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Re: The Progress of CSS

From: Etan Wexler <ewexler@stickdog.com>
Date: Sat, 02 Jul 2005 01:57:02 -0400
Message-ID: <42C62CAE.4080604@stickdog.com>
To: CSS specification-development list <www-style@w3.org>

Mark Moore wrote to the CSS specification-development list 
(<mailto:www-style@w3.org>) on 1 July 2005 in “Is There a Problem? (was: 
The Progress of CSS)” (<mid:E1DoYv7-0007zg-0E@bart.w3.org>, 
<http://www.w3.org/mid/E1DoYv7-0007zg-0E@bart.w3.org>):

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

What, in practical terms, does “unacceptably long” mean? Does it mean 
that you’re annoyed? Does it mean your loss of interest in the 
development of CSS2.1? Does it mean the broader community’s loss of 
interest in the development of CSS2.1? Does it mean vendors’ loss of 
interest in implementing CSS2.1? Does it mean content authors’ loss of 
interest in using CSS2.1? Does it mean the replacement of the editors of 
the CSS2.1 specification? Does it mean a loss of funding? Does it mean 
that the W3C will disband the CSS Working Group?

> What is most disappointing is that influential contributors like yourself

Flattery will get you everywhere, my boy.

> and CSS 2.1 editors like Ian Hickson and Håkon Wium Lie don't seem to see
> that there is a problem.

I was an early critic of the apparent delay. Nearly four years ago I 
wrote “a CSS2.1 is still due us” 
(<mid:20010830024825.F048E3C3B3@server10.safepages.com>, 
<http://www.w3.org/mid/20010830024825.F048E3C3B3@server10.safepages.com>).

> Or possibly, the belief is that this is an unsolvable or *necessary* condition.

There are limits on time, talent, money, and other requisites. Sure, 
let’s push until we find those limits. Sure, the limits may change over 
time. But limits don’t disappear; we have to work within them.

The long production times for CSS2.1 are the result of shortages. I’d 
like to see more funding within the W3C and within interested 
participating organizations. That is, I’d like that the W3C hire more 
staff and that vendors bankroll employees on the task.

Ian Hickson recently pointed to the need for test cases and welcomed 
contributions 
(<mid:Pine.LNX.4.61.0507020406540.13594@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>, 
<http://www.w3.org/mid/Pine.LNX.4.61.0507020406540.13594@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>). 
Given the nature of test cases, this effort can be piecemeal and can 
involve many people, each doing a bit of work.

Modifying a slogan from the International Homosexual Conspiracy 
(<http://www.homosexualagenda.info/>), I exclaim, “Bert Bos is not 
enough! Recruit! Recruit! Recruit!”

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

I think that we all recognize a problem. I think that some of us are 
asking for magical solutions.

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

We can politely petition vendors for employee time. We can write test 
cases according to guidelines. We can do word-by-word reviews of 
specifications at each draft. The rich among us can pay for the work of 
others.

I note Opera Software ASA as an exemplary funder of the development of 
CSS specifications. Håkon Wium Lie, Ian Hickson, and fantasai have made 
enormous contributions to the community on Opera’s tab.

-- 
Etan Wexler.
Received on Saturday, 2 July 2005 06:21:02 GMT

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