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Re: Is the TAG structure harmful? [Was: Fwd: Forced Resignation]

From: Eric J. Bowman <eric@bisonsystems.net>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2014 05:34:03 -0600
To: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Cc: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@gmail.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, "www-archive@w3.org" <www-archive@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20140702053403.3c0a8444955f7915c59327c2@bisonsystems.net>
Mark Nottingham wrote:
> 
> Ah, you probably mean this:
>   <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/ietf-http-wg/2010OctDec/0388.html>
> 
> … which was in the context of a fairly nasty thread. I stand by what
> I said then; you were distracting from the work, not helping, and you
> were singled out because you ignored an explicitly warning. While
> venting spleen may make you feel better, it’s not productive for the
> work.
> 

I stand by my position, that what I was arguing against was distracting
from the work, and your action was heavy-handed and against the spirit
of RFC 3005. Your position seems to be that freelancers aren't allowed
to object to browser vendors dominating the discussion in a disruptive,
non-productive manner; for fear of being labeled disruptive and non-
productive ourselves. Hence, "marginalized". You say "venting" I say
"contributing an alternate POV" which was that there was nothing wrong
with the status quo in how RFCs are written, in this case Content-
Disposition, in omitting error recovery -- an architectural foible to
say the least.

>
> In particular, the thread started as:
>   <http://www.w3.org/mid/924630F3-068F-4076-99B3-A5F0545F130B@mnot.net>
> … which was about creating an optional profile for some
> implementations to use.
>

You also said:

"To help figure out if this is a productive way to go, I'd like to hear:
 a) thoughts from folks about this approach"

Which is exactly what you got from me, unvarnished, as is my way. There
is no technical counter-argument for silent error correction, at lest
not since I've been alive. That position comes down to "what's best for
browsers", thus derailing any thread into the politics of browser
vendors rather than architecture. <sarcasm>You're right, my fault
entirely!</sarcasm>

My ad-hominem opinion is that those espousing such a POV wouldn't if
they didn't work for browser vendors. But that would violate list
guidelines, which is why I never said any such thing -- your reaction
would have been justified if I had, but I didn't resort to such ad-
hominems and reject your classification of my remarks as if I had.

>
> Your first interjection was:
> <http://www.w3.org/mid/20101104165438.1345109a.eric@bisonsystems.net>
> … which linked to:
> <https://web.archive.org/web/20101220072637/http://saxonica.blogharbor.com/blog/_archives/2010/11/4/4671786.html>
> … and had the eventual effect of completely de-railing a reasonable
> discussion.
> 

I linked to Michael's post because it expressed sentiments I knew
weren't copacetic to expressing directly on ietf-http-wg. Didn't realize
linking to same, was a foul. I still don't believe my comments were
in violation of RFC 3005 or your request for thoughts about the
approach. Which you may have found controversial, but hardly rises to
the level of consequence you bestowed on me -- which only served to
keep me off the list for 4 years as a result, giving my feedback
directly to the authors without the benefit of on-list discussion.

Speaking of what's not productive for the work...

>
> There were absolutely ways you could express your technical
> objections in that discussion without smearing people’s motives. In
> fact, we resolved not to create a browser-specific profile for C-D
> parsing, which appears to have been the outcome you desired.
> 

Wow, 180* the opposite of what I was saying. The outcome I desired was
a continuation of the status-quo of RFCs vs. "living standards" which
mean nothing beyond any particular implementation -- an inherently
political, not technical, argument as I still see it. Is it really
"unprofessional" to question others' motives when they're acting as a
cabal in a WG? That's an invitation for cabals to take over WGs, IMO.
We'll just have to agree to disagree, and I'll just have to return to
being silent about HTTP evolution on your list as we have irreconcilable
philosophical differences about what constitutes "disruptive" behavior.

> 
> > It's what I mean when I say that non-corporate-types are
> > marginalized on ietf-http-wg, which has led to further warnings
> > like the link you referenced -- continuation of a pattern favoring
> > corporate takeover, leading to my continued disinterest. It just
> > doesn't matter to me, as I believe architecture will out in the
> > long term, and I've never had a problem with saying "told ya so"
> > which I believe will be the case with HTTP/2 adoption as well.
> 
> We’ve had several “non-corporate types” (if I understand what you
> mean by that phrase; it’s perilously close to dog whistling)
> participate actively, be welcomed to the effort, and make substantial
> contributions, so I reject that characterisation. What matters is the
> quality of your ideas, and the attitude you bring to the work.
> 

And I've witnessed plenty of those folks defer to what the big vendors
want, as they'll have to cater to it for their clients. As to the
quality of my ideas and the attitude I bring, well, I've always said I
don't have a crystal ball when it comes to e-mails folks write, another
area where you and I will just have to agree to disagree, apparently.

> 
> >>> But, I must strenuously disagree -- the last thing I trust
> >>> is that contributors here will put the interests of the Web ahead
> >>> of the interests of those cutting their paychecks.
> >> 
> >> I find that a bit sad, but OK...
> >> 
> > 
> > I find it sad, too. But that doesn't mean I fail to recognize
> > reality.
> > 
> >> 
> >>> Otherwise, architectural concerns wouldn't be scoffed at as they
> >>> are. But, as you've made quite clear to me, bringing up these
> >>> concerns will get me banned as they're political, not technical,
> >>> in nature. But I think that's what HTTP/2 is all about, so I'd
> >>> best shut the **** up about it.
> >> 
> >> OK. I'm not sure what's causing the vitriol here, but I apologise
> >> if I've contributed to it. I don't believe I ever said you'd be
> >> banned for contributing; I'm only try to maintain a professional
> >> environment that focuses on data and outcomes, not ad hominems
> >> (which dismissing someone's viewpoint because it's "corporate" is).
> >> 
> > 
> > Well, the corporate folks objection to my postion constituted, in my
> > opinion, ad-hominems against my architectural arguments, which is
> > why your warning continues to rankle as I was only defending my
> > position,
> 
> I warned several people privately; there was more than one bad
> attitude on display then. You were warned publicly because you chose
> to ignores the private warning.
> 

No, I chose to disagree with your decision to give me any warning for
stating a perfectly rational viewpoint held by more Web developers than
just me -- you'd just rather not hear that input on ietf-http-wg, which
puts the big corporations at a distinct advantage where protocol
development is concerned. Nothing since has served to change my mind.

> 
> > political as it may have seemed -- but again, that's the reality of
> > HTTP/2 development as I see it, the winning arguments have more to
> > do with corporate bottom-line interests than they do architecture;
> > where else should I discuss that issue? Down the block from the
> > abortion clinic? ;-)
> > 
> > Let's just say that your definition of "ad hominem" and mine,
> > differ. I feel I raise legitimate concerns, or I wouldn't post
> > them, regardless of whether they're political or technical in
> > nature. My challenge remains, give me a technical basis for some of
> > the decisions made?
> > 
> > You say I should not mention the political reasons, but again, when
> > the decisions run contrary to what's best for Web architecture for
> > no valid technical reason, what recourse do I have but to call them
> > out for being political in nature, whether you like it or not?
> 
> The work inevitably involves political issues. There’s a difference
> between working through them — e.g., identifying the stakeholders,
> balancing the concerns, trying to find shared ground — and smearing
> your opposition. 
> 

So you say. I say I should be allowed to have an opinion that browser
vendors' insistence upon error correction is architecturally incorrect,
as I've certainly proven my bona-fides where Web architecture is
concerned... you say that's "smearing my opposition" which is only your
opinion, and only serves to shut down that POV in subsequent discussion.
Until you can explain why that's not a legitimate POV in technical
terms, I'll continue to consider your management of ietf-http-wg heavy-
handed and pro-corporate.

-Eric
Received on Wednesday, 2 July 2014 11:34:26 UTC

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