Re: to RFC or not (was: Re: Toward Closure on HTML )

Marc Andreessen (marca@eit.COM)
Wed, 6 Apr 1994 02:44:11 GMT

"Daniel W. Connolly" writes:
> >With all due respect to Tim and the CERN team, I am currently dubious
> >of the idea that they will have the time to pursue this at the level I
> >think a lot of us feel it deserves (standards-track or not). I feel
> >the community should do what it can to distribute the effort involved.
> Is that a really really subtle way of volunteering? :-)

Actually, I volunteered to Tim some months ago to do this for HTTP,
and Tim's response at the time was the same basic set of (forgive me,
Tim, but it's true) nonstarting ideas about distributed authorship and
small task forces and consortia-based coordination that didn't stick
when they were thrown against the wall way back last July in
Cambridge, and aren't sticking now -- and I didn't, and don't, just
want to try to take it away from him.

[more ranting and raving that Marc was going to put here about the
need for documenting current practice elided to keep from boring
people to death...]

So to get back to your question :-) -- I'm not currently volunteering
because I now have too many other things on my plate.

So, I think we currently need three people, one for each of HTML,
HTTP, and CGI, to step forward, codify existing practice as widely
implemented and used in (basically) Mosaic + Lynx + Bill Perry's Emacs
mode + CERN httpd + NCSA httpd + Plexus, and get the results out as
RFCs as soon as possible.

After this happens we can start working on the next generation of
these things on the basis of the firm plateau we will have reached.

> Anyway... I'm pretty out of touch with all the IETF WG protocol. And
> frankly, I'm unimpressed with the contributions the IIIR and URI WG
> have made to WWW.

I think it's safe to say that at this point we should definitely not
fold HTTP/HTML/etc. design into the IETF structure at least until
existing practice RFCs are out.

> Somebody made some noise about an ISO WG. That sounds pretty scary to
> me too.