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Re: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-91: Removing the aside Element

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Tue, 01 Jun 2010 21:07:50 -0400
Message-ID: <4C05AEE6.2040003@intertwingly.net>
To: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
CC: public-html@w3.org
On 06/01/2010 08:03 PM, Shelley Powers wrote:
> Sam Ruby wrote:
>> On 06/01/2010 06:45 PM, Shelley Powers wrote:
>>>
>>> Neither of the decisions addresses the other HTML audiences, such as web
>>> developers, designers, tech writers, tool builders, and so on.
>>
>> I personally spent considerable time scanning the web to see if I
>> could substantiate the claims that these elements were too complex for
>> these audiences. What I found instead was plenty of instances where
>> people were welcoming these changes, often eagerly.
>
> Most of the writings were either by folks representing one of the
> browser companies, or sites that jump up and down for anything that's
> remotely "HTML5" -- because it's so uber cool.
>
> The real point is: who asked for these elements either in the WhatWG
> group, or in the W3C? That's where you should have looked, Sam. What
> were the requirements for these elements? That's what I tried to
> demonstrate in my change proposal. Which, from your recent decision, was
> completely ignored, since you only addressed the objections to the
> counter-proposal, not the change proposal itself. Unless you think
> Henri's one line was sufficient to disregard what I wrote.

A rationale was provided, in the form of a change proposal, for these 
elements.  Both change proposals were presented in the context of the 
W3C.  Both change proposals were carefully read.

> People have also written positively about datagrid, and it's not in
> HTML5. People have also written positively about HTML5's geolocation --
> which just goes to show how random Google searches should never be
> introduced as some form of justification.
>
> It is not the co-chairs responsibility to provide the proofs, only judge
> based on the merits of the arguments provided. And a Google search link
> is poor proof.
>
> You should addressed the proposals and the written objections. That you
> did not, that you only addressed the objections, demonstrates you all
> had made your decisions before the survey and were just going through
> the motions.

The chairs are attempting to follow the W3C process[1], and are 
therefore seeking to favor proposals that create the weakest objections.

The process loosely is: we coach people to write the strongest proposals 
possible, then we seek amicable consensus where possible, and when this 
is not possible, we seek objections to the proposals, and then seek the 
proposal that creates the weakest objections.

>> As an aside, I personally find claims made by a party that these
>> elements may be too complex for a third party to be weaker than claims
>> made by the persons affected. If such people were to step forward and
>> detail actual impact that affects them personally then that could very
>> well be treated as new information.
>
> As I wrote, the concepts are based on the print world, and I made the
> argument that this doesn't translate well to the web world. For
> instance, how to you "tangentially" relate a figure or aside to the web
> content? Just using the aside element? You can, in the print world. You
> can't in the web world. But you didn't address this because it was in
> the change proposal -- which evidently, you didn't read. Or at least
> didn't feel was worth addressing directly.

I did read your proposal, and specifically was looking for objections.

"Can't in the web world" could be read as an objection (and if so would 
have needed to be substantiated), but isn't what you said.  What you 
said was:

   "There's a good reason for specialized figure handling in the print
   world, but not for web pages. Because we don't have a good understanding
   of why we have figure, we can't determine what it should contain. We
   only have to look at the discussions about what should be allowed within
   the figure element to discover that no one really has a clear idea of
   what this element is for, or how it will be used. Well, other than
   something with an optional caption, that is tangentially related to the
   content of the page (as if "tangentially" has a great deal of meaning in
   a web context, considering that anything can be tangentially related to
   anything else with the simple addition of a link)."

To me that is not clearly an objection.  Rather I see that as a valid 
reason to request that a rationale be provided for the figure element, 
and as such we solicited a counter proposal.  And a the counter proposal 
produced provided rationale.

Cycling back around to your (new?) point: "You can't in the web world", 
do you have new evidence to present that substantiates this assertion? 
I'll note that the existing counter proposal contains specific examples 
where (it is asserted) this element can be applied in the real world.

> Something for people to keep in mind, now -- the chairs don't judge
> based on the proposals or counter-proposals, only the objections raised
> in the surveys for both. I don't believe this was clearly stated in the
> decision process.

As previously stated, the chairs are attempting to follow the W3C 
process[1], and therefore after all attempts at amicable resolution 
fail, seek to favor proposals that create the weakest objections.

>>> It shows that the decisions were made even before the survey, and the
>>> co-chairs picked among the arguments, as justification.
>>
>> That certainly was not the case for me, nor do I believe it to be the
>> case for the other co-chairs. In any case, if anybody believes that to
>> be true then such a claim would be a valid basis for an appeal:
>>
>> http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies.html#WGAp
> Shelley

- Sam Ruby

[1] 
http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies.html#managing-dissent
Received on Wednesday, 2 June 2010 01:08:24 GMT

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