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Re: H:TML draft for FPWD consideration

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2010 13:43:19 +0200
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <DAE3829B-C546-4AEB-BE6E-EC07BF5CF18B@iki.fi>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
On Feb 2, 2010, at 15:25, Sam Ruby wrote:

> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> On Feb 1, 2010, at 18:47, Michael(tm) Smith wrote:
>>> This is request to the working group to consider the following
>>> document for publication as a First Public Working Draft:
>>> HTML: The Markup Language http://dev.w3.org/html5/markup/
>>> This request completes action-168.
>> It appears that the document now positions itself as non-normative.
>> Thanks. I support publication as a non-normative document.
>> I'm curious, though: Is the document meant for the REC track (like
>> some previous Primer documents from other WGs) or is it targeted to
>> become a Working Group Note?
> 
> I see that as a group decision.  Do you have a recommendation?

I am not well enough informed about the background of other WGs publishing informative documents as RECs to make a confident recommendation, but I observe the following:

 * The Recommendation Track includes advancement steps that depend on implementability and implementations. On their face, these steps don't make sense to me in the context of a document that has no normative requirements.

 * The Recommendation Track enjoys the benefits of the W3C Patent Policy. However, this *might* be a no-op for a document that has no normative requirements. (How can there be essential claims if nothing is required?)

 * The Recommendation Track has more process about addressing comments. It seems that the Chairs can declare a Working Group decision to publish anything as a WG Note at any time without any more process than what is deemed necessary to declare a WG decision.

 * Publishing Recommendations that don't actually normative require anything might cause confusion among readers who aren't familiar with the W3C Process--but then even WG Notes cause confusion about their normativity (http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-media-types/ being the foremost example).

Because it seems to me that the framing of the Recommendation track is inappropriate for documents that have no normative testable implementation requirements, I'd be inclined to pick the Note track given the data available to me so far. However, I can see why the comment addressing process for RECs could be perceived to provide more accountability.

-- 
Henri Sivonen
hsivonen@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Received on Friday, 5 February 2010 11:43:56 UTC

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