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Re: Scope of the Forms Task Force

From: John Boyer <boyerj@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2008 09:30:49 -0700
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF67B02C0C.E16BB458-ON88257420.0058B4A9-88257420.005ABB2D@ca.ibm.com>
For the record, Maciej, just because you characterize something in a 
particularly negative way does not mean that the thing is in fact what you 
call it.

I made clear to you that the things I want you guys to work on are not 
purely syntax, but I think perhaps you chose not to read that because it 
does not substantiate your incessant attacks of the concept of 
collaboratively agreeing on something which is not exactly equal to what 
you have now. 

Where we do have the same concepts, it is an obvioius software engineering 
principle that they should be called the same thing.  Furthermore, web 
authors are not java programmers, and your approach to architectural 
consistency that excludes calling the same things by the same name is not 
going to sit well with the intended audience of the collaboration.

As to your characterization of my participation as "active and forceful", 
I would like to juxtapose the word active with what the TF has been so 
far, which is inactive.  You're not doing any work, man.  So of course 
this will eventually catch the attention of at least one working group 
chair for whom the ill-named task *force* is supposed to be acting.  And 
it is then a simple matter of physics that *force* must be applied to 
change the state from inactive to active.  But the negative connotation on 
"forceful" is agitating because I deliberately did not join the TF because 
I wanted somebody besides me to do the work part. The problem is that it 
just isn't happening, and it is something that you should be directly 
involved in fixing and that five other people should be directly involved 
in fixing as well.

My email stated that the other chairs are aware of the efforts of the 
Forms WG to work on a simplified syntax that has many of the 
"architectural" properties we know are desired for web authors by the HTML 
WG and that we were doing this to have something for further consideration 
of the task force.  I cannot say whether they approve, but it appeared in 
two Forms WG status reports and was discussed on one HCG telecon to no 
objection, so they did not disapprove.  Further I can't see how they would 
considering there is no other way to figure out how to glue two things 
together other than by *looking* at them!

Finally, I am writing all of this because I am vexed by your interactional 
style.  It would help if your emails did not leave me feeling as if I had 
just experienced diplomacy by club. In the past year since the new 
charters were written, any collaboration and compromise effort I have 
tried to put forward has been met with extreme and blunt opposition from 
you, far more than any other single person.  Why do you so violently 
oppose a joint effort to develop a common set of capabilities, guided by a 
common vocabulary, for web forms?

John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
Senior Technical Staff Member
Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
IBM Victoria Software Lab
E-Mail: boyerj@ca.ibm.com 

Blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/JohnBoyer
Blog RSS feed: 

Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> 
04/02/2008 08:56 PM

Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
John Boyer/CanWest/IBM@IBMCA, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
Scope of the Forms Task Force

Hello Dan & Chris,

John Boyer has asked the Forms TF to review and help flesh out a 
syntax proposal from the Forms WG; he would like the Forms TF to then 
strongly recommend the HTML WG to adopt this syntax. I believe this is 
outside the Forms TF's charter, which was unanimously adopted by 
members of the Forms TF:


(This is marked a proposal but has been adopted by unanimous 
resolution of the TF and is regrettably not yet in a more official 

This charter defines our scope as producing guidelines for 
architectural consistency. Our deliverables are given as a joint W3C 
Note stating these architectural consistency guidelines, and review of 
specs from the HTML WG and Forms WG that are related to forms, for 
consistency with these guidelines.

The thread starts here:


In this email, John suggests that architectural consistency guidelines 
can and should include definition of a specific vocabulary and syntax, 
and suggests that notwithstanding the TF charter we should follow the 
"real" charter:


In my view, syntax is not architecture. Indeed, the Forms TF charter 
is clear that the HTML WG and Forms WG are expected to each have their 
own specifications which are evaluated against the guidelines.

In addition, the Forms TF was carefully balanced between HTML WG and 
Forms WG members, with an equal number of representatives from each 
WG. This direct intervention by the Forms WG Chair to propose a 
particular work agenda casts that balance into doubt.

In a later email (not yet archived), John says,

> You've tried to give me the action item to check with your chairs, 
> but they have already been notified via the hypertext coordination 
> group that we are making progress on a simplified syntax as an 
> effort to kickstart task force work.
> I do not need further permission from them to begin communicating to 
> a task force that it is essentially doing no work and that I would 
> like this to change.  It is my job as a chair to promote more 
> activity from a task force that is supposed to be working on behalf 
> of my working group and another related working group, and frankly 
> it is also the job of the other working group's chairs to also be 
> pushing for the task force to do work.

Implying that the HTML WG Chairs are aware of and OK with his actions 
in pushing this Forms WG proposal as a Forms TF deliverable.

Since the Forms TF ultimately reports to the HTML WG and Forms WG 
Chairs, I would like the respective Chairs to please advise the Forms 
TF as follows:

- Should we develop a syntax on behalf of the HTML WG, notwithstanding 
our fairly clear charter to the contrary? At the time the charter was 
adopted, TF members agreed that it was not our job to define specific 
syntax, just to describe architectural consistency.

- Is it ok for the Forms WG to effectively add an additional 
representative to the group, through the active and forceful 
participation of the Forms WG Chair (who is not a TF representative)? 
If so, should we also add an additional HTML WG representative?

I do not need to be involved in these discussions among the Chairs, 
unless the Chairs would like further input from me.

Best Regards,
Maciej Stachowiak
Received on Thursday, 3 April 2008 16:31:56 UTC

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