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Re: "Controlled environments" in scope for HTML working group

From: Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2010 19:41:56 -0800
Message-ID: <7789133a1001021941p312c83cbocdc09bcde1b5dfc3@mail.gmail.com>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Cc: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, HTMLwg WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 3:58 PM, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com> wrote:
> In http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Dec/0130.html
> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>
>> The language aspect of the deliverable is scoped to
>>  documents and applications on the *World Wide Web*.
>>  Clearly, the Web isn't a "controlled environment".
>> I think language features aimed solely at controlled
>>  environments fall outside the charter of this WG.
>
>>  As Hixie mentioned, anyone who wants to reuse HTML
>>  in a controlled environment can add their own features.
>>  After all, they control the environment.
>
> First, and most importantly, the "controlled environments"
> of the world are definitely part of the web. While you
> might argue about who might define this in general, the
> scope of W3C working groups is determined by W3C members,
> and I can assert with some certainty that the W3C members
> who fund the W3C are as concerned -- if not more concerned --
> about "controlled environments" as they are about the
> public web. (The WhatWG constituency is of course different,
> but we're talking about the scope of W3C HTML WG, and not
> the scope of WhatWG.)
>
> There are numerous W3C standards (as well as IETF standards)
> which are intended only for deployment in "controlled
> environments" but whose proper interoperable functioning
> is important for making the web "world wide". If
> it were impossible to use the web in intranets, if
> URIs didn't work for WINS resolution, they would not
> have been as successful or widely deployed. Features that
> only have benefit in controlled environments are definitely
> still of benefit to the public.
>
> Second, the "control" of a "controlled environment" is
> typically operational control -- the ability to control
> configurations, to insist that everyone in a group
> run the latest browser, plugins; the ability to restrict
> software deployment, or manage the security context,
> or filter for viruses, or ensure that web servers are
> properly configured to label content with correct
> content-type. The "control" is generally not one of
> being able to build and support individual, unique,
> or organizational-specific software. It is part of the
> responsibility of standards groups like W3C and IETF
> to develop standards that aid users of standard
> software in their own "controlled environments", and
> the suggestion that they can "add their own features"
> because they "control the environment" -- nonsense.
>
> Third, even if only considering web content for
> delivery use on the public internet, the process of
> building, editing, deploying content intended for the
>  public Internet is often within a "controlled environment";
> although those processes are not themselves part of public
> web, features that support construction and management
> of content prior to delivery are applicable and
> relevant.

Regardless of who funds the W3C as a whole, the charter of this
working group is quite clear on this point:

"A language evolved from HTML4 for describing the semantics of
documents and applications on the World Wide Web."

Adam
Received on Sunday, 3 January 2010 03:42:53 UTC

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