W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-bugzilla@w3.org > March 2010

[Bug 8891] No change or so-called zero edit proposals

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 22:58:01 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1Nrfi5-0000OZ-4p@wiggum.w3.org>

Larry Masinter <lmm@acm.org> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
                 CC|                            |lmm@acm.org
             Status|CLOSED                      |REOPENED
         OS/Version|Mac System 9.x              |All
           Platform|Macintosh                   |All
         Resolution|WONTFIX                     |

--- Comment #4 from Larry Masinter <lmm@acm.org>  2010-03-16 22:58:00 ---
I think the working group Decision Policy has the responsibility of being
coherent and understandable by anyone who views it, and some uses of
terminology are extremely confusing.

The original concept, that one must submit a "Change Proposal" to change HTML5
to be more compatible with HTML4 (i.e., to undo a change that was made from
HTML4 without sufficient justification) is itself suspect. But to then couple
that with the notion that there might also be a "change proposal" that
advocates "no change" to an editor's specification double confounds the
situation. What things are called matters, where process transparency is a

The situation is even more murky because the editor of a specification is free,
at any time, to reorganize the document or introduce new or different text
which then becomes the status quo, so that a "no change" proposal becomes
ambiguous: is the author of a "no change" proposal supporting the document as
it was at the time the "no change" proposal was written, or is it an
endorsement of the editor's judgment?

I think what Shelly was originally asking for was that the process for evolving
the draft from its current status be fair and equitable.

"We don't want to create the possibility that someone may raise a lot of issues
and not follow up."

I agree this would be bad, but I would propose that more working group polling
would help individuals gauge which issues are worth pursuing. The W3C process
requires responses to comments to come from "the working group". The change
proposal process is unnecessarily formal and confrontational, and "zero change"
change proposals seem to increase the noise rather than help it.

I'd urge the chairs to consider alternatives that don't involve "no change"
change proposals. 

For example (just one example): change proposals get added to a wiki; the wiki
allows "arguments for" and "arguments against".  Those who like a proposal can
add to "arguments for", and those who don't like it can add to "arguments
against". If there are several alternative changes, arguments can be linked
rather than copied. That way, there is one place to collect the arguments.

Of course, there are many other ways of reducing the confusion that currently
exists and I think is built into the idea of a "no change" change proposal,
especially where "no change" is really "accept change from HTML4".

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Received on Tuesday, 16 March 2010 22:58:02 UTC

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