[whatwg] Chipset support is a good argument

Silvia Pfeiffer silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 5 18:56:24 PDT 2009

On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:44 AM, Ian Hickson<ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> On Mon, 6 Jul 2009, Robert O'Callahan wrote:
>> Specs do generate demand --- by creating author expectation that a
>> feature will be supported, by adding a well-known brand, and because
>> test suites get created which vendors then compete on.
> On Mon, 6 Jul 2009, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>> I agree: standards generate demand. It is how h.264 hardware support
>> originated - by making it a ISO standard, the vendors knew there would
>> be sufficient market demand for it and created the chips.
> I disagree with both these statements, I don't think they are in fact
> accurate. Demand can be focused around a specification if one exists, but
> a specification cannot create demand, and the lack of a specification is
> not an impediment to deployment. We have seen both facets of this
> repeatedly demonstrated through the lifetime of the Web, not least of
> which by HTML itself. Indeed, cutting features that didn't have demand
> despite being in HTML4 for a decade is one of HTML5's achievements.

It's not the standard alone that makes it happen. The standard is for
the general market neither a necessary nor a sufficient requirement
for uptake. However, for the individual vendor, a standard and the
perception that the market is adopting it will be a sufficient
requirement to make a decision to create a product. Lacking the
standard, just the perception that the market is adopting makes taking
that decision just that much harder.


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