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RE: Publishing a new draft

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 06:33:01 -0700
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
CC: www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Message-ID: <8B62A039C620904E92F1233570534C9B0118D8180486@nambx04.corp.adobe.com>
Sam,

As I noted in previous mail, publishing a working draft 
is purely a procedural matter, since the editor's
drafts are "Published" in any reasonable sense of
the word, and claiming that we are publishing a 
Working Draft does not actually help resolve any
of the technical issues -- in fact, in my opinion,
publishing working drafts which have more controversy
rather than less is disruptive to the process.

The working group is at absolutely no risk
if it does not meet the "heartbeat" requirement
until we get clarity on the issue I raise
about the nature of announcements from W3C
around such a process.

There is no "hostage" here, and not publishing
the editor's draft as a Working Draft does not
prevent or interfere with any additional work
on the documents.

The only actual effect of publishing a new working
draft is to cause some misleading publicity as
the W3C announces the availability of a new 
working draft.

If the idea that alternative drafts are going to be
acceptable is going to have any credibility, then
something has to happen to make that clear.

I know you are saying my objection is "without
merit", but, on the other hand, you have not
actually responded to the issue I am raising.

As for "contributions", I think I have been
putting considerable effort into resolving 
several deep and serious technical issues that
would otherwise stop the publication of HTML5
eventually:

* around the "willful violation" of the URI 
specification and the conflict between the
Internationalized Domain Name standards and the
HTML5 spec, by working on a combined
specification that will be suitable for HTML5
to reference,

* around the handling of the "Origin" header
and its conflict with the advice of the 
HTTPbis working group,

* around version identifiers and resolving the
DOCTYPE controversy,

* around trying to resolve the criticisms that
the current document is a "browser" specification
by being more explicit about providing guidance
for "conservative authors" as well as 
"liberal interpreters"

as well as several other troubling issues on
authoring conformance criteria, specification
quality, the "outline" algorithm, the use of
algorithmic definitions and the errors in the
specification of the state transitions for
image availability...

I resent deeply your suggestion that I am
not focusing on contributing constructively.
The fact that I am not actively editing
specification language doesn't mean that
I'm not contributing constructively.

As far as actually editing documents:

I personally am concerned about engaging in
editing documents from WhatWG rather than
in W3C space because of the unknown IPR
around them, and hope that if the working
group endorses a process of "forking" the
source code, the copyright of the "source"
document contributors are supposed to start
with be clearly marked as belonging W3C.
(Others may not have the same qualms.)


Larry
-- 
http://larry.masinter.net



-----Original Message-----
From: Sam Ruby [mailto:rubys@intertwingly.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 5:59 AM
To: Lachlan Hunt
Cc: Larry Masinter; www-archive; Michael(tm) Smith; Chris Wilson
Subject: Re: Publishing a new draft

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> Larry Masinter wrote:
>> I object to the working group ONLY publishing a new draft of
>> the Hixie fork of the HTML5 specification, because the industry
>> and the public are already confused enough about the state of
>> the activities of the W3C HTML working group and the process
>> we are embarking on.
>>
>> My objection would be satisfied if we also simultaneously published
>> Mike Smith's document and/or Manu's fork as First Public Working
>> Drafts along with a clear public explanation of the process we
>> are now engaging.
> 
> Drafts should be published or not based on their own merits.  Holding 
> one draft hostage based on the success of another, or lack thereof, is 
> very much an obstructionist tactic, and I don't think the group, or the 
> chairs, should tolerate such behaviour.

I do consider Larry's objection to be totally without merit.  I also 
believe that Larry has had ample opportunity to actively contribute to 
the other documents that he cited, and the primary reason in my opinion 
that those documents are not ready to be considered at this time is that 
he and others have simply failed to do so.

The three-month heartbeat requirement for publishing is not a 
suggestion.  It's a "must" requirement that the group is expected to 
work in good faith to meet.
   http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/groups.html#three-month-rule


The exact wording of the relevant part of the Process document is:

   Each Working Group must publish a new draft of at least one of
   its active technical reports on the W3C technical reports index
   at least once every three months.

I invite Larry to reconsider his objection and focus on contributing 
constructively, but if he declines to do so, I'm confident that a vote 
on Ian's draft will pass overwhelmingly, and I don't relish the thought 
of arguing with Larry over procedural matters.

- Sam Ruby

Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 13:34:03 GMT

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