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Dissatisfaction with HTML WG

From: Dean Edridge <dean@55.co.nz>
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2007 05:21:46 +1300
To: public-html@w3.org
Cc: www-archive@w3.org, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>
Message-id: <476FDC9A.9060009@55.co.nz>

It's unfortunate that I'm forced to bring this up in public, but since I 
have already expressed my concerns regarding this group privately with: 
Ian Hickson, Anne van Kesteren, Lachlan Hunt, Mike Smith, Chris Wilson 
and Dan Connolly, but with no success and no change in attitude, I 
obviously need to mention them again here. I've also made formal 
complaints with Mike Smith, Chris Wilson and Dan Connolly regarding the 
openness and process of this group but those have not been acted on. I 
have no option but to make my concerns publicly known.


General concerns regarding the HTML WG and (X)HTML5

I'm disappointed to see a lot of anti-XHTML sentiment within the group 
considering that this spec is supposed to be both HTML5 and XHTML5 I 
would have thought that people could be a bit more open minded than 
this. We are, after all, supposed to be "Leading the web to its full 
potential" yet some people insist on putting limitations on the web by 
restricting it to only text/html.

I don't think that the working group and specification is being run in 
an objective, democratic and non-biased manner. For example:

HTML5 Editor: Ian Hickson (Google)
HTML5 Editors assistant: David Hyatt (Apple)
HTML5 Design Principals co-editor: Anne van Kesteren (Opera software)
HTML5 Design Principals co-editor: Maciej Stachowiak (Apple)
HTMLWG staff contact: Mike Smith (ex Opera software)
HTMLWG co-chair: Chris Wilson (Microsoft) (Nice guy, but he did put his 
name on the first XHTML spec 8 years ago, then prevented over 6 Billion 
people from being able to use it.)
HTML5 (not so democratic or balanced) author guidelines: Lachlan Hunt 
(Opera software) Deliberately published his guide with the W3C logo even 
though that day there had been several objections to his loose choice of 
formatting within the public-html mailing list.

The HTMLWG is becoming less and less democratic everyday. It has become 
a dictatorship driven by three companies: Google, Apple and Opera. These 
companies have there own interest at heart which may or may not be in 
the best interest of the open web. Unless one happens to be an employee 
(or a friend of an employee) of these companies, one doesn't seem to 
have much say in the way that HTML5 and XHTML5 gets developed.

I have witnessed on many occasions people outside of these 
organisations/companies have not had their ideas taken seriously or 
added to the spec. I can think of Sam Ruby, Karl Dubost and myself just 
to name a few people that have not only had their ideas knocked down but 
have been personally mocked, ridiculed and attacked by Ian Hickson & Co 
on the IRC channels just because the ideas or decisions they made did 
not suit Ian and his group.

I don't see what the point is in having 1000 or more people involved in 
this work if only one person is in control of what gets added to the 
spec? What's the point in having people put their ideas on the table if 
at the end of the day Ian comes to the table and only picks up the ideas 
he likes? I don't believe that such a process as important as this 
should be controlled by just one man. Many ideas have been put forward 
but rejected because they don't fit into Ian's view of what the web 
should be.

Ian has shown his lack of professionalism to me by publishing my 
personal emails publicly on his web site and the CSS working group 
member-only emails publicly. [1]  How can a person like Ian be left with 
such control over a specification that over 6 billion people are 
expected to use?

The W3C staff members don't seem to be interested in defending the open 
web given that I have made official complaints regarding Ian Hickson and 
his sponsors, but yet had no active response from the W3C. If the W3C 
can't stand up to this renegade group then what's the point of having 
the W3C? It seems that anyone can hijack the web and dictate to the 
world so long as they have enough money.

I do appreciate all the work that has been put into (X)HTML5 by Ian and 
the rest of the WHATWG, I just feel that it's time for certain people to 
let go and let others have a say in the way the spec should be. After 
all, it's supposed to be an "open spec" for the "open web" isn't it?

If the way things are done in this group doesn't change to a more 
democratic model I'll be suggesting to the chairs that Ian Hickson be 
replaced as Editor of the spec with someone more professional and 
independent.
In the mean time I hereby ask that the HTML WG chairs engage the 
services of another person who is not an employee of Google, Opera 
software, Apple/Webkit or Mozilla to be another co Editor and watch Ian 
to see if he is taking everyone's ideas/concerns in to account and not 
blocking democracy with his own personal views/ideals.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2007Dec/0094.html

Sincerely
Dean Edridge
Received on Monday, 24 December 2007 16:22:52 GMT

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