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Re: Change Proposals, objections, and the Decision Policy

From: Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 16:43:26 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTikkz8BYBSXpYt-2MlDOvWogs8V7n1yGfzlUw284@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 8:48 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
> On Jun 14, 2010, at 11:29 PM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote:
>>> On Jun 14, 2010, at 5:49 PM, Adam Barth wrote:
>>>> Previously, I was under the impression that technical merit was the
>>>> salient criterion, so I couched my proposal in terms of technical
>>>> trade-offs.  I can certainly be more of an objectionist if that's
>>>> what the chairs desire.
>>>
>>> Why do you persist in this game?
>>
>> If one wants to get good results in a system that's perceived to be biased in favor of behavior unlike one's own natural behavior, it's logical to try to find out what kind of behavior one needs to emulate to get one's proposals to pass.
>>
>> If one looks at how much the Chairs emphasize the part of the Process document that talks about "weakest objections" (or point to it without further explanation[1]) and if one looks at the Decisions made so far, it's not unreasonable to form the hypothesis that to get one's position upheld, the effective course of action is to be more objectionist.
>>
>> I think it doesn't make a pleasant working environment if people feel incentivized to behave more trollishly against their natural inclination, so it would be great if the chairing were such that there'd be no reason to even hypothesize that one might gain a stronger position by being more objectionist.
>
> What does "objectionist" mean? I couldn't find it in the dictionary, and it's not obvious to me from context. If you can tell me what one would do in the course of "being more objectionist", I can help you determine whether it would be a good idea. Though if the thread gets too long, we may need to take it to www-archive.

I meant "one who registers many objections."  I could look through all
my correspondence to this list, but I suspect I've never "objected" to
anything.

My concerns arise from reading the recent decisions announced by the
chairs.  I don't particularly have a stake in those issues, but the
explanations given for the decisions were downright scary.  I'm
worried what will happen when an issue I do care about comes to that
point in the process.

At this point, it appears that they way to influence the working group
is to raise a snowstorm of objections and hope some of them stick.
Just to pick the six highest numbered issues as examples:

1) ISSUE-101: "Spec reference for US-ASCII."  Does this matter at all?
 I think everyone reading the spec knows what ASCII is.
2) ISSUE-103: "XML escaping in iframe/@srcdoc."  This is the
definition of an editorial issue.  Who cares how explicitly the spec
says which characters need escaping.  If we micromanage the editorial
process at this level, we'll be working on this spec for the next
thousand years.
3) ISSUE-105: "Allow image maps on the canvas element."  At least this
issue would result in either adding or not adding a normative
requirement.
4) ISSUE-107: "Politics in fallback example for plugin usage."  Again,
a completely editorial issue.  Whoever raised this issue doesn't like
some text in the spec that could be replaced with lorem ipsum and the
spec would be the same.
5) ISSUE-109: "Change ARIA section title and add extra text about use
of ARIA."  This person doesn't like the title of one of the sections
of the spec.  Really?
6) ISSUE-110: "Change Control for text/html-sandboxed media type."
This issue is entirely pedantic.  In some future world, there might be
some confusion about who the controlling entities are for text/html
and text/html-sandbox.

These issue just read as "stop energy" without any real substance behind them.

Adam
Received on Tuesday, 15 June 2010 23:44:17 UTC

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