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Re: Who is the Intended Audience of the Markup Spec Proposal?

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 22:47:17 -0500
Message-ID: <497E83C5.5040202@intertwingly.net>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: public-html <public-html@w3.org>

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> 
> On Jan 26, 2009, at 4:40 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
> 
>> I'd like very much to lift that moratorium, but apparently Chris has 
>> been tied up in some sort of release :-).  I'd prefer not to 
>> unilaterally lift this without his concurrence.  I'm sure that this 
>> will be resolved shortly.
>>
>> But meanwhile, this discussion is very public, as are the rules for 
>> publishing a FPWD:
>>
>> http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr.html#first-wd
>>
>> I've provided that link several times.  Section 7.4.1 is fairly short. 
>> My read of that section is that lifting of the moratorium should not 
>> be considered in any way a prerequisite for this decision, but I would 
>> like to see the moratorium lifted anyway, making the point moot.
>>
>> Meanwhile, I'd appreciate Ian answering the questions I asked.

I'll note that Ian did, in fact, answer the questions I asked.  I 
commend Ian for his leadership, not only in how he answered this 
question, but also in, well, pretty much everything he has done.  I 
think more people could do well by following his example.

> If we had consensus or a charter requirement to put this document on the 
> REC track at all, then I would agree that publishing as an FPWD does not 
> require full consensus on all the details.

Here is the current charter:

http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter#deliverables

In your opinion does "HTML 5, A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML 
and XHTML" strictly limit itself to this charter?  Does it implement 
everything in that charter?

I think the only reasonable answer to both questions are no and no.

And yet, I also think it would be counter productive to block progress 
on Ian's document.

> However, whether this document should be placed on the Recommendation 
> track is exactly the point in contention, and exactly the point we have 
> been asked not to discuss for the past few months. Note that the rules 
> you cited are part of a section titled "7.4 Advancing a Technical Report 
> to Recommendation", which starts by saying "In general, Working Groups 
> embark on this journey with the intent of publishing one or more 
> Recommendations." I do not agree that we can put a document on the REC 
> track in the first place, without meaningful discussion, let alone 
> consensus. Certainly it is possible for the REC track process to be 
> stopped early, as outlined in Section 7.5, but I do not think that 
> possibility means that starting down the REC track in the first place is 
> something to be taken lightly.

I am leery of going down that path.  I personally would prefer the Work 
Group spends its time discussing actual tangible proposals.  And to 
provide everybody equal opportunity to produce such proposals.

Ian's document is an example of a document which does not enjoy 
consensus and is pursuing an objective that is neither a proper subset 
nor a proper superset of the charter requirements.  And yet despite 
these "failings" it is the most coherent and complete proposal that the 
Work Group has in front of us to date.

I believe that if this working group were run in a way that encouraged 
people to produce coherent and complete proposals (something that is 
comparatively hard to do) as opposed to preemptively raising issues 
(something that is comparatively easy to do), the end work product of 
group would be markedly superior.

I submit the following for further reading:

http://bitworking.org/news/Camera_Ready_Copy_and_the_Social_Denial_of_Service_Attack

> I will further note that, in this case, publishing as a WD is not 
> required to have meaningful public review. The Editor's Draft is already 
> available to the general public, and we can publicize it as much as we 
> want, or freeze a specific version for review, without any formal 
> process. Thus, I do not think resolving the root issues here will block 
> substantive review.

As near as I can tell, heartbeat requirements and the process for FPWD 
is based on the notion that public working drafts get the benefit of 
greater scrutiny and review.

In any case, it is quite evident that you have taken the time to read 
the process as it relates to this activity.  I commend you for doing so. 
  Much of the prior discussion does not show that even this much effort 
has been expended.

> Regards,
> Maciej

- Sam Ruby
Received on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 03:48:01 GMT

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