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Re: Reference to the HTML specification

From: Marcos Caceres <marcosscaceres@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2011 16:13:07 +0200
To: Jarred Nicholls <jarred@extjs.com>
Cc: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, public-webapps <public-webapps@w3.org>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Message-ID: <AF0B6195C0AC40E78DF8C190168A9734@gmail.com>
On Monday, 5 September 2011 at 13:47, Jarred Nicholls wrote:
> On the contrary, but still supporting your point, as an implementer I always reference editor's drafts as the authoritative source given they are most up-to-date. This could be considered bad practice analogous to pulling WebKit from trunk and shipping it with a production product and hoping no bugs show up; the draft in an "unratified" state has the luxury to change itself around, voiding any implementation's "to-spec" status. But I live dangerously ;)
That's great. But I once worked for a company who was hired to implement a 3 year out of date "First Public Working Draft" because the hiring-company thought a First Published Working Draft was more "authoritative" than later published Working Drafts (specially the editor's draft). They would not listen to reason and they got what they paid for (while everyone else in the market suffered because of their total misunderstanding of the W3C process). So, it's great you do things right, but it's not so great when others don't (and then claim "We are W3C compliant, sure! ... but just to an old draft… yeah, the one that has no test suite and is grossly out of date"… and yes, they were a member of the W3C also, so they should have known better!).  

Then it happened again, and again … I don't want to name names… but I've been burnt by this stupidity 3 or 4 times now (even last week at a meeting I got told "your specs are not stable, they are Working Draft!", when they were 2 days out from becoming Proposed Recommendations!!!!!!!!!!!!one!!!111!!… Imagine the look of disbelief on my face (and the explicits running through my mind directed at the W3C process)!)  

As you can imagine, as someone struggling to get a platform off the ground, it's getting ridiculous and extremely frustrating having to deal with the direct consequence of the broken W3C process. No matter how many times I (and others, like Ian and Anne) jump up and down about it, the W3C shuts it's ears and looks the other way… It's no wonder the WHATWG was created to overcome the W3C's inadequacies; I just wish the W3C would pull it's head out of the ground: continual refusal to acknowledge this problem in a timely manner is extremely harmful: specially when it's sooooo easy to fix once and for all.  
> However, based on what I'm reading here, that may be a good thing. It sounds like editor's drafts are the latest version of an iterative enhancement (in a perfect world at least) and thus have some "safeness" to referencing or even experimentally implementing them; that is, not a lot has the potential to be reverted after implementations have occurred. If that's the case, they ought to receive some normative status.
> Not all implementers may follow this process, though most I encounter do reference  
Most don't, in my experience. Specially those from other consortia. They love cling the dated specs and then pretend they are somehow more stable then the Editor's Draft. It's simply nonsense, but the W3C Process document seems to codify this.  
> bleeding edge quite often. It's a game of "who can have the latest and greatest first and the best".
 Not always so. Other industries believe that having a stable reference point will cut down their interop issues (specially for environments where it's difficult to update software). I know, how ridiculous and illogical is that?!  

Kind regards,
Received on Monday, 5 September 2011 14:13:38 UTC

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