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Why are content standards hard?

A brainstorm of the problems/distractions that plague typical content standards efforts. -Tantek

  • completeness
    • based on platonic ideals of content (as opposed to human behaviors)
    • edge cases
    • scope/feature creep - general purposeness
    • extensibility
  • ego
    • reinvention - web and modern search engines have reduced excuses for this, but we will still have NIH behaviors even when ignorance isn't a problem.
    • desire to be the "outside container" (we'll put all other stuff inside us)
  • self/community-design bias
    • designed by technologists for technologists (as opposed to for authors)
    • note: it was an *accident* that HTML was easy to learn for non-technical authors, designers, artists etc.: http://tantek.com/log/2003/0813t1158.html#handauthoring
    • localization / internationalization issues (first/last name are different in some countries)
  • legal issues, copyrights, patents etc.