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Re: Points of order on this WG

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 06:35:32 +0000 (UTC)
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Cc: "Nikunj R. Mehta" <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>, public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>, Jeff Mischkinsky <JEFF.MISCHKINSKY@oracle.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0906250624180.16244@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Thu, 25 Jun 2009, Doug Schepers wrote:
> On Jun 23, 2009, at 5:10 PM, Ian Hickson wrote:
> > The Web Storage specification is someone dead-locked right now due to the
> > lack of consensus on whether to use SQL or not.
> 
> I don't buy this argument for an instant, and I'd be very surprised if 
> anyone in the WebApps WG did.  This specification was published as 
> specified because it matched the behavior (more or less) of an 
> implementation (WebKit), and it's disingenuous to pretend that that 
> doesn't set a precedent for the future development of the specification.
> 
> Let's be frank: there is good reason to specify and standardize 
> something that exists in a browser, because there is implementation 
> experience, and opportunity for widespread adoption, which is often 
> good; this is especially so with an implementation in a widespread 
> open-source engine like WebKit, because it can be reused.  I don't find 
> fault with that premise.
> 
> But just because it's been implemented doesn't mean it's the correct or 
> best (or even a good) solution.  There is less justification for 
> insisting on a single solution when it's only been implemented in one 
> browser engine, and only just recently.  There's little evidence that 
> this will work well for other implementers, nor that this is the 
> solution that works best for content developers.
> 
> I cannot take seriously a claim that a spec can't be changed due to a 
> "lack of consensus" when the claimant has openly and repeatedly 
> indicated a disinterest in consensus. So, the only conclusion I can draw 
> is that the spec is currently in a holding pattern to allow the 
> currently specified solution to gain defacto weight through real-world 
> content, and possibly garner premature implementations before it is even 
> in LC, thus making it all but impossible to change.  As Kyle Weems put 
> it: Deny, Delay, Too Late.

I think there may have been some misunderstanding about what I said above 
(possibly because of my typo; s/someone/somewhat/).

When I say that the Web Storage spec is deadlocked, I mean that as it 
stands, it isn't acceptable, since it doesn't represent what at least one 
major vendor (Mozilla) wants, but that there haven't been any alternative 
proposals that have gained widespread approval either, and so I don't know 
how to move the spec forward. (I've been working with Mozilla off-line to 
try to resolve this, but do not yet have a solution.)

There is no attempt on my part to force anything through de-facto 
implementations; it is in fact the lack of vendors willing to implement 
what is in the spec that is keeping it in a holding pattern. There is no 
claim that Web Storage can't be changed; indeed, I claim that it _must_ be 
changed, it's just that I'm not sure what it should be changed _to_.

In any case, adding a new feature to a spec whose future is uncertain 
isn't a good idea because it means that the new feature's progress is tied 
to the uncertain future of the rest of the spec. Thus, my recommendation 
to Nikunj would be to create a new WG deliverable, not one tied to the 
fate of the SQL Database section.


> Nikunj has asked that his proposal be given equal weight and 
> consideration. While I'm not sure that's possible even now, because of 
> the existing implementation, I personally think it is reasonable to give 
> him a platform to demonstrate the relative merits of his alternate 
> proposal.

I think Nikunj's proposal definitely is worthy of being persued, just like 
the working group is persuing dozens of other proposals like XHR, CORS, 
Selectors API, Workers, Server-Sent Events, Web Sockets, etc. I don't 
believe it really fits into the Web Storage spec (if anything, I think we 
should split Web Storage into two further specs, not add a third wholly 
independent feature to it). However, I would definitely support an FPWD 
publication of Nikunj's proposal, as I have for other proposals.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 25 June 2009 06:36:17 GMT

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