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

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 10:08:35 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c8010507050708645c92cf@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

> > > However, we still have to maintain our existing specs. If people raise
> > > issues on CSS2 (as they have been doing) then we're not going to
> > > ignore them, as that would just mean CSS2 was useless as a
> > > specification.
> >
> > I understand, and that is a problem. But it shouldn't hold up the
> > future.
> Well, it doesn't hold it up by design. It's a resource problem.
> Maintaining existing specifications is a higher priority than making up
> new stuff. This is as it should be -- indeed maintaining existing specs is
> the most critical work any working group can do, since the issues raised
> on those specs are raised because the work is being implemented and used;
> by ignoring comments, one would be ensuring that interoperability of the
> existing specs will be poor.

Has anyone thought of maybe finding a better process. One that doesn't
eat up so much of your time. I was in a business which spent thousands
of man hours to complete each project. No one thought there was a
better way. No one thought it could be automated in any way, because
it was just too human-centric. Well the system was automated and what
took thousands of hours now takes less than one. Never assume you've
maximized your time. There is always a better way.

> Unfortunately, if a working group has X units of worktime per week, and
> dealing with maintaining existing specs takes X units of worktime per
> week, there is no time left for new work.
> In the case of the CSSWG, maintaining CSS 2.1 takes all our resources.
> (There are times where we get more issues raised per week than we can
> actually resolve per week!) We often have no time left for CSS3. Despite
> this, some members of the WG are spending some of their own time working
> on CSS3 drafts anyway, beyond their official "20%" CSSWG time commitment.

Actually I'm of the mind that the specs have to move forward even at
the cost of the current ones. But then again I don't think you've
maximized your time.

> > To pick an example, it surely can't be right that the XForms spec is
> > still waiting for a formal document that contains the xf:repeat
> > pseudo-elements and the various Model Item Property pseudo-classes. They
> > are not very complicated, and could easily have been produced on their
> > own.
> What is holding up that draft going past CR and on to REC is simple: there
> is no test suite. I'm sure the CSSWG would be quite happy to have someone
> (e.g., you) come in and take section 4 of the CSS3 UI module and create an
> independent CSS3 module out of it, and push that through CR -- but it
> would get stuck at the same place it is stuck now, because there is no
> test suite.
> Section 4 of CSS3 UI needs roughly 150 tests, and then two implementations
> which pass all those tests, before it can get past CR.
> Nobody in the CSSWG has the time to write those tests at the moment.
> Personally my time is spent dealing with the CSS2.1 test suite (464 tests
> in our unpublished copy at the moment, 928 if you count the XHTML and HTML
> versions separately) and the Selectors test suite (303 tests, 786 if you
> count the XHTML, HTML, and XML variants separately).
> You are of course welcome to contribute tests to the test suite. It would
> directly help in bringing the draft to REC.

Is that pretty much it? Any other positions open? How about editor? ;P
> > (Those writing other standards can add XPointer schemes, XPath
> > functions, schema data types, XML namespaces, and so on, without
> > consulting some other Working Group. Yet I can't add a simple styling
> > property in anything less than three years.)
> I don't see how this is the case. The SVG group seems to be quite happily
> adding CSS properties left right and centre (somewhat to the concern of
> the CSS working group, actually! Not all the additions seemed to make
> sense. I believe the CSS and SVG groups have now reached a compromise on
> which properties make sense in CSS and which don't).
> There is nothing stopping a working group from working with the CSS
> working group on adding features to CSS.

What about non-working groups? I'm free to develop my own XML grammar,
but I'm not free to develop my own styling properties.

Orion Adrian
Received on Tuesday, 5 July 2005 14:08:38 UTC

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