Dan Connolly and the W3C

The W3C was, paradoxically, something of a late arrival to the W3C party. While they authorized Jon Bosak to found and run the activity, providing that he made no call on W3C resources, the W3C staff did not perceive that XML had the potential for really high impact.

The concrete effect of this was that the staff in general and Dan Connolly in particular essentially ignored the progress of XML until it suddenly started to gain wide industry acceptance in the spring of 1997. This had an upside in that the XML process was relatively untroubled by the kind of time-wasting industry politics and bureaucratic infighting that are inevitable in an organization such as W3C. It had a downside in that the XML process was deprived of Dan Connolly's considerable expertise and experience. In particular, after Dan became interested and involved, he made several suggestions which would, if implemented, probably have have constituted real improvements in this specification. Unfortunately, they would have required major document re-engineering, and the required time and editorial cycles were simply not present at that late stage of the process.

Once XML became visible and public, Dan became an invaluable resource and deserves considerable credit for its eventual arrival at "Recommendation" status.

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Copyright © 1998, Tim Bray. All rights reserved.