W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webapi@w3.org > January 2007

Re: Selectors API naming

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 19:43:50 +0000 (UTC)
To: Jon Ferraiolo <jferrai@us.ibm.com>
Cc: Joćo Eiras <joao.eiras@gmail.com>, Web APIs WG <public-webapi@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0701251930050.21318@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Thu, 25 Jan 2007, Jon Ferraiolo wrote:
> Editors are in charge of the words in a spec and simply make sure that 
> the will of the WG is reflected in the spec. I don't understand where 
> there is bad precedent in this.

While this has indeed been the way that the W3C has developed 
specifications for a long time, the W3C's own technologies -- HTML, HTTP, 
etc -- have led the Web to a place where massive collaboration is the 
norm. The blogosphere and sites like Wikipedia are one example of this, 
but another is the collaborative open spec development that has for a long 
time been the hallmark of the IETF, but is now becoming standard in other 
areas, like the Microformats community. The Web API working group long ago 
decided to follow open principles as well.

Web specifications affect everyone in the Web community, and so Web 
specifications should be developed in the open. The term "Working Group 
Member" is misleading -- there should not be anything special to being a 
W3C member when it comes to the development of Web technologies. Given the 
prohibitively high price of W3C membership, not to mention the cost of 
attending regular meetings around the globe, it is absolutely imperative 
that we not limit equal participation to only those capable of paying the 
W3C to become Working Group members.

Thus, an editor's responsibility is not simply to make sure the will of 
the "Working Group Members" is reflected in the spec -- the editor's 
responsibility is to make sure the will of the entire Web community is 
reflected in the spec, and the Working Group's responsibility is to make 
sure that the editor indeed does this.

> On the other hand, it would be very bad precedent if editors attempted 
> to override the will of the WG to make specs reflect their own personal 
> opinions.

Yes, naturally. Nobody, I hope, is suggesting that this should happen. 
Editors should always try to balance the opinions of all those in the 
wider community, and develop well-balanced, consistent APIs and 
technologies that handle the 80% case well, without falling prey to scope 
creep and certainly, as you point out, without letting their own opinions 
make them ignore important parts of the community.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 25 January 2007 19:44:04 UTC

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