W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-comments@w3.org > May 2009

Re: microdata use cases and Getting data out of poorly written Web pages

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 23:13:49 +0000 (UTC)
To: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0905082254560.7824@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

Replying in the context of (though not on behalf of) the W3C HTML WG:

On Fri, 8 May 2009, Shelley Powers wrote:
> > 
> > When dealing with people who have historically had a very aggressive, 
> > dismissive, or otherwise rude attitude, I might find myself more prone 
> > to ignoring their feedback if I disagreed with it. Or similiarly, I 
> > could find that I am more likely to act on feedback from a colleague 
> > at Google than a colleage at a competitor such as Apple. Such bias is 
> > IMHO unacceptable. By removing source information, I prevent myself 
> > from being biased in this way. This is why I ignore the source of 
> > feedback.
>
> But as a human, you never disregard that which you know, Ian. As a 
> human, you'll always remember the resource, even if you only remember it 
> unconsciously. By explicitly noting the resource associated with the use 
> case or requirement, we then can determine if per chance bias has played 
> in your decision process, even if the bias was implicit not explicit.

In my experience I am less biased in practice when I operate the way that 
I have described. I understand that others may have different ways of 
operating, as is their right.


> > Whether further discussion would be a waste of time depends on what is 
> > discussed, obviously. In general I am always open to changing my mind 
> > when faced with new information. In the context of the W3C HTML WG, 
> > what I write into the HTML5 spec is but a first draft proposal, our 
> > process requires that the working group have consensus on a topic 
> > before it can be considered "closed".
>
> How is the item proposed for group discussion? How is consensus 
> recorded?

I will let the chairs respond to these process questions.


> I know there is an issue list -- are all of the use cases you've 
> addressed being added as open items to this issue list?

Since the issues were raised in the WHATWG, they were added to the WHATWG 
issues list. (They are not there any more, as I am actively working on 
them; I am tracking the microdata use cases in an editor window now.)


> Sorry, I don't know how this all works. To be honest, after I've been 
> reading in the W3C lists, and then go over to the WhatWG group lists, I 
> feel faintly schizophrenic. I've never been able to fully grasp how all 
> of this pulls together. My bad.

This is mostly an artefact of the history -- the W3C originally declined 
to work on HTML5, so the WHATWG was formed to do it; the W3C later decided 
to start a group to work on HTML5 after all, and chartered it to work with 
the WHATWG, but the W3C decided to use its own process instead of working 
with the existing processes that had been in place for several years, and 
so we've ended up with two (heavily overlapping) groups working on the 
same spec.


> OK. Question: if you don't agree with a change I suggest, what recourse 
> do I have to override your decision? If this is documented somewhere, 
> sorry for not knowing where, and would appreciate a link.

The W3C process in the context of the HTML WG is documented in the HTML WG 
charter:

   http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter

...and the W3C process document:

   http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Process/

I have no authority in the HTML WG, I am just the editor writing the first 
draft proposal (as per the charter); the chairs (again as per the charter) 
then have the responsibility of working with the working group to converge 
on consensus (as well as working with the WHATWG to ensure the groups 
converge on a single specification). So it doesn't matter if I agree with 
you or not, in practice.


> > Both groups together form but a tiny minority of the actual community 
> > that HTML5 is intended to target. I take into account input from all 
> > sources.
>
> So you can imagine how concerned I feel when only one-half of the tiny 
> minority seems to be engaged at any one time.

Who is it who wants to be enganged who is not engaged?


> You get a small enough number of people making the decisions, the 
> comprehensiveness of the decision approaches zero, or something like 
> that.

I actually think there's no correlation there. I do think that there's an 
inverse correlation between quality and number of people making decisions.

Cheers,
-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 8 May 2009 23:13:49 GMT

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