I thought the following Microsoft pledge migght interest some of you.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996 18:18:11 -0700
From: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann <chuckop@MICROSOFT.COM>
To: Multiple recipients of list GUISPEAK <GUISPEAK@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU>
Subject: Microsoft's Pledge on HTML Standards
The following pledge can be found at
Note the sentence "screen readers for the visually-impaired need to
"speak" HTML and so on across the Internet.
We feel that Microsoft is in the best position to make the entire world
of the internet accessible to people with disabilities. Microsoft
Internet Explorer 3.0 is just the first of many products that will take
advantage of ActiveX Accessibility and be designed with the needs of
everyone in mind. If you'd like to comment on Microsoft's approach,
please send mail to me.
Windows Accessibility Group
Microsoft Pledge on HTML Standards
Microsoft views the Internet as the most exciting growth opportunity for
the computing industry and for our own business. We are committed to
helping the industry grow as fast as possible; we appreciate the role
that successful open standards can play in accelerating growth by
letting every vendor participate.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the most basic and fundamental data
format of the World Wide Web. Support for HTML standards ensures that
content can be viewed by any browser as the creator intended. As with
the ASCII character set, agreement on the most basic data format is
critical to interoperability and the continued growth of the industry.
Imagine the chaos of the computer industry without the ASCII standard
for text. The need for interoperability goes beyond the browser.
Authoring tools create HTML, databases emit HTML, screen readers for the
visually-impaired need to "speak" HTML and so on across the entire
Previous proprietary HTML extensions from Microsoft and other vendors
have confused the market, hampered interoperability and been
ill-conceived with respect to the design principles underlying HTML (and
its SGML parent).
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), headed by Tim Berners-Lee, is the
driving body for enhancements to HTML. The efforts of the W3C include
the HTML version 3.2 specification, CSS1 Stylesheets and the Platform
for Internet Content Specification (PICS) as well as ongoing work to
enhance stylesheets and define a layout specification. The W3C has been
instrumental to the extraordinary growth of the Internet. Every major
industry player participates in W3C and has publicly endorsed the W3C's
standards work. Among the expectations for W3C members:
* Bring new ideas which impact HTML to the group's attention, as opposed
to keeping them secret.
* Implement ideas that have achieved consensus in the group.
* Follow the architectural principles guiding the group, rather than
release alternatives which ignore or contradict these principles.
To date, W3C has been an effective standards body, making significant
contributions to the industry and keeping up with the incredible pace of
innovation on the Internet. Because of this effectiveness, Microsoft is
committed to working with the W3C to further advance the HTML standard.
Microsoft will agree to:
* Not ship extensions to HTML without first submitting them to W3C.
* Implement all W3C approved HTML standards.
* Clearly identify any not-yet-approved HTML tags we support as such.
* Publish a Document Type Definition (DTD) for its browser as mandated
* Follow the architecture principles of HTML and its parent, SGML, when
proposing new extensions.
Microsoft agrees to hold itself to these standards. Will all the other
Web browser vendors, including Netscape, also agree to this conduct of
©1996 Microsoft Corporation
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