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Re: Please explain the role of the W3C in the continuing development of HTML

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2011 23:39:19 +0000 (UTC)
To: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
cc: www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1102152045330.28618@ps20323.dreamhostps.com>
On Tue, 15 Feb 2011, Nathan wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Tue, 15 Feb 2011, Nathan wrote:
> > > The W3C timeline and model of releasing major versions "5" "6" is 
> > > far too slow, whilst the WHAT WG Living Standard is a constantly 
> > > moving target that the common web folk simply can't keep up with.
> > > 
> > > It would be great to see the two approaches balanced such that 
> > > announcements are made like "HTML has just been updated, features 
> > > a,b have been added, bugs h,j,k have been fixed and z has been 
> > > deprecated".
> > 
> > Why do people want a specification of HTML with known bugs but without 
> > those bugs being fixed as soon as possible? Wouldn't referring to a 
> > specification with known bugs be harmful to interoperability?
> Indeed, perhaps I haven't been clear, I'm suggesting that if bugs h,j,k 
> have been fixed and are ready to push to the rec, then agree they are 
> fixed and push them, not to wait 18 months until features a,b are also 
> ready to be pushed.

So what you're really describing is a situation where we have two living 
standards, one with new features and one with only features that are 
widely implemented? I guess that could make sense; having one for people 
who only want to use features that are widely implemented, and one for 
people who are implementing the features or on the bleeding edge.

The W3C does not provide this (and to my knowledge, has no plans to -- in 
fact the W3C process doesn't have a mechanism in place for this kind of 
thing currently).

The WHATWG spec kind of provides this, in that each section is labeled 
with how stable it is by an annotation in the margin. We could publish two 
specs, though, removing all the new fetures from one of them... would that 
help? They'd still be living standards, not specs with a cycle, but we 
could omit less stable features from one of the specs. Not sure how useful 
it would really be, people seem to have had no trouble using the features 
from "HTML5" long before any aspect of the relevant specs have been 
labeled as finished at the W3C.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 23:39:51 UTC

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