W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-admin@w3.org > November 2014

W3C/WHATWG overlap going forward

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 22:28:09 -0500
Message-ID: <5462D3C9.3060601@intertwingly.net>
To: "public-html-admin@w3.org" <public-html-admin@w3.org>
Preface:

This material was originally captured during the "After 5" discussions 
during the F2F TPAC[1][2] and revised based on feedback from W3C 
Management.  It is being presented to the working group for discussion 
purposes, in accordance with the HTML WG WorkMode[3].

---

Current context:

1) A number of individuals within the WHATWG would like to see the W3C 
no longer copy and/or work on areas that overlap with ongoing WHATWG 
efforts.

2) We have features that were initially marked "at risk" in HTML 5.0 and 
subsequently dropped with the expectation that these features ship at a 
later date.  We also have literally hundreds of pre-existing bug 
reports, a number of which are substantive.  We have a number of 
existing HTML WG participants, including at least two editors, who have 
an interest on addressing these items.  There also is an interest in 
limiting the observable differences between what the WHATWG HTML spec 
and the W3C HTML require of both content producers and user agents.

3) We discussed proposals for modularity[4], and got only positive 
reviews, both from the attendees of the HTML WG F2F and from the W3C AC. 
  Included in those proposals is explicit goals of "greater 
inclusiveness" and "greater participation".

4) The W3C has not consistently done a good job on producing on errata. 
  This is widely acknowledged as a known issue and is actively being 
worked on[5].

5) It would be helpful to have clarity and consistency in our message in 
this area.

---

Evaluation:

We clearly have conflicting priorities.  It happens.

That being said, I do believe that we can now, or will be able to soon, 
declare consensus on a number of helpful statements along the lines of 
the following:

1) We expect to only provide non-substantive errata for 5.0.  To the 
extent humanly possible, we will push for substantive changes to be made 
available via 5.next (whether that be 5.0.1 or 5.1 or whatever).  As we 
discussed we would like to have 5.next in 2015, if not this point will 
need to be revisited.  This leads to the next point which will help us 
meet this schedule:

2) To the extent humanly possible, we can limit what changes are 
included in the next release of the HTML family of specifications.  We 
are currently identifying candidates[6], started triaging this list, and 
at some point in the relatively near future we can declare the set of 
potential items for HTML 5.next to be closed.

3) To the extent humanly possible, we will push for new features to be 
addressed by extension specs.  While this is important to note in that 
it will limit the number of changes to HTML spec itself that are 
potential areas of conflict, it doesn't fully address the point made by 
context item #1 above in that there still may be work that overlaps with 
the WHATWG even if it isn't technically in the HTML spec itself.

4) There may be extension specifications that the HTML WG doesn't want 
to work on, and would rather normatively reference a WHATWG 
specification.  Whether the document satisfies the normative references 
guidelines might depend on the details of how the work is developed in 
WHATWG.  To make this work might require compromise by both 
organizations.  It would be helpful if such discussions were to occur 
early in the development of HTML 5.next.

Note that I said "to the extent humanly possible" in many of these. 
There will undoubtedly be exceptions, but they can be dealt with such.

---

Conclusions:

1) WHATWG efforts in this area will be closely monitored, and patches 
will be accepted.  The editors are aware of the request not to copy and 
of the license under which the text is made available.  Resolution of 
those changes and patches will be done on a case by case basis. 
Therefore, people should not assume that the W3C HTML and WHATWG HTML 
documents will be kept in sync.

2) In 1Q15, we will publicly identify the scope of work for HTML 5.next. 
  This scoping work will be done publicly, and we will invite everybody 
who wishes to comment to do so.  The result could be useful as a "clear 
message" (addressing point #5 in the context above).

3) In 1Q15, we will identify which specs in the WHATWG the HTML WG would 
like to refer to directly, and will schedule a call with the director to 
build a plan.  Examples of documents that could be referenced by W3C 
HTML Work: Fetch, URL, Streams.

4) in 2Q15, the HTML WG needs to be rechartered.  This provides an 
opportunity for the AC to revise or reaffirm the current scope.

- Sam Ruby

[1] http://www.w3.org/2014/10/30-html-wg-minutes.html#item03
[2] http://www.w3.org/2014/10/30-html-wg-minutes.html#item10
[3] http://www.w3.org/wiki/HTML/wg/WorkMode#Meetings.3F_What_Meetings.3F
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-admin/2014Nov/0000.html
[5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-w3process/2014Nov/0004.html
[6] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2014Oct/0068.html
Received on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 03:28:37 UTC

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