Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 20:22:30 -0700 From: Rudy Troike Subject: Comment on Bruner Internet standards proposal I thought the following note from my colleague Carl Berkhout, who is very much interested in electronic editorial standards, would be useful to share with ADS-Lers and Rick Bruner. I'm sure Carl would be happy to be drafted into the enterprise. Rudy-- Thanks for sending me that Rick Bruner proposal, which I had known nothing about. Yes, I'm very interested in that. I hope indeed that the ADS will be interested in that project (if, as it seems and despite its louche appeal to high-tech companies and "journalistic institutions," the project is genuinely concerned about good, sensible usage--and not just English usage--on the Internet and elsewhere in the world of computers). I am personally interested even if the ADS isn't. I assume that you are also. What Bruner proposes is something that very much needs to be done. All this goes hand in hand with the many problems of correct, consistent, and sensible citation of electronic/Internet documents and such in an ever-changing, ever-evolving electronic world. The MLA, for example, has been fumbling with attempted standards for the past two years but has come up with nothing better than what you or I might reasonably propose in any given month in 1994-1995-1996. All in all, I like Bruner's initiative very much, but I don't know yet if his group is in a sufficiently competent and informed position to recommend Internet standards that all of us very much want and very much wish to take very seriously. I note that Bruner uses the term "World Wide Web" but does not include it among his several problematic examples. I use "Worldwide Web" as the correct expansion of WWW--in part because that's what Tim Berners-Lee, the Web's founder, recommends, but most of all because it's the grammatically cleanest term. Can Bruner persuasively document his preference for "World Wide Web"? Bruner has not yet, it seems, announced a listserv (or Listserv or whatever) discussion list. Such a list is of course necessary so that participants can discuss and fight over such terms as "on-line" and such. All in all, I suggest that Bruner and the ADS folk get very interested in one another. Possibly Bruner is not quite the right person to propose some needed standards, but he at least speaks up about things that almost everyone else has been mum about. We should take him seriously, and we should then get interested in his group's highest linguistic standards. This is not a private message. You may forward it to the ADS list, to Bruner, or wherever. Carl