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Sometimes people say, "Why not IETF?" Now you have two problems. More seriously:

  • RFCs often do not match or address implementation requirements for dealing with content on the web
    • E.g. URL parsing does not handle spaces, despite them working and being used all over
  • Fixing bugs fails http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2012Jun/0044.html
  • IANA
    • Registries are controlled via an elaborate process; hence x prefixes everywhere
    • Registries do not actually match the real world so are useless for implementors
  • text/plain
  • Extremely bad at testing (will ship specifications without figuring out implementation feasibility in popular user agents)