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Re: First Draft of W3C version of URL Spec

From: Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:25:55 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJK2wqWNePEp-bP3-0yPiNQOXfyhrqYS6357eMK17hqm7N+oJg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Marcos Caceres <marcos@marcosc.com>
Cc: public-w3process <public-w3process@w3.org>, 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>
On Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM, Marcos Caceres <marcos@marcosc.com> wrote:

> thanks, Jonas, for moving this...


Without rehashing the other points yet again:

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.

I have to point out that for every WHATWG'er that's been disenchanted by
the W3C, there's probably at least one web person who's been disenchanted
by the WHATWG.

> 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.

 As I underlined to Ian the last time we cycled through this, the other
organizations I could think of that are referenced by the W3C function
under, at worst, "rough consensus and running code" (to borrow IETF's
definition).  The WHATWG has no formal governance, no declared
representation system, and a stated disinterest in using consensus as a
controlling factor in design.  Additionally, the WHATWG has no patent
policy - one does not "function under the CG license" (particularly for any
WHATWG participants who don't bother with the CG), all you can do is ask
for FSA commitments.

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.

A welcome move forward, but still not the same as WG provenance.  Of
course, simple republishing doesn't change this a dramatic amount, though
it does help.

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.

I find the concept of "lawyer snapshots" to be a bit distressing (and in
particular, the tone of the title "Snapshot of the URL Standard for the
Purposes of Patent Lawyers and Government Officials"), as it seems quite
hostile to the whole concept of "there are shades of gray between Living
Standard and five-year-old Rec."  This isn't just for lawyers; its
understanding that not every standard is going to be watched like a hawk by
everyone, and maybe making changes to a standard SHOULD be a "big deal"
once it's reached a stable state.  Certainly, I'd like to get Web Audio to
a stable state where I don't expect the same magnitude of changes
(potentially breaking) would need to be watched out for.

Stale, out-of-date, misleading /TR/ space?  Yeah, that's a catastrophe.
 Trying to fix that, and make sure any visitor to /TR/ is guided to the
right place to get the most up-to-date information, is a priority.  (FWIW,
the publishing method changes the Team is currently putting in place do
help this quite a bit, IMO.)  I don't see a choice between a living
standard that may have unstable changes in it vs a document that is clearly
labelled up front as "this is legal bullshit, don't even look at this" as
the right answer either, however.

The W3C can't continue to compete on its reputation and false sense of
> authority - it has none.

That's a bit hyperbolic.

> 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).

Then you have nothing to worry about.

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.

Indeed, this I agree with.  And I think many of the changes being
discussed, developed and implemented - e.g. the publishing mode changes,
the work mode changes we've been discussing, and some of the Process
changes - help support that, and have the potential to make the W3C a much
healthier organization.  And there's lots more to be done.
Received on Thursday, 28 August 2014 22:26:22 UTC

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