web standard, MS hatred, what's standard?

On Sep 15, 9:04 pm, Phillip Jones wrote:
> dorayme wrote:
> > In article,
> >   Phillip Jones  wrote:
> >> were it not for IE everyone would be coding to standards and everyone
> >> would be able to see exactly the same thing regardless of browser.
> > I doubt it. It is not just IE that renders things different to
> > every other browser.
> That's True but at time IE came out Gates deliberately made it standards
> incompatible to lock people on PC's have to use IE  to view web pages.
> That way others could  view the pages as correct. So people that tried
> others said hey the others are broke so we will stick with what works.
> Heck Gates was one of the original Signatories of W3C (along with Apple
> and others) he could see how the standards would be written and Make IE
> as far as possible from those standards as possible.
> Yes they are a set  of Standards. Not rules carved in stone.

lots of these “Standards” conceptions are fairytale. Remember, it was Netscape who forced us the non-standard, devious, hated, cookies, javascript, frames, iframes, among other things. Some, are actually useful, needed, became “standard”, others, forgotten. Same with a million things Microsoft did or Apple (today with its iPad and stuff), and lots other corporations with other techs.

And lots of Microsoft hatred came from jealousy spread by competing big corps, in particular, Sun Microsystems (am very glad it's dead).

Now we have the hot potato html5, which is insidious turn of what “standard” means. It effectively says: forget about what we taught you about standards in the past 10 years, this is new rule! and Google is putting its feet into the “standard” mix, with its nofollow “non-standard standard” shit to put their search engine implementation at ease, and sidewiki and stuff, and none of google's pages are html valid (and no, this “do no evil” company don't even try; never in their hundreds of webmaster tips and guidlines mention anything about encouragement for valid html as far as i know).

when the many tech geeking web monkeys flame Microsoft for evil non standard, how come we don't ever hear it about Google? Google has far more non-standard html pages and now far more hegemony on the web than Microsoft ever did. Is Google the monopoly?


• 〈Google's 「rel="nofollow"」 Rule〉

• 〈(Google Earth) KML Validation Fuckup〉

(Google Earth) KML Validation Fuckup

Xah Lee, 2010-07-22

This article documents a condition of a software industry. It is a rant on software correctness and standards body responsibility.

So, today i'm working on kml files on my site again.

For example, a typical kml file on my site looks like this:

Aapua wind park

Good for a visit.

Seven 80 meter high wind turbines.

See photos at:



I'm a correctness nerd. So when i started to add kml files on my website, i made sure that the kml files i created are correct. I spend several hours reading Google Earth's kml tutorial, and reading Wikipedia on KML about it, figure out the correct DTD, which tags are required, and typically also spent considerable time to figure out what optional tag or choice of formatting that i personally would use. I know, for a certainty, that the format i created to be used on my site is correct.

However, i don't remember that i've ever used a kml validator to verify whether my kml files pass. I'm certain i've tried to find it. I think at the time (this is in 2006), there's no readibly available kml validators, only generic xml validators. In any case, so today i quickly found a authoritave kml validator at http://www.kmlvalidator.com/. And, boom, it says my files are invalid.

The first error is:

This does not appear to be an OGC KML document--expected document element in namespace "http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2", but found: "http://earth.google.com/kml/2.2"

What the fuck?

The second error is:

cvc-complex-type.2.4.a: Invalid content was found starting with element 'tilt'. One of '{"http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2":altitudeModeGroup, "http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2":LookAtSimpleExtensionGroup, "http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2":LookAtObjectExtensionGroup}' is expected.

I'm sure that i followed tutorial example from the Google dragon's month carefully. So i went to Google Earth's kml tutorial again, at: http://code.google.com/apis/kml/documentation/kml_tut.html. The string 〔http://earth.google.com/kml/2.2〕 is now nowhere to be found there. Apparently, they changed it. Also, the few pages of the tutorial do not contain any "" or “” tag.

Who Listens to Correctness When Authorities Meander?

Apparently, thru the years, as tech and software progressed, they made changes and fixed things, as usual. But the point here is, today a working programer has to know tens of protocols, formats, and multiple languages, and if the programer paid attention to detail in the spec, and later be fucked in the face for his efforts to follow spec, then why should we listen to any “recommendations”, “advices”, “specs” these standards bodies are giving out?

When XML and XHTML came alone in about 2000 with massive fanfare, we are told that XHTML will change society, or, at least, make the web correct and valid and far more easier to develop and flexible. Now it's a decade later. Sure the web has improved, but as far as html/xhtml and browser rendering goes, it's still a fuck soup with extreme complexities. 99.99% of web pages are still not valid. Major browsers still don't agree on their rendering behavior. Web dev is actually far more complex than before, involving tens or hundreds of tech that hardly a person even knows about. It's hard to say if it is better at all than the HTML3 days with “font” and “table” tags and gazillion tricks. The best practical approach is still trial n error with browsers.

And, now HTML5 comes alone, from a newfangled hip group, with a attitude that validation is overrated — a flying fuck to the face about the XML mantra from standards bodies, just when there starts to be more and more sites with correct XHTML.

XML is break from SGML, with many justifications why it needs be, and now HTML5 is a break from both SGML and XML. WTFML anyone?

PS The story of my kml above is actually slightly simplified. When i started to create kml files in 2006, Google's tutorial says:

But in around 2008, when i was working on kml again, i noticed that the version is not 2.1 anymore but 2.2, and i think the Google tutorial for a simple file start to contain the LookAt tag, like this:


I don't remember if it became required tag or not, or if a kml 2.2 file without this blog will simply not have the old behavior in Google Earth. Or, perhaps i got the idea of this block by looking at the many (now thousands) existing kml files in Google Earth.

I spent a hour or two to add this block into my existing ~65 kml files and modified my elisp code that generate kml files. I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't important. Now, it all changes again, and this block is no longer shown in the simple example of Google Earth tutorial. Spent about 4 hours on this today, updating my site and research into this issue, not counting writing this article.

For collection of kml files, see: Google Earth Files at XahLee.org.

For emacs lisp code that generates kml files, see: Emacs Lisp: Writing a google-earth Function.

Xah ∑ xahlee.org ☄

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