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RE: Answering the question... (timing of table headers issue)

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 15:52:21 -0500
To: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org, whatwg@whatwg.org, public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <1187902341.29837.1419.camel@pav>

On Thu, 2007-08-23 at 12:14 -0700, John Foliot wrote:
> Dan Connolly wrote:
> > 
> > I sympathize with your frustration, but I ask that you remain patient.
> 
> Dan,
> 
> Thank you for your prompt response.  While patience is indeed a virtue, my
> (our?) patience is being sorely tested, as while the official word is that
> we're nowhere near deciding anything, current editors and contributors are
> going ahead and making "pronouncements" that lead many to believe that much
> of HTML5 is 'fait accomplis'.  As someone once said to me, you can't suck
> and blow at the same time.
> 
> To whit:  
> * Is Anne ("Standards Suck") van Kesteren out of place to be announcing that
> HTML5 has dropped <input usemap>?
> [http://annevankesteren.nl/2007/08/input-usemap]  

Evidently; i.e. perception is reality, and I'm getting complaints
about this weblog entry.

Anne, you and I have certainly talked about the connotations and
denotations of "dropped".

Something like "the editors are evidently inclined to drop
<input usemap>; it will be interesting to see whether any new
arguments come up" perhaps wouldn't have generated as many complaints.

How about updating your weblog entry with something like that, Anne?

> * Is Lachlan Hunt definitive when stating, "HTML5 now defines the usemap
> attribute as a Hashed ID Reference, not a URI, and can only reference maps
> within the same document."
> [https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=189643], as well as "HTML5
> currently will not be including the usemap attribute on input elements."
> [https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=392994]

He seems to be accurately quoting from current editor's drafts.
That seems like a useful way to get feedback from the 
mozilla development community, no?

It seems to me that in the bugzilla context, it's reasonably well
known that HTML 5 is a moving target. The Mozilla foundation
is reasonably well represented in this working group; I'm interested
to get confirmation as to whether this is business-as-usual
or something counter to norms there.


> * Is From Maciej Stachowiak correct when he states, "This feature is
> underspecified in HTML4, and not implemented by IE. It is also likely to be
> dropped in HTML5 and may be removed from Mozilla and Opera as a result."
> [http://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=15032]

I accept "underspecified" and "likely to be dropped" as his opinion,
and as far as I know he's correct that it's not implemented by IE.

> These types of pronouncements *do* tend to send mixed messages, don't you
> agree?

Yes.

That's an accurate reflection of the constituencies in the working
group: there are a variety of opinions. We could have chartered
the working group to keep its discussions member-confidential until
we reached consensus, but I don't think that would be better.

>   If these authors/HTML 5 contributors can be categorically making
> these kinds of statements, then is it not unreasonable to expect something
> like, "Based upon current feedback, the headers attribute will be preserved
> in HTML5" (attribute to whom you wish)?  

What I get from Al Gilman's 6 June message is that something that
provides the functionality of the headers attribute is needed.
He doesn't argue that the headers attribute is the only acceptable
solution.
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Jun/0145.html

I have seen a fair amount of test data fly by and I have
seen a lot of discussion of use cases. I have not digested it all yet.

> I know that these issues have been raised to you previously. If we are to
> accept that it is still at the "...*no* design decisions made..." stage then
> is it unreasonable for "us" to expect that these types of
> statements/pronouncements cease from the editors?  Else, there will continue
> to be a perception of "what you say vs. what you do" that outsiders will
> continue to question (and continue to revisit - Lachlan's initial
> complaint).

Indeed, until the issue is resolved, we all have to accept that it
will continue to be discussed and revisited.

> Respectfully,
> 
> JF
>  
> 
-- 
Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Thursday, 23 August 2007 20:52:39 GMT

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