Re: Public Specifications: [was: a bad idea]

Daniel W. Connolly (connolly@w3.org)
Thu, 11 Jul 1996 02:55:21 -0400


Message-Id: <199607110655.CAA06986@anansi.w3.org>
To: murray@spyglass.com (Murray Altheim)
cc: Jim Taylor <JHTaylor@videodiscovery.com>, www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Public Specifications: [was: a bad idea] 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Wed, 10 Jul 1996 18:05:53 EST."
             <v02110108ae09dc8715e6@[140.186.34.50]> 
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 02:55:21 -0400
From: "Daniel W. Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>

In message <v02110108ae09dc8715e6@[140.186.34.50]>, Murray Altheim writes:
>Jim Taylor <JHTaylor@videodiscovery.com> writes:
>>
>>... Ron's supposedly working up
>>an official proposal ...
>
>In what context does "official proposal" have any meaning? You're not
>dealing here with the IETF (as discussion in html-wg@oclc.org), where an
>Internet Draft has a recognized process and procedure for public discussion
>and action. W3C has no formal or even informal public process (nor has
>there been any public discussion of creating one that I'm aware of),

Just to be clear: W3C does have formal processes, though very little
of it is public.

> and
>given that W3C members pay a great deal of money to influence design
>decisions, I don't see any reason why they should do so. When HTML
>development was still a public process, this forum might have had real
>relevance. I don't see that now.

Actually, www-html is likely to be used formally for public review
of W3C specs. Stay tuned...

An informally, I do read the list, as do at least few other staff
and member organizations of W3C. So there is some relevance.

>If there is a continuing desire for a public specification for HTML, using
>a vendor consortium-sponsored listserver for that makes about as much sense
>as having this same conversation in a coffee shop. The developers *might*
>be listening, but they might be in a different coffee shop, or paying
>attention to the conversations at their table. And note that they're not
>being paid to listen to you.

Very true. But...


The reason that I'm participating in this thread is that Murray seems
to be discouraging folks from trying to influence W3C's work on HTML
via this forum. I don't want that perception to go too far.

On the contrary: if folks carefully consider their ideas and write
them up clearly, that can provide very high-value input to the things
we do at W3C. Murray's right that we don't have time to deal with the
sort of day-to-day chatter that typically goes on in public forums,
but if folks do serious work, we're often willing to take a serious
look at it. We even invite folks to meetings and such based on
such demonstrations of expertise.

Like I said before, the things I really like to see on this list are:

	detailed bug reports against W3C specs (DTDs and such)

	test cases that demonstrate interoperability trouble-spots

	specific proposals including examples and DTDs
		(and don't forget working code! Go hack grail etc.!
			See: www.python.org)

Dan