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Re: not closed by process rules [was: So, what's left?]

From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 23:45:42 -0500 (EST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.10001261901550.15214-100000@mail.q2.net>

On Wed, 26 Jan 2000, Dan Connolly wrote:

> [re IG for HTML]
> Other than this forum, there isn't one. [...] An interest group in
> the HTML Activity was an option when the WG was chartered (late
> '98, I think) but I don't think it was explicitly discussed.

OK, fair enough.  (Phew! I thought I had missed some fine print.)

> > I say that political considerations have no place in what is
> > intended to be fundamental technology.
> To me, "policitcal considerations" means "considerations that
> arise when more than one person engages in a decision". Hence they
> are an essential component of collaborative consensus development.
> If you mean something else by "political considerations" then I
> need more explanation.

Partial quote from http://www.m-w.com/dictionary.htm (alas, the
server only accepts HTTP POSTs, so direct pointers aren't possible)

  3 a : political affairs or business; especially : competition
    between competing interest groups or individuals for power and
    leadership (as in a government)  b : political life especially as
    a principal activity or profession c : political activities
    characterized by artful and often dishonest practices
  5 a : the total complex of relations between people living in
    society  b : relations or conduct in a particular area of
    experience especially as seen or dealt with from a political point
    of view <office politics>

Leaving the 'dishonest' bit aside, I think 'competition', 'interest
groups' and perhaps 'artful' capture much of what I'm talking about.  
An environment conducive to illogical reprioritization in work
agendas, unsatisfactory resolutions of discussions where technical
arguments and objections are waved away with dicta such as "those
factors are not in play" or "there are other factors constraining the
solution", unwarranted presumptions presented as potential fait
accomplis, all the kinds of things that vested interests would like
nothing better than to be "BackRoom Boys Only".
> Er... pointers that don't work seems like a constraint. 

We didn't have the password access that we were given later.  Was that
such a big deal?  

> > If it's fundamental technology, it can't be confidential.

> The technology isn't confidential. Working drafts were released
> regularly, 

Yes, two (970807, 971117).  I won't repeat my strobe light criticism;
it may not even apply.  XML was already a remarkably stable target in
the original draft (961114).

But there was no reason for the SIG discussions to be confidential -
that is, if all apparent representations on the list were in good

> the decision record is public[r], and it was regularly discussed
> openly at conferences and such.
> [r] http://www.w3.org/XML/9712-reports.html

What about the 8 months of 98?:) [Yes, I know: these published reports
exist at all almost entirely due to the extra efforts of CMSMcQ.] 

Thanks, Dan, for this discussion.

Received on Wednesday, 26 January 2000 23:36:28 UTC

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