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Re: First Draft of W3C version of URL Spec

From: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:50:01 -0400
Message-ID: <1409269801.6916.99.camel@chacal>
To: Marcos Caceres <marcos@marcosc.com>
Cc: public-w3process@w3.org, Daniel Appelquist <appelquist@gmail.com>, 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, 2014-08-28 at 14:25 -0400, Marcos Caceres wrote:
> I'm also interested in the rationale here.

The rational is the same as Encoding, or DOM: W3C seeks clear
Royalty-Free licensing commitments from as many key stakeholders as we
can bring together, as well as stable content for normative references
(a consideration by the Director [1] as part of the Recommendation
Track).

[1] http://www.w3.org/2013/09/normative-references

> 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!). 

As Dan mentioned in his message, the intention is to keep the W3C
version in sync with the WHATWG version of the URL spec, so the end
result shouldn't make a difference if we're successful. The status of
the document mentions as well: "intent of keeping the differences from
the original to a strict minimum, and only through subsetting (only
things that are not implemented were removed for this publication)".

> 2. (justified and demonstrable) accusations of plagiarism.

The document recognize the work of the WHATWG editor (Anne in this case)
and of the WHATWG itself. We made efforts to work with Anne to avoid
plagiarism, giving proper credits, and make sure we can work together.

> 3. W3C copy of specs not being maintained, and falling out of date
> (despite continuous assurances that this would not happen).

I agree that the level of maintenance of W3C specifications varies.
While we strive to avoid specifications falling out of date, it does
unfortunately happen because of various factors (lack of interest or
time individuals being one of them). In addition to the improvement the
publication workflow pipeline, we've been working separately on a
proposal to allow the maintenance of orphaned specifications with a
lightweight approach that will contribute on this front, and giving an
opportunity to the Web community at large to help. I don't know if we
settle on a timeline for that one yet.

> 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.

We'd like the Web community to focus on moving the Open Web Platform
forward through all means possible and it's regrettable that some would
feel offended here. Again, Dan will work with Anne on improving the URL
specification and I'd like to see this as an opportunity to help Anne
with the specification rather than hinder his work. The TAG is also
committed to work that way [2].

[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2014/07/22-f2f-minutes.html#url

> 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.

As Jeff Jaffe mentioned recently in "Creating an Agile Web Standards
Ecosystem" [3], W3C and WHATWG have different approaches and, while we
agree that Web technology is "Living", we reserve the name “Standard”
for specifications that are stable (among others). Chris addressed that
point as well in his response. Despite this difference, we strive to
work together and improve the Web. Suggestions to improve the
collaboration are always welcome and I know that you're helping on
trying to make W3C better as well. As Chris mentioned, more work is
needed to make the W3C a much healthier organization

[3] http://www.webat25.org/news/jeff-jaffe-web25-w3c20-part4

Philippe
Received on Thursday, 28 August 2014 23:50:10 UTC

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