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RE: W3C Roadmap

From: Geoff Deering <gdeering@acslink.net.au>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 22:57:18 +1000
To: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@sidar.org>
Cc: "WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NBBBJPNFCLNLAADCLFJBMENCHFAA.gdeering@acslink.net.au>

> From:Charles McCathieNevile
> Hmmm. I don't think there is a grand plan that minutely details each step
> W3C will take, and I think that's a good thing. The world is not so very
> predictable and a lot of W3C's work now takes years to go from interesting
> idea to widely-deployed technology (that's not such a change - in the days
> of instant adoption it already took years...).

I don't expect a grand plan, but the problem any large organisation has is
keeping a sense of unified vision and roadmap.  That's all I am looking for.
Just a vision that all these components should work together seamlessly, and
that they all have their rightful place, and there is no redundancy
happening as a consequence of simple ignorance of the left hand not being
aware of the right hand.

You see, I am not seeing anything that gives me confidence that the W3C as a
whole is covering this well.  It might very well be.  It wouldn't take a
complex document, but I think it is something that is very much needed.
This to me seems to be an obvious question for anyone to ask.

The question is; Are technologies being developed because there are obvious
needs to address various shortfalls in what is available, or are they being
developed in ignorance of another already available technology which are
themselves designed to deliver what these others are also trying to address?

If these questions aren't being asked and answered that makes me feel like
there are big question marks over the whole process?

You can look at all sorts of software projects and see all sorts of
redundancy in project lifecycles, and this is often well documented,
sometimes in hidden corners, but it still gets back to the collective
knowledge base.  But are these processes happening here?

> But there is indeed a group called the technical architecture group (TAG),
> whose role is to write down the W3C vision of Web Architecture, and get
> agreement on it, essentially following the normal W3C process. This has
> been around for a few years. Before that the guiding principle was Tim
> Berners-Lee's decisions, advised by the W3C members formally and
> informally by the public review process that specs go through.

Yes, I have covered most of these in the past, but have not kept up to date.
Thanks for the reference to AWWW1stEd, I'll read it when my ISP fixes their
problems and I don't get timeouts on W3C URLs.

> You can even read and review the last call draft of their major work -
> Architecture of the World Wide Web, First Edition -
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-webarch-20040816/ for the document. Comments
> are due by 17th September. The TAG has worked in public, like many WAI
> groups do, has a public mailing list, and has received a lot of comments
> from people (not surprisingly). They have also published "findings" -
> decisions on particular issues, as they have gone along. This is actually
> something that it would be nice to see the WCAG group do in particular,
> with respect to the various interpretation issues for WCAG 1 (does
> checkpoint 3.1 allow layout tables in a double-A site? Do User Agents
> still not find form fields if there is no default text in them?).
> Cheers
> Chaals
> --
> Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org
Received on Sunday, 12 September 2004 12:57:20 UTC

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