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Re: The harm that can come if the W3C supports publication of competing specs

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 21:11:25 -0800
To: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Cc: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20100118051125.GA26601@pickering.dbaron.org>
On Sunday 2010-01-17 20:58 -0500, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
> I think we could effectively focus on getting those parts of the
> spec more likely to be implemented in the near future into a stable
> state by giving Ian feedback that he should focus on them and that
> we could focus a lot more on providing implementation feedback while
> implementing, and not sometime shipping.  I don't think we've done a
> great job of this, as a group.  Gecko's implementors of the offline
> cache stuff didn't ask nearly as many question as I think they
> should have.  I don't recall a slew of questions about web forms
> coming through, and the stuff there is complex enough that I find it
> a little hard to believe that there were no questions to be asked.
> That sort of thing.

I have also questioned the value of implementation-without-feedback.
The requirement for implementations in the PR entrance criteria [1]
is important because those implementing the specifications are best
placed to notice the things that *aren't* mentioned in the
specification.  It's relatively easy to review what a spec does say;
it's often harder to notice what it doesn't say but should.  (The
requirement for implementations also helps check that the spec
doesn't contradict itself or other relevant specs.)

I think I once suggested (in the CSS group?) that one of the group's
requirements for PR should be that, for implementations to count as
the two interoperable implementations (passing the tests in the test
suite), the implementors must have sent significant feedback to the
group in the process of implementing the (new) material.

-David

[1] http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr.html#cfr

-- 
L. David Baron                                 http://dbaron.org/
Mozilla Corporation                       http://www.mozilla.com/
Received on Monday, 18 January 2010 05:12:08 UTC

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