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Re: CfC: publish WD of XHR; deadline November 29

From: Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2012 09:28:00 -0800
Message-ID: <CAJE5ia-RdtU8mz5JEZLfSwpF9RNn7OTu77xzz=dwdYiupk1mwQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com>
Cc: Ms2ger <ms2ger@gmail.com>, WebApps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>
On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 9:11 AM, Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 9:36 AM, Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com> wrote:
>> My concern is not about copyright.  My concern is about passing off
>> Anne's work as our own.
> As I have pointed out above, W3C specs do not track authorship or individual
> contributions to the WG process. If Anne performed his work as author in the
> context of participating in the W3C process,

This premise is false.  We're discussing the work that he is currently
performing outside the W3C process.  Specifically, the changes noted
as "Merge Anne's change" in the past 11 days:


> then there is no obligation to
> acknowledge that, though there is a long standing practice of including an
> Acknowledgments section or paragraph that enumerates contributors. I would
> think that listing Anne as Editor or Former Editor and listing Anne in an
> Acknowledgments paragraph should be entirely consistent with all existing
> W3C practice.
> Are you asking for more than this?

Yes.  I'm asking for the Status of this Document section more honestly
convene the origin of the text in the document by stating that this
document is based in part (or in whole) on

> And if so, then what is the basis for that?

As I wrote before, not doing the above is taking Anne's work and
passing it off as our own.  That's plagiarism, and we shouldn't do it.

If this working group isn't comfortable stating the truth about this
origin of this document, then we shouldn't publish the document at

On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 9:16 AM, Julian Aubourg <j@ubourg.net> wrote:
> In an ideal world, Anne would be the editor of the W3C version of the spec
> and that would be the end of it. Such is not the case. Anne is not the
> editor of the W3C version: he doesn't edit and/or publish anything related
> to the W3C XHR spec. Current editors do and while it's mostly brain-dead
> copy/paste, some decisions (especially regarding spec merging) are to be
> made W3C-side. Current editors also act as first-level reviewers and
> actually give Anne feedback.
> To be honest, I hate this situation. As far as I'm concerned, Anne *is* the
> author of the XHR spec but, AFAIK, there is no standardized way to
> acknowledge this in W3C documents nor does the WHATWG Licensing makes it
> mandatory. As a side note, as an open source developper, I can understand
> why. If the specs are on public repos and accept pull requests (or diffs, or
> whatever), then the very notion of authorship becomes a bit blurry.
> Anyway, I'm one of the co-editor of the W3C XHR spec and I don't claim to be
> the author of anything in the spec. I'm more interested in pushing the spec
> forward than achieving glory. I accepted the co-editor position to help
> because help was needed. So while I empathize with the whole "W3C
> plagiarizes WHATWG" outrage, could this conversation be held where it
> belongs? That is far upper the food chain than this WG.

I'm happy to take this discussion to wherever is appropriate.
However, I object to publishing this document until this issue is

> Now, that being said and seeing as we cannot put Anne as an editor of the
> W3C version of the spec (because, technically, he's not). How do you guys
> suggest we go about acknowledging the WHATWG source? Where in the spec? How?
> With what kind of wording?

I would recommend acknowledging the WHATWG upfront in the Status of
this Document.  The document currently reads:

This document is produced by the Web Applications (WebApps) Working
Group. The WebApps Working Group is part of the Rich Web Clients
Activity in the W3C Interaction Domain.

I would recommend modifying this paragraph to state that this document
is being produced by the WebApps Working Group based on the WHATWG
version and to include a link or citation to the WHATWG version of the

Perhaps Anne would be willing to suggest some text that he would find

Received on Friday, 23 November 2012 17:29:00 UTC

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