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Re: The HTML5 project is a joint effort between the W3C and the WHATWG

From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 18:28:28 +0100
Message-ID: <4928413C.6060804@gmx.de>
To: Dean Edridge <dean@dean.org.nz>
CC: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>

Dean Edridge wrote:
> Julian Reschke wrote:
>> Dean Edridge wrote:
>>> So the people in the HTML WG are the only ones contributing to HTML5 
>>> then?
>> Not necessarily.
>> But if the W3C HTML WG can't decide about what's in an W3C spec and 
>> what's not, why do we have it in the first place?
> HTML5 is a joint project between the W3C and the WHATWG, so it's not 
> quite as simple as that. You can't say: now, you guys at the W3C, you 
> can edit the top half of the spec and the WHATWG folk, they can edit the 
> bottom half and we'll split everything 50/50. I think you're being 

Nobody suggested that.

> idealistic and puristic. Have you got some better ideas on how we could 
> do this? I mean, how do you expect it to be developed Julian? It's a 
> different case than other specs developed at the W3C because it's a 
> joint-venture.

Yes it is, but we still have a charter which essentially says we're 
following a W3C decision policy 
(<http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter.html#decisions>). If we 
don't, we should re-charter.

> The WHATWG can't decide what's in a WHATWG or W3C spec either, 
> ideas/features get added (or don't get added) to the spec based on 
> what's best for HTML5 and the Open Web platform. Ian has said many times

That's the theory, I know.

> that there's things in the spec that he himself doesn't like but he has 
> had to put them in as there were good sound arguments for them, which 
> proves that he's not just throwing in his favourite ideas and having 
> things his way. Someone has to actually log in and physically edit the 
> spec, and it happens to be Ian. This is all done in public with a 
> commits-tracker web page plus several mailing lists listing the 
> changes/edits:
> public-html-commits@w3.org
> public-html-diffs@w3.org
> commit-watchers@lists.whatwg.org
> http://html5.org/tools/web-apps-tracker

Yes. I know all of that, and I think you know I know.

> I follow these lists and read every change, I have not yet seen any 
> changes that have given me reason for concern. If I did, I'd just email 
> public-html and discuss it there.

Funny enough, that's what people do when they don't like things in the 
spec. Actually, a mail from Roy triggered this discussion, didn't it?

> Plus, I'm sure you are aware of the two IRC channels where people 
> discuss the HTML5, I've seen you on at least one of them:
> irc://irc.w3.org:6665/html-wg
> irc://irc.freenode.net/whatwg
> Everything is done out in the open, there's no secret deals done behind 
> closed doors. Ian wont even discuss things with people privately as he 
> insists on having a public account of everything (ie. cc www-archive), 
> he's made this quite clear to me in the past.

As far as I can tell, this is not accurate. There is feedback he said he 
got (and I believe him) that he doesn't share with us because he was 
told not to. It's hard to argue about feedback we can't see.

>> If the only desire is to slap a W3C label on something that is 
>> somebody else's activity, we should be clear about it.
> It is most certainly not "somebody else's activity" and that most 
> certainly is *not* the desire. Just have a look at how the HTML WG has 
> coordinated with the MathML WG and the SVG WG, input came from those 
> groups through the HTML WG into the spec. There has been considerable 
> input in to the spec from the HTML WG, it is not just a WHATWG project. 
> There is absolutely no justification for saying that it is "someone 
> else's activity" Julian. Just because Ian happens to be one of the nine 
> core members for the WHATWG, doesn't mean he favours feedback received 
> through the WHATWG mailing list. Ian takes in feedback from both the 
> groups, from all sorts of people including various mailing lists and 
> blogs and edits the spec based the merits of that feedback, not by who 
> has sent it. So your suggestion that the spec is a WHATWG spec waiting 
> to have a W3C badge thrown on the front of it is unfounded.

Ian essentially acts *both* as editor and decision-maker, which is, as 
far as I can tell, a very uncommon setup.

> It was you that asked/demanded that we have a special doctype for XSLT 
> generated HTML5. There were *lots of objections* to that, myself and 

I was one of several people asking for it.

> many other people strongly lobbied on public-html for HTML5 not to have 
> a special case doctype for XSLT generated software as having just the 
> one doctype was a strong (unwritten) design principal. Now, let me 
> think, what was the outcome of that?... That's right, based on your 
> sound arguments Ian did see that it was needed and added a special 
> doctype to the spec even though there were lots of objections. Now IMO, 

And, despite feedback to the contrary, he used a totally misleading name 
for it.

Furthermore, a related issue (how to extend the language in the future 
when new elements can be void) is staying unresolved.

> if we had had a vote on that, I don't think the HTML WG would have gone 
> for a XSLT-compat doctype, so you're idea of "consensus will save us" 
> would have failed you there. As it happens that incident proved that Ian 
> does add features to the spec if there are strong arguments for them (as 
> there was) even though he sometimes doesn't like them himself and they 
> are unpopular.

...but, let's try to say it diplomatic, he couldn't resist making the 
change as bad as possible for the ones who asked for it.

> If you are really unhappy with the present situation then I challenge 
> you to make a list and send it to the www-archive and you can discuss it 
> with Ian, the chairs, or whoever you wish to (me even).

Not sure what you're trying to say.

We have a working group mailing list, and I intend to continue to use it 
when there's something to discuss. As far as I can tell, I didn't start 
this thread, I just stated that there's IMHO no consensus for a/@ping.

> Remember, it was me that publicly criticised the process and the way 
> that Ian was editing the spec. I said to Ian privately that I wanted him 
> to prove me wrong, and over the past year he has done that. I have 
> confidence in the way that he edits the spec and the way that he is not 
> biased on what feedback he adds to it. I wouldn't have changed my 
> opinion on this matter without careful consideration.

Yes. I see your mileage varies.

> Have you ever heard the saying: The grass is always greener on the other 
> side of the fence? It's very easy to think that if this or that changed 
> everything would be perfect. :)

For things to be perfect changing to the other side of the fence won't 
be sufficient. In particular, because HTML5 needs to take past history 
into account.

BR, Julian
Received on Saturday, 22 November 2008 17:29:10 UTC

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