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Re: First Draft of W3C version of URL Spec

From: Marcos Caceres <marcos@marcosc.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:25:12 -0400
To: public-w3process@w3.org
Cc: Daniel Appelquist <appelquist@gmail.com>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@gmail.com>, Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Message-ID: <etPan.53ff7408.6b8b4567.1df@Marcoss-MacBook-Pro.local>
thanks, Jonas, for moving this...

On August 28, 2014 at 1:41:16 PM, Jonas Sicking (jonas@sicking.cc) wrote:
> > Moving this discussion to public-w3process as it's not of technical  
> nature and not relevant to the public-webapps list.

I'm also interested in the rationale here. Every time the W3C has tried to copy/paste specs from the WHATWG it has had significant negative consequences. Those are:

1. Developer/implementer confusion - which is authoritative? (telling you right now most implementers work from the WHATWG version, go ask them - and deal with it!). 
2. (justified and demonstrable) accusations of plagiarism.   
3. W3C copy of specs not being maintained, and falling out of date (despite continuous assurances that this would not happen).
4. Extreme polarization in the web community (i.e., this is pissing a lot of community members off) to the point that they are refusing to engage with the W3C. I'm also close to this point, and lots of people in the implementer community feel this way.  

This seriously has to stop. 

The WHATWG needs to be treated as a reputable and authoritative standards organization by the W3C (as it does with the IETF and other consortia). W3C specifications need to be able to cite WHATWG specs without fear of repercussions - or having to enter into some process fight. 

There should be no reason for the W3C to copy/paste WHATWG specifications. The WHATWG already said they are happy to use the W3C's CG license to provide royalty free specs to people. Other models have been proposed - like yearly "lawyer snapshots". If there other legal hurdles, then let's work together with the WHATWG to overcome them without resulting to copy/pasting of WHATWG spec.

The W3C can't continue to compete on its reputation and false sense of authority - it has none. The W3C has lost control of most of the web platform to the WHATWG already: all the fundamental web specs are firmly in WHATWG control (and it continues to hemorrhage specs to the WHATWG through it's refusal to modernize). If the W3C wants to stay relevant and continue to "lead the Web to its full potential", then it needs to wake up and provide a more *competitive* and *attractive* place to do standards work. 

Copy pasting is not helping anyone. Please stop it. Pretending the WHATWG is not an authoritative standards organization is only hurting the W3C and wasting everyone's time (and leading to the problems I listed above). Please stop it.  
Received on Thursday, 28 August 2014 18:25:40 UTC

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