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Re: Let's turn WebDatabase into a WG Note

From: Nikunj R. Mehta <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 23:23:31 -0800
Cc: public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>
Message-Id: <5B31AE94-E7CF-4F1D-A35B-88D1CC44EEB5@oracle.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>

On Nov 17, 2009, at 10:58 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> On Nov 17, 2009, at 10:26 PM, Nikunj R. Mehta wrote:
>> On Nov 17, 2009, at 10:17 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>>> On Nov 17, 2009, at 9:34 PM, Nikunj R. Mehta wrote:
>>>> Hi guys,
>>>> I've been thinking about the WebDatabase specification [1] and  
>>>> I've come to two conclusions.  (1) We are miles away from  
>>>> consensus on this specification, and, hence, we should _not_  
>>>> consider putting it out for last call.  (2)  While good work has  
>>>> gone into the IDL/JavaScript Call Level Interface (CLI), we have  
>>>> made no progress on its SQL language specification and are not  
>>>> likely to in the future. Thus we should publish the CLI as a WG  
>>>> Note titled "WebSQLDatabase CLI" and curtail active work on this  
>>>> specification in the working group. This is Oracle's official  
>>>> position on this matter.
>>> I disagree.
>> I don't understand your reasons.
> I already sated some reasons in the previous thread about 'parking'  
> the spec. I did not want to belabor the point, since it's clear we  
> don't have consensus within the Working Group on the right way to go.
>>> Publishing a WG Note would be appropriate if we had WG consensus  
>>> to stop work.
>> Understood
>>> I don't think we have consensus to do that.
>> This is what I am trying to bring about. See the reasoning in my  
>> original email. It would help if you can respond to the three  
>> points why I think we have reached the end of the road.
> I think that the three possibilities you listed are:

 From your message it is clear that you are not willing to refute any  
of the points. That is a good start.

> - Not an exhaustive enumeration of the possibilities. (I realize  
> that at this point, to convincingly show that a good SQL dialect  
> spec is possible will require actually doing it; I'm not sure how or  
> when that will happen but I am looking into it.)

You have not provided a logical explanation of why my list is not  
exhaustive. Can you show what is left out?

> - Not sufficient reason to stop work, given that we have multiple  
> willing implementors and so far no problems in practice.

More than simply a existential implementation proof is necessary to  
continue work on WebDatabase. I note that there is a difference  
between an implementable spec and a public standard. Neither your nor  
anyone else has made a convincing argument about how WebDatabase will  
lead to a "legal" public standard, i.e., be capable of supporting   
multiple independent implementations. I welcome you to prove me wrong.

> Furthermore, stopping work would do practical harm:

I understand that a lot of good work went on in to WebDatabase as well  
as the implementations thereof. It is another matter that this effort  
was misguided from the beginning. Consequentially, WebDatabase doesn't  
stand a practical chance at becoming a standard. Therefore, we do not  
see any harm caused by stopping work. In fact, I find it harmful to  
continue efforts in this direction.

> - A WG Note would stop work without producing a test suite, thus  
> harming interoperability.

Interoperability should only matter if you care for multiple  
_independent_ implementations. You have already acknowledged in prior  
emails that this is unlikely to happen, ergo lack of a test suite does  
no harm.

> - A WG Note would leave us with no clear process to fix problems  
> found in the spec in the course of implementation.

The WG Note is dissuading implementors to go forward with this  
technique. Therefore, there is no need to fix problems. In any case,  
no one seems interested in solving the real problem - lack of an  
interoperable SQL.

> - A WG Note is harder to "resurrect" in case of new info than a  
> stalled Working Draft; it would require essentially a new FPWD.

The rate at which FPWDs are produced in this WG, this seems like a  
marginal issue.

> - It's likely that Web Database implementors will at some point want  
> to add features, and a WG Note does not provide a suitable path for  
> doing that.

Again, it is not my intention to convey that WebDatabase is _anything_  
other than a passing thought. This is the purpose of the WG Note and,  
hence, this is a non-issue.

> And on the flip side, keeping the spec at Working Draft maturity  
> will not harm anyone who is not interested in it.

I disagree. WebDatabase is causing real harm to everyone who is not  
interested in it, which at this point is a large number of members of  
this WG.

> In brief, I do not find your arguments persuasive.

If you are not willing to be persuaded, then that's your choice.

> I think there are reasons to continue working.

However, these reasons are not logical.

> I don't expect my reasons to be persuasive to everyone; clearly  
> something will have to change for the Working Group to have  
> consensus on the best path forward.

I do expect to arrive at consensus because we should not be spending  
time on making a standard out of something that is inherently not  
standardizable in finite time.

Received on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 07:26:33 UTC

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