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

Re: An HTML language specification vs. a browser specification

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 16:08:34 -0600
To: "Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Cc: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1227046114.8268.366.camel@pav.lan>

On Tue, 2008-11-18 at 20:18 +0000, Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) wrote:
> 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.

I'm having trouble finding the point of disagreement
or the conflict...

> > 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.

It's quite relevant to whether it's sensible, let alone
polite, to say he's not competent.

The relevance of the work Ian did and does in the WHAT WG is also
noted in our charter:

"The HTML Working Group will actively pursue convergence with WHATWG,
encouraging open participation within the bounds of the W3C patent
policy and available resources."
 -- http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter.html

> 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.

I'm right there with you; I count myself among that number.
But we can emphasize all we like and it won't get us where
we want to be. Somebody has to do some writing.

Even if we had consensus on the need for a set of
specifications, somebody would have to write them. But we
don't yet even have consensus on the need for a set
of specifications (Ian, Maciej, Boris and others acknowledge potential
value of orthogonal specs, but don't consider it critical nor
preferable to one spec that Ian can more efficiently and
correctly produce), so doing some writing is essential to
demonstrating the feasibility and value.

> 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
> Applications".
> 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.
> Philip TAYLOR
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
gpg D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 22:08:57 UTC

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