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Re: Design Principles, Section 1.6.1 relationship to HTML 4.01

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 13:21:30 -0400
Message-ID: <4A240E1A.7080802@intertwingly.net>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> 
> On Jun 1, 2009, at 7:03 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:
> 
>>
>> http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/policies#managing-dissent
>>
>> "Groups SHOULD favor proposals that create the weakest objections."
>>
>> As for me: I would very strongly object to an approach that states 
>> conflicting principles as absolute.  I would somewhat strongly object 
>> to an approach that does not permit exceptions if, in fact, the HTML 
>> document does not match the expectations set by the Design Principles. 
>> I would object to an approach publishes as a W3C Note a document that 
>> states that the entire document is rubbish and should be ignored.  
>> Etc., etc., etc.
> 
> It's certainly the intent to land between those rather wide goalposts.
> 
>>
>>> Further, I don't think a lengthy discussion of absoluteness vs. 
>>> disclaimers would be very productive. In my opinion, the ideas 
>>> encapsulated in the principles are more useful and interesting than 
>>> the details of their wording. Admittedly, these ideas are not as 
>>> useful as a concrete specification. But they have given the group 
>>> some shared vocabulary to discuss various ideas, even if we do not 
>>> always ultimately agree.
>>
>> Is it fair to observe that a document that purports to describe "a 
>> shared vocabulary to discuss various ideas" would attract weaker 
>> objections than a document that purports to describe "Design Principles"?
> 
> It's not clear to me if that is the case. I think such a recasting could 
> reduce the usefulness of the document. I note also that this observation 
> could lead to the kind of distracting discussion about wording that you 
> decry below, so I'll refrain from replying in detail.

OK, I will be more direct then.

I believe that you have mischaracterized people's requests.  I do not 
believe that you have done so intentionally, but nevertheless, you have 
mischaracterized people's requests.

 From there, you say that you can't please everybody, and then proceed 
not to convincing others, but stating what you prefer.

And then you complete this by changing the subject, away from Design 
Principles, to a shared vocabulary.

And now you state that a shared vocabulary would reduce the usefulness 
of the document.

I don't doubt that the existing document could be defended as Design 
Principles.  All I am asking is that you do so.

>> From my point of view, a push to publish a Design Principles document 
>> as a formal W3C Note is a distraction.  To be clear, I am not saying 
>> that the Design Principles document itself isn't useful and 
>> interesting, but the effort to publish it as a Note means that the 
>> details of the wording is something that must be discussed.
> 
> It seems that we are obligated to publish it as a Working Group Note by 
> the Process (something I wasn't aware of when the document was first 
> proposed for FPWD). Fortunately a Note doesn't have to have consensus 
> (other than consensus to stop work), so at some point we can just stop 
> discussion and publish.

I'll note that publish "something" does not necessarily mean publish 
with a misleading abstract.

>> If this is something upon which consensus can be obtained quickly, I'm 
>> inclined to suggest that we find a mechanism by which this discussion 
>> can be moved off to a separate mailing list that focuses on the 
>> precise wording, and ask that the group that is working on such report 
>> back here only on major events and substantive changes.
> 
> Honestly, I think that may be more attention than the wording deserves. 
> Looking back on this 213-message thread(*), I don't see a lot of 
> increase in shared understanding, or concrete suggestions for the 
> document. I also see that you did not issue guidance to any of the more 
> frequent and repetitive posters on this thread, as you sometimes do by 
> way of moderation. I am not sure the thread would have been more useful 
> if it occurred on another mailing list, especially if no one were there 
> to moderate at all.

My previous note was not meant as an intent to moderate, but as a 
suggestion. *This* note is meant as an intent to moderate.

If you insist that this document is useful as a set of Design 
Principles, then feel free to defend that.  To the extent that you have 
declined to do so, it is understandable that people are asking exactly 
what *is* your intent.

> Regards,
> Maciej
> 
> * - As counted by my mail client, which includes some but not all of the 
> retitled side threads.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Monday, 1 June 2009 17:22:13 GMT

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