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Re: example: the HTML WG process is not working

From: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:17:49 -0400
Message-ID: <4F731D8D.1090809@w3.org>
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
CC: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike@w3.org>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
On 3/28/2012 10:11 AM, Steve Faulkner wrote:
> Hi Jeff,
>
> I don't have answers and don't think it is up to me to provide those 
> answers, its what I would expect of the W3C management.

That's fair.  Be assured that we are aware and we work on these issues 
intensively.  But not every easily stated problem has an easily 
implemented solution.

> I already spend a lot of my free time working on W3C HTML 
> accessibility standardisation and participate in the process community 
> group.

Appreciated.

>
> If you guys are already aware, then apologies for repeating the 
> obvious, but to date I haven't noticed any positive change despite the 
> awareness.

By all means, feel free to bring things to our attention.  No apologies 
necessary.  I was not pushing back on your raising issues - only trying 
to understand them better.

>
> In my view I witnessed a hollowing out of the HTML WG with a 
> concomitant reduction of its ability to participate meaningfully in 
> the standardisation of HTML.
>
> I sincerely hope things do get better.
>
> regards
> Stevef
>
>
> On 28 March 2012 14:50, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org <mailto:jeff@w3.org>> 
> wrote:
>
>     On 3/28/2012 9:24 AM, Steve Faulkner wrote:
>>     Hi Jeff,
>>
>>     Well if you think it is a healthy state of affairs that important
>>     stakeholders (ie various high profile implementor employees)
>>     don't participate in the working group because they consider it
>>     to be a joke, and publically state as much on a regular basis,
>>     then full steam ahead.
>
>     No I don't think that is at all healthy.
>
>
>>
>>     The divergence between HTML5 and the HTML living standard has
>>     little to do with snapshot versus continuous updates it has
>>     everything to do with the perception of who's hands the
>>     development of HTML is in.
>>
>>     As a working group member all I can do is raise issues when i see
>>     them, the current non participation behvaiour of some folk works
>>     to my benefit in terms of getting the changes I want to see
>>     accepted, but the resulting divergence hurts developers and users.
>
>     Yes, I agree that more participation is better.  I work on it
>     every day.
>
>
>>
>>     I would rather have robust debate about changes than acceptance
>>     trough non participation and forking, but that would involve all
>>     parties acting in good faith.
>
>     I would love to have a robust debate about changes.  That is why I
>     asked what you were trying to accomplish with the email.
>
>     At one level, your email merely informed me and Philippe about
>     some facts that we are already aware.
>
>     I didn't see any proposal for changes.
>
>     At a broader level, the AB is looking at broader changes in our
>     process, but I'm not sure if that is the type of change you are
>     proposing.
>
>
>>
>>
>>     regards
>>     Stevef
>>
>>     On 28 March 2012 14:10, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org
>>     <mailto:jeff@w3.org>> wrote:
>>
>>         On 3/28/2012 8:56 AM, Steve Faulkner wrote:
>>>         Hi Jeff,
>>>         this is an example of a bug that was escalated as per the
>>>         HTML WG process that went rough the process and was deemed
>>>         as having consensus in the working group not because there
>>>         is consensus, but because people who may disagree with the
>>>         change did not participate.
>>
>>         Not sure what to do with this observation.  Our specs are
>>         always a consensus of those that participate.  If some choose
>>         not to participate then the spec will not reflect their views.
>>
>>
>>>
>>>         The editor obviously disagreed as he rejected the bug, but
>>>         did not enter into any further discussion, his recent
>>>         remarks on IRC strongly suggest he thinks its a bad idea.
>>>         If the process is designed to standardise HTML then its not
>>>         working, as I point out, when the editor disagrees with a
>>>         change he simply creates another fork between the specs or
>>>         to put it another way if the working group does not accept
>>>         what the editor has in the spec another fork is created.
>>
>>         Not sure what to do with this observation, either.  The
>>         process is for the Chairs to determine the consensus of the
>>         Working Group even if the editor disagrees.  Sounds like that
>>         is what is happening.  What are the alternatives?  The editor
>>         is entitled to his opinion if he disagrees.  And the WG is
>>         entitled to their opinion if they disagree with the editor.
>>
>>         In terms of the divergence of the specs, I think it is a
>>         success story that we have maintained alignment as long as we
>>         have.  And I agree it would be highly desirable to continue
>>         to maintain alignment for HTML 5, as well as HTML.next.  But
>>         it is mathematically impossible for us to freeze a REC level
>>         HTML 5 and expect that to be in perfect alignment with a
>>         changing WHAT WG LS.
>>
>>
>>>
>>>         We appear to have gone from a state where there was active
>>>         participation to a state where there is passive denial of
>>>         the legitimacy of the process resulting in a consensual
>>>         non-consensus.
>>>
>>>         none of which can be described with a straight face as a
>>>         working process.
>>>
>>>         regards
>>>         stevef
>>>
>>>         On 28 March 2012 13:39, Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org
>>>         <mailto:jeff@w3.org>> wrote:
>>>
>>>             Steve,
>>>
>>>             I apologize, but I don't know what this is.
>>>
>>>             Is this:
>>>
>>>             1. fyi, about timelines of issues?
>>>             2. An escalation of the Chairs for not dealing with this
>>>             issue per the HTML 5 WG process?
>>>             3. An observation that the finalized HTML 5 spec as it
>>>             moves forward (LC--> CR --> REC) will diverge from a
>>>             continually updated WHAT WG Living Standard (with
>>>             presumably re-syncing as we move to HTML.next)?
>>>             4. Something else?
>>>
>>>             Thanks.
>>>
>>>             Jeff
>>>
>>>
>>>             On 3/28/2012 8:19 AM, Steve Faulkner wrote:
>>>>             I want to clarify one point that I implied by this
>>>>             statement
>>>>
>>>>             "I suspect while this change will be applied to the W3C
>>>>             HTML5 but not to the WHAT WG, resulting in further
>>>>             divergence between the 2 specs and further dilution of
>>>>             standardized authoring advice (in this case)."
>>>>
>>>>             The active involvement of people, such as the editor in
>>>>             the HTML WG process, does not necessarily result in
>>>>             standardization of HTML being advanced. If the editor
>>>>             does not agree with a change to HTML decided by the
>>>>             working group its only applied to the W3C HTML5 spec [1].
>>>>
>>>>             [1]
>>>>             http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/introduction.html#is-this-html5?
>>>>
>>>>             regards
>>>>             Stevef
>>>>
>>>>             On 28 March 2012 11:35, Steve Faulkner
>>>>             <faulkner.steve@gmail.com
>>>>             <mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>                 Timeline of an issue: this is an example of a
>>>>                 re-ocurring pattern [1]
>>>>                 Over a  5 month period, feedback and input was
>>>>                 called for, a detailed proposal was provided -
>>>>                 total silence ensued, after the process is complete
>>>>                 the editor comments on IRC.
>>>>                 I suspect while this change will be applied to the
>>>>                 W3C HTML5 but not to the WHAT WG, resulting in
>>>>                 further divergence between the 2 specs and further
>>>>                 dilution of standardized authoring advice (in this
>>>>                 case).
>>>>
>>>>                 Timeline of an issue:
>>>>
>>>>                 **Bug 14937*
>>>>                 <https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=14937>
>>>>                 -Replace poor coding example for figure with
>>>>                 multiple images opened: 2011-11-25 21:20:52 UTC
>>>>
>>>>                 * editor rejects
>>>>                 https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=14937#c1
>>>>                 <https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=14937#c1%20>2011-12-07
>>>>                 23:01:38 UTC
>>>>
>>>>                     Status: Rejected
>>>>                     Change Description: no spec change
>>>>                     Rationale: This isn't an antipattern. It is a
>>>>                     best practice. If current ATs
>>>>                     don't make it accessible, then I recommend
>>>>                     approaching AT vendors and
>>>>                     explaining to them that they're not properly
>>>>                     exposing HTML semantics.
>>>>
>>>>                 * feedback provided on rejection:
>>>>                 https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=14937#c2
>>>>
>>>>                 * No further response from editor
>>>>
>>>>                 * escalated to issue: Issue 190
>>>>                 <https://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/190>
>>>>                 2011-12-08 10:27:42 UTC
>>>>
>>>>                 * I submit a proposal
>>>>                 <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/notitle_captions>:
>>>>                 January 18th, 2012.
>>>>
>>>>                 * Chairs Solicit Alternate Proposals or
>>>>                 Counter-Proposals
>>>>                 <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Jan/0127.html>
>>>>                 Wed, 25 Jan 2012 14:42:45
>>>>
>>>>                 * NO counter proposals or feedback on  proposal
>>>>
>>>>                 * CfC: Close ISSUE-190 coding-example by Amicable
>>>>                 Resolution
>>>>                 <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Feb/0463.html>issued
>>>>                 Tue, 28 Feb 2012 13:23:27
>>>>
>>>>                     As we have received no counter-proposals or
>>>>                     alternate proposals, the
>>>>                     chairs are issuing a call for consensus on the
>>>>                     proposal that we do have.
>>>>
>>>>                     If no objections are raised to this call by
>>>>                     March 7th 2012, we will
>>>>                     direct the editor to make the proposed change.
>>>>                     If anybody would like to
>>>>                     raise an objection during this time, we
>>>>                     strongly encourage them to
>>>>                     accompany their objection with a concrete and
>>>>                     complete change proposal.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>                 * No responses to CFC
>>>>
>>>>                 * Chairs issue: Working Group Decision:Close
>>>>                 ISSUE-190 coding-example by Amicable Resolution
>>>>                 <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Mar/0731.html>Mon,
>>>>                 26 Mar 2012
>>>>
>>>>                 Commenst by editor on IRC: 2012-03-28 (it appears
>>>>                 that this is the first time the editor has looked
>>>>                 at the proposal)
>>>>
>>>>                  1. #
>>>>                     <http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/whatwg/20120328#l-15>
>>>>                     [00:16] <Hixie>
>>>>                     http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/notitle_captions#Details
>>>>
>>>>                  2. #
>>>>                     <http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/whatwg/20120328#l-16>
>>>>                     [00:16] <Hixie> really?
>>>>                  3. #
>>>>                     <http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/whatwg/20120328#l-17>
>>>>                     [00:17] <Hixie> we're actually going to put an
>>>>                     example in the spec _encouraging_ nested figures?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>                 [1]
>>>>
>>>>                   * Working Group Decision: Close ISSUE-192
>>>>                     title-attribute by Amicable Resolution
>>>>                     <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Mar/0558.html>
>>>>                     /(Tuesday, 20 March)/
>>>>                   * Working Group Decision: Close ISSUE-188:
>>>>                     generic-track-format by Amicable Resolution
>>>>                     <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Mar/0557.html>
>>>>                     /(Tuesday, 20 March)/
>>>>                   * Working Group Decision: Close ISSUE-187
>>>>                     validity-stability by Amicable Resolution
>>>>                     <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Mar/0556.html>
>>>>                     /(Tuesday, 20 March)/
>>>>                   * Working Group Decision: Close ISSUE-182
>>>>                     footnote-recommendation by Amicable Resolution
>>>>                     <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Mar/0555.html>
>>>>                     /(Tuesday, 20 March)/
>>>>                   * Working Group Decision: Close ISSUE-179
>>>>                     av_param by Amicable Resolution
>>>>                     <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Mar/0554.html>
>>>>                     /(Tuesday, 20 March)/
>>>>                   * Working Group Decision: Close ISSUE-170
>>>>                     rel-uri-valid by Amicable Resolution
>>>>                     <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Mar/0553.html>
>>>>                     /(Tuesday, 20 March)/
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>                 -- 
>>>>                 with regards
>>>>
>>>>                 Steve Faulkner
>>>>                 Technical Director - TPG
>>>>
>>>>                 www.paciellogroup.com
>>>>                 <http://www.paciellogroup.com> |
>>>>                 www.HTML5accessibility.com
>>>>                 <http://www.HTML5accessibility.com> |
>>>>                 www.twitter.com/stevefaulkner
>>>>                 <http://www.twitter.com/stevefaulkner>
>>>>                 HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text
>>>>                 alternatives - dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/
>>>>                 <http://dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/>
>>>>                 Web Accessibility Toolbar -
>>>>                 www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html
>>>>                 <http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat-ie-about.html>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>
Received on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 14:18:05 GMT

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