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Re: Formal Objection to One vendor, One Veto

From: Shelley Powers <shelleyp@burningbird.net>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 2009 07:20:38 -0500
Message-ID: <4A548F16.40302@burningbird.net>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
CC: www-archive@w3.org, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Sam Ruby wrote:
> Shelley Powers wrote:
>> I believe the process to register a formal objection is to send an 
>> email to this group, and label it as such. If there's another group I 
>> should contact, please let me know.
> I'll check into the process (and am copying Mike and Dan as they are 
> the W3C team contacts for this working group, but meanwhile three things:
> 1) This Mailing list is described as a "Miscellaneous.  Mail-to-web 
> gateway" on http://lists.w3.org/.  My understanding is that its 
> primary purpose is to allow a public URI to be associated with an 
> email that is sent.  As a general rule, it is a great resource for 
> taking discussions "off-line" which may later need to be referred to.  
> In any case, I have seen this email, and will take it seriously.

Oops, then this is definitely the wrong place for this.

I'll resend to the HTML WG list, then.
> 2) The document in question is merely a Working Draft at this point 
> which means that it may be unstable and may not meet all of the 
> Working Group's needs at this point.  As such, a formal objection 
> seems a bit premature, but only by a little bit as it makes perfect 
> sense to me for Formal Objections to block advancement to Last Call.
I'm not sure how we can move to Last Call.

Right now, we have no commitment one way or another from Microsoft on 
most aspects of HTML 5. According to Ian, Microsoft has the strongest 
veto of all. If it were to come in and just make a statement -- no we're 
not supporting Canvas, or MathML, or SVG, or any number of other 
elements--, just a statement of fact, then supposedly, *poof*, they're 

Why call this HTML 5? We might as well call it the Sword of Damocles 
HTML and be done with it.

As it is, we've already run into one vendor/one veto with the video 
element. Oh, and that's another one that MS has not made a commitment 

> 3) I need to think more about what it means to have a formal objection 
> to process as opposed to a result.  Formal objections to results, like 
> a document which contain features like video which do not lead to 
> interoperability due to a lack of specifying a common royalty-free 
> codec: that is something I can get my head around.  A formal objection 
> to removing Canvas (I chose Canvas as that is an item that the working 
> group previously voted on and decided to include) in the unlikely 
> event that Microsoft makes a statement that they will never support 
> such a feature -- that too, I can understand.  But a Formal Objection 
> to something that not only hasn't happened, but may never happen -- 
> that is something I need to ponder on further and consult with others.
I understand I'm not following procedures. Sorry about that. But it 
doesn't lessen my concerns.

Do we assume, then, that the one vendor/one veto rule only applies when 
a company specifically states it will not support something? Shouldn't 
it also apply when a company doesn't say whether they will or won't 
support one aspect of the document or not?

If the purpose behind this one vendor/one veto approach is to ensure we 
no longer have what we had in the past, the inability to use all of the 
available web technology because of lack of support among one or more 
browsers, then unless the five vendor companies specifically state they 
will support each element, or concept, documented in HTML 5, we should 
immediately seek to remove it now--rather than wait until some later 
time when we finally have to corner each and ask, "Well, will you or 
won't you?"

I focused on SVG, MathML, Canvas in the objection, but there's a more 
serious item that was brought up in my comments last night: the XML 
serialization of HTML 5. It is very much at risk, because we have no 
commitment from one company to support XHTML 5. And with one vendor/one 
vote, that means we can kiss it good-bye, too.

We can't depend on anything now. Oh, a few scraps tossed us, some new 
goodies like client side storage. You know, to keep the kiddies 

I take things that people tell me as truth. Ian has stated one 
vendor/one vote. Not saying anything about canvas, SVG, XHTML, MathML, 
etc., is a vote. It's a vote saying, "No". Ignoring the great hulking 
elephant in the corner while professing to adhere to consistent 
procedures is not something I'm particularly good at.

Sorry, Sam. I am new to this, and most likely not following proper 
procedures. But there is more than a hint of lack of consistency to the 
procedures followed with HTML 5, so in a way, I'm only following the 
course others have set.


> - Sam Ruby
Received on Wednesday, 8 July 2009 12:21:25 UTC

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