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Re: Ian's Approach to Editing (Was: using an attribute to categorize the @alt state)

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 04:24:35 -0500
Message-Id: <F87CC7FC-7039-4854-BA0B-769E1D1DF15A@robburns.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
To: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>

Hi Smylers,

On Aug 17, 2007, at 3:59 AM, Smylers wrote:

>
> Robert Burns writes:
>
>> On Aug 16, 2007, at 4:50 PM, Jon Barnett wrote:
>>
>>> On 8/16/07, Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> This is example example where  Ian hasn't even taken his own
>>>> advice.  He has rightly suggested that we all focus on problems
>>>> statements and use- cases.  The changes he's made to the draft
>>>> certainly reflect an important problem-statement /use-case.
>>>> However, the solution fails to  benefit from the WG process.
>>>
>>> In case you haven't seen it, this is Hixie's message tot he WHATWG
>>> list:
>>> http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2007-August/
>>> 012378.html It's just a response to various messages to the WHATWG
>>> list, but it shows some of the reasons for the latest changes.
>>>
>>> As a result, we now have a draft that is a much better starting  
>>> point
>>> for discussion than before.
>>
>> We voted on a document for a starting point and gained consensus in
>> the group for a starting point. Its in appropriate to change that
>> starting point after that fact. The edits to the draft from this
>> point on should reflect the HTML WG.
>
> Ian made clear what his approach would be back in April before he was
> appointed as editor, for example:
>
>   I don't really understand what this means either. If I am to be
>   editor, I will take input from many sources -- I won't only take  
> input
>   from this working group, ignoring blogs, forums, bug databases,  
> etc --
>   as I have previously indicated. I don't see how this would not mean
>   that we don't "own" the specification. I wouldn't want to be an  
> editor
>   if the operating model is that the editor merely waits for formal
>   decisions before making any changes -- such a development model  
> would
>   change our timeline from 15-years-to-REC to something more on the
>   order of 50-years-to-REC, and would be far to stressful an  
> environment
>   for me.
>
>   -- http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Apr/1241.html

I don't know if that statement makes anything clear. It says to me he  
doesn't want to edit based on formal decisions. I don't know if  
anyone expected him to. I know I didn't expect him to wait for formal  
decisions. It says as an editor he want to take input from all  
places. That's fine too. Its got nothing to do with his role as  
editor of the HTML WG's HTML5 recommendation. In that role he should  
be tracking  the work of the WG and making edits that reflect the  
discussions here. If there's a pet topic he'd like to start editing  
than he can fire off a few email to the list and generate some  
discussion on the topic so that he can then make edits that reflect  
the views of the WG. I don't see how the statement you quote says  
anything about him not being able to do that.

>> The WhatWG needs to be put on the back burner now.
>
> Ian has a backlog of comments which have been made to WhatWG, many  
> from
> before this working group existed.  It would seem foolish for any  
> value
> in those comments to be completely ignored.
>
> And Ian clearly stated to this list, again before he was appointed as
> editor, why he would not do that:
>
>   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Apr/0071.html

No one is trying to tell Ian what to do in his spare time. I'm  
certainly not. If he wants to work on a simultaneous draft for the  
WhatWG that's also called HTML5, then that's OK with me. I doubt the  
W3C has a moonlighting policy for volunteer editors. However, if the  
work on these other projects consumes so much of his time that he  
can't do the work as editor of the HTML WG, then that is a problem.  
There may be many ways to solve that problem. Ian could try to clear  
his plate of other projects. Perhaps, he could get his employer to  
give him some slack on his work responsibilities. There are all sorts  
of ways someone can deal with that problem where they have  
volunteered to do something and cannot find the time to do it,. Those  
solutions are very personal issues and I don't think we need to  
discuss them here (except to acknowledge that Ian has said he has  
lots of things on his plate other than the HTML WG). I hope Ian takes  
his responsibility to the WG serious enough to try to find a solution  
to his problem (which becomes our solution too).

>> We didn't adopt a dynamic WhatWG HTML5 draft  back in May. We adopted
>> a specific version of the draft.
>
> That's true, but we also adopted an editor who was open about how he
> would continue to edit the draft spec.
>
> It seems to me that he's behaved as he said he would.

He has continued to edit the draft as he said he would edit the  
draft. However, he has not edited the draft on on behalf of his WG  
and nowhere did he say he would do that.

>> If Ian doesn't see the types of discussion  here he wants to see,  
>> then
>> he should prod us to start those discussions.
>
> Surely his recent changes to the alt attribute part of the spec have
> prodded this working group into discussing that point?  The spec is
> still only in draft; the fact that Ian has made some changes based on
> feedback he's already received doesn't preclude further changes  
> based on
> discussion here.

Yes, but that's a backwards approach. There are several topics that  
have been discussed since May. Many of them have wiki pages as Ian  
requested. With a little prodding many of them could be brought  
closer to solutions ready for incorporation into the draft. That is  
where the WG's editor should be focussing attention (again only for  
the time spent on behalf of the WG; Ian's free to spend his other  
time as he sees fit)  If there were WhatWG changes that Ian felt  
needed to be incorporated into the draft before bringing it to this  
WG, those should have been handled earlier. Now changes to the draft  
should reflect the thrust of discussion in this WG.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Friday, 17 August 2007 09:24:57 UTC

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