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Forms Task Force Charter Requirement

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 13:10:51 -0700
Message-Id: <EE5738D7-CF71-4C29-837E-2A62E0D382BC@apple.com>
To: "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>


There has been some dispute of what our charter goals to work with  
the Forms Task Force mean exactly.

Here's the text (from <http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG- 
charter.html#coordination>):

"The HTML WG and the Forms Working Group will work together in this  
Task Force to ensure that the new HTML forms and the new XForms  
Transitional have architectural consistency and that document authors  
can transition between them."

Here's the conclusions I draw from this:

- HTML forms and XForms transitional are not necessarily the same  
language; it makes no sense to call for architectural consistency  
between two things that are actually the same thing.
- The requirement is for architectural consistency, not syntactic or  
API-level consistency.
- The Forms Task Force is charged with ensuring architectural  
consistency, not necessarily writing any particular spec.
- The requirement technically says HTML forms have to be  
architecturally consistent with XForms Transitional, and doesn't say  
anything at all about XForms proper. I'm willing to chalk this up to  
a drafting error and assuming it actually meant XForms if others  
agree this was a mistake.

So, if we have two languages, two working groups, a task force, and a  
consistency mandate, how do we divide responsibilities? Here's how I  
would implement this in practice:

- HTML Working Group continues defining HTML Forms.
- Forms Working Group continues defining XForms.
- Forms Task Force drafts a set of concrete requirements for  
architectural consistency. They closely review both new versions of  
XForms and new versions of HTML with respect to these requirements;  
HTML WG and Forms WG will take resulting feedback into account.

I think this would invalidate any Formal Objection to the HTML  
Working Group adopting particular text as a basis for review. We  
would remain obligated to participate in the Forms Task Force, refine  
the architectural consistency requirements, and revise our spec to  
satisfy them.

Others have interpreted our charter language to mean that the Forms  
part of the next HTML spec is to be written by the Forms Task Force  
as a merge of HTML forms features and XForms. I do not think that is  
a reasonable way to interpret the plain language of the charter.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Thursday, 3 May 2007 20:10:58 UTC

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