Announcements about NewHTML
The World Wide Web Organisation of governments (W3O) has announced its plans for future standards for the web. W3O recently replaced W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium, as the guardian of standards-recommendations for the web. W3O has now announced that it is scrapping the W3C's XHTML recommendations, and is replacing them with "NewHTML".
W3O is publishing the specification for NewHTML 1.0 Strict to coincide with this announcement, and work is underway to develop NewHTML 2.0 Totalitarian. Contributions to the latter are particularly sought from political and religious groups who are in favour of the restrictions that the 2.0 Totalitarian standard will enable them to impose on authors.
NewHTML 1.0 Strict
The spokesman for W3O said:
"We face the problem that authors can't be trusted to use the right mark-up. An author may specify that some of the content is a header-1 and so elevate it to a status that its content doesn't justify. An author may be listing the advantages and disadvantages of some government proposal, and give undue prominence to the disadvantages by marking it up with a higher-level header. This way, an author can insidiously distort the political debate".
“ We face the problem that authors can't be trusted to use the right mark-up.... an author can insidiously distort the political debate. ”
That is the background to NewHTML 1.0 Strict. It has no prejudicial mark-up, just units of content. The author's job finishes with the supply of the raw information. It is the task of various authorities to assign significance to that information, and to present it appropriately. The main purpose of NewHTML 1.0 Strict is that it can be mechanistically generated from prejudicial mark-up, such as HTML 4.01 Strict, by software running at the hosting service. The server will then have "pure" documents ready to be browsed. It provides a very strict separation of content and presentation.
A reporter asked the W3O spokesman: "Does that mean all such features of current HTML move into the style-sheet, along with existing presentation control?" The spokesman responded:
"Which part of "it provides a very strict separation of content and presentation" didn't you understand? There are no links between content and style sheets. Authors might use those to put back the prejudicial influences that the 1.0 Strict standard prevents. Style-sheets are not a responsibility of authors".
“ There are no links between content and style sheets. Authors might use those to put back the prejudicial influences that the 1.0 Strict standard prevents. Style-sheets are not a responsibility of authors. ”
"Another problem we face is that authors often try to override the preferences of the users. They typically rule on fonts and styles of text. But if a user wants long words to be pink, why should the author have any influence over that?"
NewHTML 2.0 Totalitarian
NewHTML 2.0 Totalitarian is a significant advance on NewHTML 1.0 Strict. The spokesman described the background:
"Authors can't be trusted over the content either. Surveys of the web show that there are more anti-government than pro-government articles. More articles that are helpful to terrorists than articles demonstrating how to achieve world-peace. More material about pornography and adultery than articles promoting chastity & the sanctity of marriage. More articles about the damage done to the environment and indigenous populations by "big business" than articles showing the benefits to mankind of these businesses. So this future standard will ensure that certain concepts cannot even be expressed by web authors in future".
“ Authors can't be trusted over the content either.... So this future standard will ensure that certain concepts cannot even be expressed by web authors in future. ”
This project has been underway since the embryonic "Newspeak" concept published in 1948.
The new standard will build on the postmodern concepts of "deconstruction" and "transformative hermeneutics". These have already demonstrated the ability to decide between different facts and theories about the universe by analysis of scientific texts rather than having to run additional experiments. They enable more meaning to be identified in text than the authors realise is there, and so can detect and prevent even unconscious bias.
Hosting services will typically be required by law to cease delivery of HTML and XHTML, in favour of NewHTML 1.0, by 2005.
The NewHTML 2.0 specification is scheduled for publication about the same time, and will be enforced by law by about 2010.
Within a decade from now, the web will be a much more harmonious place, enabling governments, religious organisations, and big businesses, to get on with their vital work unimpeded.