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CSS-SVG Task Force (was: Transforms Coordination)

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 00:37:23 -0400
Message-ID: <49C71203.2060301@w3.org>
To: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
CC: CSS WG <w3c-css-wg@w3.org>, SVG WG <public-svg-wg@w3.org>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Hi, David-

L. David Baron wrote (on 3/18/09 6:07 PM):
> On Wednesday 2009-03-18 15:01 -0400, Doug Schepers wrote:
>>  As you know, the SVG WG want to have a long-term collaboration with you
>>  on a number of topics, including the Transforms specifications.
>>  Dean Jackson raised the idea of merging the SVG and CSS Transform
>>  specifications (at least 3D) [1] (noted in our Tracker as ISSUE-2234)
>>  [2], which has some merit and some points for caution.  The best thing
>>  to do at this point may be to create a joint Task Force.  Even if we end
>>  up with separate specs, at the very least a TF will serve as a medium
>>  for collaboration.
>>  Is the CSS WG open to the idea of a joint CSS-SVG Transforms Task Force?
>>   Obviously, I think all parties would want it to be a public group.

After talking with David Singer, PLH, and Bert, I'd like to revise my 
proposal to be a general CSS-SVG Task Force for general coordination 
between the groups, not just Transforms.

> What problems exist that such a task force is needed to solve?

Right now, different sets of people will be commenting on the different 
Transforms specs from the CSS and SVG WGs, so we will have to engage the 
community on at least 2 fronts to try to come to a general agreement; 
this seems very inefficient, and increases the odds of the different 
communities demanding different things, and for the specs to diverge if 
we don't expend a lot of extra overhead in coordination.

In fact, this has been a problem for a while.  We have different sets of 
people with different needs, and the SVG and CSS WGs have not been 
coordinating enough to make sure all these communities are being 
properly served (including vendors who have to implement the stuff). 
Crossposting is a pain for all involved, and the signal-noise ratio for 
tracking coordination issues that way is low (I'm sure you don't want to 
read the SVG mailing lists, and I know I don't want to have to track 
everything going on in the CSS lists).  Having a dedicated coordination 
mailing list for our two groups will decrease the load on each of us.

For example, Simon Pieters recently posted a message about 'image-fit' 
and @preserveAspectRatio, on which the SVG WG would like to align... but 
it took Simon posting that to both lists for the SVG WG to know about 
it.  I'm sure there are similar things the SVG WG should have alerted 
the CSS WG about, but without a clear communication channel, and without 
the habit of talking to one another, this stuff falls through the cracks.

So, I'm not just proposing a TF.  I'm proposing a mechanism for the SVG 
and CSS WGs to work better together.  We don't have the luxury of going 
off our own separate ways anymore, if we are trying to make the open Web 
platform as compelling as possible.  But coordination is hard unless we 
make it a habit.

(Here's another small thing... when you replied to my message, I had to 
forward on your reply to the SVG WG because non-Team can't post to WG 
mailing lists they aren't participants in... that may be a flaw of the 
system, but it's still a problem that a joint TF would solve.)

> It seems best to start off with less process (i.e., just send some
> email) until more is believed to be needed.

Actually, a Task Force is very process-light.  It doesn't require any AC 
approval, just approval by each WG involved, and a page explaining what 
the TF is and what its goals are (a bit like a very simple charter).  In 
this instance, it would have a public mailing list where we talk with 
each other and the public about open issues.  Maybe a wiki, if we need 
one.  We could set up a Tracker, or each use our own.  Simple.  Given 
approval by both WGs, I can throw one together in an hour or so.

The SVG WG has already resolved that we are in favor of forming such a 
Task Force [1].  I'd like to ask the Chairs of the CSS WG to put the 
question to the group, as well.  If we all agree, I'll turn the crank to 
put everything together.

[1] http://www.w3.org/2009/03/19-svg-minutes.html#item02

-Doug Schepers
W3C Team Contact, SVG and WebApps WGs
Received on Monday, 23 March 2009 04:37:39 UTC

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