W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-archive@w3.org > December 2007

Re: Dissatisfaction with HTML WG

From: Preston L. Bannister <preston@bannister.us>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 13:44:18 -0800
Message-ID: <7e91ba7e0712241344i4db7efd5web01a90ed0976717@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Dean Edridge" <dean@55.co.nz>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, www-archive@w3.org, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>, "Chris Wilson" <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>
On Dec 24, 2007 8:21 AM, Dean Edridge <dean@55.co.nz> wrote:

> *[snip]*
> I'm disappointed to see a lot of anti-XHTML sentiment within the group
> considering that this spec is supposed to be both HTML5 and XHTML5 I
> would have thought that people could be a bit more open minded than
> this. We are, after all, supposed to be "Leading the web to its full
> potential" yet some people insist on putting limitations on the web by
> restricting it to only text/html.

> I don't think that the working group and specification is being run in
> an objective, democratic and non-biased manner. For example:

First, any good design process is *not* democratic, rather something closer
to a meritocracy.  All voices are not and should not be equal.  Whether this
works out to be a good thing or bad thing depends where the weight lands,
and how it is used.  :)

Second, some folk - of which I am one - are coming to the opinion that XHTML
*in the web browser* is looking more like an evolutionary dead-end, not
"leading the web to it's full potential".  Seemed like a good idea at one
time, but on further examination, not so much.  Clearly this is a judgement
call.  There are going to be many of these judgement calls.  A practical
standard cannot be a union of all possibly-workable ideas.

> *[snip]*
> The HTMLWG is becoming less and less democratic everyday. It has become
> a dictatorship driven by three companies: Google, Apple and Opera. These
> companies have there own interest at heart which may or may not be in
> the best interest of the open web. Unless one happens to be an employee
> (or a friend of an employee) of these companies, one doesn't seem to
> have much say in the way that HTML5 and XHTML5 gets developed.

Yes, well best to mention the elephant in the dining room.  Without
Microsoft implementing HTML5 (whatever that turns out to be) in Internet
Explorer, as a standard HTML5 will turn out be about as meaningful as
HTML4.  There is no way to deny that Microsoft has a big voice.  There is no
doubt that this *could* be a problem.  Google, Apple and Opera all have
significant voices, but will all have to adapt to whatever Microsoft decides
to do.

Yes, like many other folk I am wary of Microsoft (the gift of a sometimes
dubious history).  So far at least, the folk from Microsoft seem to be very
reasonable, and - allowing for reasonable difference of opinion - to be
doing the right thing.  The recent announcement of IE8 code passing a CSS
torture test is a Very Big Deal - and a strong positive hint.

On the other hand, as to what (if any) decisions are being made, why, and by
whom ... here I have to agree somewhat with Dean.  Things are a little
non-obvious.  I suspect this has mostly to do with trying to invent a new
process (for W3C) on the fly - nothing inherently bad.  But I cannot
entirely dismiss Dean's suspicions, as ... I just do not know.

My suggestion would to have someone periodically write for each major topic
a concise summary of discussion to date.  Basically an exercise to bring
everyone on to the same conceptual page.  The scattering of email threads
and wiki pages ... lack focus.

My 2&cent; worth.
Received on Monday, 24 December 2007 21:44:27 UTC

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