W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-perf@w3.org > August 2011

Re: [PageVisibility] Feedback

From: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2011 18:34:02 -0400
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, public-web-perf@w3.org
Message-ID: <1312410842.2835.1898.camel@chacal>
On Tue, 2011-07-26 at 19:06 +0000, Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Tue, 26 Jul 2011, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
> > 
> > And how is it going to help users if we do that?
> 
> Do you actually mean users?

I mean people trying to rely on the technology.

> If by "stable" you mean "what is implemented" (what authors want) then 
> again the TR/ page is unhelpful. Browsers don't implement DOM Level 3 
> Core, they implement the DOM Core spec -- specifically because Anne and 
> Ms2ger are making the spec match reality, and nobody is fixing DOM Level 3 
> Core anymore.

And that's certainly a good thing that Anne and ms2ger are doing so. No
doubt about it. DOM Level 3 Core has been very helpful but is too old
indeed. From the point of PageVisibility, it doesn't matter what the
Document interface contains. We don't rely on any of the functionalities
of the Document interface besides the fact that it exists.

> > A technical standard is an established set of requirements about a 
> > technical system. Unless we stabilize the specification and ship it, 
> > nothing gets established.
> 
> This is true for things like screw threads. It is simply an archaic 
> mindset for technology that evolves as fast as Web tech. Look at HTML: it 
> is quite well established, yet it is continuously improving. Same with DOM 
> Core, and indeed numerous other specifications.

Correct, but there is a set of stable functionalities in HTML, things
that one can rely on. That's the part which is the most interesting from
the point of users and they need to know which are those parts. By
documenting and maintaining those parts, we help them.

> > > You should be trying to make the Web better. It doesn't make the Web 
> > > better to be referencing obsolete specifications.
> > 
> > I'm trying to make the Web a better for users. Referencing a 
> > specification that keeps changing doesn't help them either.
> 
> It doesn't "keep changing". It keeps improving.

But there is no way to know which parts are improvements or new ideas.
You can't rely the same on the h1 element and the track element for
example. Those two elements have different levels of stability.

>  It's not like the specs 
> get changed arbitrarily from day to day. Every change is specifically made 
> to address issues, to fix problems, to bring the document closer to 
> reality.

No, the document contains also new ideas that have no reality grounding.
While this is acceptable for a work in progress, this  should not go
into a standard. Otherwise, we're not better than the very
specifications you're going after. The key part is to keep maintaining
those specifications.

> > If that's case, then you shouldn't worry about this, since we'll have 
> > plenty of time to change the references, but our goal is to finish the 
> > first version of Page Visibility by January 2012, that's before the 
> > current established timeline of HTML5.
> 
> Specifications are never finished, unless they are abandoned.

Technologies keep improving but specifications get to be maintained.

>  It is 
> frankly irresponsible to drop specs in this way. It's what the W3C did 
> with HTML and with the DOM, and it has taken us years to fix the mess that 
> this caused.

The W3C only reflects its own constituency, nothing more, and we can't
force individuals to do work when they don't want to. I'm willing to
take my share of the blame for DOM since I was one of the editors but I
also don't own the specification either.

Philippe
Received on Wednesday, 3 August 2011 22:34:12 UTC

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