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

Re: An HTML language specification vs. a browser specification

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 16:38:01 -0800
To: Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk> (Ret'd)
Cc: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <7A8BD6B7-901D-490C-8F98-507F290CCFDE@apple.com>


On Nov 18, 2008, at 12:18 PM, 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.

However, the WG is not free to decide arbitrarily. We are bound by our  
charter: http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter.html

In particular, we are chartered to produce "a single specification  
deliverable for the HTML Working Group, the HTML specification", "for  
describing the semantics of documents and applications on the World  
Wide Web" and including "Document Object Model (DOM) interfaces  
providing APIs for such a language". Clearly our charter expects a  
monolithic spec covering many things.

I think some forms of splits, such as putting programming interfaces  
which could apply to any interactive Web markup language and not just  
HTML into seprate specs under the WebApps WG, would not violate the  
spirit of this charter. But splitting the DOM from the markup  
language, thereby making the "main" markup language spec


We have also elected to state some broader group principles: http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/principles/

By these principles, we should not ask extra work of the editor unless  
there would be a substantial practical benefit to implementors,  
authors, or end users, rather than solely a theoretical benefit.


In particular, as to this proposal:

>
> 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.

if "what is (and what is not) HTML5" is limited solely to defining  
what documents are conforming HTML5 documents, then this kind of split  
will not fulfill the letter or the spirit of our Charter or our Design  
Principles.


Anyone is of course free to question our group's founding documents  
and previous decisions. But let's be clear - what is being proposed by  
many is a radical change in approach from what we have been asked to  
do by the W3C, and from what many of us have seen as our mission.


Regards,
Maciej
Received on Wednesday, 19 November 2008 00:38:42 UTC

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