Big Business or the Web?

by Simon St. Laurent

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After Anne Thomas Manes described the W3C as "at heart, an academic organization" and insisted that "the W3C TAG must be willing to accomodate the requirements of
big business", Roy Fielding reminded Manes that:

"the W3C
was created by big businesses specifically to prevent their own marketing departments from destroying the value inherent in the Web through their own, and their competitors', short-sighted, quarterly-revenue-driven
pursuit of profits. It was not created by academics. Open source developers actively opposed the creation of a pay-to-play consortium. The only reason it is at MIT is because that's what was needed to attract the people with a clue to an underpaid job.

After noting that:

"The Web creates more business value, every day, than has been generated
by every single example of an RPC-like interface in the entire history
of computers.

Fielding concludes:

"If this thing is going to be called Web Services, then I insist that it actually have something to do with the Web. If not, I'd rather have the WS-I group responsible for abusing the marketplace with yet another CORBA/DCOM than have the W3C waste its effort pandering to
the whims of marketing consultants. I am not here to accommodate the requirements of mass hysteria.

As one of those regularly troubled that the keeper of the Web is in fact a pay-to-play consortium, it's nice to hear that some people at that consortium value the Web itself rather than "big business", "market consultants", or "mass hysteria."

Should big business rule the Web?