W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > December 2007

Re: Dissatisfaction with HTML WG

From: Preston L. Bannister <preston@bannister.us>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 13:44:18 -0800
Message-ID: <7e91ba7e0712241344i4db7efd5web01a90ed0976717@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Dean Edridge" <dean@55.co.nz>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, www-archive@w3.org, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "Chris Wilson" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>
On Dec 24, 2007 8:21 AM, Dean Edridge <dean@55.co.nz> wrote:

> *[snip]*
> 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:
>


First, any good design process is *not* democratic, rather something closer
to a meritocracy.  All voices are not and should not be equal.  Whether this
works out to be a good thing or bad thing depends where the weight lands,
and how it is used.  :)

Second, some folk - of which I am one - are coming to the opinion that XHTML
*in the web browser* is looking more like an evolutionary dead-end, not
"leading the web to it's full potential".  Seemed like a good idea at one
time, but on further examination, not so much.  Clearly this is a judgement
call.  There are going to be many of these judgement calls.  A practical
standard cannot be a union of all possibly-workable ideas.



> *[snip]*
> 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.
>


Yes, well best to mention the elephant in the dining room.  Without
Microsoft implementing HTML5 (whatever that turns out to be) in Internet
Explorer, as a standard HTML5 will turn out be about as meaningful as
HTML4.  There is no way to deny that Microsoft has a big voice.  There is no
doubt that this *could* be a problem.  Google, Apple and Opera all have
significant voices, but will all have to adapt to whatever Microsoft decides
to do.

Yes, like many other folk I am wary of Microsoft (the gift of a sometimes
dubious history).  So far at least, the folk from Microsoft seem to be very
reasonable, and - allowing for reasonable difference of opinion - to be
doing the right thing.  The recent announcement of IE8 code passing a CSS
torture test is a Very Big Deal - and a strong positive hint.

On the other hand, as to what (if any) decisions are being made, why, and by
whom ... here I have to agree somewhat with Dean.  Things are a little
non-obvious.  I suspect this has mostly to do with trying to invent a new
process (for W3C) on the fly - nothing inherently bad.  But I cannot
entirely dismiss Dean's suspicions, as ... I just do not know.

My suggestion would to have someone periodically write for each major topic
a concise summary of discussion to date.  Basically an exercise to bring
everyone on to the same conceptual page.  The scattering of email threads
and wiki pages ... lack focus.


My 2&cent; worth.
Received on Monday, 24 December 2007 21:44:35 GMT

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