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Re: The HTMLWG and WHATWG (Was: Default (informal) Style Sheet)

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 18:05:21 +0000 (UTC)
To: Mike Schinkel <w3c-lists@mikeschinkel.com>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0704021757590.21343@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Mon, 2 Apr 2007, Mike Schinkel wrote:
>
> OTOH, what we have right now is the worst of all worlds: two groups with 
> each group discussing all of the same issues.

Actually, there are dozens (or more) of groups discussing the issues. Two 
of the groups are the HTML WG and the WHATWG, but there are many more, in 
blog comments, in forums, on IRC channels, in bug systems, etc.


> > In practice in the WHATWG I edit the documents taking into account 
> > everyone's feedback; there's not really any need for discussion to 
> > happen in a single place. In fact, in addition to the WHATWG mailing 
> > list, I also take into account feedback I see from people who aren't 
> > in the group, e.g. at conferences, on blogs, in forums, based on the 
> > research I've done at Google and on other people's research, based on 
> > direct feedback from browser vendors, based on comments in bug 
> > reports, etc.
>
> I don't know how it is humanly possible for you to do all that, AND do a 
> good job of it... (I'm not at all criticizing your work, it's amazing, I 
> just questioning the ability for any one human to do a good job at all 
> that.)

There are members of the WHATWG that help with feedback collection. I also 
am subscribed to bugs in six different relevant bug systems, and get 
e-mail when those change. I have a Google Alert set up to notify me if 
anyone blogs or posts on USENET or writes a Web page or publishes a news 
article with the word "WHATWG". I am notified by e-mail every time someone 
does a pingback to the HTML5 spec. This is my fulltime job, and I've been 
doing it for several years, I'm practiced. ;-)

To be honst, I'm not sure it's really possible to make a truly decent spec 
for a technology as far-reaching as this _without_ this level of investment.


> > > Wouldn't not be possible to merge the two activities, at least until 
> > > the W3C proves that it won't make progress (hopefully not, but that 
> > > is your concern, right?)
> > 
> > I've encouraged everyone on the WHATWG list to join the HTMLWG list, 
> > which I believe is the only way to "merge" the two groups, given the 
> > HTMLWG's patent policy requirements. I'm not sure what can be done 
> > beyond that at this point.
>
> Well one thing could be done would be to close the WHATWG list 
> temporarily. If you did that, everyone who cared would join the 
> HTMLWG...

There are members of the WHATWG who do not _want_ to contribute via the 
HTML WG, just like there are members of the HTML WG who do not want to 
contribute via the WHATWG, and members who don't want to contribute in 
either list (e.g. who prefer forums, or don't care about standards 
development per se and would rather stay in their part of the world and 
have us go to them). We have to cater for all these people, otherwise our 
specification won't be good for them, and thus our spec won't be as good a 
step forward for humanity as it otherwise could be.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Monday, 2 April 2007 18:05:32 GMT

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