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Re: Procedural (non-technical) point about freezing the cat and hat combinators before they've even been defined (was Re: Shadow DOM: Hat and Cat -- if that's your real name.)

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 08:03:28 -0800
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDDAv8xs9LYwCcSzQVWf61DOS9nUC28WfWQ93RN0tgfgnA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 4:35 AM, Daniel Glazman
<daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com> wrote:
> Fine. But apparently, standardization did matter to Google on this
> topic. Now, I have read multiple times an ultimatum à la "make a
> decision right now or we'll ship, never change and that will become
> the standard". This was not Google's habits and I remember times when
> Google was complaining because of some other companies doing precisely
> that.

Do you understand the difference between "we refuse to change" and "we
suspect certain things will get difficult to change rather quickly,
because that's how the web works"?

Attributing an ultimatum to my words is blatantly violating the
Principle of Charity, especially since I've *very explicitly*
clarified that I'm talking about the latter.

I don't like contributing to a conversation that perpetually
misinterprets my words and attributes malice to me and my team. :/

We've been working on Shadow DOM in the open for 2 years, and have
gone to great efforts to get the other browser vendors involved and
seek their input and opinions as we develop the standard.  We feel the
standard is sufficiently advanced, the remaining issues sufficiently
small, and the benefit to authors sufficiently great to justify
shipping sooner rather than later.

Will there be mistakes?  Yes, but you can't avoid those anyway.  Most
of them will be fixable, with a greater or lesser amount of compat
pain, and we're willing to take on more compat pain than normal to get
this thing smoothed out.  (We think use of Polymer and similar
libraries will make this easier, as evangelizing a few libraries to
change small details is way easier than evangelizing a million
authors.)  Some won't be - we'll either accept them as warts or
engineer around them.  You might recognize this entire approach as
*exactly what goes on with every large feature ever introduced to the
web, regardless of how long it's baked*.  No matter how good you think
you did, people will point out fundamental failures a week after
you've shipped that make you wonder how you were ever so dumb.

This is a bold/aggressive approach, but it's neither hostile nor
unique.  Chrome is usually rather timid and polite about these kinds
of things, but we feel this is important enough to jump forward with.
There are numerous examples of similar things elsewhere in the WG's
history, and even current behavior - 'will-change', for example, is
probably going to be shipped by Firefox and Chrome before it reaches
the "proper" level of maturity in the W3C Process.  Sometimes things
are important enough that pushing forward a little faster is
justified.  Our justification is of course personal, and may not be
shared by others, but hopefully we can all respect this, just as
Chrome respects the justifications other browsers give for
occasionally forging forward.

~TJ
Received on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 16:04:19 UTC

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