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Is There a Problem? (was: The Progress of CSS)

From: Mark Moore <mark.moore@notlimited.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2005 20:36:17 -0700
To: "'CSS specification-development list'" <www-style@w3.org>
Cc: "'Etan Wexler'" <ewexler@stickdog.com>
Message-ID: <E1DoYv7-0007zg-0E@bart.w3.org>

Etan,

The point Orion made [1] is that the CSS WG has taken an unacceptably long
time to produce a standard.

Unfortunately, the post was emotionally charged, so Adam attempted to rescue
the thread from the flame-a-thon it fostered. [2]

What is most disappointing is that influential contributors like yourself
and CSS 2.1 editors like Ian Hickson and Håkon Wium Lie don't seem to see
that there is a problem.  Or possibly, the belief is that this is an
unsolvable or *necessary* condition.

The process can't possibly change if the CSS WG and this community don't
believe there's a problem with the current situation.

So, let me say that I agree *very* strongly with Adam and Orion that the CSS
standardization process is unacceptably slow.

I believe this is a general problem with the CSS standards process, but
particularly self-evident with the 2.1 release.

It would be interesting to hear from the four editors and the CSS 2.1
contributors what they think.

Presuming we can put aside the discussion of how to solve the problem, or
how we got here, let's see if the WG and the CSS community think there's
even an issue to be addressed.

If there is a consensus that there is a problem, then we can explore what
can be done to facilitate and expedite the process.

If the CSS stewards believe the current process is fine (or as good as it
can be), then there's no point in wasting our energy or theirs publicly
haranguing them.

-Mark


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2005Jun/0248.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2005Jul/0069.html



> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-style-request@w3.org [mailto:www-style-request@w3.org] On Behalf
> Of Etan Wexler
> Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 3:28 PM
> To: CSS specification-development list
> Subject: Re: The Progress of CSS
> 
> 
> Adam Kuehn wrote to the CSS specification-development list
> (<mailto:www-style@w3.org>) on 1 July 2005 in “The Progress of CSS”
> (<mid:p06230919beeb4ee49c9d@%5B152.16.15.54%5D>,
> <http://www.w3.org/mid/p06230919beeb4ee49c9d@%5B152.16.15.54%5D>):
> 
> > Although the current CSS2.1 spec is the only version of CSS2 directly
> > linked from the W3C home page, 2.1 still carries the notation, "It is
> > inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress." The
> > "current" Recommendation, therefore, is CSS2.
> 
> Sure, but CSS2 is a W3C Recommendation in name only. What is the
> practical status of a specification that never entered a call for
> implementation
> (<http://www.w3.org/2004/02/Process-20040205/tr.html#cfi>) and never
> exited successfully therefrom
> (<http://www.w3.org/2004/02/Process-20040205/tr.html#cfr>)? (Answer: far
> below the status of a specification that has withstood such trial.) Do
> the CSS Working Group and other organs of the W3C recommend the wide
> deployment
> (<http://www.w3.org/2004/02/Process-20040205/tr.html#RecsW3C>) of CSS2?
> (Answer: no; the organizational weight is behind CSS2.1.)
> 
> > CSS 2.1, moreover, says of itself that compared to CSS2, it "corrects
> > a few errors" and "adds a few highly-requested features".  I read that
> > as saying, in short, that it is a relatively minor revision.
> 
> In some sense, it is true that CSS2.1 is a minor revision. Changes like
> altering the box model or adding new sets of properties will wait for
> CSS3. In another sense, this revision was a major undertaking that
> consumed hundreds of person-hours of review, consideration, tracking,
> writing, editing, and discussion. That labor served to resolve over 900
> issues (<mid:Pine.LNX.4.61.0506301052540.7173@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>,
> <http://www.w3.org/2002/02/mid/Pine.LNX.4.61.0506301052540.7173@dhalsim.dr
> eamhost.com>).
> Those resolutions gave us a specification that reflects reality and
> specifies bothersome corner cases.
> 
> > That's as of today, 1 July, 2005.  Yet the "current" version carries the
> > date 18-May-1998.  That's more than SEVEN YEARS for a relatively minor
> > revision.
> 
> Consider part of that time as standing in lieu of the Candidate
> Recommendation stage.
> 
> > Whatever message you have taken from the rest of the thread, I think it
> > should be clear that the process is taking too long and effort should be
> > made to speed it up.
> 
> The process is taking too long for what?
> 
> The W3C itself has issued “Tips for Getting to Recommendation Faster”
> (<http://www.w3.org/2002/05/rec-tips>). What else would you suggest?
> 
> > [...] the process itself should be streamlined.
> 
> In what ways should we streamline the process?
> 
> > If CSS3 has to wait to become a formal Rec more than seven years after
> > CSS2.1 is finally approved, CSS may, in fact, be doomed.
> 
> What does doom mean here?
> 
> --
> Etan Wexler.
Received on Saturday, 2 July 2005 03:44:01 GMT

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