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Re: Reference to the HTML specification

From: Marcos Caceres <marcosscaceres@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 16:43:48 +0200
Message-ID: <CAL1nonKEfAVrY0ZOL4vPstBzfNsSMBxpBjznL-62jiagUd77Rw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com>
Cc: Charles Pritchard <chuck@jumis.com>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>, public-webapps <public-webapps@w3.org>
On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 4:19 PM, Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com> wrote:
> As far as I'm aware, the WHATWG is an unincorporated association,
> cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_association. As such, it does not
> enjoy the status of being a legal entity.

Maybe not, but this is very legally real:

"© Copyright 2004-2011 Apple Computer, Inc., Mozilla Foundation, and
Opera Software ASA."

> Nobody has an obligation to follow the decisions of the HTML-WG; however,
> standards are only as useful as they are adopted, not only from a de facto
> but also a de jure perspective. The status of HTML5 w.r.t. the WHATWG will
> be completely irrelevant with respect to established, de jure Standards
> Development Organizations. If the WHATWG were to become a legal entity and
> be accredited by an international or national standards body, then that
> would change.

Perhaps.

> The entire world of standards bodies and formal industry consortia recognize
> the authority of the W3C with respect to publishing formal standards for
> HTML, including HTML5. They do NOT recognize the authority of the WHATWG.

I guess history will be the judge of that, specially as to which
version _actually_ gets implemented by browsers (and which version
engineers are actually referring to as they are implementing).

> In reality, at this point in time, the WHATWG is no more than a drafting
> group that is feeding the W3C HTML WG with material.

I think it might be the other way around, specially as the WHATWG spec
is more complete and contains more new stuff.

> As such, the authority
> of the latter takes precedence over the former in the minds of all formal
> customers of HTML5.

Depends on who the consumers are.

> Of course, individuals (including corporations) may decide to favor the
> positions of the WHATWG, but that will not affect the formal, public
> position of international, national, and industry specific standards and
> specifications organizations, who will favor the W3C.

That's fine; the W3C does provide a seal of quality and IPR assurances
- but the work will continue in both places regardless.


-- 
Marcos Caceres
http://datadriven.com.au
Received on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 14:44:36 GMT

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