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Re: ACTION-78: Suggestion text for 1.5.4

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 11:04:35 +0000 (UTC)
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0901190246380.29785@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Sun, 18 Jan 2009, Sam Ruby wrote:
>
> So let me ask this: Is there *anybody* who *can't* *live* *with* this 
> proposal (namely removing section 1.5.4)?  If so, why not, and what do 
> you propose instead?

I think the points Henri made in this e-mail regarding the "can live with" 
design model are very apt:

   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jan/0158.html

I have experienced first-hand the "race to the bottom" effect of this kind 
of compromise-by-committee design in other working groups. I think the
"what's the best possible answer" method is more effective than "is there 
anyone who can't live with this".

Having said that, here is some background on this particular section:

The HTML5 effort started with two main foci: defining the existing 
language in far more detail than before, for various reasons, and 
extending the language to better support Web applications, since that is 
one of the directions the Web is going in and is one of the areas least 
well served by HTML so far.

This puts HTML in direct competition with other technologies intended for 
applications deployed over the Web, in particular Flash and Silverlight. 
People often ask about what technology they should use to develop their 
applications. I think we do ourselves a disservice if we ignore this and 
don't include this section.

I am not especially married to the text of that section, though; if there 
is something better that we can say, then we should. I don't really 
understand what the problem with the current text is; if someone can 
elaborate on this that would be great, as it would help improve it.

(This is a non-technical issue, though; if the HTMLWG has a strong desire 
to remove this section, I can certainly remove it from the HTMLWG draft.)


> In a larger context, the W3C frankly dropped the ball with respect to 
> continue the evolution of HTML.  A number of companies and individuals 
> reacted to that differently: Adobe, Microsoft, and Ian to take three 
> examples.  Note I said Ian, not WHATWG or Google.  From my point of 
> view, Ian is the nucleus around which the WHATWG formed, and Google 
> later provided him a home.

While my involvement (as editor) is most visible, a number of other people 
and organisations deserve a lot of credit for starting and supporting the 
WHATWG and HTML5, in particular a number of Opera, Mozilla, and Apple 
employees. I am merely the guy who volunteered to edit the document. 
Subsequently, many others have joined the project and their help has also 
been invaluable.

My employment at Google hasn't really influenced HTML5 much beyond giving 
me access to resources for doing research; the course for HTML5 was set 
long before I even interviewed at Google. The work Google and other 
contributors did on Gears actually has had a lot of effect on HTML5, but 
this would have been the case regardless of my employment. All the Gears 
influence has been clearly visible in the public in the form of feedback 
sent to the WHATWG mailing list, as with any other implementor.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Monday, 19 January 2009 11:05:44 GMT

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