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Re: Language Specification

From: Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 17:27:23 +0000
Message-ID: <49259DFB.4070503@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: Dean Edridge <dean@dean.org.nz>
CC: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>



Dean Edridge wrote:

> Philip TAYLOR wrote:

>>>> ...language specification,
>>>> towards which Mike's draft is an superb start.

> Nothing against Mike personally, but he's not authorised to start 
> anything official. It was supposed to just be something that Mike put 
> together himself for the HTML WG to look at so we could decide *if* we 
> needed such a spec, in stead it has been perceived as something 
> officially produced and published by the HTML WG and is already causing 
> confusion on mailing lists such as www-html and amongst various members 
> of the public.

How it is perceived is surely neither here nor there :
Mike has indeed "put [something] together [...] for the HTML
WG to look at", and that is what we are doing.  The fact
that you and I don't necessarily agree on whether it is
an improvement is also neither here nor there : by
creating it, he has given us something concrete to
discuss, which I for one appreciate.

>>> I don't actually think that Mike should have started it.

>> Why not ?

> Because the HTML WG has not decided *yet* that we need such a spec. 

I don't think that should prevent anyone (let alone a
co-Chairman of the WG) from writing such a document :
it may well be that we need to see an instance of it
before we are in a position to debate whether or
not it fills a real (or potential) need.

> And  if we do need a "markup language spec" it has not been decided who 
> should write it, myself or someone else in the HTML WG may wish to be 
> the editor and write the spec in a totally different way. You seem to 
> think these decisions have already been made.

No, I don't Dean, and I'm sure Mike and others would
be delighted if you /did/ offer an alternative.  At
the moment, there is a sad dearth of editors (as has
been frequently noted) : by writing such a document,
and indicating your wish to assume responsibility for
it, you would be helping the WG enormously.  That is
not to say that the WG would necessarily accept your
offer, but at least we would be in a position to review
it and to assess to what extent it (and your writing
style, and so on) were beneficial to the work of the WG.
Just as we are currently doing with Mike's.

>>   I see it as one of the most significant contributions
>> to the work of this group to emerge so far,

> That may be so, but I think the gun has been jumped here.

I don't like the word "pro-actively", because it is
invariably mis-used these days, but in its current
sense, Mike has acted "pro-actively", and I think
this can only be a good thing.

>> have no hesitation in voting in favour of its publication 

> I've already explained in detail why "voting" is not a good way for this 
> group to make decisions.

With respect, you've explained why you don't think
that voting is a good way for the WG to make
decisions; I, on the other hand, see voting as
a straightforward way to assess whether or not
the WG has reached consensus, or near consensus,
which is essential if we are to operate according
to W3C principles.

I will pass over your last two points because I feel
that they are, in a sense, addressed to Mike personally.

Philip TAYLOR
Received on Thursday, 20 November 2008 17:28:07 GMT

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