W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > November 2008

Re: An HTML language specification vs. a browser specification

From: Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 20:18:36 +0000
Message-ID: <4923231C.3040703@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
CC: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

Dan Connolly wrote:

> On Sun, 2008-11-16 at 12:51 -0600, Robert J Burns wrote:
> [...]
>> I think this question of "who will edit?"  that keeps coming up is a  
>> complete red herring.
> While I agree with some of the goals you seem to be aiming for,
> you completely lose me there. "He who does the work makes the rules"
> proves out over and over, in my experience.

Well, this won't be the first time that you and
I have disagreed, Dan, but IMHO "he who makes
the rules" is actually the W3C, the WG's Charter,
and the consensus of the WG.  "He who does the
work" is therefore required to follow these rules,
and if his personal opinion comes into conflict
with the rules, then the rules must win.

> the person doing the most work for the past 5-10 years

is, presumably, Ian Hickson, and for most of those
5--10 years this WG has not been in existence.
What Ian has been doing during that period is therefore
not entirely relevant to the current debate.

What must surely be clear is that a number of members
of this WG feel that the current format of the draft
specification leaves a great deal to be desired, not
because it omits things but rather because it already
includes far too much, despite being years away completion.
We are seeking to emphasise the importance of orthogonality :
the need for a /set/ of specifications, each of which
addresses one well-defined part of the overall problem,
each of which is capable of being understood by those at
who it is aimed, and which -- when taken together --  will
form a coherent framework within which every aspect of
"Web Applications" is or can be specified.

But what we have at the moment is a monolith : a document
that tries to cover everything, yet which actually communicates
almost nothing -- in part simply because of its complexity, and
in part because it conflates so many different aspects of "Web

And because this WG is the HTML 5 WG, and not the Web Applications
WG, many of us feel that the specification is already far
too broad, and that what is needed -- urgently needed --
is for the specification to become far more focussed : to address,
purely and simply, what is (and what is not) HTML 5,
leaving much of the accompanying material to ancilliary
specifications, and -- quite possibly -- to other working groups.

Received on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 20:19:33 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Thursday, 29 October 2015 10:15:39 UTC