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Re: [admin] XHR ED Boilerplate

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 22:59:55 +0400
To: "public-webapps WG" <public-webapps@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.woce15n2y3oazb@chaals.local>
Warning. This discussion seems by and large non-technical bike-shedding  
for political purposes, which I have tried to stay away from. But some  
important points are drowning in rhetorical over the several threads that  
have dealt with this "issue".

In particular I note consensus that we don't want to misrepresent  
contribution to the work. I considered it obvious - it is how civil adults  
work and it is an accepted part of W3C process and practice.

On Sat, 24 Nov 2012 00:34:02 +0400, Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com> wrote:

> Is Anne the *sole* author?

As I understand it, Anne wrote the words of various specifications. In  
other words, the person whose "artistic expression" is reflected in the  
document. Although various bits of boilerplate are just pattern  
repetition. he also did a significant proportion of the testing, thinking,  
and developing the content at a conceptual level.

But no, I believe other people did parts of this work, unless Anne simply  
ignored anything other people had already done, or we accept that by  
repeating other people's work he has produced original work, which runs  
against what I believe is a common definition.

In particular, other people contributed information to Anne as members of  
the Webapps working group - with an understanding that the resulting  
documents would be published by that working group. To try and whitewash  
that out of history seems to be somewhere down the slippery slope of  

Nobody has suggested that the contributions of those beyond the working  
group should be ignored or misrepresented, the arguments have been about  
the precise editorial details of how that is done - what is generally  
called "wordsmithing" or "bikeshedding" (depending on whether it is "us"  
or "them" doing it).

I don't think "author" is a particularly accurate description, but I don't  
think that what people who contribute are called by the specification is a  
particularly important issue, so long as it is roughly accurate. So far I  
am happy enough with how the different people who have done the work of  
preparing different documents choose to represent the different  
contributions made.

If it's good enough for the "I can live with it" test in a world where we  
don't want to minutely examine every person's work, but would rather focus  
on actually making progress I am happy to live with the varying details,  
in order to keep working in such a world.

I suggest that is a more productive way for the Working Group to continue,  
and more respectful of people who have done significant hard work in the  
expectation that it would benefit the stakeholders in the web, rather than  
any individual or group's perceived place in history.



> Did the WG or others not contribute any text or suggested text to the  
> spec? It seems like a bit of a slippery slope to attempt to designate a  
> sole author for any W3C >product. You might want to check with the pubs  
> team on this matter.
> On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>  
> wrote:
>> [ Sorry for the delayed response, I was choking on some turkey ... ]
>> Here's what I did for the URL spec re the boilerplate to help address  
>> the "attribution issue" re Anne and WHATWG:
>> [[
>> <http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/url/raw-file/tip/Overview.html>
>> This Version:
>>   http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/url/raw-file/tip/Overview.html
>> Latest WHATWG Version:
>>   http://url.spec.whatwg.org/
>> Previous Versions:
>>   http://www.w3.org/TR/2012/ED-url-20120524/
>> Author:
>>   Anne van Kesteren <annevk@annevk.nl>
>> Editor:
>>   Web Applications Working Group <public-webapps@w3.org>
>> Former editors:
>>   Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>
>>   Erik Arvidsson <arv@chromium.org>
>>   Michael[tm] Smith <mike@w3.org>
>> ]]
>> In the case of XHR, the new Editors would be listed as Editors and if  
>> they made contributions to the spec, they would also be added to the  
>> Author list too.
>> If something like that would not be acceptable for the XHR ED, what  
>> specific change(s) do you request?
>> -Thanks, AB

Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
chaals@yandex-team.ru Find more at http://yandex.com
Received on Sunday, 25 November 2012 19:00:31 UTC

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