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Moving forward on deciding [was: Intended Audience]

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 17:08:46 -0500
Message-ID: <49837A6E.9080507@intertwingly.net>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: public-html <public-html@w3.org>

Henri Sivonen wrote:
> 
> On Jan 30, 2009, at 09:59, Michael(tm) Smith wrote:
> 
>> My draft is my
>> attempt to produce something concrete that tries to be what some
>> people (both inside and outside of the group) have said is a part
>> of what they think we need to produce, and to have the group and
>> public review it and see if it actually meets that need -- or even
>> if it's viable/possible to met the need at all.
>>
>> Also, among the responsibilities I committed to by agreeing to be
>> a team contact for the group was to try to represent in this group
>> not just my own views and the positions I personally agree with
>> completely, but also to attempt in good faith to represent the
>> views of others on the W3C Team. I don't think it should come as a
>> surprise to you or anybody else that there are a range of
>> viewpoints among the W3C Team about what kind of spec(s) this
>> group should be producing. This draft in part is an attempt to
>> also represent some of those viewpoints.
>>
>> And that said, it's not just people on the W3C Team who have
>> expressed a viewpoint that we need to produce something like this
>> draft. Although it's not my explicit responsibility to try to
>> represent views of anyone else outside the W3C Team, I do feel an
>> obligation to try do so to the degree that I can practically.
> 
> Thank you for sharing this with the WG. (Others in the WG may also be 
> interested in the IRC discussion from yesterday logged at: 
> http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/html-wg/20090129#l-116 )
> 
> It bothers me that it wasn't stated up front that private feedback in 
> general and from the W3C Team in particular was a major motivating 
> factor behind "HTML 5: The Markup Language". (Or if this has been stated 
> before, I haven't properly noticed it.)
> 
> The HTML5 effort has been criticized for Hixie taking private feedback 
> into account in his editing of "HTML 5". However, Hixie has at least 
> readily disclosed that private feedback has motivated notable editing 
> choices.
> 
> Given the recent suggestion that the WG needs some ground rules for 
> taking on new drafts, I'd like to suggest that one of the ground rules 
> be that editors disclose to the WG when a draft or a section of a draft 
> comes into existence in response to private feedback the whole group 
> isn't seeing. (Of course, I'd prefer even more openness.)

I see a leap in this argument.  Mike has said that some of this input 
has come from outside of this group.  You infer that such input is 
private and non-disclosed, when in fact I will suggest that there has 
been input from outside of the group that has been public and widely 
disclosed.  Look at the very title of this issue:

   http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/actions/77

Clearly there are trust issues here that for the life of me I can't 
fathom.  Standards are being applied against Mike and his document that 
are not being applied to Ian or his document.  I don't know how to get 
past it.  I really would like us to get to the point where we give 
people the benefit of the doubt, and not jump to conclusions.

In the full interest of disclosure, I spent the last two and half days 
at an ECMAScript meeting at Google.  Shortly after landing, I had dinner 
with Ian.  After the next full day of meeting, I went out to eat with 
the ECMA TC39 participants and then went back to my hotel.  After 
yesterday's meeting, I met with a number of people at Mozilla (Brendan, 
Josh, Arun, Rob, and dBaron).  Ian and Larry were also in attendance. 
After that, I took a red-eye home.

At every meeting, I said that everything I discussed could be discussed 
on the mailing list, blogged, or whatever.  I do this consistently.  I 
hope I can earn people's trust.

I like to actually have met people I am working with, at least once.

Two actions came out of the meeting at Mozilla.  I am to discuss with 
plh the rather disquieting state where the very charter of this group is 
evolving without the participation of this group:

   http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/actions/77

Other things I plan to discuss with plh: the rather dysfunctional status 
of this working group, the W3C license, and the relationship with XHTML2.

Second, Rob volunteered to take a stab at a simple declarative paragraph 
which he would propose to be included in the status of Mike's draft. 
Such paragraph would include mention about the lack of consensus at this 
point on the normative status, and a mention of an intent for this 
document to follow the Design Principles that this work group had 
previously established.

After that, here are two things I would like to establish, and in a 
particular order.

Before considering a suggestion that Mike's draft go forward as a FPWD 
for this Work Group, I'd like to establish that the document is at the 
very least a group effort (lowercase 'g', by that I mean more than an 
individual).  I'd like to hear that there are a minimum of three, 
independent, and recognized by this group individuals that intend to 
make sustained contribution this document, and a description of how they 
intent to participate.  It need not be in the form of co-editorship or 
even camera ready copy, it could be active review, suggestions etc.

If that's obtained, and preferably after Rob makes his (quite possibly 
one-time, and therefore not by itself meeting the 'sustained' bar above) 
contribution, I would like to ask if people want a poll to be conducted. 
  I have said that I dislike polls and votes and why, and I would like 
us to get to the point where we trust other Work Group participants, but 
we clearly aren't there so if three independent members of this work 
group would like a poll to be held, I will respect their wishes.  I 
would like it to be three, and I would them to be independent, but I do 
not require these three people to explain why the feel a poll is 
necessary.  If they are members of this work group and say that they 
wish it, that will be enough for me.

If we can't get three such people to come forward, Chris and I will make 
an assessment as to whether or not we have sufficient support to 
proceed.  I don't suspect that this will be a problem as I seriously 
doubt that we will have a problem finding three such people.

I'd like the poll to be simple: something along the lines of "do you 
support html5-markup proceeding to FPWD at this time?".  Every Working 
Group participant will be given an opportunity to vote.  No votes are 
simply no, not to be assumed to be formal objections.  Yes votes are 
simply yes, and not to be assumed to be a position of one's employer. 
Explanations for why one feels this way is not required, and in fact, 
I'd like to keep the poll simple and not even solicit such comments.

I won't begin to speculate what the process will be after that point, as 
it will clearly depend on the results.  It might be that Chris and I 
decide that there is sufficient support, it might be Mike decides to 
withdraw, it might be that changes are made to the document and we 
repeat this process again later.

Not as a absolute moratorium: but I would really like to request that 
people who have already said their piece (pro or con) on the subject of 
splitting the spec or on Mike's draft proceeding consider not repeating 
positions that are well understood until after this poll is taken.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Friday, 30 January 2009 22:09:29 GMT

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