% where using IE4 at the time. There was just no point in wasting an extra timing coding for an audience that didn't exist.

        • by jejones (115979)

          Well... that's all well and good, unless the stupid stuff is all the web site provides--and with MS's ability to leverage its monopooly to make sure the majority of people have Silverlight (or whatever proprietary thing they want to force on the world), the temptation to only do the proprietary version is strong.

          Check out the new page for weather at www.kcci.com (the Des Moines, IA CBS affiliate). Unless you have Silverlight, it's useless.

          • That is one thing I absolutely hate. Local news sites. Thankfully one keeps the page down to simple HTML with a bit of JavaScript but the rest are Flash-laded behemoths (no I do not want to watch a live weather broadcast on your front page!) Thankfully, I can rely on /. for most of my news and rely on TV broadcasts for the rest of it.
            • Thankfully, I can rely on /. for most of my news and rely on TV broadcasts for the rest of it.

              Then you sir, must have one incredibly twisted world view.

              I would, at the very least, suggest replacing TV Broadcast news with NPR [npr.org] and PBS [pbs.org]

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          A few years ago I had a girlfriend (yes I know this is Slashdot) and she was blind. Her biggest complaint was that her reader was completely useless when presented with a site that used Flash for its navigation system. Looking around now I'm sure that matters have become even worse. Flash and Silverlight may have roles in the presentation of data, anything that proprietary and closed should never be used to create the core of a site.
          • Re:Please (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @03:24PM (#24104523)

            A few years ago I had a girlfriend (yes I know this is Slashdot) and she was blind. Her biggest complaint was that her reader was completely useless when presented with a site that used Flash for its navigation system. Looking around now I'm sure that matters have become even worse.

            Flash accessibility has improved significantly in the past few years. However that doesn't mean that Flash designers always avail themselves of this technology. I suspect the type of designer who would happily use Flash for navigation is the type of designer who is unaware blind people use computers at all.

        • What really pisses me off is when hardware with web access (i.e. my dsl modem) can't render properly under Firefox. WTF? I have to drop back to IE just to get everything displaying properly. There's absolutely no excuse for using fancy tricks in a damn administration console. If anything should be browser-agnostic, this is it!

      • Re:Please (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hey! (33014) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @04:21PM (#24105309) Homepage Journal

        Although I agree with you, no one is forced into using these technologies

        That's only true if you are talking about web site operators. If you are a user, you are forced to to use whatever the web sites you use demands, or go without. No flash? No Youtube.

        The cost of a lack of standardization falls on the user. It's not the web sites that have a mish mash of proprietary technologies installed, its the user. Any stability or security costs from this situation are borne by the user.

        Really,there isn't much justification for Flash any longer. Really,the biggest value it has is that it's a legal way to obtain patented video codecs.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aztracker1 (702135)
          Honestly, I don't mind Flash and Silverlight so much, when they are used for something that goes beyond what typical html can do... Generally video, and games. As to the proprietary codecs, I have to agree here. At least flash and silverlight allow for designers to deliver what they want to see delivered. I do a lot more coding than design work myself, and honestly avoid flash and silverlight, but they do have their place.

          My hopes from flash after the adobe buyout were to see a version that was simp
    • Re:Please (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:31PM (#24103693) Homepage Journal

      Just keep in mind, there's nothing stopping web developers from using straight HTML, CSS, JPG, PNG and GIF for basic animation.

      The key word there is BASIC. Complex animations, applications, and games are where Flash excels. Web Browsers did not provide sufficient facilities until recently. And only then because the browser makers got fed up with the W3C's stance that HTML did not need to be updated, and ended up doing an end run [whatwg.org] around their process. In result, most web browsers (except IE, surprise, surprise) support APIs for complex animations. They are also adding support for long term storage, sophisticated networking, predictable parsing, and other features that will greatly aid web developers.

      This minor coup has not gone unnoticed by the W3C. In order to maintain the coherency of their organization, they went ahead and accepted HTML 5 [w3.org] as a working draft. The specification is getting top priority and is being handled in an open manner that is most unlike the W3C's business as usual. In other words, a win for both browser and web app developers. :-)

      • Re:Please (Score:4, Informative)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @03:56PM (#24104973) Homepage

        I think there are two different issues being talked about here. The first is, "Has W3C done a good job of maintaining and developing standards?" I'm very open to the idea that they could have done better. I've dealt with HTML and CSS enough to have a long wishlist.

        The second question, very roughly, is "What's the deal with Flash/Silverlight?" Are they good? Bad? Helpful? Troublesome? I can see how people are trying to connect these two issues, but they really are separate.

        If you just want to say that Microsoft and Macromedia/Adobe developed these formats and technologies because HTML/CSS/Javascript weren't good enough, that may be an interesting historical analysis. However, it doesn't address the question as to why these technologies and formats are closed/proprietary. Macromedia/Adobe, Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, Opera, and everyone else could have joined together to develop and promote web standards other than those run by the W3C (like WHATWG). Hell, they could even develop technologies and formats to serve their purposes, and then open those formats in a way that allows other developers to create their own implementations (like what Adobe essentially did with PDF).

        However, they've chosen to keep it all proprietary, and the intent is pretty clear: vendor lock-in. They want you to use their tools for development, their tools for display. In Microsoft's case, it has the added extra bonus that, if their format becomes popular enough, they can drop support for other operating systems and lock everyone into their platform.

        And when you get down to it, these technologies don't really address a really great need. I've only seen a couple of good uses for Flash other than for casual games. For most of the content available on the web, HTML and CSS (flawed as they are) are better solutions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by colmore (56499)

        I leave Flash uninstalled. I keep a second browser set up for multimedia, but I rarely use it.

        For the most part Flash is a trojan that delivers ads and slows down the damn web.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816)
          I have Flash installed, and I run noscript. If I want to see a flash movie, all I have to do is clicky. If you want to see a flash movie, you have to change browsers. But maybe you don't do that stuff often. I probably do it even less (I am on a modem connection, I typically get about 26.4kbps connections) but I would still rather have the stuff handy.
    • Re:Please (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sakdoctor (1087155) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:33PM (#24103713) Homepage

      MS do stop web developers from using straight CSS. There are so many basic layout features that are not implemented or buggy that I understand why some developers go down the propitiatory route for the sake of a consistent look. And it wasn't that long ago when IE still couldn't display a PNG with an alpha channel.

      70-75% of web users can't be wrong.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Emb3rz (1210286)

        Propitiatory is what Jesus' sacrifice was for mankind (completely and exactly covered -- in this case, our sins).

        Proprietary is when something is specific to a given entity - not open, not shared, exclusively owned by something.

    • Please Yourself (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:43PM (#24103871) Homepage Journal

      Just keep in mind, there's nothing stopping web developers from using straight HTML, CSS, JPG, PNG and GIF for basic animation.

      And what if they want something fancier than "basic animation"?

      Flash no more "subverts" the web than Photoshop "subverts" image processing,

      Apples and oranges. Images created in Photoshop don't need any special software to view. Content created in Flash does.

      ... or the GPL subverts how software is published.

      On the contrary, GPL is meant to subvert proprietary software publishing. The difference is that the subversion is deliberate, and meant to open things up, as opposed to the closing off that Flash, which shuts things off, but only as a kind of side effect.

      This is rather an old story. Back in 1995, back when Netscape was the biggest operator in a competitive browser market, they took a lot of flack for introducing non-standard features into HTML. And they didn't do it to "close off the market", they did it because they wanted to create web applications that weren't supported by existing standards, and weren't going to wait for W3C to bring the standards up to date.

      Then we went through the whole thing all over with Microsoft and Internet Explorer. And because MS really was trying to control the marketplace, everybody ignored the role W3C was playing. And still plays.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sm62704 (957197)

      Don't blame Adobe or MS or Sun for providing closed or deeply complicated, uncontrollable technologies; blame yourself for using them.

      But I don't use them and never did. My sites were all 100% HTML/Javascript/JPG/GIF. When Dopey Smurf decided to close his Quake site after graduating from medical school, I sent him a box of invisible rats as a going away present. Rats were his bane in med school; one supposedly dead rat came alive and bit him as he was dissecting it. His parting site mentioned the invisible

      • I had a music clip start playing when the surfer hit my site, with dancing Stroggs. If you held your mouse over one of the stroggs, Sonic the Hedgehog ran past with the Strogg trying to stomp him and succeeding on the second try. All this was done with .wav files, .gif files and javascript.

        Which codec did you use for the WAVE audio? And how did you synchronize it to the GIF animation?

        I blame Microsoft for the ad covering the top story on the front page of slashdot in IE because their browser won't do standards, but I also blame the site's authors.

        Not everybody can afford to test in every possible environment. At what size of web site would you consider forcing the web site's operator to purchase at least three workstations, including one that runs Windows and one that runs Mac OS X?

        • by Bogtha (906264)

          At what size of web site would you consider forcing the web site's operator to purchase at least three workstations, including one that runs Windows and one that runs Mac OS X?

          That argument disappeared with the introduction of x86 Macs. Buy an x86 Mac and you can test in every major browser on every major platform. And what's the third workstation for?

          • by tepples (727027)

            That argument disappeared with the introduction of x86 Macs.

            But it still means that every operator of a web site over a given size needs to buy a Macintosh computer, enough RAM to run three operating systems at once, a copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac, and a copy of Windows Vista in order to test the web site in all three major platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux). At what audience size should a webmaster converting his hobby site to a professional site add an iMac to his home network?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sm62704 (957197)

          Which codec did you use for the WAVE audio? And how did you synchronize it to the GIF animation?

          I don't remember what codec, LAME maybe. The audio was cut down to 11k samples per second, eight bits, and only about fifteen seconds long because most people were on dialup. It wasn't synchronized at all, but oddly it seemed to be.

          Not everybody can afford to test in every possible environment.

          If nobody ever had, Microsoft would have been forced to use standards. But using CSS is the problem here, since that's th

          • by psergiu (67614)

            ... The audio was cut down to 11k samples per second, eight bits, and only about fifteen seconds long because most people were on dialup. It wasn't synchronized at all, but oddly it seemed to be....

            You're the one who created Hampsterdance ?!?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LordVader717 (888547)

        So, you played a wav file in the background, and had a few simplistic gifs respond to cursor position, and you think this qualifies as "Web 2.0"?

        And you refuse to acess the content of professional web designers, because they use a technology which allows them to do their job faster, easier and better than what you suggest?

        Have you ever thought about the limitations of your approach?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eravnrekaree (467752)

      IE has actually provided several critical technologies which have expanded and improved the capabilities of the environment, including XMLHttpRequest without which interactive apps today would be rather difficult. If anything these technologies have actually helped grab back some ground from flash for the browser. Now, if w3c does not recognise these valuable and very important APIs, thats the w3c's problem! Stop blaming Microsoft for taking initiative and implementing features that are badly needed because

    • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:58PM (#24104093) Homepage Journal

      there's nothing stopping web developers from using straight HTML, CSS, JPG, PNG and GIF for basic animation.

      What should I use for vector animation? Windows Internet Explorer still doesn't work well with SVG+JS.

      If you need media, you can embed an mpeg or a simple wav file.

      Like AVI, WAVE is a container that can wrap any of several audio codecs, including MP3. Which codecs more sophisticated than straight PCM are supported in most web browsers? And how can I indicate to the majority of web browsers how a particular MPEG-1 file or WAVE file should be synchronized to JavaScript-mediated animation? I don't know of any web browsers that are compatible with SMIL.

    • by merreborn (853723)

      If you need media, you can embed an mpeg or a simple wav file

      The flash video player was central to youtube's success. Embedded mpeg sucks.

    • No established standards means developers might as well use one "standard" as another. Then we users constantly fight with browser incompatibilities, and having to install plug-ins, etc.

    • Flash no more "subverts" the web than Photoshop "subverts" image processing

      Apples vs oranges comparison, or in this case, text vs binary. HTML is an open, text-based representation of document layout and text content. Flash also, as one of its many features, provides document layout and text content. The difference is that HTML is easily parsed and understood by *many* consumers; Flash has mainly one consumer at the client, and SWF content is not very easily parsed and understood outside of Adobe's plugi

  • The W3C? Glacial? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:31PM (#24103683)

    It always amazes me when people call the W3C slow. As a web developer, there is one main thing holding me back. That is Internet Explorer.

    Internet Explorer 8 is not yet released. When it is, it is likely that it will finally include support for CSS 2. This is one of the most fundamental parts of a modern web browser, and this specification was published over ten years ago.

    The rise of JavaScript libraries like jQuery, Prototype, etc, was largely precipitated by the lack of support for DOM 2 Events in Internet Explorer. That specification was published in the year 2000.

    The main draw for Flash has traditionally been the ability to use vector graphics. The alternative provided by the W3C, which is SVG, was first published in 2001.

    The article complains that the last XHTML/HTML recommendation the W3C published was in 2001, seven years ago. What it neglects to mention is that even the next version of Internet Explorer, version 8, will not include any support at all for XHTML 1.0, let alone 1.1.

    Can the W3C work faster? Probably. But how fast the W3C works is irrelevant, as they are not the bottleneck. The bottleneck is the rate of development in browsers, and one browser in particular, Internet Explorer. And it just so happens that the proprietary alternative of Silverlight is something developed and owned by the same company.

    • Mod parent up... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by argent (18001) <peter@AAAslashdo ... minus threevowe> on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:34PM (#24103747) Homepage Journal

      It's a self-fulfilling prophecy by the worst abuser.

    • Re:The W3C? Glacial? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ergo98 (9391) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:40PM (#24103829) Homepage Journal

      Right on the mark.

      SVG in particular is a sore topic for me. Half a decade ago I had an article in MSDN magazine [microsoft.com] (I considered the odds slim when I proposed it, and was startled when they ok'd it), yet that gorgeous vector technology still isn't realistically usable on the open web today, which is a bit of a travesty. Adobe's purchase of Macromedia pretty much sealed it as a fringe technology, given that Adobe was the one big proponent of SVG.

      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        True, SVG should be a standard available on all browsers, but only FF supports it. Such a pity.

        Perhaps we could do with OpenGL on the web instead. If we can now run C apps in the browser (:) ) then surely it'd be really easy to get going. Then you'd get some developers jumping ship and a whole new range of interactive web-based applications.

        • Re:The W3C? Glacial? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:53PM (#24104027)

          True, SVG should be a standard available on all browsers, but only FF supports it.

          Opera, Safari and Konqueror support SVG too. Internet Explorer is the only major browser that doesn't.

        • only FF supports it

          Lots of browsers support it. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one browser that doesn't, and I've heard (not verified) that even that one can use it with a plugin, which makes SVG at least as deployable as Flash.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by joekrahn (544037)
      So, I think the conclusion is that Microsoft extensions should be avoided and that the web developer community should demand standards compliance, and just require users to install Firefox until MSIE is no longer broken and useless.

      However, proprietary extensions from other companies like Adobe seem perfectly fine to use. The problem comes when the OS, browser and extensions are all from one company.
    • by dave420 (699308)
      The whole IE-not-being-standards-compliant debacle started because the W3C was slow as hell back in the good ol' days. The market was screaming out for all kinds of functionality that the W3C had not even thought about, let alone come to some agreement on. How quickly the W3C works now compared to back then is completely different. Now, due to the fame the internet has, and how widely used it is, it HAS to be as quick as it currently is. Back in the mid-90s it was a different story altogether. IE start
  • Don't forget that the W3C came up with a standard that included among other things a much better version of embedded images (the FIG tag), and even had a browser built demonstrating them (Arena), that demonstrated a clean browser-invariant mechanism for metadata, captions, and complex alternative content... and absolutely none of it was picked up by proprietary browsers. They were trying to specify stuff ahead of the implementations, and the implementers ignored them.

    So now they're trying to coordinate things with the browser implementers, and what happens, they're going too slow?

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:36PM (#24103769) Homepage Journal

    I find it funny that someone (especially from Mozilla) blames the W3C for glacial process, when even Firefox 3 still doesn't have something as basic as box-shadow (with the "-moz" vendor prefix of course, since the spec is still a draft).

    And Opera, which used to be the "latest" in W3C support (even draft), still doesn't support border-radius nor box-shadow in their latest version.

    Like it or not, Safari is pushing W3C standards faster than Opera and Firefox combined.

    As for Microsoft, they're still trying to kill the web in two ways: with extremely slow/buggy compliance with W3C standards and with proprietary crap like Silverlight.

    Adobe has Flash and Air, which isn't really better except for the fact that at least they're trying to push their crap on many platforms, not only Windows.

    Even Flash could be replaced on websites like YouTube if the browsers finally supported HTML 5's media tags.

  • is there anyone among us who has been subverted by Silverlight ? I'd rather be subverted by my living room light bulb than Silverlight.
  • Subvert? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:50PM (#24103991)

    Oh whatever. If you want to do everything in the kludgy, poorly-crafted alphabet soup hodge-podge of W3C standards, be my guest. Silverlight is too new to say, but the success of Flash is evidence of the failure of the open standards process to meet the needs of developers (and the businesses that employ them) in a timely fashion. Frankly, I suspect it will always be this way. The normal course of events is for private parties to develop new technologies and for standards committees to enshrine them in formal standards after the fact. Take for example C and C++ (or practically every other standardized programming language), which were standardized after they were successful languages. Having standards committees drive the process is the tail wagging the dog, and it's no wonder web technology is so far behind the curve that people get excited every time some feature as trivial as AJAX is added to browsers.

    The fact of the matter is that it is still much harder to build a complex client-server application in a web browser than it is to use traditional desktop GUI tools. And given the pace of prior developments, the W3C isn't likely to change that while it still matters.

  • Here is some perspective, HTML5 has finally added a tag for handling video. Flash 6 came out with video support in 2002!

    HTML has had a tag for video, from the very beginning: anchor. <A HREF="blahblah.mpg">watch this video</A>

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      You're confusing a link to a video file with a video embedded directly into the webpage itself.

      • IE has supported <IMG SRC="blahblah.mpg"> for years.

        The problem with video has to do more with vendors warring over proprietary codecs and trying to shove their spamware media players into everyone's face. I tend to give the W3C a pass on this one because specing out a tag ain't exactly complicated.

    • Re:video (Score:4, Informative)

      by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @03:19PM (#24104435)

      That's not really an alternative to Flash movies, which are usually embedded in a page rather than linked to. The alternative to Flash movies would be <object type="video/mpeg"> , which was introduced with HTML 4 in 1997.

    • by Ngarrang (1023425)

      Here is some perspective, HTML5 has finally added a tag for handling video. Flash 6 came out with video support in 2002!

      HTML has had a tag for video, from the very beginning: anchor. <A HREF="blahblah.mpg">watch this video</A>

      Not the same thing. That is just a link, that would open either a new web page, or fire off an external app. What about the embedded movie player as per flash? THAT is what is being referenced...and HTML still doesn't it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027)

      HTML has had a tag for video, from the very beginning: anchor.

      There are a few problems with using <a href="URI of video file">watch</a>.

      First, no widely used specification recommends any specific Content-type for video that browsers SHOULD [ietf.org] support. W3C tried to specify Content-type: application/ogg, but Nokia bitched [slashdot.org]. So all your users will see is "Windows cannot open this file. To open this file, Windows needs to know what program created it. Windows can go online to look it up automatically, or you can manually select from a list of programs on your c

    • by dave420 (699308)
      That's handling video in the browser, not passing off a URL to an external application, over which the page has no way to style, or to show other information relating to that video during playback.
  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @02:55PM (#24104053) Homepage Journal

    virtual reality markup language. didn't think so

    a standards body should be slow, not out front, writing standards for things no one knows will be successful or not

    in fact, the commercial players SHOULD get proprietary, aggresive technologies out there, seeking new markets. let them play and crash and burn

    then, after something proves successful, the standards body plods along and picks it up and makes it canon

    the idea that the standards body should get out front, leads to standards being written for things no one uses. the idea that commercial companies won't try to capitalize on owning the technology presumes that corporations are interested in not making money. let a company write nonstandard tech. its a gamble for them, and could hurt them. let them get hurt then, and make space for things like firefox

    so the whole basis for the story here is preposterous: ok, we have different browsers and competing platforms and different standards and proprietary tech. big. fucking. deal. get your head out of your anal retentive ass and deal with it

    oh it takes 10 hours to program a page that should take 10 minutes to program were everyone fascistically devoted to standards? well then you wouldn't have a job genius. you wouldn't be needed. the mess you have to deal with is proof you are needed. if it weren't messy, you'd be downsized and replaced by a perl script

    people who whine and bitch and moan about standards and noncompliance are motivated by the same shrill cloying need as grammar nazis. and if you understand why grammar nazis are essentially useless, annoying, and just don't get it, you understand whats up those who are so shrill about standards

    the world is a messy place. get used to it

    • the mess you have to deal with is proof you will never get promoted, do anything useful and joy of work will only happen in sex (on vacation, because coming some at 2 a.m. and cursing about browsers is not exactly romantic)

      There, fixed it for you

    • I'm probably wrong here but didn't VRML it kill itself via multiple patents across multiple companies and a continued shift from usable markup to nebulous mess?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bogtha (906264)

      oh it takes 10 hours to program a page that should take 10 minutes to program were everyone fascistically devoted to standards? well then you wouldn't have a job genius. you wouldn't be needed. the mess you have to deal with is proof you are needed.

      That's the broken window fallacy. Work for the sake of work is not an accomplishment, it's an embarrassment.

      if it weren't messy, you'd be downsized and replaced by a perl script

      I've actually replaced somebody's weekend work with VBScript. You're forget

      • new tech is an act of creation. it is try, and fail, try , and fail. corporations are motivated by profit to try, and fail. no one, NO ONE can get out in front of this messy process of new technology creation and write standards for it, because no one is omniscient about what isn't even in existence yet

        the fallout of course is competing technologies as various companies get the hang of it. once upon a time, there were competing electrical grids, competing rail tie size, competing shoe sizes, etc. now, all t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rumith (983060)

      then, after something proves successful, the standards body plods along and picks it up and makes it canon

      Hm, nice idea! Let's begin with issuing open standards for such successful (in terms of marketshare) technologies as SMB, BluRay, Flash, doc/xls/ppt and so on. What do you mean 'no way'? Ah, the proprietors do not want to make a de facto standard a de jure one by opening it up... I should have known.

  • by RomulusNR (29439) on Tuesday July 08, 2008 @04:54PM (#24105811) Homepage

    Just imagine how much less information we would have on the web if we weren't able to make sprites and words fly around like a bad theme park movie. HTML simply is no good at sharing knowledge.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada

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