Re: Working Within the System

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun Apr 30 2000 - 07:52:08 MDT

Martin Ling wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 30, 2000 at 08:07:28AM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > Adrian Tymes wrote:
> > >
> > > Billy Brown wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Just because a bunch of companies get together and issue a 'standard' does
> > > > not mean that their work should have any special protections, or that
> > > > everyone should immediately adopt it.
> > >
> > > HTML was not made by a company. It was first written by a scientist
> > > looking for a better way to share information, and freely given away.
> > > There was no commercial incentive - at least, not until Netscape came
> > > along. A number of other widely-supported computer standards - HTTP and
> > > Linux, to name a couple of the more popular ones - similarly had no
> > > corporate backing before they became popular enough for companies to
> > > take notice.
> >
> > A government is a monopoly corporation, and that scientist worked for a
> > government institution.
> Come on, now leave off who he was employed by. He wrote that standard
> to help create the Web as an common information-sharing medium.
> > Of course that picking nits, but the HTML standard created by CERN would
> > never have gotten anywhere outside of CERN if some companies had not
> > jumped on the bandwagon. Netscape has had tremendous influence on the
> > evolution of HTML
> There's quite a space in the history before Netscape got on the scene.
> The appearance of a commercial browser program was an important point
> that didn't occur immediately. Mosaic... :)

Was created by some of the guys who went off and started Netscape about
a year after Mosaic was introduced. Netscape 1.0 was little different
than Mosaic, but they both worked with HTML 1.0 as well, a different
market from HTML 4.0

> > These other
> > companies all decided to cry and whine when Microsoft came in and
> > developed its own standards and its own variations on interpreting the
> > standard tags (just as ALL browsers do. none display the same page in
> > exactlyt he same way)
> It went beyond things just being displayed differently a long time ago.
> It's quite possible for me to write a page according to the HTML 4.0
> standard that Internet Explorer & Navigator 4.0 claim to work to, and
> have it simply *not work* on one or even both of them. Instead, I have
> to find out the (undocumented!) ways each of these interpret HTML, and
> work out some way which caters for both.

I don't know what you are talking about. With straight HTML, I make
pages all the time that are little different. There are a few
differences, for example, in how many pixels from the left and right
margins of the window the edge of the actual page is set to when left or
right justified. These are few and annoying for someone who is
persnickety about their layout, but its not difficult to make complex
pages that appear exactly the same in both browsers. Sloppy layout of
the same page between browsers is more indicative of a lazy page creator
than a real problem with the browsers themselves.
> > microsft came out with ActiveX, and all of the
> > Mac=heads who hated microsoft who worked in these new browser companies
> > (i.e. mostly students right out of school, where they used macs almost
> > exclusively) automatically rejected the standard, rather than embracing
> > it, just because it came from microsoft.
> That's absolutely incorrect.
> ActiveX was rejected (by just about everyone, including people using MS
> software) primarily because it's a HUGE security problem. 'ActiveX'
> programs (there's nothing special about them, they're just Windows
> programs your machine downloads and runs) would load automatically and
> run with full priveledges on your machine. They could trash your hard
> disk, read your files, send your data to someone. ActiveX was an
> absolute *disaster*.
> It's only a secondary point It meant people producing content for the
> Web that was only viewable by people using Microsoft browsers on Intel-
> based computers.

Wrong. So long as browsers on other OS's are made with runtime's to
operate these programs, it really doesn't matter what OS is browsing it.
I've done this with cobol programs. You can run acucobol programs on any
machine you want so long as you have the runtimes installed. That is a
failure of other browser manufacturers who refused to implement ActiveX
runtimes in their browsers simply because it was a Microsoft creation.
It is they who were being anti-competetive.

Additionally, there is no problem with making a runtime that disallows
(or allows the user to disallow) certain types of system functions, just
as Java does. So the only security hole is due to the release of an
unready implementation. That is a typical Microsoft fault, premature
releasing things. I'm sure that many of those suffering from Bill-envy
will extend that failure to his personal life.

Mike Lorrey

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