W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-comments@w3.org > September 2011

Sections of the HTML5 specification being removed from the W3C without discussion

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Thu, 08 Sep 2011 09:56:31 -0500
Message-ID: <4E68D79F.5010407@burningbird.net>
To: public-html-comments@w3.org
There's an ongoing discussion[1] about removing the Editing API from the 
HTML5 specification.

The issue is less that the section was removed, and more the fact that 
the section was removed to a document OUTSIDE of the W3C. More 
importantly, this change was not truly discussed within the HTML WG, and 
I have reason to believe members of the HTML WG are not aware of this 
change. Depending on the bug system as a way of informing WG members of 
a significant change is a failure of the highest order.

Now, the same thing has happened again, but this time with the section 
of the HTML5 document formerly labeled Dynamic Markup insertion[2]. I 
don't believe there was even a bug report filed on this one, it was just 

In looking at the change control entry, I also find a third document, 
DOM Range[5]. One author identifies himself, the other uses a nickname, 
rather than his real name.


Again, the issue is less that the items were removed, and more that the 
items were removed unilaterally, and the new documents are placed 
outside of the W3C.

My first question on all of this is: is the HTML WG even a viable entity 
anymore? It doesn't seem that way. All the HTML WG is now is a listing 
of bug entries and an occasional formal request from a co-chair. I have 
seen other Working Groups, and there is little of what I would call 
"working" about the HTML WG. Not anymore.

Secondly, is this the type of stewardship we can count on from the W3C 
going forward? Allowing one specific company to pull chunks of W3C 
specifications out of the W3C, without any consideration of other 
company's intellectual property rights on the concepts in the text 
covered in the text? More importantly, without regard for the possible 
risk this may be placing companies who have started to implement these 
specifications? These member companies have placed faith in the W3C. Was 
this faith misplaced?

Perhaps rather than ask if the HTML WG is a viable entity, I should ask 
whether the W3C is a viable entity. Actions like these described in this 
email that are allowed to happen without hindrance or even comment  
casts doubt on the ability of the organization to continue being a 
caretaker for the specifications that form the infrastructure for the web.

Shelley Powers

[1] http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13423
[3] http://html5.org/specs/dom-parsing.html
[4] http://html5.org/tools/web-apps-tracker?from=6531&to=6532
[5] http://html5.org/specs/dom-range.html
Received on Thursday, 8 September 2011 14:57:06 UTC

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